2017 FILM SUBMISSION FAQ’S

When and where is the 2017 CIMMfest?

The 2017 Festival will be held in April in Chicago, Illinois.

What type of films are you looking for?
We’re looking for movies great movies with Killer Soundtracks or Original Scores, as well as movies about music, movies for music, movies of music, and movies capturing music as it is made. We look for a fresh point of view in the narrative and/or subject matter that is presented in a creative way, regardless of budget, as long as it has or is focused on music.

What are the submission deadlines?
We have four deadlines. Earlybird Deadline: September 16, 2016, Regular Deadline: November 1, 2016, Late Deadline: January 13, 2017, and Extended Deadline: February 10, 2017. The earlier you get your submission in, the lower the fee. Note that these are postmarked deadlines. We suggest applying early, as the majority of films arrive near the deadline and programmers like to start looking at entries as early as possible. We accept film submissions through Withoutabox.com and FilmFreeway.com/festival/CIMMfest

What is Withoutabox.com and FilmFreeway.com?
Withoutabox.com and FilmFreeway.com are CIMMfest’s preferred method for receiving film submissions. They are free online submission service that lets you submit to CIMMfest and hundreds of other festivals online quickly and easily, as well as allowing you to upload online press kits, photos and more. Visit withoutabox.com or FilmFreeway.com for complete details.

What if I want to submit but my film will not be completed by the final deadline?
We do not accept works in progress.

Will you confirm receipt of my entry?
All entries submitted through Withoutabox and FilmFreeway will be confirmed when we receive them and have verified receipt of the screener and submission fee.

Do you grant fee waivers?
Out of fairness to other filmmakers, we do not grant fee waivers or reductions.

What if my film has played other festivals or been broadcast on TV?
We require a Chicago premiere of films. Except for Short Films and Music Videos, we do not accept films that have screened in Chicago or that have been broadcast on TV in Chicago or are available on the internet.

Do you have a category for students?
Yes we do.

Does CIMMfest show films for children?
Even though many of the films will be suitable for the entire family, we will not necessarily have a special section for children only.

How do you distinguish shorts from features?
We define a short film as under 45 minutes and a feature-length film as 45 minutes and over. Music Videos over 15 minutes should submit in the short film category.

What is the preferred submission format?
We prefer region 1 or 0 DVDs in either NTSC or PAL. (Region 1 is used in the US and Canada, while Region 0 is “all-region”). We also accept BluRay discs (PAL or NTSC) and USB (thumb) drives. Both Withoutabox and FilmFreeway offer secure on-line screeners to be uploaded to their site with your submission. If you send a DVD or BluRay disc, please be sure to send at least two copies. Be sure to send your DVDs or BluRays in a 5 1/4″ by 7 1/2″ case. (Smaller, thinner cases can cause your DVD to get lost in the shuffle or break.) If you are burning a consumer disc, write your Project Title, Film ID# (From Withoutabox or FilmFreeway) and Contact phone number on the disc with a permanent marker. PLEASE WRITE CLEARLY. PLEASE test your consumer-burned discs on several makes and models of players BEFORE sending it to our offices. If there are technical difficulties with the submitted disc, we will not request another copy from the filmmaker. We accept screener DVDs in both PAL and NTSC.

What if I have not obtained rights to some of the music in my film?
You are responsible for the music rights to your film. We assume that you have taken care of this when you submit your entry. If we are contacted by any record company or music publisher about the music rights in a film we are showing, we will refer that company to the filmmaker.

How many films can I submit?
There is no limit to the number of films you can submit. Just be sure to fill out a separate entry form and pay an entry fee for each entry.

Can I speak with someone about feedback of my film?
Due to the high volume of films submitted, we cannot give feedback or explain why we did not accept a particular film.

When will I find out if my film has been selected?
We will notify selected films by email no later than March, 2017. Please be sure to keep us updated regarding any changes to your contact info.

Will my submission be returned?
We will not return any submissions. Please do not send original prints or tapes. We do not return any other submission materials such as press kits and stills. Entry fees are also nonrefundable. Also, please note that we do not keep rejected films. If we accept your film, we ask to keep your submission for our archives.

