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Showcase History

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Now an annual staple, The Chicago Onscreen Local Film Showcase returns each summer with a new lineup of some of the most exciting work the Chicago filmmaking community has to offer. Over the course of our eight seasons, the Chicago Park District is proud to have presented 134 locally-made and Chicago-focused films in dozens of parks across the city.

The idea for the Chicago Onscreen Local Film Showcase began to germinate in the summer of 2013, with an experiment. For the first time ever, Movies in the Parks patrons in West Chatham were treated to a locally-produced film telling stories from their own neighborhood. Building on the success and promise of that experiment, the festival came to life in 2014, growing from one film in one park to 15 exciting new local films in 6 parks throughout Chicago. Since that inaugural season, we have continued to expand and refine the Chicago Onscreen Local Film Showcase - reaching new neighborhoods and innovating new programming - while continuing to feature and support local filmmakers from all over the city and at every point in their career.

Take a look back, here, at the Chicago films that we’ve featured since the showcase began.

2014

Maydays
Maydays

Maydays – Directed by Ricardo Gamboa and Ben Kolak, Produced by David Jacobson

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White Lotus Rising
White Lotus Rising

White Lotus Rising – Directed and Produced by Jason and Jean Boulware

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CATalogue
CATalogue

CATalogue – Directed and Produced by Michael Gabriele

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Maydays
Maydays

Maydays – Directed by Ricardo Gamboa and Ben Kolak, Produced by David Jacobson

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2014 Official Selections

  • CATalogue – Directed and Produced by Michael Gabriele

  • Close Quarters – Directed by Jack C. Newell, Produced by Joe Rosengarten, Jack C. Newell and Ron Falzone

  • Dirty Laundry – Directed by Gustavo Martin, Produced by Rod Grable 

  • The End of August – Directed and Produced by Tim Coghlan

  • Fanfare for Marching Band – Directed by Danièle Wilmouth, Produced by Mucca Pazza, Danièle Wilmouth and Peter Carpenter

  • Ghetto Art – Directed and Produced by Sam Paakkonen

  • Hatboxes – Directed by Susana Darwin, Produced by Etta Worthington and Fernwork Productions

  • Left Alone – Directed by Seth Boggess, Produced by Natasha Warloe and Christopher BB Warloe

  • Louder Than a Bomb – Directed and Produced by Greg Jacobs and Jon Siskel

  • Maydays – Directed by Ricardo Gamboa and Ben Kolak, Produced by David Jacobson

  • Michael’s Last Ride – Directed by Melissa Thornley and Phillip Maniaci, Produced by Wholesome Midwestern Girl Productions

  • Natural Life - Directed and Produced by Tirtza Even

  • The Peace Exchange – Directed and Produced by J’mme Love, Tim McBride and Chad Rispalje

  • Scotty Works OUT – Directed by Dan Pal, Produced by Dan Pal and Jason Knade

  • White Lotus Rising – Directed and Produced by Jason and Jean Boulware

2015

Common Decency
Common Decency

Common Decency – Directed by Marya Spont-Lemus and Andrés Lemus-Spont

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The Man
The Man

The Man – Directed and Produced by Taylor Brown

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Dissolve
Dissolve

Dissolve – Directed and Produced by Justin Leyba

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Common Decency
Common Decency

Common Decency – Directed by Marya Spont-Lemus and Andrés Lemus-Spont

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2015 Official Selections

  • Common Decency – Directed by Marya Spont-Lemus and Andrés Lemus-Spont

  • Come to Light – Directed by Todd Tue, Produced by the Chicago Public Art Group and Milk Products Media

  • Dissolve – Directed and Produced by Justin Leyba

  • Elsewhere, the Survivors- Directed by Ali Aschman

  • An Entirely Ordinary Individual – Directed by Kevin Orzel, Produced by Quincy Oliver

  • Get Involved! – Produced by LaShawnda Lampley

  • Hurricane – Directed by Todd Tue, Produced by Milk Products Media

  • Knock – Directed and Produced by Ben Feldman

  • Love & Capitalism, Parts 1 & 2 – Directed by Bret Hamilton and Harrison Martin

  • Offsides – Directed by Tytania Holliman, Produced by John Mossman

  • Private Eye – Directed and Produced by Tristian Montgomery

  • South Chicago: In Progress – Directed and Produced by David Granskog

  • The Curse of the Tempest Jewel – Directed by Lawrence Kern, Produced by Lawrence Kern and Kathryn Yohe

  • The Man – Directed and Produced by Taylor Brown

  • Toy Car – Directed by Muamer Celik, Produced by Muamer Celik and Digital Hydra

  • Two Cents – Directed by Rachit Trehan

  • Redmoon Summer Park Series – Directed by Montel Williams, Paris “Twiggy” Brown, Chris Summers and Jackie Gonzalez, Produced by Free Spirit Media PRO

