Publish Date
 Chicago Onscreen Local Film Showcase will return August 29-September 19 for a seventh year of local film screenings.
Chicago Onscreen Local Film Showcase will return August 29-September 19 for a seventh year of local film screenings.Photo: Chicago Park District

The Chicago Park District’s Chicago Onscreen Local Film Showcase will return August 29-September 19 for a seventh year of local film screenings in local parks across the city, and a new virtual film festival. Three outdoor screenings and two drive-in screenings, featuring 2020’s nineteen official selections will be coupled with a three-week virtual film festival online at

Outdoor screenings of the showcase will be held on August 29, September 5, and September 12. Audiences may also opt for a Drive-In on September 1 and September 3 or enjoy the entire film showcase, on-demand at home from August 29 to September 19 by visiting  Movie trailers for the official selections are available at

Chicago Onscreen’s 2020 in-person screenings and virtual festival will uplift Chicago’s creative economy, hit particularly hard by the shutdown of film and television production in Chicago and the closure of theatres, cinemas, venues and museums. With three ways to safely enjoy free access to films from some of Chicago’s brightest filmmakers of the moment, Chicago Onscreen continues its mission of celebrating local film and filmmakers with a new kind of local film showcase for a year like no other. 

Selected from 150 entries, this year’s nineteen official selections come from twenty filmmakers all over the city and offer many unique styles, visions and viewpoints on Chicago’s current moment, cultural history and dynamic population. 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 park-based and online screenings. 

Outdoor and drive-in screenings are part of Phase IV of Chicago’s “Protecting Chicago” framework and will take place in accordance with current Chicago Park District Patron Guidelines for Movies in the Parks

Chicago Onscreen is supported by Big Foot Media, and is a part of the Chicago Park District’s 20th season of Movies in the Parks and the Chicago Park District’s Night Out in the Parks initiative. Movies in the Parks is supported by Xfinity, ComEd and the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events.

2020 Film Highlights

  • BREAK., Directed by Lucas Guy Taylor, is a romantic look at life, love, and sweet summertime through the lens of two high-school kids on the brink of adulthood. AG, a pragmatic introvert, is forced to leave the big city and return to his old hometown in the rural Midwest. Sparks fly when he reunites with his idealistic childhood pal MARLI. They spend their vacation at the local roller rink, getting buzzed and getting into trouble as the dog days of summer melt away. But what happens when summer ends?
  • DOUGLASS, from filmmaker Cai Thomas, documents the youth-led grass-roots campaign to rename Douglas Park after Frederick Douglass as it grows out of a fifth-grade class project and the students take to the streets to make their case.
  • Generation One, from documentarian Sohib Boundaoui explores the perspectives of the American-born children of Arab Muslim immigrants as they navigate their layered identities. The film follows the life of a Palestinian-American named Hamoody as he decides to leave his tight-knit Arab community and pursue his independence. With vignette interviews from five other Arab-Americans to supplement Hamoody's story and expound upon certain themes, Generation One sheds light on a range of unique challenges found between the hyphens.
  • In Viktory, directed by Stephanie Jeter, a young foster girl, navigates a difficult home life with the help of an older foster brother to dream beyond the present and pursue dreams of being a dancer.


Screening schedule and details are as follows:


Online at

August 29-September 19



Saturday, August 29

Churchill Field Park (1825 N. Damen Ave.)

The First Lions (Erin Babbin and Michael Sullivan) with The Good of Chicago: Humboldt Park (El C. Concepción) and Generation One (Sohib Boundaoui)


Saturday, September 5

Ping Tom Memorial Park (1700 S. Wentworth Ave.)

The Chicago River (The Chicago Jazz Philharmonic) with Last Slice (Cai Thomas and Ankur Singh), Touch and Go Chess Party (Paul Restivo) and Douglass (Cai Thomas)


Saturday, September 12

Jackson Park (6401 S. Stony Island Ave.)

Bird of Paradise (Alexander Zorn), Kim’s Big Date (Claire McFadden), Periphery (Lonnie Edwards), Transparent Delusion (Haomin Peng), Viktory (Stephanie Jeter)



Tuesday, September 1

Fosco Park (1312 S. Racine Ave.)

Bittersweet (Dan Holmes), Go, Go Boy (Oriana Oppice) , My Mattachine (Martin Mulcahy), Noodles & Incense (Rey Tang), Rear View (Steve Kniss)


Thursday, September 3

Portage Park (4100 N. Long Ave.)

Break (Lucas Guy Taylor) with Muse (Max Zuckert)


Visit for more information and a complete schedule of screenings.

Click here for the full Movies in the Parks 2020 schedule.  Admission is free, and all movies begin at dusk, weather permitting.  Patrons can call the Movies in the Parks hotline for daily listings and updated weather-related cancellations at 312-742-1134.

Information is also available on the Chicago Park District: Movies in the Parks Facebook page.