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Accepting Submissions for 2024 October 20-November 27, 2023

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The Chicago Onscreen Local Film Showcase is growing year after year, and you could be a part of the lineup. We are always on the lookout for exciting locally-made and Chicago-focused films to feature in our parks.

We accept submissions of Chicago films every year, from October to November. Filmmakers of all ages, skill levels and professional experience are welcome and encouraged to submit. 

The Chicago Onscreen Local Film Showcase enhances the offerings of the annual summer Movies in the Parks tradition by adding local flavor and to feature locally-produced and Chicago-focused independent features, documentaries and shorts with safely-distant, free public screenings in the city that inspired them, and an online virtual film festival for safe at-home viewing.

What Is It?

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Touch and Go Chess Party (Paul Restivo), Chicago Onscreen 2020

The Chicago Park District will accept submissions of films for Chicago Onscreen through November 27, 2023. All submitted works will be evaluated by a selection panel, and a final program of official selections will be featured as part of the 2024 Movies in the Parks summer season. Screening dates and locations are chosen at the discretion of the Chicago Park District. 

How Does It Work?

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Douglass (Cai Thomas), Chicago Onscreen 2020

In addition to the public screening, the Chicago Park District will award a small honorarium (up to $500) to all selected films. The exact amount of the honorarium will vary and will be decided by the Chicago Park District. Filmmakers and films will be promoted in all applicable marketing efforts for Movies in the Parks and the Chicago Park District's Night Out in the Parks.

What's In It For me?

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Rear View (Steve Kniss), Chicago Onscreen 2020

Showcase Rules and Guidelines

By submitting a film for consideration, you acknowledge you have read and agree to all guidelines listed below.

General Guidelines

1) The number of films chosen and the location(s) and date(s) of screenings will be decided at the discretion of the Chicago Park District.
2) The Chicago Park District is not responsible for submitted DVD screeners that may be lost or damaged during shipping but will notify entrants of damage and request a new copy.
3) Selected entrants will be notified directly in April, 2024.
4) The Chicago Park District reserves the right to use any and all submitted materials for promotional and marketing materials in perpetuity for the Chicago Onscreen Showcase, Movies in the Parks, Night Out in the Parks and the Chicago Park District.

Eligibility Requirements

5) Films submitted must be the original work of the person or persons submitting.
6) Submitted films must have been produced in the past 3 years (completion date no earlier than December 31, 2020).
7) Films must have a demonstrable and significant connection to Chicago and/or any neighborhood/community therein (Production/shooting location, filmmaker residence, documentary subject, etc.)
8) Films do not need to be rated, but must be the equivalent of MPAA Rating PG-13 or lower to meet Movies in the Parks screenings standards. The Chicago Park District will make the final call regarding the appropriateness of the content.
9) Short film submissions must be no longer than 30 minutes.
10) Feature submissions must be no longer than 150 minutes (2.5 hours).

Guarantee of Authority

11) As the producer, director or submitter of your film, you are responsible for acquiring the legal right and authority to submit your film and for the use of any music, images, and content contained therein. The Chicago Park District holds no responsibility for the use of copyrighted material contained in your film. Submission of a film warrants that you have obtained all necessary legal permissions. Unlicensed usage of protected images or music can be subject to legal action and fines.
12) In the event that any claim, dispute or proceeding shall be brought by any person or entity alleging unlawful or unauthorized use of any copyrighted material, the submitter shall indemnify and defend the Chicago Park District, its Commissioners, officers, agents, employees and volunteers from any liability in connection therewith and from any costs and expenses, including but not limited to attorneys costs and fees, that may be incurred in connection therewith.
13) The Chicago Park District reserves the right to disqualify any film that includes any unauthorized copyrighted material.

Technical Requirements

14) Entrants may submit up to 1 feature and 1 short or 2 shorts.
15) The preferred method of film submission is via online screener. Dropbox files, Vimeo links, YouTube links, etc. are all acceptable.
16) If selected, submitted films must be made available via a digital file. Downloadable links or file transfers are acceptable. Hi-Res files are preferred.
17) If a film is submitted on DVD, submitted discs must be Region 1 compatible and play in a stand-alone player. If selected, DVD submissions must be made available via digital file as indicated above.
18) Submitted DVDs must contain no more than one film per DVD and disc and all accompanying packaging must be prominently labeled with the name of the entrant and the title of the film. Do not use paper labels or stickers on DVD discs.
19) Any shipping costs are the responsibility of the entrant. The Chicago Park District is unable to return submitted DVDs.
20) DVDs must be submitted to:

Chicago Park District
Movies in the Parks
541 N. Fairbanks Ct.
Chicago, IL 60611

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