The Chicagoland High School Film Festival.

Chicagoland High School Film Festival 2012

The Chicagoland High School Film Festival.

Back in the earliest day of the silient movies, Chicago was a dominate film center. But Chicago had a hard time satisfying the young film industry.  Electric lights were a new invention making them expensive, and the early bulbs had difficulty putting out more than 40 Watts. In addition to that, film speeds were slower than today, often under 50 ASA. For those reasons plus the ability to buy large amounts of land dirt cheep, sent the film industry to sothern California.

In Los Angeles, producers could count on large amounts of natural light, and plenty of room to build large “Back Lots”  for chariot races, Cowboys and cattle-rustlers, Even Moses and a cast of thousands. But after 60 years in the sunlight, Chicago is one of the cities fighting to bring the movie industry and the large revenues here on a regular basis.

In this digital age, it is not light that movie producers are after, it’s tax breaks  and talent. The Chicagoland High School Film Festival can play a role in introducing young people to the world of film, by giving young filmmakers a chance to get their feet wet, and build a community of other teens with a simular interest.

The Chicagoland High School Film Festival will be held at the Latin School of Chicago’s Wrigley Theatre

Friday, May 20, from 6:00-9:00 pm. 

A Night at the Movies

Join us for the Chicagoland High School Film Festival on Friday May 20, 6-9 p.m. in the Wrigley Theatre. This year’s festival will feature 13 unique films by high school students from throughout the Chicago area. In addition to the work by Latin filmmakers, students from Benito Juarez Community Academy, Lake Forest High School, New Trier and Palatine High School also will be presenting their work.The event provides students with the opportunity to share their expressive voice while also gaining invaluable feedback from some of the most knowledgeable people currently working in the film industry. This year’s panel of judges include Rashid Ghazi, director and producer of the documentary Fordson; Matty Robinson, host of WBEZ’s “Filmspotting;” Marie Ullrich, Chicago DIY filmmaker, and Josef Steiff, associate chair of the Film & Video Department at Columbia College.Initially created by and for Latin School students in 2002, the Chicagoland High School Film Festival has grown into a great event highlighting exciting film work by students from throughout the area. For more information see


Jonathan Miller (WBEZ Film Critic), Brenda Sexton (Illinois Film Office), Lee Shoquist and George Singleton (Reel Movie Critic), Albert Berger (Bona Fide Productions), Steven Conrad (Screenwriter) Lindsay Drucker (Tribeca Flashpoint Media Arts Academy), Greg Jacobs (Siskel/Jacobs Productions), Adam Kempenaar (Filmspotting), Amy Rising (Tribeca Flashpoint Media Arts Academy), Jim Williams (news anchor for WBBM-TV), Ben Hollis (Original host and co-creator/co-producer Wild Chicago) Joe Steiff (Senior Associate Chair, Film & Video, Columbia College Chicago)
Francis W. Parker, University of Chicago Laboratory Schools, New Trier, Walter Payton, Northside, Evanston Township High School, Chicago Academy for the Arts, Lake Forest Academy, Hinsdale Central, St. Ignatius, Chicagoland Jewish, Fenwick High School, De La Salle Institute, Loyola High School, Kenwood Academy, Buffalo Grove High School, Mt. Carmel High School, Deerfield High School, Fremd High School, Glenbrook North, Hersey High School, Highland Park, Jones College Prep, Lakeview Academy, Libertyville High School, Lincoln Park High School, Maine West, Mundelein, Niles North, Niles West, Palatine, Round Lake, Stevenson High School, Sullivan High School, Vernon Hills, Warren Township, Whitney Young, Naperville North, Naperville Central, Maine South, Maine East, Mt. Prospect High School, Forman High School, Curie Metro High School, Gallery 37 and After School Matters
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