Welcome to Chicago Filmmakers






Branwen Okpako's The Education of Auma Obama is a captivating and intimate portrait of the U.S. president's older half-sister, who embodies a post-colonial, feminist identity. An academic overachiever, she studied linguistics and contemporary dance in Heidelberg, Germany, before enrolling in film school in Berlin, where she met Nigerian-born director Okpako in the nineties. After living in the United Kingdom for a short period, Auma Obama eventually moved back to Kenya to mentor a young generation of community activists, social workers and other ambitious young men and women who lacked her privileged education and training, but were nonetheless determined to make a positive contribution to their society.  The Education of Auma Obama is also a film about a generation of politically and socially engaged Africans whose aspirations are informed by their parents' experiences, and whose ambition to forge a better future for their communities starts from the ground up. Filmmaker Branwen Okpako will be in attendance for a Q&A after the show.


Join us and musician/composer Jean-Paul Bourelly 30 minutes before the show and after the Q&A for a special musical performance! Bourelly is a notable jazz musician and native Chicagoan.

Saturday, April 19th | 7:30pm Open Spirit - Open Mind: Live Music | 8pm Film Screening | Chicago Filmmakers' Screening Space - 5243 N. Clark St. in Andersonville | $8 Suggested Donation

Click Here for Tickets!










Every Friday in April! 8PM


Jenny's life has changed significantly since she had a baby.  Her days of food activism and urban anthropology have been replaced by diapers and playtime in the park.  When she inherits a cabin in Montana, she leaves the comfort of her Chicago high-rise and travels with her baby to a remote part of the country.  While she waits for her husband to join her, she fashions a temporary life of independence for herself  - one which takes an unsettling turn when she begins a dangerous relationship with the man her husband hired to fix the property.  Starring Kate Lyn Sheil, (House of Cards, You’re Next) Bill Ross , and Joe Swanberg (Drinking Buddies, V/H/S). Directed by Kris Swanberg.


Fridays, April 18th, & 25th at 8:00pm | Chicago Filmmakers' Screening Space - 5243 N. Clark St. in Andersonville | $8 Suggested Donation

Friday Night VOLUME: We continue to celebrate films created and produced in Chicago with this new Friday night series! These films screen 4 consecutive Fridays each month, and include Q&A’s, live musical performances, art installations, and more. Guest curated by Jake Weisman of The Capra Movie House.



Call for Entries at Chicago Filmmakers!


Submit your film! Get it seen!


11th Annual Dyke Delicious @ Chicago Filmmakers MAY SHORTS!

Dyke Delicious @ Chicago Filmmakers is now accepting entries for our lesbian-themed short films program! Films should have a maximum length of 20 minutes. All genres are welcome. Now in our 11th season, we find stories that entertain a diverse community of women and feminists, straight friends and family, from outright hilarious comedies to the heartfelt and warming dramas. Entries must be received by midnight on Saturday, May 3rd, 2014.

Show dates: Saturday, May 10th at 7:30pm // Chicago Filmmakers' Screening Space - 5243 N. Clark St. in Andersonville & Wednesday, May 14th at 6:30pm // Ferguson Theater at Columbia College Chicago – 600 S. Michigan Ave 


4th Annual Tied House Film Festival

Drinking and Writing Theater and Chicago Filmmakers present the Fourth Annual Tied House Film Festival showcasing new work based on the mission “to explore the connection between creativity and alcohol!” Submission is now open for original short films approximately 5 – 10 minutes in length of any genre that investigate, extrapolate or involve one of the five stages of intoxication: euphoria, excitement, confusion, stupor, and coma. Short film submissions do not require the presence of alcohol (though it probably wouldn't hurt). Foreign language and diverse works are encouraged. The Drinking & Writing Theater, located at the Haymarket Pub and Brewery, strives to preserve the spirit of creativity and passion of the drinking artist. Selected entries will be featured at the Tied House Film Festival, taking place at both Chicago Filmmakers and Haymarket Pub and Brewery; and their filmmakers will be awarded a free growler of local craft beer or alcohol from a local distillery. Entries must be received by midnight on Saturday, June 7th, 2014.

Exact show dates: Friday, June 27th & Saturday, June 28th, 2014 

SUBMISSION INFO: Accepted formats include Blu-ray, DVD, digital file, or online password protected link. Send preview copies to coop@chicagofilmmakers.org or mail to Chicago Filmmakers, 5243 N Clark St Chicago, IL 60640. Please include which showcase you’re submitting to, film logline and short synopsis, running time, press photos or stills, and the screening history of the film to date.


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...




2013 Chicago Digital Media Production Fund Grantees

 Voqal and Chicago Filmmakers are pleased to announce that the "Chicago Digital Media Production Fund" has awarded a total of $100,000 in grants to fourteen Chicago digital media makers. Now in its second year, the increased fund was able to award 14 Chicago digital media artists' grants ranging from $4,200 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: 
Adventure Sandwich by Lily Emerson // Citizen Primer by Eric Patrick // Chicago Glove Project by Olivia Curry // 
Chicago Shareef by Nushmia Khan // Detroit Lights by Alexander Hughes // 
Falling Through the Cracks: Public School Closings in Chicago (working title)  by Rachel Dickson // 
I Live: A Trans* Toolkit for Youth by Andre Perez/Trans Oral History Project // 
Les Oiseaux (working title) by Jeff Perlman // RIGHTS: The Moment by Carley Mostar // 
South Chicago: In Progress (working title) by David Granskog // Two-A-Days by April Wilson // 
Throw Your L's Up: The Clique Phenomenon and the Search for Power and Identity on Chicago's South Side by Jon Lowenstein // We Are Not Dreaming Anymore by Sergio Perez/Centro Sin Fronteras // 
63 Boycott by Zak Piper/Kartemquin Films

Click here for project synopsis and panelist bios.  
All projects are scheduled for completion and online viewing by May 15, 2014  


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Upcoming Classes

April 23 - May 21 | Wednesdays, 6:30pm - 9:30pm

May 1 – May 29 | Thursdays, 6:30pm – 9:30pm

May 17 | Saturday, 10am – 4pm

May 20 - June 17 | Tuesdays, 6:30pm - 9:30pm

May 24 | Saturday, 10am - 4pm

May 24 | Saturday, 10am - 4pm

May 24 | Saturday, 10am - 4pm

May 24 | Saturday, 10am - 4pm

May 24 | Saturday, 10am - 4pm

 May 28 - June 25 | Wednesday, 6:30pm - 9:30pm

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Upcoming Shows

Wed, 04/23/2014 - 6:30pm
Fri, 04/25/2014 - 8:00pm
Sat, 04/26/2014 - 8:00pm
Wed, 04/30/2014 - 6:30pm
Sat, 05/03/2014 - 8:00pm
Wed, 05/07/2014 - 6:30pm
Sat, 05/10/2014 - 8:00pm
Wed, 05/14/2014 - 6:30pm
Fri, 05/16/2014 - 8:00pm
Sat, 05/17/2014 - 8:00pm

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