Submissions for the 2020 Chicago Southland International Film Festival will end on May 1, 2020 via FilmFreeway.

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Short Film Competition Submission Information


Earlybird Submission Deadline:Wednesday, January 15, 2020$20 (Students $5.00)
Regular Submission Deadline:Sunday, March 1, 2020$30 (Students $10.00)
Extended Submission Deadline:Wednesday, April 1, 2020$40 (Students $15.00)
Late Submission Deadline:Friday, May 1, 2020$50 (Students $20)

Note: Submission fees are non-refundable and will not be waived for any reason. 

If a submission is not selected or disqualified, entrants will not receive a fee refund.



  • High School Student Short Film
  • College/University Student Short Film
  • Comedy
  • Short Film (non-Student)
  • Comedy


Note: It is the responsibility of the entrant to submit films into the correct category. 

Incorrect submissions may be disqualified.


Submission Criteria

  • High School Short Film
  • *Film must have been completed while student was enrolled in H.S.
    Film must be 30min or shorter
    Films must be narrative or documentary and exclude pornographic content
  • College/University Short Film
  • *Film must have been completed while student was enrolled in junior college, or four year college or university as a student*
    Film must be 30min or shorter
  • Short Film (non-student)
  • Film must be 30min or shorter


Rules, Regulations, and Guidelines

  • *Films must have been completed less than 18 months prior to the festival submission deadline (after January 1, 2019).
  • All entries must be either in English or subtitled in English.
  • Entrants confirm and warrant that they have the required legal authority to submit the entry into the festival and to use all music, images, and content in the entry.
  • Films must be submitted digitally via Filmfreeway.
  • This festival is only accepting completed works at this time; no works-in-progress will be considered.
  • The deadline for all submissions is May 1, 2020.  Late entries will not be considered.
  • Entrants of the film competition warrant that they have the legal right to enter film work to the Chicago Southland International Film Festival.  As the Director/Producer of the film, entrants represent and warrant to the festival that the film and all parts thereof are original; that the film does not contravene the rights of any person or entity and that entrants own or control the film and all parts thereof and have the sole authority to submit the film to the festival; the film entrants submitted to the festival is not subject to nor threatened by any litigation.
  • If a film is accepted, entrants will be solely responsible for delivering their exhibition video materials to the Chicago Southland International Film Festival.  A complete press kit for and online link to your film needs to be sent as soon as possible after you receive an acceptance notification.  The Chicago Southland International Film Festival cannot be held liable for your exhibition print/video materials which are lost or damaged.
  • By submitting to the Festival you agree to be included in the Chicago Southland International Film Festival‘s promotional material (newsletters, flyers, media, etc.).


Judging and Selection

  • Each submission will be reviewed by at least one judge for first round reviews. Films selected during the first round will be reviewed again by a group of Film Professionals / Educators whom will announce Official Selections. Names of Judges will not be released until Official Selections are announced to avoid favoritism.
  • All entrants will be notified regarding inclusion in the Festival by July 1, 2020 at the latest via Filmfreeway. A member of the Festival committee will also notify each Official Selection entrant by email.
  • Judging decisions are final.
  • Submissions that are found to have violated any of the Eligibility Requirements listed above may be disqualified at any time.


Prizes and Awards

  • All Official Selections will receive official, high-resolution laurels for promotion of the film. Official Selections will be announced in early August at the latest. Once Officially Selected for inclusion in the festival, entrants are qualified to receive festival awards.
  • Award winners will be announced at the Awards Ceremony.
  • Festival awards will be given to attending award winners at the Awards Ceremony. Awards can be mailed to winners at the expense of the filmmaker.


Note: Award winners will be contacted one month prior to opening night to give ample 

time for travel arrangements or a pre-recorded acceptance video.  


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