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The Independent Film Initiative (IFI) is a program of the Chicago Film Office – a division of the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events – designed to retain, promote and provide career enhancing opportunities for local film industry professionals and media makers with the goal to foster a more sustainable and robust independent film industry in Chicago.
Through increased convening, marketing, communication and professional development strategies, IFI will promote Chicago as a hub for independent film and media across all sectors, including production, financing, exhibition, education and distribution. The program is intended to nurture industry growth, talent retention, and provide local producers with incentives, resources and promotional opportunities created exclusively for Chicago's independent filmmaking community.
IFI will support and partner with existing Chicago-based independent film organizations with the goal to increase the sustainability and quantity of independent media production and increased workforce participation by emerging film and media makers.
The IFI Filmmaker-in-Residence program is a platform to formally support local, accomplished independent filmmakers with the aim of enhancing the viability of their careers and to bring more visibility and support to the independent filmmaking industry in Chicago. Residents will be connected to an expert community, new collaborators, and a wider network of funders and distributors. In support of the completion of a film or media project, this year-long residency provides Chicago-based film and media makers with:
In exchange, IFI Residents are required to make a public presentation of their project at the completion of the residency, participate as a lead in the Producers Apprenticeship (details to come), and provide a final report and budget.
IFI Residents will have the opportunity to meet and consult with an advisory of local and national industry professionals with expertise across all phases of the filmmaking process, including directors, produces, screenwriters, casting directors, agents, financiers, and distributors best suited for the project.
Filmmakers-in-Residence are individuals who live and work in the city of Chicago, and are selected by committee from an online application. Applicants must be filmmakers who have played a principal role in a completed production (producer, writer, director, editor, etc.). Previous work samples are required and must demonstrate high technical and artistic ability. The majority of the production team must be Chicago-based. This residency is for individuals only, and are not awarded to organizations, non-profits, community centers, universities or schools, or federal, state, or city agencies.
Applicants primary residence must be in the city of Chicago to be eligible for the IFI Filmmaker-in-Residence.
All awardees are required to adhere to the following:
Apply here through August 31: www.callforentry.org
Click for information on current Filmmaker-In-Residence Daniel Nearing
ChicagoMade Short Series
ChicagoMade Shorts screen as part of the 5th Annual Millennium Park Summer Film Series. A program of the Independent Filmmaker Initiative, ChicagoMade Shorts is a celebration of the local independent film community and a showcase of the work produced by Chicago-based artists.
A call for 2018 submissions will be announced later this year. Submissions need to be original work, maximum 8 minutes in length, and created by Chicago-based filmmakers. All genres and diverse subject matter are encouraged; however submissions must be appropriate for a public outdoor screening.
Selected short films screen once, prior to the feature presentation. The Millennium Park Summer Film Series draws a nightly average audience of 8,000-10,000 every Tuesday night from June 13 – September 5, 2017 beginning at 6:30pm. All screenings are FREE to the public and made possible by the Millennium Park Foundation. The Summer Film Series is co-curated by Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE).
|June 13||Music In The Air||Alex Mechlin|
|June 20||A Fresh Cut||Gavin Wright|
|June 27||Particles||Jessica Simmons|
|July 11||ARTE(es) VIDA||James Choi|
|July 18||Shmevolution||Nolan J. Downs|
|July 25||No Other Way To Say It||Optimus - Tim Mason|
|August 1||Go Big||Jonathan Leach|
|August 8||Run of Press||Mina Fitzpatrick|
|August 15||Coast||Robert Ruiz de Castilla|
|August 22||Cryin' in the Streets||Diana Quiñones Rivera|
|August 29||Calvin's Story||Quinn Wilson|
|September 5||Marquee||Brian Zahm|
Questions or comments email FilmOffice@cityofchicago.org.