Produced by the McHenry Area Chamber of Commerce, The McHenry Fall Film Festival highlights filmmakers of all ages. Equidistant from both Chicago and Milwaukee, McHenry boasts a beautiful riverwalk, a vibrant downtown, and a friendly community. The goal of this event is to promote the McHenry area as a film-friendly community as well as support and show off our local businesses.

We are excited to provide a platform for both emerging and seasoned filmmakers to share their work. Directors (both youth and adult) can have their short films screened and possibly win prizes.

The event kicks off Thursday night with the Future Filmmakers screening, featuring short films from students 8th grade and younger. Friday night will feature high school filmmakers in the Teen Scene division and Q and A from experts who are working in the industry. Saturday night filmmakers 18 and over will compete for best short film.

Student Divisions
Best Picture - $100

Amateur/Professional Adult
Best Picture - $500

Audience Choice Award Certificates for Best Director, Best Actor/Actress, Best Writing, Best Special Effects and more.

Digital entries can be submitted through

The three age divisions have distinct rules. Please visit for specific terms and requirements.

Future Filmmakers and Teen Scene Submissions

Entrants in these 2 divisions should submit a completed film ready to screen. Student division films will be selected for screening by a panel of judges based on a shared rubric. Scoring will focus on writing, editing, acting, cinematography, sound, and directing.