The Chicago International Children’s Film Festival (CICFF) is the first Academy Award Qualifying children’s film festival in the world. Oscar-qualifying film categories include Live-Action (narrative) Short Film and Animated Short Film. Founded in 1984, the CICFF is the oldest children’s film festival in North America. During the 33rd season 2016, Chicago presented 287 films from over 40 countries over the course of ten days. CICFF is also the largest film fest for kids in North America, with average audiences of 26,000. Chicago International Children’s Film Festival serves as a global hub for filmmakers and producers of films for children, with a peer forum for over 100 filmmakers with an opportunity to connect with and elevate the aesthetic and production standards
for youth cinema production. Festival films reach unique audiences, diverse in age, socioeconomic background, and ethnic heritage - a broad range of children and teens, educators, parents, and peers unduplicated in the youth film festival audience landscape world-wide. At post-screening discussions, panels, workshops, seminars and receptions, filmmakers have an incomparable opportunity to connect with the widest possible array of viewers and colleagues.

MISSION & OBJECTIVE:
The Chicago international Children’s Film Festival aims to set an internationally-recognized standard of excellence in film production for children and youth. We strive to support the work of talented and dedicated filmmakers by showcasing international films of the highest quality and awarding prizes in multiple categories of production formats and genres. We also provide professional forums to enable quality children’s films to gain increased distribution and access to wider audiences. The film experiences of young viewers are deepened through a broad range of programs which extend Festival film viewing into discussion and learning. The Chicago International Children’s Film Festival is produced and presented by Facets, a leading national not-for-profit media arts organization, founded in 1975. The year-round programs of Facets includes programs of regional, national and global impact and reach in the areas of exhibition, distribution and education of independent and art films.

Awards & Prizes

Best of Fest Award
This prize is shared with other categories.

Professional Jury Prizes
1st and 2nd. Awards and Prizes are given in the form of certificates. The Professional Jury is comprised of filmmakers, critics and educators.
Sponsor: Facets
This prize is shared with other categories.

Children's Jury Prizes
1st and 2nd. Awards and Prizes are given in the form of certificates. The Festival's 70-member Children's Jury, led by a team of media educators, meets separately from the Adult Jury and awards its own prizes.
Sponsor:Facets Multi-Media, Inc.
This prize is shared with other categories.

Youth Jury Prizes
First prize for best youth-produced (directed by youth aged 15 to 18) and first prize for best feature film.

Emerging Director Award
This award is for the best film by an “emerging director” (a film professional who has completed fewer than three films). The age of the director is not important, but the film itself should be distinguished by special qualities of technical innovation, a high degree of imagination (in story, character, setting, etc.) and/or an inspired treatment of a theme to which children can easily relate.

The Liv Ullmann Peace Prize
Determined by jury. Film that reflects and/or inspires the possibilities for peace.
Sponsor:Facets Multi-Media, Inc.
This prize is shared with other categories.

Best Film for Young Children (Ages 2-5)
Determined by jury. Film that reflects the sensibilities and outlook of the young child.

Science/Math Film Competition
FIlms or television productions which engage children in exploring science, scientific concepts or methodologies, math or engineering, and ways of thinking are simultaneously entered into the Chicago International Children's Film Festival Science/Math Competition with awards judged by a special, separate Festival jury. Submissions can be on topics of physical, life, earth and space sciences, engineering or technology; or applications of math or science.

Rules & Terms

Rules and Regulations

1.) Organization.
The Chicago International Children’s Film Festival (CICFF) is the first Academy Award Qualifying children’s film festival in the world. Oscar-qualifying film categories include Live-Action (narrative) Short Film and Animated Short Film. Founded in 1984, the CICFF is the oldest children’s film festival in North America. During the 33rd season 2016, Chicago presented 287 films from over 40 countries over the course of ten days. CICFF is also the largest film fest for kids in North America, with average audiences of 26,000. Chicago International Children’s Film Festival serves as a global hub for filmmakers and producers of films for children, with a peer forum for over 100 filmmakers with an opportunity to connect with and elevate the aesthetic and production standards
for youth cinema production. Festival films reach unique audiences, diverse in age, socioeconomic background, and ethnic heritage - a broad range of children and teens, educators, parents, and peers unduplicated in the youth film festival audience landscape world-wide. At post-screening discussions, panels, workshops, seminars and receptions, filmmakers have an incomparable opportunity to connect with the widest possible array of viewers and colleagues.

