Film Festival Symposium — Town Hall

Chicago cultural center
Friday, November 8
4:00PM to 5:30PM

Since July's Film Festival Symposium, the steering committee has been working hard on aggregating all the amazing feedback and ideas that you each contributed.

From that data, we've identified a handful of leading proposals that we'd like to share and discuss with you. By the end of November, we will decide upon a single initiative that we'll tackle in 2020.

Thank you all for your continued investment in building solutions for the future. Working together, we can build a stronger and more sustainable film festival ecosystem!

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 9:30am - 5:00pm

WHERE: Chicago Cultural Center

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

COST: $20 (breakfast & lunch included)


This event is ZERO WASTE; we ask that you bring a reusable water bottle.

The Chicago Cultural Center is wheelchair accessible. Click here for more event accessibility information.

Attending Festivals & ORGANIZATIONS

AfterImage Film Festival
Black Radical Imagination
Black Alphabet Film Festival
Black World Cinema
Blowup Arthouse Film Festival
Blue Whiskey Independent Film Festival
Chicago 48 Hour Film Project
Chicago Critics Film Festival
Chicago Feminist Film Festival
Chicago Festival of Israeli Cinema
Chicago Filmmakers
Chicago International Film Festival
Chicago Irish Film Festival
Chicago Latino Film Festival
Chicago Onscreen: Local Film Showcase
Chicago Palestine Film Festival
Chicago South Asian Film Festival
Chicago South Side Film Festival
Chicago Southland International Film Festival
Chicago Underground Film Festival
Chi-Town Multicultural Film Festival
Chi-Town Small Screen Fest
Comfort Station
Community TV Network
Cow Lamp Films
Elevated Films Chicago
Facets (Chicago International Children's Film Festival)
Film Festival Alliance

Field Foundation
First Nations Film and Video Festival
Full Spectrum Features NFP
Gene Siskel Film Center
IES Study Abroad Film Festival
Imago Film Festival
In/Motion: Chicago’s International Dance Film Festival
(In)justice For All Film Festival
JCC Chicago Jewish Film Festival
Juggernaut Film Festival
Kartemquin Films
The Lake County Film Festival
The Logan Theatre
Milwaukee Film
Milwaukee Film Festival
Mosaic World Film Festival
MOSTRA Brazilian Film Series
Music Box Theatre
Next Door Dads
Onion City Film Festival
One Earth Film Festival
Oscilloscope Laboratories
OTV | Open Television
Percolator Films
Reality Bytes Student Independent Film Festival
ReelAbilities Film Festival
Reeling: The Chicago LGBTQ+ International Film Festival
Roger Ebert’s Film Festival
Shortcut 100 Independent Film Festival
Tribeca Film Festival
True/False Film Festival