Calling All Filmmakers
Submit your short films for a chance to be included in the ICMC's groundbreaking festivals and programs:
• WorldScene Festival- Films for festivals curated by youth in jails, detention centers and shelters. 13+

• ScreenSmart™– Accelerated learning program for preschools and elementary schools. Ages 2-9.

• ICFilmFest– This unique touring event introduces families throughout the Midwest to high quality international film and global perspectives. Ages 2-11.

Global Girls & Women’s View- Films for, by and about girls and young women in shelters, and jails. Ages 13+  Global Girls is supported in part by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences prestigious FilmWatch program.

Entry fees: $75/short film and $125/feature film.

“The Chop” Cuts Through Competition At First-Ever Film Festival Held Inside A Municipal Jail

The Chop, UK

Congratulations to Lewis Rose, director of the funny English film The Chop, which was voted BEST OF FEST by the staff and inmates of Cook County Jail at the first-ever WorldScene Film Festival on Thurday, August 9, an event curated by detainees at the Cook County Jail and the audience at its public screening at 625 N. Kingsbury which followed on Saturday, August 11th, 2018.

Laughter rang through the Cook County Dept of Corrections audience of 200+ inmates as they watched Yossi, an out-of-work Kosher butcher pretend to be Muslim in order to find employment at a Halal butcher shop. One detainee at the screening commented: ‘It was a good movie. You’ve got to be yourself and not try to be something you’re not.”  An older detainee from the veterans group at the jail said, “See, folks are never as far apart as you think they are. Just got to try a little harder to connect.”

The WINNER of the True Value Boys & Girls Club Best of Fest Prize is: My First Spellbook

  My First Spellbook, Scotland

Congratulations to Gavin Laing, director of the delightfully funny Scottish film My First Spellbook! The film was voted BEST OF THE FEST by the children at the True Value Boys & Girls Club following final screening of the ICFilmFest on Friday, August 3rd, 2018. 

Young Katy finds a way to get people to do whatever she wants, but she quickly learns to be careful what she wishes for. One student stated "My First Spellbook is my favorite because in the end she was behaving better.”

Festival Curated by Cook County Jail Inmates Premieres Aug. 9 & 11

On August 9th at 10:15am, the International Children’s Media Center and the Sheriff’s Anti-Violence Effort (SAVE) at the Cook County Correctional Facility, 2600 S. California, Ave., will present the WorldScene Film Festival, the first international film festival ever curated by inmates of a municipal jail, and screened in a correctional facility. The festival includes 6 powerful short films from 6 different countries, and the chance to see uplifting stories about the challenges faced by young men around the world. Public screening to follow on Saturday August 11th, at 7pm at 625 N. Kinsgsbury Street.

BEST OF FEST WINNER at The Pedersen-McCormick Boys & Girls Club ICFilmFest: Tick Tock Emporium


 Tick Tock Emporium, USA

The children of the Pedersen McCormick Boys & Girls Club honored filmmaker Morgan Faust with the Best of Fest prize for her enchanting film Tick Tock Emporium  following the inaugural Pedersen-McCormick Boys & Girls Club ICFilmFestival screening on Tuesday, July 31, 2018.

Young Max will go to great lengths to spend a little time with her mom. When she finds a mysterious shop, she learns the true value of time well spent. One young club member commented “I liked it the most because it shows how people can waste their time without even knowing it.”

The WINNER of the Albany Park Community Center’s Best of Fest Prize is: HELP ME REMEMBER


Help Me Remember, Spain

Congratulations to Fran Casanova, director of the  touching and timely Spanish film Help Me Remember, voted BEST OF THE FEST by the children at Albany Park Community Center following the 4thAnnual APCC ICFilmFest on Friday, July 20, 2018. 

Young Santi finds a creative way to help his grandfather remember his youth in this charming film that addresses elder care. "My favorite film was Help Me Remember because it was really sweet and really touching to see how much fun a family can have."

Screen Smart Programs Close Achievement Gap In Three Chicago Public Schools


Screen SmartTM the ICMC's accelerated learning program for PreK-1st grade reached almost 500 children, 35 teachers and 300+ parents in three schools this Spring. The program received high marks across the boards! Amazed at how many of her diverse learners, had begun to participate, Ms. Sweeney at Otis School commented, "Before this program, these students also never raised their hands and rarely talked in class. I've seen a big increase in  increase in confidence and participation due to the Screen Smart program."




ICMC Digital Safety Workshops


Tech troubles at your school or home? If your child has problems with sexting, cyber bullying, game addiction or social media the ICMC can help. Call us about Digital LaunchPad: Building Healthy Tech Habits for your school, PTA or parent group: 773-528-6854, or email

ICMC's Executive Director on WGN

Photo: Jennifer GirardWGN's Julie Unruh interviews Executive Director Nicole Dreiske on "the Fortnite phenomenon" and how to avoid the game becoming an addiction:

ICMC Seeks KidGuard Support

The ICMC has applied to the KidGuard for NonProfits program for special funding for to bring digital wellness workshops to Screen Smart partners. KidGuard funds organizations with initiatives that support healthy family development. Click here to learn more about KidGuard for non-profit organizations!
Women’s View to Launch at Cook County Jail

After interviewing four agencies as prospective partners for the landmark Global Girls/Women's View film immersion program, the ICMC has selected Cook County Jail as the site for the next Women's View residency. With more than 200 films identified for the 2018 program, Women's View promises to deliver transformative experiences for young women detained at the CCJ.   The program trains female youth in vital 21st century skills and provides economic opportunities that lead to employment.  To volunteer, call 773-528-6854!

