Years running: 15 (since 2005)

Chicago International REEL Shorts Festival

International short film festival.


The Chicago International REEL Shorts Festival seeks to provide opportunity for filmmakers around the world by showcasing their work to REEL PEOPLE in the Chicagoland area. We seek to provide a supportive atmosphere with low entry fees and low cost ticket prices. We are the REEL filmmakers choice for showcasing REEL talent to REEL people.

Some of the previous attendees included Short Film Distributors from the U.K. and US , Producers from the Oprah Winfrey Show, Producers from the longest-running independent film and video showcase in America "IMAGE UNION" (WTTW, Chicago), local press and over 30 filmmakers from around the world including Brazil, and Canada.


  • First place in each category
  • Best Music Video
  • Best Student Short
  • Special Jury Award
  • Honorable Mention
  • Best of Fest Award


  • World and US premieres are NOT required.
  • Short Films YOUTH must be works shot, directed and produced by high school or secondary school (pre-college) students. Adult supervision is limited to advisory capacity.
  • Subtitles language: English

Documents and Other Requisite Items

  • Submit via Withoutabox or Filmfreeway system. Fill out the entry form,
  • Pay entry fees,
  • Send DVD with submitted film by mail.

Premiere Requirements

No premiere requirement

Jury and Organizers

  • Nels Dahlquist (Director)
  • Scott Rudolph (Director)



United States

Official website



2700 W Grand Ave
Chicago, IL 60612
United States


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Dates & Deadlines
  • Opening date
    January 19, 2018
  • Earlybird Deadline
    March 31, 2018
  • Regular Deadline
    May 31, 2018
  • Late Deadline
    July 31, 2018
  • Extended Deadline
    August 31, 2018
  • Notifications
    September 16, 2018
  • Event dates
    9 — 11 November 2018
Categories & Fees

Any film under 35 minutes — Narrative, Doc, Experimental, Music Video, Etc.

  • Earlybird Deadline — $20
  • Regular Deadline — $30
  • Late Deadline — $40
  • Extended Deadline — $50

NEW CATEGORY!!! With all the wonderful TV themed stuff being produced we've decided to open up the festival to Web Series, TV Pilots & Trailers (film or tv).

  • Earlybird Deadline — $20
  • Regular Deadline — $30
  • Late Deadline — $40
  • Extended Deadline — $50
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