Onion City is one of the premiere international festivals exclusively devoted to experimental film and video.

Onion City was founded in the 1980's by the Experimental Film Coalition and run by them for many years. Chicago Filmmakers assumed responsibility for the festival in 2001, and expanded the size and opened it up to video work as well as film. It is generally 8-10 programs over four days and features roughly 60-70 works from around the world. Aside from the competition programs, there are occasional special presentations of new or old films of note or guest presentations. Screenings take place at Chicago Filmmakers and other venues around mid-June.


The mission of Onion City is to provide local and regional audiences with an opportunity to view a wide variety of contemporary experimental works, focused on artistic excellence but also with an eye towards representing differing styles, forms, and nationalities.



Festival Director and Programmer: Patrick Friel
Festival Pre-Screeners: Jesse Malmed, Kate Raney, and Patrick Friel
Program Book Cover and Poster Design: Neil Trais (Digital Dog Graphics)

Chicago Filmmakers Executive Director: Brenda Webb
Chicago Filmmakers Programming Interns: Sarah Henry and Chico Mattoso
Chicago Filmmakers Board of Directors: Mark Hubert, Sharon Zurek, Christopher Peppey, Dirk Matthews, Libi Hake, David Moravec, Carol Schaffner, and Brenda Webb