Global Girls from ICMC on Vimeo.

ICMC Joins S.A.V.E. Program at Cook County Jail

Thanks to the Albert Pick, Jr. Fund, the ICMC is partnering with the Sheriff’s Anti-Violence Effort (SAVE) to bring WorldScene to the Cook County Jail.  Using art therapy and conflict resolution strategies, the program's goal is to end the cycle of violence, offer skill-building for future employment and provide springboards to hope.

According to Elli Montgomery, Director of the SAVE program, World Scene will be the first film-based therapeutic arts residency to be offered at CCJ, and will be the only film festival ever to take place inside a jail. 

The WINNER of Elliott Donnelley Youth Center's Best of Fest Prize is: SNAP


Snap, Belgium

Congratulations to Thomas G. Murphy, director of the highly entertaining film Snap, voted BEST OF THE FEST by the children at Elliott Donnelley Youth Center following the 3rdAnnual EDYC ICFilmFest final screening on Wednesday, July 25, 2018. 

Life underwater isn’t easy for young Snap, but things change when he finds support from two new – and very different – friends. One student stated "It's my favorite because it teaches the monsters not to be mean to the smallest monster."

Professional Development Workshops – 2017-18 

1. Using Media & Technology to Improve Common Core Outcomes

2. Media-Based Learning Strategies for ELL Learners – Using Audio-Visual Storytelling to Improve Common Core Outcomes

3. Screen Smart® Strategies to End Summer Slump 

4. Instant RECESS – What to Do When Students Get “Wiggly”


1. Using Media & Technology Improve Common Core Outcomes

Children are visual learners and media is a powerful learning tool. However teachers seldom receive direct instruction in best practices for the use of media resources. Make sure your faculty has access to these cutting-edge strategies. Help them learn how to integrate media into lesson plans that will boost student participation and educational outcomes.

Educators will gain the following skills:

  • Rubrics for using short film/media to improve literacy skills

  • Introduction to 21st century skills and their impact on learning

  • Methods to address common core frameworks by teaching with media

  • How to achieve multiple learning outcomes from showing a single short film

These dynamic techniques foster strong academic skills, promote thinking, reasoning and teamwork skills and increase proficiency in using technology. The result: better learning and happy students.


2. Media-Based Learning Strategies for ELL Learners – Using Audio Visual Storytelling to Improve Common Core Outcomes

Students of all backgrounds watch more than a thousand hours of television and other media each year. What are they really learning from what they watch? How can educators use what media to improve academic performance and get ELL Students to participate in “extended response” discussions? This high-energy workshop shows educators how to use short films and videos to improve ELL student's work in the classroom. You'll learn essential techniques for using media to stimulate discussion, prompt critical thinking and improve students’ ability in many common core frameworks.

You’ll learn:

•An introduction to the basics of media literacy

•Strategies for engaging your students in dialog that supports classroom learning.

•Learning-rich activities to get students thinking critically after they’ve watched TV or movies.


3. Screen Smart® Strategies to End Summer Slump

Our youngest children are exposed to more media than ever and we all know what that means: too much “super hero play”, too much time spent with screens, and summer learning loss. So how do we help our youngest students develop a positive relationship to screens?

ICMC Executive Director Nicole Dreiske, uses a neuroscience-based strategy, focused on story telling and narrative to accelerate EC learning and end summer slump. 

Educators will learn:

  • How to use short films to improve literacy skills and inferential reasoning.

  • Fun, physical movements to boost focus and student engagement 

  • Articulation exercises that improve communication skills

  • Techniques for using screen time to elevate empathy 


4. Instant RECESS – What to Do When Students Get “Wiggly”

Whether “wiggling and drifting” come from a sugar high, stress, or desire for attention, the “wiggles” can wreck a day of learning. So what do we do when students are losing focus?

This is when educators need Instant RECESS! The Instant RECESS workshop teaches PreK-8th Grade educators a unique series of physical and vocal techniques together with simple concentration and creativity exercises that boost classroom energy and focus. As an added benefit for students: research in neuroscience shows that regular exercise strengthens neural pathways and improves cognitive skills.

Instant RECESS Workshop Outline – 2 Hours

  1. Background on the techniques & how exercise improves learning.

  2. Physical Warm-up – Hands & Whole Body (Hands-on Participation)

  3. Isolation exercises - In sync, on cue from instructor or peers (Hands-on Participation)

  4. Game-based exercises: Speed, quality, sequence of movement changes. Hands-on

  5. Plosives and exercises for the mouth and tongue to strengthen articulation skills. Hands-on.

Instant RECESS helps educators regain control on chaotic or unpredictable days – they’ll leave the roughhousing and yelling outside, while boosting concentration and control in the classroom.


Book Your Program Today!