Is there a market component to CIMMfest?
There is no official market but we are in touch with many distributors who are very interested in what Festival films receive awards or are well received.

What makes the Chicago International Movies and Music Fest different from other festivals?
CIMMfest’s focus on the intersection between movies and music makes it unique. Note that this is not limited to popular music; we encourage filmmakers with valuable things to say about any kind of music or the people who make it to submit their films. Take a look at past films that have screened at CIMMfest.

Or, view answers to specific FAQ questions using toggles below:

The 2017 Festival will be held in April in Chicago, Illinois.

We’re looking for movies great movies with Killer Soundtracks or Original Scores, as well as movies about music, movies for music, movies of music, and movies capturing music as it is made. We look for a fresh point of view in the narrative and/or subject matter that is presented in a creative way, regardless of budget, as long as it has or is focused on music.

We have four deadlines. Earlybird Deadline: September 16, 2016, Regular Deadline: November 1, 2016, Late Deadline: January 13, 2017, and Extended Deadline: February 10, 2017. The earlier you get your submission in, the lower the fee. Note that these are postmarked deadlines. We suggest applying early, as the majority of films arrive near the deadline and programmers like to start looking at entries as early as possible. We accept film submissions through Withoutabox.com and FilmFreeway.com/festival/CIMMfest

Withoutabox.com and FilmFreeway.com are CIMMfest’s preferred method for receiving film submissions. They are free online submission service that lets you submit to CIMMfest and hundreds of other festivals online quickly and easily, as well as allowing you to upload online press kits, photos and more. Visit withoutabox.com or FilmFreeway.com for complete details.

All entries submitted through Withoutabox and FilmFreeway will be confirmed when we receive them and have verified receipt of the screener and submission fee.

Out of fairness to other filmmakers, we do not grant fee waivers or reductions.

We require a Chicago premiere of films. Except for Short Films and Music Videos, we do not accept films that have screened in Chicago or that have been broadcast on TV in Chicago or are available on the internet.

Even though many of the films will be suitable for the entire family, we will not necessarily have a special section for children only.

We define a short film as under 45 minutes and a feature-length film as 45 minutes and over. Music Videos over 15 minutes should submit in the short film category.

We prefer region 1 or 0 DVDs in either NTSC or PAL. (Region 1 is used in the US and Canada, while Region 0 is “all-region”). We also accept BluRay discs (PAL or NTSC) and USB (thumb) drives. Both Withoutabox and FilmFreeway offer secure on-line screeners to be uploaded to their site with your submission. If you send a DVD or BluRay disc, please be sure to send at least two copies. Be sure to send your DVDs or BluRays in a 5 1/4″ by 7 1/2″ case. (Smaller, thinner cases can cause your DVD to get lost in the shuffle or break.) If you are burning a consumer disc, write your Project Title, Film ID# (From Withoutabox or FilmFreeway) and Contact phone number on the disc with a permanent marker. PLEASE WRITE CLEARLY. PLEASE test your consumer-burned discs on several makes and models of players BEFORE sending it to our offices. If there are technical difficulties with the submitted disc, we will not request another copy from the filmmaker. We accept screener DVDs in both PAL and NTSC.

You are responsible for the music rights to your film. We assume that you have taken care of this when you submit your entry. If we are contacted by any record company or music publisher about the music rights in a film we are showing, we will refer that company to the filmmaker.

There is no limit to the number of films you can submit. Just be sure to fill out a separate entry form and pay an entry fee for each entry.

Due to the high volume of films submitted, we cannot give feedback or explain why we did not accept a particular film.

We will notify selected films by email no later than March, 2017. Please be sure to keep us updated regarding any changes to your contact info.

We will not return any submissions. Please do not send original prints or tapes. We do not return any other submission materials such as press kits and stills. Entry fees are also nonrefundable. Also, please note that we do not keep rejected films. If we accept your film, we ask to keep your submission for our archives.

There is no official market but we are in touch with many distributors who are very interested in what Festival films receive awards or are well received.

CIMMfest’s focus on the intersection between movies and music makes it unique. Note that this is not limited to popular music; we encourage filmmakers with valuable things to say about any kind of music or the people who make it to submit their films. Take a look at past films that have screened at CIMMfest.