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  • Writer's pictureTeam Acacia

19th CineYouth Festival Unspools April 19 - 21, 2024

Highlighting Filmmakers 22 Years Old and Younger, 19th CineYouth Festival Presents 65 International Short Films

CHICAGO, Illinois (April 4, 2024) – Cinema/Chicago today announced details surrounding the 19th CineYouth Festival, running April 19 - 21 in person at FACETS (1517 W. Fullerton Ave.) and available virtually worldwide April 22 - 28, 2024. Featuring 65 international short films written and directed by filmmakers aged 10-22 years old, this year’s CineYouth slate includes films from 13 countries. 17 titles will be holding their World Premieres at CineYouth, and another 8 will be celebrating their U.S. Premieres. All events and screenings are free and open to the public, with tickets available now at

“CineYouth is a rare Festival put together for young people, by young people,” said CineYouth Director Christy LeMaster. “Our Programming Committee, composed of ten Chicago-area young people aged 17 - 27, has screened more than 350 submissions as they gain firsthand experience in programming an international film festival. The work they have selected this year will delight audiences of all ages.”

“As Cinema/Chicago celebrates our 60th anniversary year, it is with great pride that CineYouth continues to seek out and present work from the next generation of filmmakers,” said Mimi Plauché, Cinema/Chicago Artistic Director. “Film has the power to connect audiences with  other perspectives and foster understanding in a way no other artistic medium can, and CineYouth leads the way in showing audiences the world through the eyes of young filmmakers.”

This year’s slate features 10 short film programs, with highlights including Imagination Adventure: Family Friendly, exploring the journey of growing up and including work by eight young filmmakers from diverse backgrounds showcasing their talents in a boundless, vibrant, all-ages cinematic playground; and Thinking Funny, in which comedy helps us navigate life and tragedy. 

CineYouth opens at FACETS on April 19  with Chicago Lens, a program of nine Chicago-made short films spanning across narrative, documentary and music video forms, followed by Friday Night Frights, an assortment of horror films from around the world  featuring work made in  the Philippines, Ireland, Australia, and China that taps into our most primal fears and darkest secrets.

The CineYouth Closing Celebration, presented by Adobe, will be held on April 21, 2024 at 5 p.m. at FACETS, at which awards in eight categories will be given to CineYouth filmmakers, including the Rising Star Award presented by Adobe; the Chicago Award, Animation, Comedy, Documentary, Drama, Experimental, and International Film awards. A selection of award-winning CineYouth films will be screened at the 60th Chicago International Film Festival, running October 16 - 27, 2024.

In addition to screenings, CineYouth features live events including workshops in collaboration with partner Adobe, along with filmmaker Q&As for select programs.

For more information and a full schedule of presentations, visit the CineYouth website at

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Twitter: @CineYouth /  @ChiFilmFest

Instagram: @ChiFilmFest

Hashtag: #CineYouth

Festival Information

CineYouth Festival, founded in 2005 and presented by Cinema/Chicago, is a free international film festival for filmmakers 22-years-old and younger. Held annually in the spring, the festival showcases films created by youth, providing a public platform to highlight the next generation of filmmakers. In addition to short film screenings, CineYouth presents free panels, discussions, and other development opportunities to inspire creativity in youth. CineYouth will celebrate its 19th edition at FACETS (1517 W. Fullerton Ave.) April 19 - 21, 2024 and virtually from April 22 - 28, 2024 with films streaming globally. For more information, visit or follow us on TwitterFacebookInstagram and YouTube.


FACETS is a physically accessible theater, with a no-step entrance, accessible bathrooms, and limited wheelchair and companion seating. Please reserve wheelchair or companion seating or request an ASL interpreter at least 48 hours in advance, and we will accommodate where possible. To make a reservation or for any general questions or comments about accessibility at CineYouth, please fill out our request form, email us at, or call us at 312.683.0121, x108

CineYouth Sponsors and Partners

Led by major sponsor Adobe, CineYouth is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency and a CityArts Grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events; Official Agency: Ogilvy; Official Publicity Agency: Acacia Consulting Group; Additional Supporters: Acqua Panna and Maison Perrier; Partner Venue: FACETS; Accessibility Partner: Periscope Post & Audio.

About Cinema/Chicago

Cinema/Chicago, the presenting organization of the Chicago International Film Festival, is a year-round nonprofit arts and education organization dedicated to fostering better communication between people of diverse cultures through the art of film and the moving image. Cinema/Chicago's programs include the Chicago International Film Festival, Summer Screenings Program, CineYouth Festival, and year-round Education Program. Celebrating its 60th edition October 16 - 27, 2024, the Chicago International Film Festival is North America's longest-running competitive film festival.  For more information, please visit or follow us on FacebookInstagramYouTube and Twitter.

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