The Chicago International Film Festival, which was founded in 1964, is held every year in Chicago, Illinois. The competitive film festival is considered to be the longest running North American cultural festival. The film festival screens over 150 films each year to a vast audience. More than 50 countries are represented at the film festival, which has helped to increase the international status.
Cinema/Chicago is a not-for-profit organization that presents the Chicago International Film Festival each October. Michael Kutza created the festival as a means for non-commercial movies to be shown throughout Chicago. The goal of the film festival is to help provide a better understanding amongst cultures and to make positive contributions to the cinematic industry.
The film festival searches for the best in international cinema each year to show many different types of films to the public in Chicago. What makes the Chicago International Film Festival special, however, is that more than half of the film viewings are followed by discussions with filmmakers, writers, directors, and actors from the film. This gives a unique opportunity for attendees to learn more about the film and about the film industry in general.
The Chicago International Film Festival’s films are divided into several different sections. Those sections include the International Competition, Docufest, the New Directors Competition, Reel Women, Cinema of the Americas, and Black Perspectives. The categories have changed throughout the history of the festival, but these remain fairly consistent as they provide base for a wide variety of films to be screened.
The Chicago International Film Festival has helped to start the careers for many very successful industry professionals including Martin Scorsese, Susan Seidelman, Jan Troell, and John Carpenter. Because of the success of these and many more, the film festival has to be selective in the process of choosing films to compete in their divisions.
The 51st anniversary of the Chicago International Film Festival will take place from October 15th, 2015 until October 29th, 2015. The Opening Ceremony and the Closing Ceremony continue to be high profile, celebrity attended evenings complete with glamorous red carpet entrances. The film festival is a public event, but due to the popularity, tickets are often sold out well in advance. Visitors wishing to attend the Chicago International Film Festival are encouraged to purchase tickets in advance so as to avoid the disappointment of a sold out event.