Our Mission

IFP Chicago empowers Midwest filmmakers at all career stages to create bold, original content that reaches audiences and impacts culture by providing mentorship, community, and connection to industry and each other.

We nurture independent films and filmmakers and we foster the appreciation of film through year-round Artist Development services and Community Engagement programs. Designed to strengthen diverse artistic visions and enable filmmakers to create sustainable careers, our services and programs cultivate audiences and connect filmmakers with local and national opportunities, greater audiences, and with each other. We encourage quality and diversity in independent production and assist filmmakers at all levels of experience in realizing their unique vision.

Our Story

IFP Chicago started 30-years-ago, when a handful of filmmakers got together for a beer in the back room of The Red Lion Pub. Inspired by their hometown and its stories, these artists chose to live and work in the city, but felt cut off from the larger film industry. They offered each other support, shared knowledge and created a community.

A lot has changed in 30 years. What hasn’t changed is filmmakers’ need for support, access to industry and community. The need for diverses, independent stories is even more important today, in a world where media creates reality as much as reflecting it.

Today IFP Chicago provides year-round support to hundreds of filmmakers in Chicago and across the midwest. We host educational and  professional development opportunities like our “75 minutes with…” series, Master Sessions, Pitch Sessions and Industry Workshops. Our filmmaker services include work-in-progress screenings and fiscal sponsorship, which provide artists with the tools they need to create impactful independent work. Through screening opportunities such as the  Chicago Underground Film Festival, the longest-running underground film festival in the world, and the Illinois Film Tour Pilot Program, we connect audiences across the state with high quality, independent media they can’t normally access, sparking deeper conversations about the world and a greater empathy for each other.