The annual Chicago International Television Festival is an international competition celebrating the quality and diversity in TV programming and commercials worldwide. Entries to the competition are judged by a jury of top media professionals, recognizing the finest in television from around the world and bestowing the highest honor, the Gold Hugo, to works that move the audience and further the medium.

One of the most prolific and influential elements in the lives of millions, television has long been a fixture of the American experience. For over 50 years, the Chicago International Television Festival has honored the most innovative and outstanding members of the television community. As television productions and commercials continue to evolve in the digital age, the competition is an annual gathering for those who keep the medium vibrant and shape its future. We host an Awards Night Gala in March, which showcases the winning works and presents career achievement awards to select people or companies that have had a lasting impact on the medium. Past honorees have included Kelsey Grammer, FRONTLINE, Bill Kurtis, Kelsey Grammer, Jesse Spencer, ESPN Films, WTTW, Shawn Ryan, MJZ, Hungry Man, OPTIMUS, and Leo Burnett.

Awards & Prizes

Gold and Silver Hugos are the highest honors presented by the Chicago International Film Festival Television Awards. Hugos are awarded only to outstanding productions that achieve effective communications through technical excellence and creativity. Gold and Silver Plaques are awarded to entries of superior quality that are among the best in their category. Certificates of Merit are awarded to productions that the jury feels contain strengths that deserve recognition.

Rules & Terms

53rd Chicago International Television Competition

Presented by Cinema/Chicago and the Chicago International Film Festival


Submitters please note that submissions are for awards consideration only and must have aired on television or online prior to submission for consideration. There is no entry-based screening component for submissions.

A) Requirements
1. Entries must be postmarked no later than March 7, 2017
2. Entries must be submitted via streaming link, DVD, or Bluray. Do not send film prints,
master tapes, or other originals.
3. Submit one completed entry form (or online entry confirmation) and one copy of your
production for each submission. Entries must be submitted separately (entries to the TV
Series or Commercial Campaign categories may have more than one episode or
commercial per disc.)
4. Entries can only be submitted to one category. Submitting the same production to
multiple categories will require a separate entry form and fee for each category.
5. Each entry must be accompanied by the appropriate submission fee. Entry fees are nonrefundable.
6. International (outside the US) checks and money orders are not accepted. Entry fees
must be paid by credit card. International bank transfers are not accepted.
7. Entry forms and payment will not be processed without an accompanying DVD. DVDs
will not be considered for competition unless accompanied by necessary fees and entry
8. Entrant’s name and title of production must be on each case or DVD.
9. Submission DVDs will not be returned.
10. The Chicago International Television Festival is not responsible for incorrect wording in
publications or on awards if the entry form is incorrect or illegible.

B) Eligibility
1. Television productions and commercials that have aired or are scheduled to air on
television or internet-based television in 2016 and 2017 are eligible. Entries for internet based
television programs or commercials must include the URL at which they were
2. Entries may be submitted by the director, producer, agency, distributor, or client. In
categories of Special Achievement, entries may be submitted by a crew member who
worked on the production.
3. Entrant confirms and warrants required legal authority to submit the entry into competition
and to use all music, images, and content in the entry. Entrant will allow usage of clips
from the entry for promotional use on television, radio, in print, and at the Chicago
International Television Festival Awards Night Ceremony.
4. All entries must be in English or contain English subtitles.

C) Shipping
1. The cost of shipping an entry to the competition must be paid by the entrant. Collect or
COD shipments will not be accepted.
2. All international entries must be sent “Free Domicile” to the competition office with all
transportation charges, duties, and taxes pre-paid by shipper. Any brokerage fees
charged to the Chicago International Television festival will be refused. Please be sure to
include all the proper customs documentation as required by your shipping service.

D) Awards
Gold and Silver Hugos are the highest honors presented by the Chicago International
Television Festival are awarded only to outstanding productions that
achieve effective communications through technical excellence and creativity. Gold and
Silver Plaques are awarded to entries of superior quality that are among the best in their
category. Certificates of Merit are awarded to productions that the jury feels contain
strengths that deserve recognition.

