Noted for quality, Geneva Film Festival marks 10th anniversary

By Emily Arias for Chronicle Media

Attendees, festival volunteers, and filmmakers celebrated another successful film festival as the 2017 event came to a close. (Geneva Film Festival photo)

The 2018 Geneva Film Festival will bring both creators and movie fans together to view short films and longer features in and around downtown Geneva this weekend.

The festival, celebrating its 10th anniversary, runs from March 8-10 at two downtown venues — Playhouse 38 and Penrose Brewing.

The festival has always brought an unique, artistic touch to the town, but it really grew in popularity once it developed an online presence and became a “truly international film festival”, according to organizers.

It has captivated filmmakers locally in Chicago and others from all over the globe to submit their films.

“Our film festival sells for a couple of reasons: for our longevity, a lot of film festivals do not last 10 years, and because it provides a stepping stone for people that are seeking to get recognition,” said festival planner Chris Bennett. “Filmmakers tend to go to submit their films to a number of film festivals and ours is noted for its quality.”

Bennett believes the festivals longevity comes from the hard work that’s been put into it.

“I think it’s because of our volunteers. We have a very dedicated core group and also an extended group of volunteers that really support the film festival. We all like working together and we all truly enjoy bringing these films to the Fox Valley area,” he said.

There are quite a few Chicago-area filmmakers being featured this year, including returning Dan Pal, who also teaches at DePaul University and Moraine Valley Community College. At least 11 directors, producers and actors who were involved in the making of the films will be in attendance.

This year the GFF received 89 film submissions and 39 were chosen to be featured.

Productions judged in categories of “overall production” and “appropriate music”. Eight of the films that will be featured are recipients of the Emerging Cinematographer Awards sponsored by the International Cinematographers Guild.

Which films are the most popular? Bennett believes it’s the short films.

But if short films aren’t your thing, there will be two feature-length films and a documentary. Each block of films runs for about an hour and a half, and tickets for each block will cost $8. This year they are expected to sell out.

“It all depends what the viewers want,” Bennett said. “A lot of people want to attend just for entertainment value alone.”

This year the films will all only be shown only once, a change from previous years where they were shown multiple times, so attendees will have to plan out which blocks they really want to attend.

Short descriptions of each block can be found on the festival’s website.

The wrap party will be held at Craft Urban in Geneva at 9:30 p.m. Saturday. Bennett explained that each year there is a wrap party, but this one will be “spectacular” for the 10th anniversary featuring a photo booth, DJ and a night of dancing. This event is free to attend.

Tickets, directions and more information are available at


–Noted for quality, Geneva Film Festival marks 10th anniversary–