2.) Mission.
The Chicago international Children’s Film Festival aims to set an internationally-recognized standard of excellence in film production for children and youth. We strive to support the work of talented and dedicated filmmakers by showcasing international films of the highest quality and awarding prizes in multiple categories of production formats and genres. We also provide professional forums to enable quality children’s films to gain increased distribution and access to wider audiences. The film experiences of young viewers are deepened through a broad range of programs which extend Festival film viewing into discussion and learning. The Chicago International Children’s Film Festival is produced and presented by Facets, a leading national not-for-profit media arts organization, founded in 1975. The year-round programs of Facets includes programs of regional, national and global impact and reach in the areas of exhibition, distribution and education of independent and art films. Facets also produces Facets Kids, a global curated streaming platform of films for children, and Facets Edge, a streaming service for independent features and documentaries.

3.) Notification of Festival Status. The Festival will inform all entrants no later than August 31, 2017, whether their submissions have been accepted. The preview DVD and support materials of all entries, accepted or rejected, cannot be returned.

4.) Entry. Submit an entry by sending the following materials to the Festival, to be postmarked by May 1 or May 31, 2017.

a) Completed FilmFreeway Entry (one entry per film or episode)
b) A full-length preview DVD (formatted for multi-zone or Zone 1 (North America)) of the entry, clearly labeled with title of production. A separate entry form, payment, and preview screener must be provided with each film or episode submitted.
c) Entry fee in USD. U.S.-affiliated bank checks and international money orders should be made out to Facets and the title of the film(s) should be written on the check. Credit card payments can be paid online through FilmFreeway.
d) Two high-quality images from the production. For marketing purposes, images MUST be at least 300 dpi. These may be e-mailed to filmreg@facets.org, as .jpgs or .tifs or sent by regular mail. Or, online through FilmFreeway.
e) Production information, including cast and credits.
f) Director's filmography, including years of production.
g) Brief biographies of director(s) and principle actors.
h) Trailers, if available.

5.) Entry Fee. The entry fee will be waived for submissions produced by children aged 6 to 14 and for teens ages 15-18. For all others, the entry fee is as listed.

For early entries received by May 1, 2017, the standard entry fees apply:
Short film (under 60 minutes): $40.00 USD
Feature-length film (60 minutes or longer): $80.00 USD

For late entries received after May 1 but before May 31, 2017, the late entry fees apply:
Short film (under 60 minutes): $60.00 USD
Feature-length film (60 minutes or longer): $100.00 USD

Methods of payment include: US-affiliated bank check, credit card, or international money order. All checks should be made out to Facets and should include the title of the production(s) being entered. Please note that the entry fee is non-refundable.

6.) Eligible Films.
* The Festival accepts both live-action and animated submissions on DVD.
* Productions must have a copyright date of 2015, 2016, or 2017 to be eligible.
* All entries submitted must be suitable for children ages 18 and under.
* Premieres are given priority.
* All films whose original language is not English must be subtitled or dubbed in English. Dialogue lists or scripts are not acceptable as a substitution for this rule.
* SCREENING FEES WILL NOT be paid by CICFF for print usage.

Definition of programming categories:

FEATURES AND SHORTS: Productions of 60 minutes or longer are considered features. Productions of less than 60 minutes are considered shorts.

LIVE-ACTION AND ANIMATED PRODUCTIONS: In the event that a production includes both live-action cinematography and animation, please identify (on the entry form) the category in which it should compete.

TELEVISION PRODUCTIONS: A submission is considered a television production if its intended distribution is television broadcast or direct-to-video release rather than a theatrical release. The Festival reserves the right to place feature-length television productions in the feature film awards category. Multiple episodes of a television series must be submitted separately.

Do not submit episodes and productions that have aired or will have aired on national network or cable television in the United States by the time of the festival.

DOCUMENTARY PRODUCTIONS: A production is considered a documentary if it takes as its subject actual people, places, and events and presents them in a non-fictional context.

CHILD-PRODUCED FILMS: Films that have been produced by children aged 6 to 14 are considered to be "child-produced." An adult supervisor is allowed; however, the entire film must be conceived and produced by children with minimal adult input. Child-produced films must match the Festival criteria outlined in item 8 below. There is no entry fee for child-produced films.

TEEN-PRODUCED FILMS: Films that have been produced by teens aged 15 to 18 are considered to be "teen-produced." An adult supervisor is allowed; however, the entire film must be conceived and produced by children with minimal adult input. Teen-produced films must match the Festival criteria outlined in item 8 below. There is no entry fee for teen-produced films.

7.) Selection Committee. A selection committee comprised of filmmakers, educators, and children screens entries received by the Festival. The Selection Committee approves films for Festival participation and for competition. The CICFF’s Professional and Children’s/Youth Juries then judge competition films.

8.) Criteria.
Criteria for selection:
* The action of the film should be child-driven and the stories should be culturally authentic, timely, and of universal appeal.
* Films submitted to CICFF should be made for, rather than about, children.
* Film content should be creative, highly original, and demonstrate artistic and technical mastery.
* Content should speak positively to children of diverse backgrounds and cultures and should provide strong role models for both boys and girls.

