Launched in 2018 as #SafeSpace, Rainbow Fest is a one-of-a-kind showcase of underrepresented voices that has raised funds for deserving organizations such as Trans Lifeline, Brave Space Alliance, Planned Parenthood, and more.

Previous hosts and special guests include Meg Stalter (Hacks), Pauley Perrette (NCIS), Robyn Coffin (Chicago Fire), Maya May (The Lincoln Project), Scott Duff (Out Chicago), Malic White (Candyman)

2023 Selections:
Black Woman White Man, The Exchange (PR), Fire Flower, First Love (AU), My Dick and My Bike (FR), The Little Piratemaid, Loverboy, Off-Key, The Old Man in the Rocking Chair, Other Dan’s Ex-Girlfriend, Rainbow Speed Dating, Ross Levine: She Does Me, Shibaa, Skating Free, Three Nights a Week (FR).

Best Feature
Best Short
Best Performer in a Leading Role
Best Performer in a Supporting Role
Best Director
Best Screenplay

Additional categories may be added based on submissions.

All genres and content types are welcome. Your film should feature queer identities, but that doesn't have to be the main focus. We love to see our queers in genre films just as much as romance.

1. There is no guarantee of acceptance, and submission fees are non-refundable.
2. Non-English films must include English subtitles. These are welcome for English-language productions as well.
3. Short films must be shorter than 55 minutes. Features must be longer than 55 minutes.
4. There are no requirements regarding previous screenings or when your film was produced.
5. Films are scheduled at our discretion. We retain the right to make changes to the published schedule at any time and for any reason.

RELEASE: RAINBOW FEST is hereby granted the right to utilize an excerpt from any film submitted and accepted for exhibition at the Festival for promotional purposes. The individual or corporation submitting the film hereby warrants that it is authorized to commit the film for screening, and understands and accepts these requirements and regulations. The submitter shall indemnify and hold harmless RFCHI from and against any and all claims, liabilities, losses, damages, and expenses (including but not limited to attorney’s fees, and costs of the court) which may be incurred by reason of any claim involving copyright, trademark, credits, publicity, screening, and loss of or damage to the screening materials entered.

Overall Rating
  • Michael Schelp

    Fantastic group of people. Good communication. Fun event on festival night.

    July 2023
  • Jo Teh

    Thank you Rainbow Fest for selecting our film First Love. Good communication throughout the festival. Overall 4.5 stars because I sent captions but it wasn't uploaded.

    July 2023