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.  Take a look back at the Chicago films that we’ve featured since the showcase began.
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 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. In 2015, the program expanded slightly and the festival was fine-tuned to increase awareness, participation and promotion in the showcase’s second season.

Official Selections











  • CIRCVUS MAXIMVS - directed by Maxime Chudeau

  • Documenting Our Story Vol 1: TRQPiTECA - directed by Sandra Vanessa Oviedo

  • The Front Lines - directed by Ethan Herman

  • i3:BLACKOUT - directed by Ladu Pearson and Eugene Robinson

  • Kiss 'n' Ride - directed by Olivia Jensen

  • Lifetimes - directed by Amber Love

  • Marias - directed by Salvador Salazar and Andres Aurelio

  • Masterpieces - directed by Ronan Morrissey and Bridget Johnson

  • Mr. Bulloch: Chicago's Donut King - directed by Claude Edward Fethiere

  • Nuestra Herencia - directed by Erin Babbin

  • Roadkill - directed by Will Angelico

  • Straphanger - directed by Martin Mulcahy

  • SymBionic - directed by Jack Tenbusch

  • Team Dream - directed by Luchina Fisher

  • Yellow Polka Dot - directed by Tin Nguyen










  • Change the Name - directed by Cai Thomas

  • Changing the Disciple - directed by Kamelya Alexan

  • Citric - directed by Katie Kapuza

  • Conversations Between Shifts - directed by Ben Basem

  • Daily Bread - directed by Manuel Sirgo

  • Don't Worry About It - directed by Melissa Kong

  • Emergence - directed by Rey Tang

  • Encounter Englewood - directed by Anthony Moseley

  • For the Left Hand - directed by Leslie Simmer and Gordon Quinn

  • Gut Feelings - directed by Vanessa S. Valliere and John Gregorio

  • Handpan Journey - directed by Manuela Hung

  • It's Different in Chicago - directed by David Weathersby

  • Nuestra Herencia - directed by Erin Babbin

  • Ray & the Agave - directed by James Kozar

  • Recovery of the Fallen - directed by Curtis James Matzke

  • Room Rodeo - directed by Daniel Kayamba

  • Teacher in the Window - directed by Henry Van Zytveld








  • As We Are Planted - Directed by Anna Lee Ackermann

  • Bijou Doozie - Directed by Maureen M. Miller

  • Divine - Directed by Monique Marshaun

  • Dorm - Directed by Elisa Stanis

  • The Ephemeral Orphanage - Directed by Lisa Barcy

  • Ferdinand Avenue - Directed by Robert Nelson and Noah Keckler

  • A Galaxy Sits in the Cracks - Directed by Amber Love

  • Kenya's Symphony - Directed by Carlos Douglas Jr.

  • Mama Gloria - Directed by Luchina Fisher

  • Part of Me - Directed by Nick Forsythe

  • Rebel Bells - Directed by Anne Colton and Michelle Yates

  • Sacred Brick Technology - Directed by Ian Bertorelli

  • Sankofa Chicago - Directed by Vanessa Page Wright

  • The Sweet Pursuit - Directed by Kendall L. Barachy

  • Together Apart - Directed by Ruby Fuller, Hannah Hafner, Rae Burczyk and Joanna Sodke

  • Walking for Water - Directed by Erin Babbin and Michael Sullivan








  • 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








  • 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


  • 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



  • 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


  • 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


  • 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
2015 Selection Committee:  Teish Daniel, Dawn Dewald, Jon Ravenscroft, Kimeco Roberson, Beckie Stocchetti


  • 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
2014 Selection Committee:  Pamela Sherrod Anderson, Amir George, Natalie Laczek, Jon Ravenscroft, Beckie Stocchetti


Back to Chicago Onscreen


Showcase Testimonials

Jean and Jason Boulware, Directors/Producers, White Lotus Rising
(image of film above)
We were originally interested in being a part of the Chicago Onscreen Local Film Showcase because it’s unique and it does something unique, it lets the city speak for itself through film. The local approach means so much to so many Chicagoans -we're passionate about this city which is why we make work about her, tell stories about her, use her as the backdrop in everything from fantasy to gripping tales of sorrow and loss. There's no city like Chicago and the films made here have a feeling all their own. It’s platforms like the Chicago Onscreen Local Film Showcase that let filmmakers show their love.
We learned so much by screening at the showcase. The feedback from the audience was wonderful and the ability to engage people one on one and as a group and talk about work and process and formula is so important to filmmakers. The showcase is a great testing ground and place for important local interaction and discussion about film.
What we remember most about being a part of Chicago Onscreen is the excitement. It's always a thrill to see your work up on a big screen in front of Chicagoans. The energy from the crowd is fantastic and it’s a thrill to be around so many people that care about the city and her artists and her future.
Sam Paakkonen, Director/Producer, Ghetto Art
When I heard the Chicago Park District's Movies In the Parks program was introducing the Chicago Onscreen Local Film Showcase, I thought it was a perfect opportunity to share with my community and meet others in my city. I was able to share my film’s story and connect with an audience, which in return wanted to share their story with me.
Chicago Onscreen is a wonderful festival for all kinds of filmmakers and works. Films are screened in Chicago’s parks where audiences can attend and watch with their local community and filmmakers. Anyone who wants to submit their film should submit. Chicago Onscreen embraces new perspectives, creativity and most importantly the power of film to bring people together in Chicago.