CIFF launches Chicago Industry Exchange and CIX:Lab

The Chicago International Film Festival, presented by Cinema/Chicago, announced the formation of the organization’s Chicago Industry Exchange (CIX), the new name for its year-round industry programming, along with the launch of CIX:Lab

The CIX:Lab is a year-long creative development lab focusing on 4-5 feature film projects made by diverse voices and underrepresented filmmakers in the region.

CIX will build on the success of the Festival’s Industry Days, expanding its scope and amplifying its mission to empower independent film- and media-makers from Chicago and across the Midwest, to include year-round programming focused on professional development and strengthening the local film community.

CIX:Lab will launch October 2021 during the Festival’s Industry Days. Committed to helping close the opportunity gap in the film industry through supporting diverse voices, the year-long lab will select a minimum of four projects led by BIPOC, female, and non-binary filmmakers. With an Industry Mentor guiding each filmmaking team through the program, sessions will focus on script development, directing, pre-production, and pitching, culminating in the competitive Pitch forum to be held during the 2022 Festival’s Industry Days. The lab will also build professional networks and connect filmmaking teams with agents, executives, and financiers. In conjunction with these sessions, CIX will also hold a series of public “exchanges” – including master classes and conversations – to serve as professional development and networking opportunities for the Chicago-area film community (and beyond). Partners include the Chicago Film Office, Independent Film Alliance Chicago, and Full Spectrum Features.

CIX:Lab is supported by the National Endowment for the Arts through its Grants for Arts Projects award. For more information and to submit your project to the development lab for fiction projects.

“We’ve been building out industry programs at the Festival for decades, but the formation of these dedicated year-long initiatives presents a bold and exciting new chapter,” said Anthony Kaufman, Festival and CIX Senior Programmer. “We can now more directly enable and support local filmmakers in a more robust, substantive, and longer term way.”

Industry Days, now in its seventh year, is scheduled to return Oct. 14-17 during this year’s 57th Chicago International Film Festival (October 13-24), with panels, workshops, networking events, and master classes from industry leaders. Past Industry Days speakers have included Oscar-winning director Steve McQueen, award-winning producers Ted Hope, Dede Gardner, Bob Teitel, Charles D. King, and Gigi Pritzker, and representatives from Amazon Studios, CAA, Cinetic Media, IFC Films, Magnolia Pictures, Neon, Oscilloscope Laboratories, Sony Pictures Classics, and more.
See the full list of past participants HERE.

Applications for Industry Days accreditation are now being accepted at the Early Bird rate of $85 (regular rate of $100 in effect on August 21). Industry Accreditation grants access to all Industry Days events, panels, workshops, networking opportunities, and DecisionMaker Roundtables (based on approval). Industry Days Student accreditation is also available at the discounted rate of $50 for currently enrolled students only. The full Industry Days schedule of events will be released in September.
See full Industry Days details and to apply for accreditation HERE

Industry Days is supported by Light Iron, Panavision, the Chicago Film Office, Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE), the Illinois Arts Council Agency, the Illinois Film Office, and the National Endowment for the Arts. For more information on the National Endowment for the Arts and the Grants for Arts Projects award, visit HERE

The 57th Chicago International Film Festival, presented by Cinema/Chicago, takes place October 13-24, 2021.
More information can be found at HERE 


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