Criteria for non-acceptance of films into the festival include:
* Excessive or gratuitous violence, nudity, or profanity.
* Content that advocates and supports racial, cultural, religious, or gender bias.
Films may also be disqualified for technical or procedural reasons, including:
* Any film not subtitled or dubbed into the English language. (This is enforced for both submission and Festival screening purposes. Scripts or dialogue lists may not be sent as a substitution for this rule.)
* Films that are purely educational or instructional in nature.
* Films that are intended primarily for an adult audience.

9.) Festival format of films selected. For Festival screening, all films must be ; DCP (Digital Cinema Package); Blu-ray; or an exhibition-quality DVD. NOTE DCP for FEATURES only. Note electronic preview options, and indicate whether these are intended for use for festival exhibition screening purposes.
Do not submit a production if you cannot provide the Festival with one of these formats. The Festival format that you indicate on the entry form must be the format that you provide for screening. However, to allow for multiple screenings the Festival may request you to provide an additional format.

10.) School screenings. Post-festival school screenings are an especially valued tradition at the CICFF. Consistent with festival policy, SCREENING FEES WILL NOT BE PAID by CICFF for print usage for these screenings.

11.) Prizes.

Professional Jury Prizes are awarded in these categories: Live-action Feature Films, Animated Feature Films, Live-action Short Films, Animated Short Films, Documentary Films, Live-action Television Production, Animated Television Production,

Children's Jury Prizes are awarded in these categories: Live-action Feature Films, Animated Feature Films, Live-action Short Films, Animated Short Films , Live-action Television Production, Animated Television Production, Child-produced Films (directed by children aged 6 to 14).

Youth Jury Prizes are awarded in these categories:
Teen-produced Films (directed by teens aged 15 to 18), Feature Film

Special Prizes awarded by the CICFF: Best of Fest Prize, Emerging Director Award
The Liv Ullmann Peace Prize, Best Film for Young Children (Ages 2-5), STEM Award.

Special Competition: STEM (Science, technology, engineering, and math) Films which engage children in exploring science, scientific concepts or methodologies, math or engineering and ways of thinking are simultaneously entered into the Chicago International Children's Film Festival STEM Competition with awards judged by a special, separate Festival jury. Films can be on topics of physical, life, earth, space sciences or engineering; or technology and applications of math or science.

Awards are announced at the conclusion of each Festival. Awards are given in the form of certificates. Please note that awards are given to the director of the film, unless otherwise specified on the entry form.

12.) Juries. Awards are determined by several juries, including a Professional Jury;a Children's Jury; and a Youth Jury. The Professional Jury, comprised of filmmakers, critics, and educators, is separated into the following sub-juries: Animated Shorts & Features, Live-action Features, and Live-action Shorts. Television productions selected for competition will be judged by the Live-action Shorts Professional Jury and the Animated Shorts & Features Professional Jury.

The Festival's Children's Jury, led by a team of media educators, meets separately from the Professional Jury and the Youth Jury and awards its own prizes.

The Festival's Youth Jury, led by a team of media educators, meets separately from the Professional Jury and Children's Jury and awards its own prizes.

Prizes may not be awarded in all categories if the juries feel that the entries do not meet the high standards of the Festival.

13.) Academy Qualification. Films that win first prize from the Professional Jury in the category of Live-action Short or Animated Short may become eligible to enter the Academy Awards competition.

14.) Correspondence. All correspondence to the Festival management, including entry forms and support materials, must be in the English language. We apologize for any inconvenience.

15.) Transportation of films selected. The Festival formats of films selected for festival inclusion must arrive at the Festival offices no later than September 15, 2017. Films are to be sent to the following address: The Chicago International Children's Film Festival, 1517 W. Fullerton Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60614 USA. All transportation costs of Festival formats inbound to Chicago must be borne by the participant, including charges for customs clearance.

The Festival will pay the cost of shipping all exhibition copies of films outbound,back to the participant, excluding charges for customs clearance. The Festival will not be responsible for expedited or overnight shipping charges to other organizations.

16.) Deadlines.
May 1, 2017: early postmark deadline for entry, support materials, and preview copy for Jury Selection.
May 31, 2017: late postmark deadline for entry, support materials, and preview copy for Jury Selection.
The Festival is not obligated to consider any submissions that are postmarked later than May 31, 2017.
September 15, 2017: Festival format due for all films selected for the Festival.

17.) Rulings. The Festival Committee and Facets Board of Directors reserve the right to rule on cases not covered by these regulations.

18.) Participation Agreement. The Participation Agreement must be signed, or "checked" in this online version. Please note that digitally signing or checking the participation agreement is legally binding.