Chicago Children's International Film Festival

The 32nd Annual Chicago International Children's Film Festival kicks off on October 24 with over 245 films from over 50 countries — and our family can't wait! Selected from over 3,000 entries at venues across the Chicago including Facets Cinematheque (1517 W. Fullerton) and Music Box Theatre (3733 N. Southport), these movies always rise above the usual Hollywood kid fare and offer everything from funny to spooooooky films, all with a unique, global perspective. This is your chance to see some of the best movies for kids and families from around the world. My kids, ages 5 and 14, both love watching these quirky, thought provoking feature length films and shorts.


My Family's Picks

Some of the most memorable movies we've seen as a family have been a part of this wonderful film festival. Try to catch a movie that showcases your family's culture, one that transports you to a dream vacation destination, or perhaps a film that features a language or culture you don't know much about at all.

Highlights of this year's festival include When Marnie Was There, the most recent feature from the beloved Studio Ghibli. With an all-star American voice cast led by Haillee Steinfeld (Pitch Perfect 2, Ender's Game, True Grit), this breathtaking animation follows, about twelve-year-old Anna who visits the countryside of Japan and winds up in a complex relationship with a bewitching and mysterious neighbor girl.

Trenk, the Little Knight brings the cherished German children's book to life in charming animation. Molly Moon and the Incredible Book of Hypnotism teaches a fun lesson of friendship and independence, as plucky orphan Molly finds a book with which she masters the power of hypnosis. View the trailers below and check out the full weekend and evening schedule at


The Details

The movies are screened at some of Chicago's best movie houses and cultural centers, all of which can be easily reached by public transportation. Tickets are less expensive than what you would pay at your local chain movie theater; Prices range from $9 for adults to $6 for children (2-18). Your best bet is the $45 Festival Family Pass, which admits up to 4 (children or adults) to any screening. Purchase tickets online or call 773-281-9075 ext. 3011 to order tickets by phone.


Fun for the Kids

In addition to the films themselves, the CICFF encourages families to further connect with the festival by offering post screening Q&As with filmmakers, interactive workshops with special guests, peer-to-peer dialogues, filmmaker-led seminars, and the CICFF Children's and Youth Juries, all of which aim to help children develop an appreciation of film as art. For the full workshop schedule, visit