The Sound of Silent Film Festival takes place each year in Chicago's historic Music Box Theater. We screen each film in silence with original music by our composers performed live.

The deadline for submission for the 2023 festival is December 1.

The films we screen are either actual modern silent films with no sound whatsoever or films without dialogue with sound effects that can be recreated acoustically in the musical score.

In addition to films by up and comers we have also programmed and performed live music to well-known filmmakers such as Guy Maddin, Martin Scorsese, Alexander Payne, the Brothers Quay and others.

We're interested in short films, between 2 and 20 minutes long, in all styles and genres.

The event is well known in Chicago after so many years and routinely gets a lot of press and attracts younger audiences between 18 and 50. This will be our eighteenth year and the festival takes place on April 26th at 7:30 PM at the Music Box Theatre.

We don't give awards but we do have a laurel for every film chosen to be screened.

1. I, the representative of the project being submitted (the "Project"), acknowledge and agree as follows in connection with the Project's submittal to Access Contemporary Music (the "Company") for consideration for the Sound of Silent Film Festival (the "Competition").

2. I hereby represent and warrant to the Competition that (a) I am duly authorized, on my own behalf and on behalf of all other persons or entities who have any ownership rights in the Project, (b) the submission will not violate any law or any right or consent of any person or entity and (c) the Project is not subject to litigation nor is it threatened by any litigation.

3. I further represent and warrant that, to the best of my knowledge, the submission of the Project to the Competition will not violate or infringe any copyright, patent, privacy right, publicity right, trademark, service mark or any other personal or property right of any person or entity and that my Project does not constitute a defamation of any person or entity.

4. I agree to indemnify and hold harmless the Company, the Competition, affiliate, subsidiary and parent entities of each, and the officers, directors, employees, sponsors, partners, attorneys, advisors and agents of each of the foregoing from and against any and all claims, losses, or liabilities (including reasonable attorneys' fees) that may be asserted against any of the foregoing or incurred by any of the foregoing at any time in connection with the Project or the Competition's use thereof, and/or arising from any breach or alleged breach of any representation made by me to the Company or the Competition. Offerings, awards and prizes may change or be eliminated at any time due to consequences beyond the Competition's control and the Competition will do its best to substitute a fair replacement, if possible.

5. By submitting my Project to the Competition I agree to allow the Competition to use the Project's title, cast, crew, synopsis and other information related to it to promote the Competition. I understand that the Project will be screened in silence at the festival with a new score performed live.

6. If selected, I hereby grant to the Company, the Competition, and their related entities (a) the right to use footage, trailers, stills and/or titles in which I own the rights to, and basic information from the Project for promotional purposes and (b) the right to issue and authorize publicity concerning the filmmakers and the Project and to use all associated names, likenesses and biographical information. I also agree to provide contact information for the director and producer(s) of the Project and grant the Competition the right to provide this information to film industry organizations partnering with the Competition at its discretion.

7. I represent that I am 18 years of age or older, or that if I am younger than the legal age to enter into contracts in my state, I have provided a written consent from my parent or legal guardian. I agree that any controversy arising out of or in connection with my Project and the Competition will be governed by the internal laws of the State of Nevada and conclusively determined by arbitration in the City of Las Vegas in accordance with the rules of the American Arbitration Association before a single arbitrator mutually agreed upon by the parties. I hereby waive any and all rights and benefits which I might otherwise have or be entitled to litigate any such dispute in court, including without limitation a trial by jury.

8. I acknowledge that I have read and understood the rules and regulations explained herein for submitting to the Competition.

9. By submitting my Project I constitute my full and complete acceptance of the terms hereof. I acknowledge that no oral representations of any kind have been made by the Company or the Competition.

Overall Rating
  • This was a truly amazing festival! The Sound of Silence Film Festival is really a special event, and I was so happy to be a part of it! The theatre was just beautiful, the live musical performance was magical, the experience was incredible. I'm running out of descriptives, haha! Seth was a wonderful organizer and host, and the staff was all amazing. This is the way films should be experienced! One of the very best film festivals in the world!

    May 2023
  • Alexander Bickford

    My favorite festival that I have had the honor of being a part of. Watching your film accompanied by a brand new score, performed live by amazing musicians, is such a thrilling experience. The entire SOSF team does an incredible job bringing together film and music to create such a unique and inspiring event year after year.

    April 2022
  • Brian Zahm

    I love Sound of Silent Film. The screening event is truly magical! When my life flashes in front of my eyes when I take my last breath, SOSF will be part of the montage. Being afforded a chance to have a film scored by the INCREDIBLY TALENTED composers and then performed live by the INCREDIBLY TALENTED orchestra is second-to-none. And everyone involved with the event are wonderful people and the communication is great. The overall vibe can't be beat. Let me say it again, I LOVE SOUND OF SILENT FILM <3

    April 2022
  • The hospitality of this festival is unmatched. We flew out to Chicago from California to attend. They checked in with us frequently, offering rides to events, buying us drinks, and ensuring we felt completely welcome and appreciated. The event was incredible and exceeded our expectations in every way. The theatre was packed, and the audience was fabulous. The composer that worked on our film flew out from Sweden, and we were able to talk about his process for composing a new score. The musicians were incredible, and there was such a sense of community. I will never forget this wonderful experience or the people we met in Chicago.

    April 2022
  • Vanessa Valliere

    The Sound of Silent Film Festival was great fun. To be able to see our film with a new, wholly original music score played live by a pro band in front of the big screen at the historic Music Box in Chicago was a unique experience. Thanks for having us!

    April 2022