Accepting Submissions for 2024 from October 20-December 3, 2023

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 December. Filmmakers of all ages, skill levels, and professional experience are welcome and encouraged to submit. 

Chicago Onscreen proudly accepts entries via


2024 Submission Guidelines

What is the Chicago Onscreen Local Film Showcase?
The Chicago Onscreen Local Film Showcase was created in 2014 as a new component of the Chicago Park District's popular Movies in the Parks program. Our goal is to enhance the offerings of the annual summer tradition by adding local flavor and featuring locally-produced and Chicago-focused independent features, documentaries, and shorts with free public screenings in the city that inspired them.

How does it work?
The Chicago Park District will accept submissions of films for Chicago Onscreen through December 3, 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. 

What's in it for me?
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.

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 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 screening 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 an 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.


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