Reeling: The Chicago LGBTQ+ International Film Festival is the second longest-running film festival of its kind, and prides itself on showcasing the best LGBTQ+ films each year.

From award-winning international feature films to social documentaries to experimental shorts, Reeling has always presented a range of genres that demonstrate the rich diversity of work being produced. Not only has Reeling become one of the most important cultural events for Chicagoans, it also attracts audiences from throughout the Midwest who consider the festival to be the highlight of their cinematic year.

The first Chicago LGBTQ+ International Film Festival took place in April 1981 in Chicago Filmmakers’ 90-seat folding-chair screening room on West Hubbard Street. The festival sold out nearly every screening, leaving audiences demanding more. The enthusiasm for the festival led to a commitment on the part of Chicago Filmmakers to continue the festival as an annual event, and it has been going strong ever since.

The mission of Reeling is to recognize the important artistic contributions that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender filmmakers have made to our culture; to educate the general population and sensitize them to lesbian, gay and transgender issues; to investigate the history of LGBTQ+ film, including the stereotyping that has been a major part of this history; and to counteract this stereotyping with valid, meaningful and diverse LGBTQ+ stories.

The festival provides a unique opportunity for the celebration of these identities for a community too often misrepresented or ignored in mainstream film and television.

Entries are eligible for (non-cash) audience awards in the categories of Best Narrative Feature, Best Documentary Feature, Best Episodic Series, Best Narrative Short, Best Documentary Short, and Best Experimental or Animated Film; and (non-cash) juried awards in the categories of Best Narrative Feature, Best Documentary Feature, Best Episodic Series, Best Narrative Short, Best Documentary Short, and Best Experimental or Animated Film. Additional cash prizes may be awarded on behalf of Reeling sponsors.

MISSION & OBJECTIVE
Reeling: The Chicago LGBTQ+ International Film Festival is the second longest-running film festival of its kind in the U.S. and prides itself on showcasing the best lesbian and gay films and web series from around the world. From international feature films to social issue documentaries to experimental shorts, Reeling has always presented a range of genres that demonstrates the rich diversity of work being produced.

ABOUT THE FESTIVAL
Reeling 2021: The 39th Chicago LGBTQ+ International Film Festival will screen approximately 75-100 independent films and videos over 11 days, from September 23 - October 3, 2021.

We invite you to enter this year's festival and ask you to please take a moment to read through our Festival Regulations and Entry Procedures before you enter your work.

For information on last year's festival, visit us at https://reelingfilmfestival.org/2020/.

For more information or questions, call 773-293-1447 or email
reeling@chicagofilmmakers.org. We look forward to viewing your work!

Send to: Chicago Filmmakers
Attn: Reeling Film Festival
1326 W. Hollywood Ave.
Chicago, IL 60660

ORGANIZER
Brenda Webb (Executive Director)

GENERAL RULES:

SCREENING FEES
By entering Reeling, the entrant acknowledges that Reeling is not obligated nor expected to pay rental fees or screening fees for the exhibition of entered works.

FESTIVAL AWARDS
Official entries will be eligible for Jury Awards voted on by juries of film professionals and Audience Awards chosen by audience vote.

SCREENERS
Submissions must be submitted via a secure online screener (e.g. Vimeo.com with password) or uploaded to FilmFreeway for preview. Entrants must also supply a password-protected screener link for press review purposes immediately upon notification of acceptance into Reeling.

NOTIFICATIONS
Entrants will be marked as “In Consideration” on FilmFreeway once the payment, entry form, and preview link have all been received. If your entry is accepted for exhibition, you will be notified via email by August 12.

PHOTOS
Still photos from your work are required with your submission and for all films selected for the festival. Preferred format is TIF or low compressed JPEG. Preferred minimum size of 1800 pixels x 1200 pixels in horizontal. Color images should be provided in both RGB and CMYK but if only one version is available, CMYK is preferred.

WORKS-IN-PROGRESS
Rough cuts and works-in-progress are eligible for submission only if a completed final copy is available for preview by June 10, 2021. A brief explanation describing changes to be made for the final version and expected date of completion must be included with your entry.

PREMIERE STATUS
We generally do not program works that have screened in Chicago, have been shown on television, or are available on DVD or online prior to the festival. Exceptions are determined on a case-by-case basis. It is your responsibility to disclose this information on your entry form and to notify us immediately of any changes after your submission is made.

EXHIBITION COPIES
***Eligible Formats for Exhibition***
Acceptable formats of feature and short films for VIRTUAL SCREENING include either ProRes or MPEG4 digital files sent via file sharing services.