2016

Chi-Voices: A Poetic Film Series
Chi-Voices: A Poetic Film Series

Chi-Voices: A Poetic Film Series - Directed by Shiri Burson, Created and Produced by Jessica Estelle Huggins

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Hacia Adelante: Moving Forward
Hacia Adelante: Moving Forward

Hacia Adelante: Moving Forward - Directed by Chad Rispalje, Produced by Free Spirit Media

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Baby Mary
Baby Mary

Baby Mary - Directed by Kris Swanberg, Produced by Jacqueline "JJ" Ingram and Annie Goldberg

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Chi-Voices: A Poetic Film Series
Chi-Voices: A Poetic Film Series

Chi-Voices: A Poetic Film Series - Directed by Shiri Burson, Created and Produced by Jessica Estelle Huggins

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2016 Official Selections

  • The Amazing Mr. Ash - Directed and Produced by Brian Gersten

  • Baby Mary - Directed by Kris Swanberg, Produced by Jacqueline "JJ" Ingram and Annie Goldberg

  • Bedrooms - Directed by Alex Thompson, Produced by Quinn Tsan Alex Thompson and  Zoe Lubeck

  • Calumet - Directed by Alex Thompson, Produced by Nate Lewis, Alex Thompson and Edward May

  • Chi-Voices: A Poetic Film Series - Directed by Shiri Burson, Created and Produced by Jessica Estelle Huggins

  • Cool Apocalypse - Directed by Michael Glover Smith, Produced by Clare Kosinski

  • Crystal Lake - Directed by Jennifer Reeder, Produced by Steven Hudosh and Penelope Bartlett

  • Hacia Adelante: Moving Forward - Directed by Chad Rispalje, Produced by Free Spirit Media

  • Half-Life of War - Directed by Kyle Henry

  • I'm an Actor (Yo soy Actor) - Directed and Produced by Aaron Greer

  • In the Game - Directed and Produced by Maria Finitzo

  • Oreo - Created and Directed by Cydia Flowers

  • Power(less) - Directed and Produced by Cristen Leifheit

2017

Nia & Kim
Nia & Kim

Nia & Kim – Produced by Free Spirit PRO

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Ubuntu: The Peace Exchange in South Africa
Ubuntu: The Peace Exchange in South Africa

Ubuntu: The Peace Exchange in South Africa – Produced by Jeff McCarter, John Mjoseth, Chad Rispalje, Jessica Work and Free Spirit PRO

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A Bodega
A Bodega

A Bodega – Directed and Animated by Samuel R. Mendez

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Nia & Kim
Nia & Kim

Nia & Kim – Produced by Free Spirit PRO

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2017 Official Selections

  • B Love – Directed and Produced by Shahari Moore and Christine List

  • Beyond the Sole – Directed by Derek Dow, Produced by Angie Browne and Jonathan Keijser

  • The Big Chop – Directed by Derek Dow, Produced by Katrelle N. Kindred and Caymen Grant

  • A Bodega – Directed and Animated by Samuel R. Mendez

  • Bound – Directed and Choreographed by Monica Thomas

  • Count Me In – Directed and Produced by Ines Sommer

  • Counting – Directed and Produced by Dan Pal, Executive Produced by David Zak

  • The Dividing Line of Chicago – Produced by Casey Pitts, Andres Delgado, Jaliyah Armstead, Yahyness Hill-White and Free Spirit Media

  • Emergence – Directed by Rocco Cataldo and Produced by Mary Kay Cook

  • Father Burke’s Boss Battle – Directed by J. Paul Preseault, Produced by J. Paul Preseault and John Otterbacher

  • Home – Directed by Barry Brewer, Produced by Jasmine Money Brewer

  • Home I – Directed and Choreographed by Helen Lee, Produced by Sarah Dahnke

  • Nia & Kim – Produced by Free Spirit PRO

  • Nuoc – Directed by Bing Liu, Produced by Bing Liu, Nguyen Van Hai, Phuong Kanh Nguyen Than and Youme Nguyen

  • The Orange Story – Directed by Erika Street, Produced by Eugene Sun Park and Jason Matsumoto

  • Ubuntu: The Peace Exchange in South Africa – Produced by Jeff McCarter, John Mjoseth, Chad Rispalje, Jessica Work and Free Spirit PRO

  • Unbroken Glass – Directed by Dinesh Das Sabu, Produced by Dinesh Das Sabu, J. Patrick Lile and Kartemquin Films

  • Yellow Gold – Directed and Animated by Cristen Leifheit

2018

I Can Only Be Mary Lane
I Can Only Be Mary Lane

I Can Only Be Mary Lane - Directed and Produced by Jesseca Ynez Simmons

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The Exchange
The Exchange

The Exchange - A Camovement LLC Film, Directed by Cam Be, Produced by Keenan Allen, Yaw Aygeman, Vladimir Ladouceur and Cam Be

