The greater Chicagoland area is home to over 50 independent film festivals, ranging from one-day student showcases to multi-week extravaganzas. The 2019 Film Festival Symposium will bring together leaders, board members, and staff from these various festivals to hold an industry-wide discussion addressing shared challenges and opportunities.

How must film festivals evolve in order to meet the demands of 21st-century audiences? Can film festivals effectively share resources and knowledge? What lessons can be learned from other arts disciplines — theater, live music, performance art, and dance?

The Symposium will provide a structured process for organizational reflection and self-assessment. These conversations, exercises, and workshops will yield new insights into the challenges and opportunities faced by film festivals — both individually and collectively as an industry.

The outcome of this work will be 1-2 key proposals/initiatives that will help film festivals operate more efficiently and sustainably. The proposals that result from the Symposium will be beta-tested and evaluated in 2020.


WHEN: July 19, 2019 10:00am - 5:00pm

WHERE: Chicago Cultural Center

WHO: Festival directors, founders, board members, programmers, volunteers, and festival stakeholders

COST: $20 (lunch included)