53rd Chicago International Film Festival Launches

Posted on 13 July 2017

The 53rd Chicago International Film Festival (Oct. 12-26) announces a competition for 60-second short films, which will screen before all the films at this year’s Festival.

Reflecting this year’s Festival theme “Because Life Is a Movie!,” the 60-second shorts will be selected from submissions from around the world.

The best films will be selected as finalists, and will be seen on a rotating basis before each screening at this year’s Festival. The first place winner will receive a cash prize of $1,000 USD and will be presented before the Opening Night film and before Special Presentations at the Festival. All finalists will receive screen credits and be recognized in the official program book of the Festival.

“It is very exciting for us to re-introduce this original, thematic 60-second film competition to the Festival,” said Artistic Director Mimi Plauche. “It’s a wonderful opportunity for filmmakers of all ages to exhibit their creativity in a limited time-frame, to show what “Because Life is a Movie” means to them, and to have their work in front of audiences each night.”

Click here to see examples of 60-second intros from past Festivals.

For more information about the competition and entry information, click here.

See below for Submission Guidelines.


Entries accepted July 1 through September 1, 2017


  • All films must be in English or subtitled in English.
  • All music and other copyrighted material used must be properly licensed.
  • The length of all submissions must be 60 seconds. Please do not include any credits.

Submission Process

  • Please include a title for your one-minute film.
  • Submit Secure Online Screeners via FilmFreeway or on our Website
  • You may submit as many films as you like, but an entry fee of $30 (US) and completed entry form/FilmFreeway submission must accompany EACH entry.
  • Programming notifications will be sent via email before September 20, 2017.
  • Because of the high volume of submissions, we are unable to provide feedback on why your film was/was not selected.
  • If your film is selected, you will need to provide an electronic film still (not poster image) that is a minimum 300dpi, 4×6 and high quality.

About Cinema/Chicago

Cinema/Chicago, the presenting organization of the Chicago International Film Festival, is a year round non-profit arts and education organization dedicated to fostering better communication between people of diverse cultures through the art of film and the moving image. In addition to the International Screenings Program, Cinema/Chicago’s programs include: the Chicago International Film Festival, Chicago International Television Festival, CineYouth Festival, and year-round Education Program. Celebrating its 53rd edition October 12-26, 2017, the Chicago International Film Festival is North America’s longest-running competitive film festival.

53rd Chicago International Film Festival Launches