Your guide to the Chicago International Children’s Film Festival

Cinephiles, you don’t want to miss this one-of-a-kind film fest suited for the whole family. 

The Chicago International Children’s Film Festival is back for its 36th year! From Nov. 1-10, families can enjoy more than 250 international films geared to kids of all ages.Kids and teens are empowered to “build a new world” by connecting with others and adding empathy to storytelling.

Eight venues across the Chicagoland area will screen films for the festival. From animated shorts to documentaries, there’s something for everyone. Some topics to follow the “Build” theme include the refugee experience, forming friendships and family heritage. Visit the festival’s website for the full schedule and check out some of our picks below.

For the tots (ages 1-6): “Fine and Dandy”

When: Nov. 2, 9:30 a.m.

Where: Facets Cinema, 1517 W. Fullerton Ave., Chicago

This is a collection of shorts that come from around the world and the characters and critters are ready for adventure with friends and family.

For the big kids (ages 5-8): “What’s My Superpower?”

When: Nov. 9, 11:15 a.m.

Where: Facets Cinema, 1517 W. Fullerton Ave., Chicago

Take a first look at the world of Xavier Riddle, based on the Ordinary People series by Brad Meltzer. The series is slated to be a fixture on PBS later in November. The collection also includes shorts about kids overcoming obstacles. 

For the tweens (ages 8-10): “Based on Books and Other Stories”

When: Nov. 2, 3 p.m.

Where: Reva & David Logan Center for the Arts, 915 E 60th St., Chicago

All of the stories in these shorts have literary backgrounds, like books, poems, myths and other folk tales. Some of these stories have English subtitles, and this performance is free. 

For the teens (ages 13-17): “Hacker”

When: Nov. 10, 11:15 a.m.

Where: Facets Cinema, 1517 W. Fullerton Ave., Chicago

One of the headliners of the festival is this feature film about a Danish orphan on the search for his mother, long presumed dead. 


If you go

Chicago International Children’s Film Festival

Nov. 1-10

Various locations in Chicago and the suburbs

Screening tickets range from $6-10. A festival family pass is available for $75. 

Find more information at festival.facets.org.


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This story originally published Oct. 31, 2018. It has been updated with the most recent information. 

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