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Brooks People
Brooks People

Brooks People - Directed and Produced by Shahari Moore

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I Can Only Be Mary Lane
I Can Only Be Mary Lane

I Can Only Be Mary Lane - Directed and Produced by Jesseca Ynez Simmons

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2018 Official Selections

  • Brooks People - Directed and Produced by Shahari Moore

  • Charming Strangers - Directed and Produced by Weichao Xu

  • Continuing Ed. - A Free Spirit Media Film, Directed by Laura Landry and Chad Rispalje, Produced by Free Spirit Media and IL Humanities

  • The Exchange - A Camovement LLC Film, Directed by Cam Be, Produced by Keenan Allen, Yaw Aygeman, Vladimir Ladouceur and Cam Be

  • I Can Only Be Mary Lane - Directed and Produced by Jesseca Ynez Simmons

  • King, Hereafter - An Unfurnished Films, LLC Film, Directed by Curtis Matzke, Produced by Danny Rhodes, Curtis Matzke and Daniel McEvilley

  • Moah's Ark - Directed and Produced by Jose Donoso

  • Parts & Labor - A Kartemquin Films Production, Directed and Produced by Bing Liu

  • Red Line Lounge - Directed and Produced by Jens Ericson

  • Rogers Park - An AOK Productions LLC Film, Directed by Kyle Henry, Produced by Jason Wehling, Kyle Henry, Ross Putman, Alan Berg and Lewis Black

  • Runner - A Seeker Films Production, Directed by Clare Cooney, Produced by Shane Simmons and Clare Cooney

  • The Spy Who Knew Me - An A.B.L.E. - Artists Breaking Limits and Expectations Film, Directed by Lawrence Kern, Produced by Katie Yohe

  • The Wayward Wind - A montom arts Film, Directed by Steve Delahoyde and Monica Thomas, Produced by Delahoyde Projects

  • Uninsurable: Erin Potter's Story - Directed by Clare Austen-Smith, Produced by Anya Solotaire and Mimi Wilcox

2019

Limbo
Limbo

Limbo - Directed and Animated by Jennifer Stachovic

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The Color of Art
The Color of Art

The Color of Art - Directed and Produced by David Weathersby

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Businessmen
Businessmen

Businessmen - Directed by Aaron Legg, Produced by Kyle Rudolph

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Limbo
Limbo

Limbo - Directed and Animated by Jennifer Stachovic

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2019 Official Selections

  • The Art of Flocking: Cultural Stewardship in the Parks - Directed by Jackie Richter

  • Businessmen - Directed by Aaron Legg, Produced by Kyle Rudolph

  • The Color of Art - Directed and Produced by David Weathersby

  • Eventual Blindness - Directed by Malachi Pulte, Produced by Glenn Garrabrant

  • Exit Zero: An Industrial Family Story - Directed by Chris Boebel, Produced by Chris Boebel and Christine Walley

  • Freddy - Directed by Ian Bertorelli

  • Limbo - Directed and Animated by Jennifer Stachovic

  • Rendezvous in Chicago - Directed by Michael Smith

  • Richie Beyond - Directed by Lars Steier, Produced by Dasha Gorin

  • Save It - Directed by Leo Gallagher

  • Something Different - Directed by Anna Rose Ii-Epstein, Produced by Dasha Gorin and Anna Rose Ii-Epstein

  • Stalled - Directed by Eddie Rybarski, Produced by Damon Griffin

  • Yesterday - Directed by Jon Slavin and Tommy Byrne

2020

Generation One
Generation One

Generation One - Directed by Sohib Boundaoui

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Rear View
Rear View

Rear View - Directed by Steve Kniss

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The Chicago River
The Chicago River

The Chicago River - Produced by The Chicago Jazz Philharmonic

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Generation One
Generation One

Generation One - Directed by Sohib Boundaoui

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2020 Official Selections

  • Bird of Paradise - Directed by Alexander Zorn

  • Bittersweet - Directed by Dan Holmes

  • Break - Directed by Lucas Guy Taylor

  • The Chicago River - Produced by The Chicago Jazz Philharmonic

  • Douglass - Directed by Cai Thomas

  • The First Lions - Directed by Erin Babbin and Michael Sullivan

  • Generation One - Directed by Sohib Boundaoui

  • Go Go, Boy - Directed by Oriana Opice

  • The Good of Chicago - Directed by El C. Concepcion

  • Kim's Big Date - Directed by Claire McFadden

  • Last Slice - Directed by Ankur Singh and Cai Thomas

  • Muse - Directed by Max Zuckert

  • My Mattachine - Directed by Martin Mulcahy

  • Noodles & Incense - Directed by Rey Tang

  • Periphery - Directed by Lonnie Edwards

  • Rear View - Directed by Steve Kniss

  • Touch and Go Chess Party - Directed by Paul Restivo

  • Transparent Delusion - Directed by Haomin Peng

  • Viktory - Directed by Stephanie Jeter