2020 OFFICIAL SELECTIONS
Bird of Paradise
A queer geriatric nurse learns one of life's hardest lessons when he falls in love with one of his elderly patients.
Directed by Alexander Zorn
Produced by Zoe White, Jacob Zorn, Alireza Khatami and Torence Johnson
An elderly man bakes a pie in an effort to reconnect with his wife.
Directed by Dan Holmes
Produced by Kelsey Bunner
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?
Directed by Lucas Guy Taylor
Produced by Marissa Lessman and Lucas Guy Taylor
A grass-roots campaign to rename Douglas Park after Frederick Douglass grows out of a fifth-grade class project as the students take to the streets to make their case.
Directed and Produced by Cai Thomas
Generation One 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.
Directed by Sohib Boundaoui
Produced by Assia Boundaoui
Go Go, Boy
Everyone he knows is into wrestling, but Bobby doesn't understand that world. Alone in his bedroom, he escapes the pressures and stresses of his family in an imagined world of fantasy, fabulousness and dance.
Directed by Oriana Oppice
Produced by Oriana Oppice and Jane Barbara
Kim's Big Date
Kim finally landed a big date, but she needs to prepare, so she calls in her squad to help get her ready.
Directed by Claire McFadden
On a quest to become a celebrity photographer, Shiro is invited to a party hosted by the student government president and popular varsity athlete Donte James. During an intimate moment at the party, Donte becomes both a subject and a love interest to Shiro as he lets his guard down for the first time.
Directed by Max Zuckert
Produced by Maalik Falsetto
Noodles & Incense
A young Chinese-American cook, on the cusp of a cross-country move from Chicago to LA with her girlfriend, is held back by unfinished business with her family and memories of her late grandmother.
Directed by Rey Tang
Produced by Lauren Loesberg and Maddie Hong
Periphery is a unique and abstract retrospect that dissects the struggle of being black in America. Narrated by excerpts from the 1960 interview between James Baldwin & Canadian Television the dialogue perfectly accompanies the collage of visuals and stunning composition, while taking the audience on a journey through the filmmaker's mind.
Directed by Lonnie Edwards
Produced by Moses Edwards and Todd Walton
To process the death of his wife, a grieving husband embarks on a road trip with his daughter to the place where it all began, the place where he and his wife fell in love.
Directed by Steve Kniss
Produced by Brian Khan
The Chicago River
The Chicago River is an orchestral photo-film, featuring Orbert Davis' critically acclaimed orchestral composition "The Chicago River", performed by his Chicago Jazz Philharmonic, paired with glass plate images from Richard Cahan and Michael Williams' photobook "The Lost Panoramas: When Chicago Changed Its River and the Land Beyond" to document the historic reversal of the Chicago River .
Produced by the Chicago Jazz Philharmonic
The First Lions
The First Lions uncovers the history of the Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art's founding in 1971 in Chicago and the Institute's early years. Exploring the stories of Ukrainian-American artists working in modern and contemporary art methods in post-WWII Chicago, The First Lions follows the handful of founding members still living, while exploring the past through archival photographs and films. The film serves as a time capsule for the oral histories of the aging founders, as well as a catalyst for new conversations and research of Ukrainian-American art in the US.
Directed by Erin Babbin and Michael Sullivan
Produced by Erin Babbin
The Good of Chicago: Humboldt Park (Lo Bueno De Chicago: Humboldt Park)
Chicago is a lot more than the violence the media presents to us. Find the good in Chicago as we take a deep dive into the Puerto Rican People's Parade, tracing its origins through years of police brutality, racial discrimination, and resilience. Watch the vibrant colors of the Puerto Rican flag fly through the air of the windy city as the parade passes by, and listen to the rhythm of reggaeton as you discover the strong and diverse roots Puerto Ricans have in Humboldt Park.
Chicago es mucho más que la violencia que los medios nos presentan. Encuentra lo bueno en Chicago mientras nos adentramos en el Desfile del Pueblo Puertorriqueño, trazando sus orígenes a través de años de brutalidad policial, discriminación racial y resiliencia. Observen cómo los colores vibrantes de la bandera puertorriqueña vuelan a través del aire de la ciudad de los vientos mientras pasa el desfile y escuchen el ritmo del reggaeton mientras descubre las fuertes y diversas raíces que tienen los puertorriqueños en Humboldt Park.
Directed by El C. Concepción
The Last Slice
Just two days after Thanksgiving the Stokers are forced to close their family-owned pizza joint, a community staple that has called 1265 Wilson Ave home for 52 years, after their landlord increased their rent. Friends, family, former employees and regulars stop by to pay their respects.
Directed by Cai Thomas and Ankur Singh
Touch and Go Chess Party
Six days a week, eight months a year, for 22 years, Cecil Locke has set up his 26 foot-long 200-pound collapsible chess table along Michigan Avenue. Touch and Go Chess Party is an experimental documentary featuring Cecil and his table - a unique street art installation and a staple of the chess community in Chicago and Michigan Avenue visitors alike.
Directed by Paul Restivo
Transparent Delusion is an animation/video poem that attempts to solidify the transient sensation of how the varied locations appear in our dreams could have connections with each other. With a map of our very own dream world, hopefully, we are able to lucidly explore from here to there, from today to yesterday.
Directed by Haomin Peng
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.
Directed by Stephanie Jeter
Produced by Kimberly Wehr and Dre Robinson