The Chicago Independent Film and TV Festival | Reel Chicago



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CIFTV’s four-day
program offers
a diverse,
relevant, and
weekend showcase

The 2nd annual Chicago Independent Film and TV Festival will return to Columbia College April 4-7. Founded on a mission to supply Chicago with “a quality international independent film festival,” the four-day event promises a diverse, relevant, and entertaining showcase of documentaries, television concepts, pilots, feature narrative films, and short narrative films.

CIFTV’s 2019 selections range from a street-level doc about the fatal 2017 “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville to a Saturday morning Kids Shorts Program. They also include a handful of Midwestern premieres and one film featuring the late, great Dennis Hopper (Dialogue Earth).

The film slate reflects the experience of the festival’s programmers, who have worked in Chicago and L.A. for nine years.

A sister project of the award-winning Chicago Comedy Film Festival, the CIFTV also takes “an inside-out approach to championing local creators” by partnering with “reputable, knowledgeable local film and arts groups,” according to its website.

To see how the effort has paid off, check out the highlights below. To view the complete film list, click here. and purchase tickets, click here.


Thursday April 4th at 7:00 p.m.
Charlottesville: Our Streets Midwestern premiere of the chronological, 30 camera account of the events leading up to and during the rally, marches, and ultimate violence supporting and protesting the removal of a Confederate monument in Charlottesville, VA. According to filmmaker Jackson Landers, the documentary “show(s) the perspective of the people of Charlottesville” and allows viewers to “experience it as a way bigger thing.” (United States, 91 Min). For fans of Bowling for Columbine and Vice Video.

Friday Aril 5th at 4:30 p.m.
Dialogue Earth Featuring incredible photography of spellbinding landscapes, extensive archival footage and a soundtrack by the Oscar nominated artist Hauschka, Hank Levine’s latest documentary Dialogue Earth accompanies the internationally acclaimed earth painter Ulrike Arnold on her expedition into the wilderness of southern Utah. (Germany, 75 Min) Featuring Dennis Hopper.

Friday Aril 5th at 4:30 p.m.
The Lungs of the City Discover the dramatic story of Chicago’s lakefront in this documentary film. With interviews from the experts, examine important questions surrounding its continual controversy, fascinating history, numerous caretakers and hopeful future. (Chicago, 12 Min). For fans of Discovery Channel and National Geo.

Saturday April 6th at 3:00 p.m.
A World Away Midwestern premiere. The winners of a school raffle embark on an overnight field trip to the Grand Canyon, but when their plane takes an unexpected detour through a wormhole, six kids and their ex-military pilot find themselves no longer on planet earth but a world away. To get back, they’ll need to forge unlikely friendships, face their fears and trust a magic ‘source’ capable of guiding them. (United States, 71 mins). For fans of Stranger Things, Holes, A Wrinkle in Time.

Saturday April 6th at 11:00 a.m.
On Ice
Blake, a young boy from a low-income household, attempts to take financial matters into his own hands in order to be able to afford new skates and play hockey with his friends. For fans of Dolphin Tale, The Pursuit of Happyness. (United States, 8 mins) | Lilly Gets a Pet Lilly, a giant orange monster, undertakes an epic adventure in search of a true friend in this fun animated short. For fans of PBS Kids and Little Baby Bum. (Canada, 5 mins) | But Still A 9-year old girl seeks the mentorship of a grumpy newswoman who was just fired for punching a man on camera. For fans of Little Miss Sunshine and Gilmore Girls. (United States, 11 mins) | Red Omen Award winning Canadian singer-songwriter Ed Roman along with animator Nelson Diaz from There Be Dragons Creative Media in NYC have created a message for awareness of Dyslexia. (United States, 4 mins) | Badge of a Quitter A web series about a high-strung woman who enrolls in a Lil’ Go Getters Troop to complete the badges she gave up on as a child. For fans of Community and We Are Savvy. (United States, 10 mins)

Sunday April 7th at 1:00 p.m.
Dandelions There’s no way to ever prepare for the unspeakable, but when tragedy strikes our lives, do we ever truly move on?. A teacher comes face-to-face with the surreal, the unexpected, as he struggles to move forward with the guilt in the wake of a deadly school shooting. (United States, 13 Min). For fans of THE OA, The Kindergarten Teacher.

Send your film updates to Reel Chicago Editor Dan Patton, [email protected].


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