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Governors State University to host Chicago Southland International Film Festival

By Josh Bootsma

UNIVERSITY PARK, Ill. (October 4, 2021) – Governors State University is set to host the fourth annual Chicago Southland International Film Festival both in person and virtually next week. The festival will allow virtual streaming October 11-17 and in-person screenings October 15-17 in the F1622 auditorium at Governors State University.

According to a GSU press release, the festival “offers something for every film fan and independent filmmaker, with film programming including high school, college, and professional short films with an array of genres including comedy, drama, sci-fi/horror/fantasy, documentary, and animation, and a Feature Film Showcase.”

A film schedule is available at Tickets are available here.

A trailer for the competition is below:

Festival co-founders Suzanne Patterson and Joshua Young selected 58 films from 13 countries for this year’s festival. The festival often highlights important issues, including cultural and racial identity, overcoming violence, social inclusion, history and oppression, veterans healing from trauma, climate change, and others.

This year’s Feature Film Showcase will bring Debbie Lum’s Try Harder! to the screen. The film premiered at the Sundance film festival this year, and is “a heartfelt journey into the reality of the American college application process and the intersection of class, race, and educational opportunity as students navigate a quintessential rite of passage and make it their own,” according to GSU.

“It’s exhilarating to come out of the 2020 virtual world with a hybrid concept this year: entertaining folks in the comfort of their own homes as well as hosting a live, in-person weekend of screenings, and Q&As, including a VIP Filmmaker’s Reception,” Patterson said. “We are very proud to have previous filmmakers join us as judges this year. We are also honored by the response from previous filmmakers returning for a second, third or fourth year with new submissions!”

The festival is sponsored by the School of Extended Learning, Digital Learning and Media Design, and The Knowledge Exchange.

Governors State University is located at, 1 University Parkway, University Park, IL.


Josh Bootsma
Josh Bootsma
Josh is Managing Editor at The Lansing Journal and believes in the power and purpose of community news. He covers any local topics—from village government to theatre, from business openings to migratory birds.