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REELING2016: The 34th Chicago LGBTQ+ International Film Festival

2016 Submissions


Submit your films through:  filmfreeway   withoutabox


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Reeling: The Chicago LGBTQ+ International Film Festival is the second longest-running film festival of its kind, and prides itself on showcasing the best LGBTQ+ films and videos each year.

The first Chicago LGBTQ+ International Film Festival took place in April 1981 in Chicago Filmmakers’ 90-seat folding-chair screening room on West Hubbard Street. The festival sold out nearly every screening, leaving audiences demanding more. The enthusiasm for the festival led to a commitment on the part of Chicago Filmmakers to continue the festival as an annual event, and it has been going strong ever since.

The mission of Reeling is to recognize the important artistic contributions that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender filmmakers have made to our culture; to educate the general population and sensitize them to lesbian, gay and transgender issues; to investigate the history of LGBTQ+ film, including the stereotyping that has been a major part of this history; and to counteract this stereotyping with valid, meaningful and diverse portrayals of those in the LGBTQ+ community.

The festival provides a unique opportunity for the celebration of these identities for a community too often misrepresented or ignored in mainstream film and television.


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Awards & Prizes

Entries are eligible for audience awards in the categories of Best Narrative Feature, Best Documentary Feature, Best Narrative Short, Best Documentary Short, and Best Experimental or Animated Film; and juried awards in the categories of Best Narrative Feature, Best Documentary Feature, Best Narrative Short, Best Documentary Short, and Best Animated or Experimental Film.

Rules & Conditions

Reeling 2016: The 34th Chicago LGBTQ International Film Festival will screen approximately 75-100 independent films and videos over 8 days, from September 22 – 29, 2016. We invite you to enter this year’s festival and ask you to please take a moment to read through our Festival Regulations and Entry Procedures before you enter your work.

Rough cuts and works-in-progress are eligible for submission only if a completed final copy is available for preview by June 15, 2016. A brief explanation describing changes to be made for the final version and expected date of completion must be included with your entry. Make sure to write on the DVD “ROUGH CUT.”

We generally do not program works that have screened in Chicago, have been broadcast on television, or are available on DVD or online prior to the festival. Exceptions are determined on a case-by-case basis. It is your responsibility to disclose this information on your entry form and to notify us immediately of any changes after your submission is made.

Entries are accepted on DVD, online via a secure password-protected Vimeo.com link, or as an uploaded online screener on FilmFreeway Withoutabox. If you submit on DVD (Region 1 or 0), please submit 2 copies. Please avoid applying labels to DVDs; instead write the following information with permanent marker: title, running time, entrant’s name, and email address or other contact information. Please test DVDs on as many different players as possible before submitting, since consumer-burned DVDs are often not reliable.

Reeling 2016 Categories:

Narrative Feature (Fictional films with a running time over 50 minutes)

Narrative Short (Fictional films with a running time under 50 minutes)

Documentary Feature (Non-Fictional films with a running time over 50 minutes)

Documentary Short (Non-Fictional films with a running time under 50 minutes)

Animated/Experimental Feature (Animated or experimental films with a running time over 50 minutes)

Animated/Experimental Short (Animated or experimental films with a running time under 50 minutes)

Deadlines & Entry Fees

Regular Deadline April 4th, 2016 (Standard Fee: $25 USD)

Late Deadline April 18th, 2016 (Standard Fee: $35 USD)

Extended Deadline May 9th, 2016 (Standard Fee: $40 USD)

Notification of Acceptance

If your entry is accepted for exhibition you will be notified via email by late July/early August..

Submit your films through:  filmfreeway   withoutabox