New Generation Filmmakers Forum is a showcase of emerging cinema creatives located in Chicago, IL.

We proudly hosted our first festival in February 2023 and are excited to move forward as an annual event!

New Generation Filmmakers Forum strives to highlight both its selected films and filmmakers in order to help kickstart their careers. We encourage young filmmakers to apply, including students. Filmmakers can be any age as long as they are early in their filmmaking career.

All genres are welcome! We have previously screened horror, documentary, rom-com, dance, experimental, thriller, drama, and LGBTQ+ films. We also welcome music videos and other types of short video content.

This event will be a curated screening of short films followed by a Q+A with the filmmakers. Filmmakers who submit are highly encouraged to make themselves available the day of the event.

We encourage filmmakers of all identities to apply! We are an LGBTQ+ friendly organization.

All selections will receive:
-An official Laurel from New Generation Filmmakers Forum
-Feedback about films gathered from audiences
-Promotion on our Instagram (@newgen_filmforum) leading up to the event

2-4 of the selected films will receive:
-Audience Award(s): Selected by the audience in attendance at the festival
-Juror's Award: Selected by the Programming Board of New Generation Filmmakers Forum

Length requirements: SHORT FILMS ONLY. No minimum length. Max approx. 30 minutes. Your film may be disqualified if runtime is substantially over 30 minutes.

Location: Priority will be given to Chicago-based and Midwest-based filmmakers as our event features a Q+A with selected filmmakers. It is deeply important to us that as many filmmakers can be in attendance as possible. Please note however that if your location is outside of the Midwest, you will not be disqualified and we still encourage you to submit.

Premiere status: No premiere requirements. Films can have been completed any time before submission date.

Rights: You MUST own all rights to the film, including any music used.

Please reach out via email ( with any questions or concerns about rules and requirements for New Generation Filmmakers Forum. We will happily respond as soon as possible.