Final Deadline Submit to the 25th Chicago Underground Film Festival is January 5, 2018

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Now in our 25th year, The Chicago Underground Film Festival, the longest running “underground” film festival in the world, is an internationally recognized program providing a venue for the documentary, experimental and avant-garde narrative film and video. The festival’s mission is to select and screen film, video and related works presenting a diverse line up of moving image programming focusing on filmmakers working to reinvent and explore new approaches to established practices, to foster new forms of media art and to build an audience for such work. Our goal is to achieve these aims by presenting a fun, user-friendly and accessible event..if you suspect your film is “underground,” it probably is.


  • Late Deadline: January 5, 2018 – Entry Fee: Features $55 (Students $45); Shorts $40 (Student $30)

We accept submissions through our website, FilmFreeway and Withoutabox.

Apply to our Fiscal Sponsorship Program

Become an IFP Chicago Fiscally Sponsored Project:

When you join IFP Chicago's diverse membership, you qualify to apply to our Fiscal Sponsorship Program.

Receiving funding is one of the most challenging parts of independent filmmaking. Many foundations, corporations and governmental grant making organizations restrict funding of independent projects to tax-exempt organizations (aka not-for-profits or 501c3 organizations).

IFP Chicago's Fiscal Sponsorship program was created to assist members applying for these funding opportunities. Additionally, this arrangement enables individuals to take contributions to sponsored projects as charitable contribution deductions on Federal tax returns.

Your project can be anywhere from pre to post production when you apply. Not only do we help you with funding, but we also help mobilize your project through our marketing and social media campaign. There are two easy steps. First, become an IFP Chicago member and start taking advantage of the full spectrum of IFP Chicago member benefits! Second, apply to our fiscal sponsorship program. High five! You're on your way!

We are always here to answer questions, so just contact us!

IFP Chicago is incredibly proud of the cast and crew of SIGNATURE MOVE, one of our fiscally sponsored projects, which had its world premiere at this year's SXSW!

SIGNATURE MOVE is a comedic and heartfelt look at modern families and the complexities of love in its many forms. Zaynab (Fawzia Mirza) is a Pakistani, Muslim lawyer living in Chicago who begins a new romance with Alma (Sari Sanchez), a confident Mexican-American woman. Zaynab’s recently widowed mother Parveen (Shabana Azmi) has moved in and spends her days watching Pakistani TV dramas while searching for a potential husband for her only daughter. Alma’s mother is a former professional Luchadora which Zaynab finds fascinating as she's recently taken up lucha-style wrestling with a former pro wrestler. Zaynab tries to keep her secrets from her mother who knows more than she lets on.

Eugene Park Co-Producer, SIGNATURE MOVE

Eugene Park

About SIGNATURE MOVE's experience as an IFP Chicago Fiscally Sponsored Project:

"Membership in IFP has helped me and my projects in so many ways. The larger community of IFP members and supporters continues to intersect with my own organization's efforts, and I'm so thankful to have such a vibrant independent filmmaking organization in Chicago. IFP's fiscal sponsorship and support for Signature Move's Indiegogo campaign (we raised over $30,000!) was tremendous, and that support has continued beyond the formal crowdfunding campaign."


GIRL WITH CHILD wins "The Pitch" at Industry Days!

Congratulations to Girl With Child:
The 2017 Winner of "The Pitch" at Industry Days!

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We would like to congratulate Girl With Child for winning this year's "The Pitch" at Industry Days, co-produced with the Chicago International Film Festival. Five diverse and incredibly strong projects presented a 7-minute pitch during Sunday's live competition. This year's judges were Amy Hobby, Vice President of Artist Programs at Tribeca Film Institute, Aijah Keith, Acquisitions Manager of IFC Films and Sundance Selects, and Brian Hieggelke, Editor & Publisher of Newcity. The event demonstrated the breadth of talented filmmakers here in Chicago, and the judges faced a very difficult decision in choosing a winner. We are proud of all five teams that pitched and are looking forward to following their progress.

You can read more about each project here.

Left to right: Louis Ferrara (Illinois Film Office), Maria Abraham & Luz Agudelo Gipson (Girl With Child), Luke Boyce (Revival), Eugene Sun Park & Alex Heller (The Year Between), Sara Archambault (Rainbow Farm), Haroula Rose (Once Upon A River), J.P. Sniadecki (Rainbow Farm)

Left to right: Louis Ferrara (Illinois Film Office), Maria Abraham & Luz Agudelo Gipson (Girl With Child), Luke Boyce (Revival), Eugene Sun Park & Alex Heller (The Year Between), Sara Archambault (Rainbow Farm), Haroula Rose (Once Upon A River), J.P. Sniadecki (Rainbow Farm)