E) Judging
The Chicago International Television Festival’s mission is to recognize the enormous
technical and creative energy behind television commercials and productions and to
highlight their importance in communications. Each year, we assemble panels of
distinguished media professionals to judge our competitive categories. To ensure fully
qualified appraisals, we select judges who are familiar with the industry and intended
audience of each entry. All aspects of the production's technical execution are evaluated
for professionalism, creativity, and effectiveness in achieving its goals. The production
budget is carefully considered; a resourceful use of limited funds is highly valued by our
judges. Entries are judged against others in the same category, but judges have the right
to recommend that no award be given in a category if entries do not meet the award
criteria. In the event of a tie, two awards may be presented. Our annual list of winners is
circulated around the world to distributors, educators, potential clients, and the press to
ensure winners receive maximum recognition.

F) Screenings
For television commercial categories, entrants permit the Chicago International Film
Festival Television Awards to show selected entries at the 2017 Chicago International
Television Festival Awards Ceremony, the 2017 Chicago International Film Festival, and
on PBS WTTW-11 for public judging to determine the winner of the Audience Choice
Award. For television production categories, entrants permit clips of selected winners to
be shown at the 2017 Chicago International Television Festival Awards Ceremony.

The 2017 Chicago International Television Festival
212 W. Van Buren St. Suite 400
Chicago, IL 60603-5628
Phone: 312.683.0121 Fax: 312.683.0122

Please select the category that is most appropriate for your production or commercial.
Television Productions
Television Programs Categories:
P01 – Animated Program
P02 – Children’s Program
P03 – Comedy Program
P04 – Dramatic Program
P05 – Nonfiction Program
P06 – Music Video
P07 – Sporting Event
P08 – Student-Produced Program
P09 – Online Television Program
Television Series Categories:
P10 – Animated Series
P11 – Children’s Series
P12 – Comedy Series
P13 – Dramatic Series
P14 – Nonfiction Series
P15 – Min-Series
P16 – News Series
P17 – Reality Series
P18 – Student-Produced Series
P19 – Talk Show Series
P20 – Online Television Series

Television Commercials

Individual commercial compete against one another for our "Best Commercial" prize, and
Commercial Campaigns compete for our "Best Commercial Campaign" prize. These
categories are for jury reference only, and do not exist as individual competitions.

Commercial Spots
C01: Apparel
C02: Automotive
C03: Automobile Retailer
C04: Banking/Financial
C05: Beverages (Alcoholic)
C06: Beverages (Non-alcoholic)
C07: Business Products/Services
C08: Cellular Phone/Service
C09: Cosmetics/Personal Care Products
C10: Entertainment/Leisure
C11: Fast Food
C12: Food Products
C13: Health Care
C14: Home Electronics
C15: Household Appliances/Furnishings
C16: Household Products
C17: Infomercial
C18: Institutional/Corporate Identity
C19: Insurance
C20: Long Form Commercial
C21: Media/Publications
C22: Network Promotion
C23: Non-profit/Fundraising
C24: Online/Web services
C25: Pharmaceutical
C26: Political
C27: Public Service Announcement
C28: Restaurant
C29: Retail
C30: Sporting Event/Athletics
C31: Technology
C32: Travel/Tourism
C33: Other Products
C34: Other Services
Online/Viral Commercials
C35: Online Spot
C36: Online Campaign
Commercial Campaign
C37: Commercial Campaign
C38: PSA Campaign

Special Achievement (Television Programs and Commercials)

SA01: Acting
SA02: Animation
SA03: Art Direction/Production Design
SA04: Cinematography
SA05: Direction
SA06: Editing
SA07: Music – Original
SA08: Sound Design
SA09: Visual Effects
SA10: Writing

Entry Fees

Television Productions (P01-P09)
30 minutes and under: $100
31-60 minutes: $125
61 minutes and over: $150

Television Series (P10-P20)
At least two episodes must be submitted
All Entries: $250

Special Achievement (SA01-SA10)
Television Production Series and Commercial Campaigns not applicable. Individual
commercials and productions only, please.
All entries: $125

Commercials (C01-C36)
30 seconds and under: $150
Over 30 seconds: $200
Commercial Campaign (C36-C38)
All Campaigns: $250