Chicago Int'l Film Festival

Chicago Int'l Film Festival

Cinema/Chicago is the presenting organization of the Chicago International Film Festival, North America's oldest competitive international film festival. Founded in 1964 by award winning filmmaker and graphic designer Michael Kutza, the Festival's goals were the same then as they are now: to discover and present new filmmakers to Chicago, and to acknowledge and award these filmmakers for their artistry. The first Festival opened in 1965 at the Carnegie Theater, where directors King Vidor, Stanley Kramer, and actress Bette Davis were honored for their contributions to American cinema. Since then, the Festival has grown to become a world-renowned annual event.

Seeking out the best in cinema, the Festival has discovered new talents and opened windows to a world of film previously unavailable to Chicago. The festival has introduced innovative directors such as Martin Scorsese, John Carpenter, Susan Seidelman, Victor Nunez, Gregory Nava (United States); Wim Wenders, Rainer Werner Fassbinder (Germany); Bertrand Tavernier (France); Peter Weir (Australia); Dariush Mehrjui (Iran); Mike Leigh, Alan Parker, Michael Apted, Peter Greenaway (Great Britain); Vincent Ward (New Zealand); Krzysztof Kieslowski, Krzysztof Zanussi (Poland); Dusan Makavejev (Yugoslavia); Victor Erice (Spain); Jan Troell (Sweden); and Maria Louisa Bemberg (Argentina), to name just a few!

The Chicago International Film Festival is a competitive event with categories for feature films, first and second time directors, documentaries and short films (including animation and student productions). As the oldest competitive international film festival in North America, it prides itself on the impressive caliber of its jury members. The International Feature Film Jury consists of world-renowned film professionals that often include critics, directors and actors. Chicago is also the first film festival in the United States chosen to organize the FIPRESCI (Federation Internationale de la Presse Cinematographe) jury. This distinguished group of international film critics presents their award to the best feature film made by a first or second time director.