Victory Gardens Biograph Theater
For the second year in a row, we are converting this playhouse to a movie theater with help from our amazing sponsors, SPL Chicago. These guys really know how to make the big screen look fantastic!
The theater is a short walk from the Fullerton Red/Brown/Purple Line stop. Parking in this area can be difficult, so we recommend taking the good ol’ CTA.
We’re trying something new this year that we’re calling the "Chicago Encore". We were so inundated with wonderful Chicago-made content that we wanted to find a way to squeeze even more hometown films into one final block. Enter Navigator Taproom and their tap wall of 48 beers and ciders! On Sunday morning, we’ll treat our filmmakers to our signature free mimosas and brunch while we dish out the awards and prizes to our favorite films. Then, we’ll be saying farewell by screening our "Chicago Encore" block in a social atmosphere with plenty of booze! It’s guaranteed to be a blast! And stick around afterwards for our closing party where we can all let loose and say goodbye to the new friends that we’ve made over the weekend.
– Feature Film
– Festival Event
Thursday, July 18th5:00pm Happy Hour Kick-Off Party
6:30pm Chicago Shorts, Vol. 1
8:45pm “Spaced Out” Shorts
Friday, July 19th10:30am Breakfast Social & Screenplay Reading
1:00pm Drama Shorts
3:00pm TV Pilots
4:30pm Happy Hour & Seminar
6:00pm Chicago Shorts, Vol. 2
8:00pm Feature: This World Alone
9:45pm WTF Shorts
Saturday, July 20th11:00am “Growing Up” Shorts
1:00pm Feature: Ginger
3:00pm Comedy Shorts
4:45pm “Wanderlust” Shorts
7:00pm Feature: Banana Season
9:10pm Chicago Shorts, Vol. 3
Sunday, July 21st
10:30am Awards Ceremony & Brunch
@ Navigator Taproom
1:00pm Chicago Encore
3:00pm Closing Party
Thursday, July 18th
Chicago Shorts, Vol. 1 – 6:30-8:15PM
Inspiring films about identity
“Spaced Out” Shorts – 8:45-10:15PM
A charming group of shorts that examine love and out of this world destinations
Friday, July 19th
Drama Shorts – 1:00-2:35PM
Films that explore loss, and the light found at the end of the tunnel
TV Pilots – 3:00-4:15PM
These clever episodics may just be your next binge-worthy series!
Chicago Shorts, Vol. 2 – 6:00-7:35PM
A batch of films that explore friendships – the ones found in unlikely places, and the ones we need the most
Feature Film: This World Alone – 8:00-9:30PM
A female-centric post-apocalyptic thriller
“WTF” Shorts – 9:45-11:15PM
Chilling, twisted, and wonderfully weird films
Saturday, July 20th
“Growing Up” Shorts – 11:00AM-12:30PM
Powerful stories told through children’s perspectives
Feature Film: Ginger – 1:00-2:40PM
A 23 year old woman’s pretty funny, slightly sad, powerfully emotional guide to breast cancer. Made in Chicago
Comedy Shorts – 3:00-4:20PM
An eclectic mix of films to make you lol!
“Wanderlust” Shorts – 4:45-6:25PM
Films that take you to far-away places
Feature Film: Banana Season – 7:00-8:45PM
A tale of true friendship and taking flight. Made in Chicago
Chicago Shorts, Vol. 3 – 9:10-10:20PM
These shorts shine a light on human creativity and our past, present, and future
Sunday, July 21st
Chicago Encore – 1:00-2:15PM @ Navigator Taproom
Join us at the Navigator Taproom for this encore of wonderful mixed-genre Chicago-made films
Feature Screenplay Finalists
In 1983, five kids, ages 10 – 16 run away from home, take a raft down the Mississippi to New Orleans, and learn more about themselves than they’d ever thought possible.
After Steve finds out he has a terminal illness, he gathers his childhood friends on an outrageous, hijinx-filled road trip to live out his bucket list. He invites Preston, a friend who has been estranged from the group for a decade, which reopens old wounds, and forces the friends to come to terms with hard truths about themselves.
An unemployed over-achiever is hired by her retired assassin neighbour to save the small town that keeps her unemployed.
1969 Occupation of Alcatraz by Indians Of All Tribes. Leads to current standoff…Standing Rock. Involves Nixon, AIM, and the FBI. Counterculture of hippies and drugs, too. Based on true story. Script has very interesting inserts and original songs.
A psychologist in pre-war Berlin works with a young man, helping him to become more self-confident. Having gained the desired confidence, the young man becomes a member of the SS and a security guard in a concentration camp, where the psychologist turns out to be a prisoner. Now it is up to the psychologist to test the effectiveness of his skills on his patient in order to get out alive.
Newlyweds, Bonnie and Claudia, invite unexpected guests into their home for Christmas who change their lives forever.
Charlotte and Javier are best friends, both are adventurous second graders living in Glendale, California. They go off on a hike and discover a coyote who transforms their lives through her magic powers given by the Aztec spirits.
A police officer who shoots a suspect during a drug deal dreams he’s the father of a young man shot by police. Soon, he can’t tell which experience is real.
