Facets Children’s Programs and the Chicago International Children’s Film Festival

Facets’ Children’s Programs and the Chicago International Children’s Film Festival


The Chicago International Children’s Film Festival – 2011!


“The Chicago International Children’s Film Festival is an inspiring and fabulous festival. The fact that it offers children from across Chicago the chance to see films they would never normally have the opportunity to, is wonderful.” -Kez Margrie, director, The Wrong Trainers

Already North America’s largest and most prestigious children’s film festival, the Chicago International Children’s Film Festival is also the only Academy-qualifying festival for children’s films in the world. Winners in the categories of live action short and animated films may be eligible to enter the Academy Awards competition. The Festival features more than 100 screenings for audiences aged 2 to 16. The films we program are top quality entries from independent filmmakers, studios and young people all over the world. Each year, the Festival presents 250 films from 40 countries, including shorts, features, live-action, animation, television productions, documentaries, and child-produced work.

Chesebro student

“I was truly impressed by the high caliber of the films and by the hospitality and professionalism of your staff. It’s one of the best festivals I’ve ever attended.” -Gina Guerrieri, director, Academania

Submissions must have a production date of 2009, 2010, or 2011 to be considered, and a Selection Committee consisting of children and adults will review all entries before final decisions are made. Films chosen for competition are screened by three adult juries and two children’s juries. Twenty prizes are awarded each year, including the Best of Fest Award, Montgomery Jury Prizes for Emerging Adult Director ($2,500) and Child Director ($2,500), the Liv Ullman Peace Prize, and prizes from our Adult and Children’s Juries.

Help underserved kids! Outreach Opportunities for Directors:

Filmmakers whose work is accepted at the Festival may also participate in the Festival’s acclaimed Directors in the Schools program and lead Take One! Workshops. The Directors in the Schools program brings filmmakers and their movies into underserved Chicago schools for in-depth discussions with students. Take One! workshops are 1-2 hour master classes giving children the chance to learn lighting, animation, screenwriting, special effects, sound design and other skills from leading industry professionals. E-mail kidsfest@facets.org to signal your interest in these opportunities.

“For me CICFF was a great chance to meet filmmakers from all around the world and expand my network. The festival was very well organized and I was moved by the organizers deep felt dedication…” -Espen Fyksen, director, Elias and the Royal Yacht

ShiaWelcoming 25,000 children, adults, and educators to screenings, the CICFF also welcomes over 150 filmmakers, media professionals & celebrities, annually. Providing a powerful opportunity for filmmakers to engage directly with young audiences in discussions that follow every screening, interactive workshops comprise an important part of the CICFF’s mission to make media a participatory rather than a passive experience. Past attendees include: Shia LaBeouf (Transformers, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull), Animators from LAIKA STudios (makers of Coraline), Harold Ramis (Ghostbusters), Terry Jones (Monty Python’s Flying Circus); and film critic Roger Ebert.

Photo: Shia LaBeouf at CICFF

“They programmed our film appropriately, in front of an audience that really appreciated it, in a venue that was fantastic, and it all went off without a hitch …” -Stacy Dymalski, director, The Write Stuff

Dream Screen Kid

For more than 30 years, the Chicago International Children’s Film Festival has set new standards for what children’s festivals can achieve. As the largest and longest running children’s film program in North America, the CICFF discovers the best in world cinema by continually raising the bar for quality children’s programming.

Photo: Kids animation workshop 

The postmark deadline for submission to the Festival is May 31. There is no entry fee for submissions by filmmakers aged 6 to 14. The entry form is available on our website at www.cicff.org. To request an entry form by mail, or to ask any questions about the submission process, please contact Programming Director, Ann Vikstrom at annv@facets.org