Welcome to Chicago Filmmakers

A Weekend Of Free Seminars and Panels!

Chicago Filmmakers presents a series of free seminars and panel discussions for independent filmmakers, taking place at the Days Inn Chicago, 644 W. Diversey Avenue, on September 20 and 21. These events are presented in conjunction with the Reeling Film Festival, sponsored by the Illinois Film Office. Please join us for these informative seminars and panel discussions on current hot topics relevant to the indie filmmaking community.


Saturday, September 20, 1:30 PM
Days Inn (644 W. Diversey Pkwy.), Breakfast Room

It's easier than ever to make your own Digital Cinema Package (DCP) for projection in digital cinema theaters across the world. But what issues will you face with software, hardware, and formats? Come chat with DCP experts, projectionists, and independent filmmakers about the benefits of creating your own DCP, as well as common pitfalls to avoid.

Brandon Doherty, Technical Manager, Gene Siskel Film Center
Lori Felker, Filmmaker
Carson Parish, Projectionist


Saturday, September 20, 3:30 pm
Days Inn (644 W. Diversey Pkwy), Breakfast Room

Producing content for the web offers filmmakers a relatively inexpensive option compared to the costs of conventionally producing and releasing a film, thus enabling producers to circumvent the traditional gatekeepers. Creators have direct access to a potentially global audience through their own websites or via online video platforms, offering new opportunities to engage their audiences and build a fan base. The emerging success of web TV has even attracted top entertainment professionals eyeing the success of web-only shows like Orange is the New Black and House of Cards. This panel discusses the buzz on webisodes, whether or not the realities of creating work for the web lives up to the hype, and how to maximize your potential for success.

Wendy Jo Carlton, Filmmaker
Julie Keck, Filmmaker/ Kink is a Fink
JC Calciano, Director, The 10 Year Plan


Sunday, September 21, 1:30 pm
Days Inn (644 W. Diversey Pkwy), Breakfast Room

"Direct-to-video" used to mean "low-quality." From the 80s through the early 'aughts, it was the home for schlock. But today, digital distribution models are popping up everywhere, offering new revenue streams for auteurist action/adventures, kids series, and indie sleepers. Amazon, iTunes, VUDU, Netflix, Hulu, Fandor, and Mubi are all ways to get your work seen. This panel will cover how you can find distribution through these channels and others.

Jane Clark, Director, Crazy Bitches
Kevin B Lee, Filmmaker/ Fandor
Jessica King, Filmmaker/ King is a Fink


Sunday, September 21, 3:30 pm
Days Inn (644 W. Diversey Pkwy), Breakfast Room

While filmmaking is and, indeed, should be a creative journey, the time, money and personnel required to produce a motion picture also requires that significant attention and resources be devoted to the legal aspects of filmmaking. This panel includes a conversation with lawyers and producers discussing legal issues in film production, ranging from releases to contracts with creatives to music clearances. Make sure you and your collaborators don't end up suing each other because you didn't take care of the tricky issues of contractual agreements.

Steve Byrd, Loeb & Loeb
Claire Connelly, Producer
Robert J Labate, Lawyers for the Creative Arts


Sign up for Summer & Fall Classes!

We're taking a week off of screenings and summer camps for the July 4th holiday! But our Summer class schedule is updated and online! Sign up here!


Pardon Our Dust!

Welcome to Chicago Filmmakers.

We are hard at work on a fabulous new website. In the meantime, please pardon the dust on our current site.

For the latest information on classes and screenings take a look to the right.

For program and other information about Chicago Filmmakers please take a tour of the links above.

As always, give us a call at 773-293-1447 for the latest and greatest updates & info. Also, join our newsletter to keep up with us!

Thanks for visiting and stay tuned...




2014 Chicago Digital Media Production Fund Grantees

Voqal Fund and Chicago Filmmakers are pleased to announce the recipients of the 2014 Chicago Digital Media Production Fund, which has awarded a total of $100,000 in grants to twelve Chicago digital media artists' projects in amounts ranging from $3,850 to $10,000.
The Chicago Digital Media Production Fund is a project of Voqal and is administered by Chicago Filmmakers. The goal of the fund is to support media arts projects intended for online distribution. Guidelines stipulated that digital media of any length or genre would be considered, but projects needed to promote progressive social change, be appropriate for youth, and be made available for viewing for free online in order to reach the widest possible audience. The fund was intended to support artists with varying levels of experience; both to recognize accomplished individuals, as well as to provide opportunities for emerging and younger artists. 

Awarded projects include: 

Battle Flag (working title) by Logan Jaffe // Block Zombies by Leon Kelsick // Drifting Toward the Crescent (working title) by Laura Stewart // For the Records by Anuradha Rana & Doris Rusch // Kentucky Fried High by Robert Carnilius // Muslimahs in the City by Fahima Mohamood // Natural Life, Interactive Online Archive by Tirtza Even // Sex Offender Laws Impact Youth by Jo Anne Smith // The Forum by Benjamin Jaffe // The Half-Life of War by Kyle Henry/Northwestern University // The Schools Project by Bob Hercules/Media Process Educational Films // Uptown, 2084 by Drew Dir/Manual Cinema

Click here for project synopsis and panelist bios.  

All projects are scheduled for completion and online viewing by May 15, 2015 

Applications for the 2015 grant will be accepted beginning in January 2015. 



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Upcoming Shows

Fri, 09/26/2014 - 8:00pm
Sat, 09/27/2014 - 8:00pm
Wed, 10/01/2014 - 6:30pm
Wed, 10/08/2014 - 7:00pm
Sat, 10/11/2014 - 8:00pm
Wed, 10/15/2014 - 6:30pm
Sat, 10/18/2014 - 8:00pm
Sat, 10/25/2014 - 8:00pm
Wed, 10/29/2014 - 6:30pm
Sat, 11/01/2014 - 8:00pm

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