Celebrating Chicago’s Creative Economy and Bringing Chicagoans Together with Local Films in Local Parks
A New Kind of Film Festival For a Year Like No Other
The Chicago Onscreen Local Film Showcase, a project of the Chicago Park District, is an annual celebration of local film and filmmakers presenting free screenings of locally-made and Chicago-focused films in parks across the city. In 2020, we expanded our offerings, offering three ways to safely enjoy local films (outdoor screenings, drive-in movies, and a three-week virtual film festival). In 2021 and beyond we're as committed as always to bringing you the freshest voices in local filmmaking and celebrating the filmmakers and film workers who call Chicago their home wit the safely-distant and online program our moment requires.
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We’re featuring more films than ever this year, and are proud to offer you such a robust, eclectic, and multi-disciplinary menu of films. Selected from a field of 150 entries, 2020’s nineteen Official Selections come from twenty filmmakers all over the city and offer as many unique styles, visions and viewpoints on Chicago’s current moment, cultural history, dynamic population and much more. Featuring short films, feature films, narratives and documentaries, the Chicago Onscreen Local Film Showcase brings together professional Chicago filmmakers, amateur filmmakers and student filmmakers to share billing in our park-based and online screenings.
Films and filmmakers are a vital part of Chicago’s creative economy, and filmmaking itself generated $506 million in economic impact last year in Illinois. But even more importantly, these Chicago Onscreen Selected Filmmakers are artists living and working in Chicago, introducing the city to itself and showing the world the real Chicago, the first-person stories of life on the ground in the city. Their work chronicles, celebrates and even challenges the city we share, and their effort and labor in making these films incrementally pushes Chicago in new directions, toward a richer, fuller and more vibrant cultural landscape and toward a more equitable, honest and beautiful city. Get to know these amazing Chicago Onscreen Class of 2020 filmmakers and meet your next favorite local artist.