CHICAGOLAND SHORTS is more than just a short film festival – it's a local celebration of Chicago's new wave of independent cinema and a service that tours the work of underrepresented filmmakers across the country.

Chicagoland Shorts brings together the best of the so-called niche cinemas – experimental and off-beat narrative work by people of color, women, and LGBTQ+ filmmakers. The filmmakers featured in this series have screened internationally at museums, galleries, and over 100 film festivals (including Cannes, Tribeca, and Sundance), and includes an Emmy winner, a Fulbright fellow, a finalist for the Student Academy Award, and the recipient of a Human Rights Award from Nielsen Reviews.

Volumes 1-5 have played to audiences around the country, at art house theaters and microcinemas, including the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Spectacle Theater (Brooklyn, NY), Echo Park Film Center (Los Angeles), Northwest Film Forum (Seattle), and over twenty more (and counting).

Vol. 6 will feature 8-12 short films, and will screen at venues across the country from May 2020 - December 2020. The program will also be distributed through DVD, Blu-ray, VOD, and libraries.

All accepted filmmakers will enter into a distribution agreement with Full Spectrum Features NFP. All films will participate in a touring program of Chicagoland Shorts Vol. 6 that will screen at theaters, micro-cinemas, galleries, and alternative screening venues throughout Chicago and across the country. The program will also be available for purchase as DVD, Blu-ray, and VOD, distributed exclusively through Full Spectrum Features NFP for a period of one year, and non-exclusively for an additional period of four years.

Participating filmmakers are invited to attend any and all screenings to promote their work and help cultivate the growing community of alternative media makers and their supporters.

Although filmmakers do not receive screening fees, residuals, or other guaranteed payment for participation in Chicagoland Shorts Vol. 6, a small honorarium may be paid at particular screenings if and when funds become available.

Films must be directed by individuals residing in the greater Chicago area, or have some other strong connection to Chicago. We define "Chicagoland" as the City of Chicago and its immediate suburbs, as well as any ex-burbs within a reasonable distance of Chicago.

All genres accepted. We are particularly drawn to experimental films and video art, but also love traditional narratives, docs, and animation.

No completion date requirement.

No length requirement.

No premiere requirement.

IMPORTANT: In order to maximize exposure for the films, we request a one-month "blackout period" prior to the premiere -- i.e., films accepted to Chicagoland Shorts should NOT be exhibited online or screen publicly in the Chicagoland area during this time.

NOTE: Please include in your filmmaker bio whether you live in the Chicagoland area, and where. It is essential for our determination of your film's eligibility.

By submitting your film to Chicagoland Shorts Vol. 6, you warrant that you are authorized to commit the film for screening, and understand and accept the following requirements and regulations:

- All rights and permissions are in place for my submission (it is the sole responsibility of the applicant to obtain any and all necessary rights and permissions).
- By submitting my film for consideration, I grant permission to Full Spectrum Features to use any portion of my film and related materials for promotion in all media, including Full Spectrum Features catalogues, flyers, posters and website.
- I understand that no film accepted for inclusion in Chicagoland Shorts Vol. 6 may be withdrawn without the express written permission of Full Spectrum Features.
- I agree to indemnify and hold harmless Full Spectrum Features and the organizers of Chicagoland Shorts 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 formats entered.
- All of the above information and statements are accurate.

Overall Rating
  • Martin Mulcahy

    Such a great and necessary festival for both Chicago and it’s touring screenings. All 4 volumes have shown stellar work of an amazing variety of talents in the LGBTQ community, women and POC. I’ve met so many awesome filmmakers, and look forward to Volume 5!

    August 2018
  • Hannah Kim

    Great experience, was programmed among amazing films, and met amazing filmmakers and programmers. Would recommend to anyone from the Chicagoland area who wants to showcase their film around the US.

    August 2018
  • I was really glad to be part of CLS V.2. it was such an amazing curating program!

    January 2017