FILM 348 Film Festivals

Rebecca Fons

Fall 2023-2024
Class number: 13117
Section number: 701
Tu 5:45PM - 9:00PM
CDM 00708 Loop Campus


Film festivals and their role in independent cinema and the Hollywood studio system. The global proliferation of film festivals will be examined from the perspectives of both film studies scholars and filmmaking professionals. Students will research the history of major festivals, develop festival strategies for students’ own or other students’ films, and attend film festival screenings, panels, and/or networking events.

This course introduces students to the world of film festivals. Through attending festivals and speaking with invited guests, students will learn about how festivals work and the intricacies of festival programming and later film distribution. Through preparing the same materials that festivals require from accepted filmmakers, students will be able to readily enter the festival circuit.

Upon successfully completing this course, students will be able to:

  1. Analyze the impact of major global, national, and local film festivals on independent cinema and the studio system. 

  2. Understand festival programming agendas.

  3. Execute festival submission strategies.

  4. Develop marketing and networking skills by  attending local film festivals screenings & events.


As a student in this course you are part of an intellectual community, which means that attending class, arriving prepared, and participating in class discussions weighs heavily on your grade. 

Participation and attendance - 25%
Festival profile group presentations - 10%
Initial project pitch and festival strategy - 10%
Artist’s statement - 10%
Short synopsis - 10%
Chicago International Film Festival response paper - 10%
Final festival strategy presentation - 25%

School policies:

Changes to Syllabus

This syllabus is subject to change as necessary during the quarter. If a change occurs, it will be thoroughly addressed during class, posted under Announcements in D2L and sent via email.

Online Course Evaluations

Evaluations are a way for students to provide valuable feedback regarding their instructor and the course. Detailed feedback will enable the instructor to continuously tailor teaching methods and course content to meet the learning goals of the course and the academic needs of the students. They are a requirement of the course and are key to continue to provide you with the highest quality of teaching. The evaluations are anonymous; the instructor and administration do not track who entered what responses. A program is used to check if the student completed the evaluations, but the evaluation is completely separate from the student’s identity. Since 100% participation is our goal, students are sent periodic reminders over three weeks. Students do not receive reminders once they complete the evaluation. Students complete the evaluation online in CampusConnect.

Academic Integrity and Plagiarism

This course will be subject to the university's academic integrity policy. More information can be found at If you have any questions be sure to consult with your professor.

All students are expected to abide by the University's Academic Integrity Policy which prohibits cheating and other misconduct in student coursework. Publicly sharing or posting online any prior or current materials from this course (including exam questions or answers), is considered to be providing unauthorized assistance prohibited by the policy. Both students who share/post and students who access or use such materials are considered to be cheating under the Policy and will be subject to sanctions for violations of Academic Integrity.

Academic Policies

All students are required to manage their class schedules each term in accordance with the deadlines for enrolling and withdrawing as indicated in the University Academic Calendar. Information on enrollment, withdrawal, grading and incompletes can be found at

Students with Disabilities

Students who feel they may need an accommodation based on the impact of a disability should contact the instructor privately to discuss their specific needs. All discussions will remain confidential.
To ensure that you receive the most appropriate accommodation based on your needs, contact the instructor as early as possible in the quarter (preferably within the first week of class), and make sure that you have contacted the Center for Students with Disabilities (CSD) at:
Lewis Center 1420, 25 East Jackson Blvd.
Phone number: (312)362-8002
Fax: (312)362-6544
TTY: (773)325.7296