2023 Summer Showcase

Welcome to the Second Annual Summer Showcase
of the Chicago Southland International Film Festival,
presented by Governors State University!

2023 Summer Showcase Highlight Reel


2023 Showcase Schedule:

June 29, 2023

Love, Charlie: The Rise and Fall of Chef Charlie Trotter.

Directed by Rebecca Halpern



Be prepared to be immersed in the culinary world with "Love, Charlie: The Rise and Fall of Chef Charlie Trotter." Directed by Rebecca Halpern and winner of Best of the Fest at the 57th Chicago International Film Festival, this documentary explores the extraordinary life and lasting legacy of Chef Charlie Trotter, whose innovative approach revolutionized the culinary arts and put Chicago on the global gastronomic map.

View the trailer here.

July 13, 2023

Art and Pep

Directed by Mercedes Kane



Join us as we showcase "Art and Pep," a documentary directed by Governors State University alumna Mercedes Kane. Winner of the 58th Chicago International Film Festival's Documentary Audience Choice Award, this film sheds light on the remarkable history and lifelong social justice advocacy work of Art Johnston and Pepe Peña, the owners of Chicago's beloved LGBTQA+ bar, Sidetrack.

View the trailer here.

August 3, 2023

Good Guy with a Gun

Directed by John Mossman



We invite you to experience the powerful narrative of "Good Guy with a Gun," directed by John Mossman. This thought-provoking fiction film tells the story of a family deeply impacted by Chicago gun violence, as they embark on a journey to rural Illinois, only to find themselves further entangled in the complex and prevalent gun culture of America. "Good Guy with a Gun" has been making waves at festivals across the country.

View the trailer here.

All showings will take place at

7:00 p.m. in F1622 on the Governors State University Campus

Experience three evenings of captivating films and engaging discussions at our Summer Showcase event. This year, we celebrate talented filmmakers from and around the Chicago area, featuring one thought-provoking short film per month from June to August. Each film explores compelling topics, ranging from the ongoing struggle for equality to the complex gun culture in America. Following each screening, join us for a brief Q&A session with the filmmakers, GSU students, and alumni.

This event is open to the public, and tickets are available for purchase now. Don't miss this stimulating opportunity to immerse yourself in the vibrant arts and cultural community of Governors State University and the Chicago Area. The Summer Showcase is a collaborative effort, produced in partnership with the GSU School of Extended Learning and The Knowledge Exchange. We are grateful for the support provided by an Intellectual Life Grant from GSU's Library and the Intellectual Life Grant Committee.

At CSIFF, our mission is to propel the advancement of "reel" stories and provide a platform for independent filmmakers with diverse perspectives to share their work and develop their craft. Guided by our core values of inclusiveness, diversity, and promoting a high quality of life, we foster an atmosphere that embraces the joy of life through the fine arts and humanities.

We are thrilled to continue the tradition of the Summer Showcase, creating a space for meaningful conversations to unfold. Join us and be part of this enriching cinematic experience.

We can't wait to see you there!


2022 Summer Showcase Highlight Reel