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GSU announces Chicago Southland International Film Festival

Tickets are on sale for the fourth annual Chicago Southland International Film Festival (CSIFF) Oct. 11-17 presented by Governors State University.

This year’s festival offers expanded access for viewers across the area, the United States ad internationally through a hybrid on-site and virtual delivery model. Virtual streaming will be offered through the Eventive platform that week and festival fans can view screenings in-person Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 15-17. at GSU in the F1622 Auditorium.

Festival passes are currently available on Eventive at https://csiff.eventive.org/passes/buy.


CSIFF offers something for every film fan and independent filmmaker, with film programming including high school, college and professional short films. There are an array of genres including comedy, drama, sci-fi/horror/fantasy, documentary and animation, and a Feature Film Showcase. View the complete film schedule to plan your festival experience.

Festival co-founders Suzanne E. Patterson and Joshua E. Young selected 58 short films from 13 countries—Australia, Canada, Egypt, Germany, India, Iran, Italy, Luxembourg, Poland, Portugal, The Netherlands, United Kingdom and United States—in collaboration with a committee of award-winning producers, students, faculty scholars, community advisors and working filmmakers.

“It’s exhilarating to come out of the 2020 virtual world with a hybrid concept this year: entertaining folks in the comfort of their own homes as well as hosting a live, in-person weekend of screenings, and Q&As, including a VIP Filmmaker’s Reception,” Patterson said.

“We are very proud to have previous filmmakers Ines Sommer and Frank Tovar of Chicago, Desmond Huey of Matteson and Harry Locke IV of Los Angeles join us as judges this year,” Patteson said. “We are also honored by the response from previous filmmakers returning for a second, third or fourth year with new submissions!”

The festival is also known for tackling important issues. Past themes have included cultural and racial identity, climate change and veterans issues.
“Minding the Gap” by GSU alumnus Bing Liu dealt with overcoming violence. It was Academy Award short-listed and an Emmy award winner. “Fight For Show!” a Hong Kong high school film project dealt with social inclusion. “Who Will Write Our History,” co-produced by Roberta Grossman and Nancy Spielberg dealt with history and oppression.

This year’s Feature Film Showcase is a community-wide film screening and discussion event in celebration of independent filmmakers. The film “Try Harder!” directed by Debbie Lum will be presented. It had its world premiere at Sundance Film Festival this year. It presents a heartfelt journey into the reality of the American college application process and the intersection of class, race and educational opportunity as students navigate a quintessential rite of passage.

CSIFF co-founders will host this feature film to provide filmmakers with a public performance and the opportunity to participate in facilitated post screening Q&A sessions with a diverse audience.

“The goal is to bring them together for stimulating conversations and immerse visitors in the art of film and moving image,” said Young. “We think our festival is unique in its appeal to audiences, and we have received some really positive feedback!”

There are many local Chicago and Illinois filmmakers featured as well. The film “Requiem for Black Love,” about two fugitive slaves risking their lives for a chance at love and the pursuit of happiness, was made by Flossmoor resident Eric Almond.

The film “Roots” is written, produced, shot and edited by GSU alumnus Alex Pavloski, is about two flowers experiencing love, heartbreak and the cyclicity of life.

For more information about the festival, visit the Chicago Southland International Film Festival website or the CSIFF Facebook page.

The School of Extended Learning, Digital Learning and Media Design and The Knowledge Exchange sponsor this event.

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