WILL Pressroom

Illinois Public Media seeks independent films from local filmmakers


Illinois Public Media is seeking short films from local filmmakers to be nominated for inclusion in the eighth annual PBS Online Film Festival—a showcase for powerful and engaging stories from filmmakers across the country. The festival has become a popular annual online event, attracting more than 8 million video views over the past eight years, as well as nominations in the Webby Awards.

“Many people seem to think the best films come from New York or L.A. But the Midwest is blessed to have an extraordinarily creative filmmaking community, and Illinois Public Media is extremely fortunate to have this opportunity to shine a light on this region of the country through powerful storytelling,” said Moss Bresnahan, president and CEO of Illinois Public Media.

Since its launch in 2012, the PBS Online Film Festival has featured diverse films from PBS member stations, Independent Lens and POV. Collaborations with public television producers, including the Center for Asian American Media, Latino Public Broadcasting, Black Public Media, Pacific Islanders in Communications (PIC), and Vision Maker Media have also been included.

To enter, filmmakers should send a link or video file of their film to reelmidwest@illinois.edu so it can be reviewed. In addition, please include the title of the film, the filmmakers’ contact information, plus a two to three sentence description of the film. Films should be 3-15 minutes in length, and can be fiction or non-fiction. The most appropriate films for this festival are those who have creative or compelling storytelling, as well as high production quality. For full consideration in the 2019 PBS Online Film Festival, submissions must be made by February 21, 2019.

If selected, filmmakers will be required to adhere to technical requirements for the festival, as well as submit additional information about their film upon request. If you have questions about the requirements for the festival, please send them to reelmidwest@illinois.edu.

Dates for the 2019 PBS Online Film Festival and the featured films will be announced at a later date. The festival will be available for streaming via PBS and Illinois Public Media digital platforms, including PBS.org, YouTube and PBS social media channels. The films will also be available via the PBS app on iOS, Android and a wide range of OTT devices.

Earlier this year, following in public media’s long-standing commitment to independent film, Illinois Public Media launched Reel Midwest—a new independent films series featuring thought-provoking documentaries, powerful narrative dramas, and insightful short films from across Illinois and the Midwest.


About PBS

PBS, with nearly 350 member stations, offers all Americans the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television and digital content. Each month, PBS reaches nearly 100 million people through television and nearly 28 million people online, inviting them to experience the worlds of science, history, nature and public affairs; to hear diverse viewpoints; and to take front row seats to world-class drama and performances. PBS’ broad array of programs has been consistently honored by the industry’s most coveted award competitions. Teachers of children from pre-K through 12th grade turn to PBS for digital content and services that help bring classroom lessons to life. Decades of research confirms that PBS’ premier children’s media service, PBS KIDS, helps children build critical literacy, math and social-emotional skills, enabling them to find success in school and life. Delivered through member stations, PBS KIDS offers high-quality educational content on TV – including a new 24/7 channel, online at pbskids.org, via an array of mobile apps and in communities across America. More information about PBS is available at www.pbs.org, one of the leading dot-org websites on the internet, or by following PBS on Twitter, Facebook or through our apps for mobile and connected devices. Specific program information and updates for press are available at pbs.org/pressroom or by following PBS Pressroom on Twitter.