Acceptable formats of feature films for IN-THEATRE SCREENING include DCP (Linux formatted; not Mac), Blu-ray, or digital files by request and approval of the festival. A backup Blu-ray for both DCP and Blu-ray is required for emergency use.

Acceptable formats of short films for IN-THEATRE SCREENING include either DCP (Linux formatted; not Mac), ProRes or MPEG4 digital files sent via file sharing services or on a hard drive/flash drive.

Other formats are contingent on available equipment; please contact the festival to inquire. Foreign language work must be subtitled in English.

***Deadline for Receipt of Exhibition Copy: September 3, 2021***
If your feature film entry is accepted for exhibition, your DCP and backup Blu-ray should arrive in our office by September 3, 2021 for inspection and testing. If your short film entry is accepted for exhibition, your digital file should be sent via an online file transfer system by September 3, 2021. Please inform our office if this will be a problem.

***Shipping***
Exhibition copies must be sent to the festival prepaid. The festival cannot accept nor assume responsibility for damage or loss of materials while in transit. For DCPs, please do not use fiber-filled shipping envelopes.

***International Shipping***
Foreign entries must be shipped prepaid. Exhibition copies must be sent directly to the festival office with all transportation charges, delivery fees, and any duties or taxes prepaid by the shipper. The entrant will have to bear financial responsibility in the event that the festival is charged any brokerage fees. Please be sure to include all proper customs documentation. We recommend that the following declaration be printed on the outside of the package and on customs forms: TEMPORARY IMPORTATION – FOR FILM FESTIVAL EXHIBITION ONLY. NO COMMERCIAL VALUE.

***Return Shipping***
Feature exhibition copies will be returned to the entrant at the festival’s expense, using a method and carrier of the festival's choosing. Express shipping or shipping to any other destination that incurs higher shipping charges (such as transshipments to foreign film festivals on behalf of the filmmaker) must be borne by the entrant or the recipient. Trans-shipments of exhibition copies to other festivals must be requested in writing, and is subject to approval.

***Change of Address***
It is the responsibility of the entrant to notify Reeling of a change of address by emailing reeling@chicagofilmmakers.org. The entrant must accept responsibility for the cost of reshipping exhibition copies returned to the festival due to a change of address, unless written notification was given to the festival prior to return shipping.

LOSS OR DAMAGE
The festival cannot accept nor assume responsibility for damage or loss of materials while in transit. In the event of loss or damage during the festival, the festival’s responsibility is limited to repair or replacement of the print.

MEDIA PROMOTION
Programmed works may be excerpted for TV, website, and other promotional purposes. Photos and trailers or clips supplied by makers may be used for promotional purposes. Reeling must be notified in writing at the time of submission of any press restrictions.

AUTHORIZATION
Entering your film or web series automatically indicates your acceptance of all Reeling 2021 submission guidelines and regulations. By entering the festival, the entrant automatically authorizes Reeling to publicly screen the work in the festival and agrees to provide an exhibition copy for the period of the festival (September 23 to October 3, 2021) AT NO CHARGE. If the film is picked up for distribution after the film has been entered, it is still the responsibility of the entrant to provide an exhibition copy to the festival without charge. Once a film/tape is submitted for entry, it may not be withdrawn. The entrant assumes all financial responsibility and legal liability for the content of their work including, but not limited to, usage of all copyrighted material for story, voice, visual images, and music.

Overall Rating
Quality
Value
Communication
Hospitality
Networking
  • Wonderful festival experience! Well organized festival, great communication from the very kind and lovely team. Definitely participating again. Highly recommended one of a kind film festival! And thank you for having us with our short "Cocoon Love".

    October 2021
  • Daniel Talbott

    An extraordinary festival in a beautiful city. The quality of work is outstanding and was really proud to be a part of it.

    October 2021
  • Jose Luis Benavides

    Being in Reeling: The Chicago LGBTQ+ International Film Festival felt like a real homecoming for me and my film. Everyone was very kind and supporting. Even though it was a virtual festival, I still felt a great deal of warmth and generosity from the crew. Thank you.

    October 2020
  • Krit Komkrichwarakool

    Excellent festival with great programs. It was a pleasure to be a part of this year’s festival.

    October 2020
  • Thomas Awrey

    We were thrilled to have our first feature film selected for the Reeling Film Festival. They did a phenomenal job of transferring the event to a virtual format and we appreciated the open communication.

    October 2020