CineYouth is the Chicago International Film Festival’s yearly film festival that showcases short films made by filmmakers 22 years old and younger from around the world. CineYouth encourages the talent of young filmmakers and supports diverse youth voices by providing opportunities to have their work showcased, to learn about filmmaking from industry experts, and network with their peers. CineYouth 2023 will offer free film screenings, filmmaking workshops, live Q&A’s, and more!

Select award-winning CineYouth films will be screened at the 59th Chicago International Film Festival at the CineYouth "Best of the Fest" screening (October 2023).

As a step towards a more inclusive and accessible festival that addresses the systemic inequity and underrepresentation in film, CineYouth is offering a 50% discount to all films submitted by BIPOC filmmakers, as well as filmmakers with disabilities and/or films featuring performers with disabilities using the following codes:

BIPOCVOICES2023
DISABILITYVOICES2023

One winning film in each category, which include Drama, Experimental, Animation, Chicago-made films, Horror and more! Select award winners will be screened as part of the "Best of the Fest" at the 59th Chicago International Film Festival.

CineYouth is the Chicago International Film Festival's yearly film festival that showcases short films made by filmmakers 22 years old and younger from around the world. CineYouth encourages the talent of young filmmakers and supports diverse youth voices by providing opportunities to have their work showcased, to learn about filmmaking from industry experts, and network with peers.

*Please only submit to one category*

SUBMISSION GUIDELINES
Entries accepted December 5th, 2022 through March 6th, 2023

Eligibility

- The film's director(s) must have been 22 years old or younger at the time of the film's completion. (Can currently be 23 if the film was finished while 22.)
- All films must be in English or subtitled in English.
- All music and other copyrighted material used must be properly licensed.
- The film’s total running time must be 15 minutes or less, including credits.
- Past submissions to CineYouth may not be resubmitted.
- The filmmaker’s age at the time of the film’s completion must be provided in the synopsis.

Submission Process

- Please include your age at time of film completion in the Synopsis.
- Multiple films by an individual filmmaker or group may be submitted, but a completed FilmFreeway submission must accompany EACH entry.
- Notifications of programming decisions are sent via email in March 2023.
- If your film is selected, you will be asked to provide an electronic film still (not poster image) that is a minimum 300dpi, 4×6 and high quality.

Overall Rating
Quality
Value
Communication
Hospitality
Networking
  • Amazing opportunity, great films from around the world

    May 2023
  • Miro Alleyne-McCarthy

    This was my second time having a film at CineYouth. It’s brilliantly organised and imaginatively programmed. I’m so proud to have been part of it again.

    April 2023
  • Katie Jahns

    CineYouth was such a great festival experience! Ryan, the festival director was so kind and approachable for all our questions. The films were incredible and everything was so well organized. Overall a pleasure to attend and get to meet so many wonderful people!

    May 2022
  • Rey Tang

    Fantastic opportunity for youth filmmakers, organized by wonderful folks who care about the well-being of the artists they're spotlighting!

    May 2022
  • Vejune Sidaugaite

    Awesome festival. Great community, organization, and communication!

    May 2022