1. When are submissions due?

Completed entry forms are due December 17, 2016 with DVD screeners postmark dated the same. Late entries will be considered on a case-by-case basis.


2. How do I know if CPFF has received my full submission?

We will follow up within one week of receiving your completed Entry Form to let you know of your status, and to allow time for receipt of the DVD screeners. All applicants will receive an email no later than December 1st to confirm whether or not your submission is complete. If incomplete, CPFF will provide you with a list of the missing elements; we cannot guarantee that incomplete/late entries will be considered in this year’s selection process, but the sooner we receive the missing materials the more likely we will be able to accommodate you.


3. When will I find out CPFF’s decision?

Acceptance/rejection notifications will be issued via email by February 15, 2017. To this end, it is critical that the information for your film’s Primary Contact is accurate as submitted on the Entry Form.


4. How does CPFF make its decisions?

All submitted films are first divided into categories (e.g., Documentary, Experimental). Within each category, our Jury conducts a review according to a rubric that seeks to identify films with outstanding content, production, and vision. From the finalists, CPFF will program its selection to account for broader curatorial concerns, such as balancing short and feature-length films, achieving a diversity of perspectives including unusual or less frequently told stories, and supporting up-and-coming filmmakers alongside more established filmmakers. CPFF is committed to presenting the highest quality film festival program within its allotted time span and regrets that it cannot show all of the work submitted.


5. Do I have to submit BOTH a streaming link AND DVD copies? Why?

Yes, a link to electronically download or stream the film is required, as are two DVD copies. We require submission of both versions to facilitate the review process, as our Jury members are located internationally. If your film is selected, DVD screeners are also required by the venues, and are a critical part of doing promotional press for your film and the festival.


6. What streaming forms are acceptable?

We highly recommend using Vimeo, as you can enable password protection for your film. YouTube is another option. If you would prefer to share your film as a file to be downloaded, we recommend DropBox. Additionally, CPFF has an account with Festival Scope if your film has been uploaded there. We welcome any additional platforms, though we encourage you to get in contact with us if you have questions or concerns.


7. Is there a submission fee?

No, we do not charge a fee.


8. Will CPFF cover shipping costs for the DVD screeners?

No, we do not cover the cost of shipping.




1. If selected, what formats are acceptable for the exhibition copy?

As per our Terms and Guidelines, we do not typically consider DVD an exhibition format. For most venues, acceptable film formats include PAL or NTSC (if PAL, please indicate on tape) versions of the following:

Film: 35mm; 16mm

Digital: HDcam 1080i and 30i; Digibeta; Beta SP; DV-CAM; Mini-DV

However, depending on the venue, it is possible that DVD or Blu-ray may suffice.


2. Will CPFF pay screening fees?

CPFF is only able to offer a screening fee on a case-by-case basis. While we aim to support artists to the greatest extent possible, we are a non-profit organization run entirely by volunteers. Our budget is limited and screening fees cannot be guaranteed.


3. Will CPFF invite the filmmaker or production team to attend the screening?

We wish we could invite filmmakers to attend the festival, but given our limited budget, we cannot guarantee travel and accommodations. If a filmmaker or a member of the production team will already be in Chicago during the festival, we welcome the opportunity to discuss hosting a talk back or panel discussion following the film, but cannot guarantee a stipend. Please get in touch with us to discuss this further.


4. When will CPFF return the exhibition copy following the end of the festival?

CPFF will return exhibition copies no later than one week following the conclusion of the festival. If you need your film returned sooner—or sent elsewhere for a different film festival—please contact us so we can coordinate the details.