The Chicago film industry was a central hub for motion picture production and exhibition before Hollywood became the undisputed capital of filmmaking. In the early 1900s, Chicago boasted the most significant number of production companies and filmmakers. This situation was partially preserved until 1920, when the Chicago film industry met decline for a combination of reasons, including the impact of the Great Depression. Not until the 1980s and early 21st century has Chicago experienced a film production revival. Movie production again entered Chicago in the 1980s, with the state of Illinois becoming a leader in money spent on film production. Blockbusters, such as Blues Brothers, Sixteen Candles, and The Dark Knight, have rejuvenated the Chicago film scene.
Inspired by this tradition, the mission of the Chicago Filmmaker Awards, aka Cifawards, is to recognize and reward independent filmmakers that are currently missing in mainstream Hollywood. Whether your talent is in front of the camera or behind it, we have a category for you. We are waiting to watch your films.
We are interested in professionally made independent works. Submissions are open for shorts, feature narratives, documentaries and animation, and even experimental films and music videos.
This will be a seasonal Awards event with yearly live screening. Each season, we will select the best-known movies and promote the winners through social media and the official website. Few of the winners of each season will be selected for our online event.