Lucy is a transgender in the process of transitioning, determined to see it through at any and all costs. So when an opportunity arises to accelerate this process, she seizes it unabashedly. This decision though casts her unwillingly into the dark, violent world of prostitution and the ruthless, cold-blooded drug-dealing pimp behind it who goes by the name "Soup". Here is where Lucy’s real transformation begins as she fights to escape Soup’s relentless grip and free herself from the dangerous vestiges of a debt she cannot pay. Gritty, raw and barbed with bitter humor, HALFWAY TO MARS is the story of Lucy’s dark and unexpected trip through hell on the road to finding her true self and living to tell about it.
THE OTHER SIDE OF BLISS is the story of a young man’s struggle with his sexual identity under the immense pressure of a traditional Asian family that stresses lineage over individualism. JIAN LUI is a 22 year-old Chinese-Canadian student who has lived a secretly gay life. Up to this point in his life, he has avoided confronting the disparity between who he is and who he is expected to be . This all changes when he meets LEO, a ruggedly handsome "bad boy". What begins as a casual relationship quickly turns into a deeper one, forcing Jian to confront his true self and make a life-altering decision. When he finally "comes out", he is met with resistance from his parents who ship him off to an institutionalized gay conversion program in China to "cure" him of his homosexuality.
THE OTHER SIDE OF BLISS is a heart-breaking tale of one man’s journey in finding his truth.
After inheriting a once glamorous hotel from a distant relative he never knew, a down-on-his-luck puppet accidentally summons a horde of ravenous monsters intent on eating his famous and fashionable guests.
In 1976, sixteen-year-old Frank’s best friend dies while trying to impress him with a stupid stunt. At least that’s what Frank tells the authorities–but an enigmatic woman who knows the truth about the boys won’t let the matter rest.
Nora-a wannabe Pinterest perfect parent and Katie – a checked out single mom – discover that crashing Bar & Bat Mitzvahs magically gets their train wreck of a life back on track.
An interracial couple in 1961 Chicago embark on an investigation to discover the root of supernatural occurrences plaguing them since seeing something otherworldly in the night sky.
Dire consequences ensue when two Catholic priests clash during the 1980’s Sanctuary Movement, involving the lives of three innocent Central American refugees.
A miserly young accountant, dumped by his girlfriend after a chintzy marriage proposal, hides out on the streets after being framed for embezzlement. He butts heads with a salty alcoholic bag lady — until they realize they have the same problem — overcoming their flaws to win back the love of a young woman.
In this feminist twist of the fairytale "Bluebeard" by Charles Perrault, set in 1920s America, a young socialite meets a mysterious widower and agrees to marry him, but once she moves into his home in the country, she begins to find disturbing clues as to what happened to his former wife.
Fisherman Patrick Hennessey and his wife, Maggie, live an idyllic life with their two children in the remote New England fishing community of Cove Hill on isolated Garret Peninsula, but Cove Hill has a dark past. On the eve of the town’s 400-year anniversary, a pact their ancestors made with an ancient evil has come due, and Patrick and Maggie must risk everything to protect their family from the horror that threatens to destroy them all.
In the pursuit of life after graduation, Jesse and his childhood friends embark on a trek into the mountains that brings the dangers of the wild, the burdens of youth, and a leap into adulthood.
After a chance encounter with an alien, a rookie in a secret government agency must prevent his superiors from instigating an intergalactic war.
During the Depression, a decorator comes home from London and falls in love with the man he hired to restore a historic rock cottage. Based on a true story.
Short Screenplay Finalists
After graduating college and experiencing a period of unemployment, Julie finds work, only to lose herself and to struggle to maintain such a close-knit relationship with her best friends.
Woman struggles to mask her all consuming happiness in order to fit in
Pancake Skank is a surrealist, satirical comedy about our titular anti-heroine and her unlikely partner-in-crime, Lover Boi, as they wreak havoc on a small town and its breakfast joints.
Traveling from Mississippi to reunite with her son, an elderly mother buries her dreams of the future while grappling with the news of his new family and their queer Berkeley life.
A impatient gravedigger saves the world from the lamest of zombie apocalypses. Twice.
While canvassing his local neighborhood to help re-elect the current mayor, Reginald approaches the one house and the one "voter" who is out of the ordinary.
Un Homme and a Lady is a surreal homage to love in the French New Wave genre.
A family has to deal with hard decisions when the machine that has been keeping their father’s conciousness alive begins to fail.
Two patients in a hospital come to grips with life changing medical events.
A mother tries to save the day after she accidentally eats the mealworms from her daughter’s science project.
Born into a bad situation, Kaitlyn did all she could to give herself a better life. However, sometime life doesn’t play fair.
Alliena, a bright eyed 7 year old girl with big dreams, befriends a ballerina as she steps into a world of imagination and exploration. She soon finds inspiration from the ballerina acting as her muse.
Karen and Amanda are locked in a bunker in Karen’s backyard. Why? They aren’t really sure. They were drunk when Karen got a phone call from her prepper boyfriend and three months later Karen is driving Amanda to the brink of insanity. Finally having enough, Amanda storms out of the bunker to find no trace of life. No destruction. No carnage. No people. Turns out it’s the Apocalypse… we think.
An unhappy alcoholic is at the end of his rope, but finds an unexpected friend