Illinifest Student Film Festival is a celebration of student and professional short-filmmaking, curated by students at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Our mission is to create a platform for diverse voices in filmmaking and expose our campus and community audience to short films from all over the globe. The Midwest Student category showcases works by students all over the U.S. Midwest to help pave a path for their films. The World Competition presents short films by filmmakers all over the world in an effort to engage our local audience in a dialogue about film and film culture.
Illinifest is open to all genres and themes. In 2016 we received 123 submissions from over 20 countries. The 2017 festival will take place on Saturday, April 29th in the Lincoln Hall Theater.
Every spring, the Media and Cinema Studies (MACS) department at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has a special class. Labeled as MACS 464, the course is focused on educating students about the various film festivals around the world, while also organizing film festival right here on campus run by non other than the students in MACS 464. This festival has existed for multiple iterations of the class over the years and has even gone through a few different names it has gone by. The festival began in 2010 and ran until 2012 under the festival title Movies to the MACS! The course was taught by Richard Leskosky and Ivy Glennon. In 2013, With Richard Potter as the MACS 464’s instructor and mentor, they hosted a new version of the festival, this time calling it the Illini Independent Film Festival. In 2014, headed by Alex Mobley, the festival expanded and was called Etcfilmfest. Programming from Etcfilmfest included live performances from The 92s, an alternative indie pop band from Palos Park, Illinois. Up until 2015, students submitted their films via DVD. But, when the festival began accepting submissions digitally, the festival found its lasting identity, this time the festival going by Illinifest and coordinated by the class instructor, Dora Valkanova. Through MACS 464, students can both learn about film festivals and contribute to the medium’s presence in Illinois by creating their own film festival that helps to showcase student talent and the diversity of short films from around the world.