Submissions are opening for the 2023 Mental Filmness season! We will accept submissions online through Filmfreeway from January 1 through August 27, 2023. Please submit your film through our Filmfreeway page at

Mental Filmness will charge an entry fee of $10 for Mental Filmness 2023. Entry fees will be used to offset streaming and other costs.

That being said, our ultimate goal is to keep the festival as accessible as possible for a community that may already be disenfranchised and struggling, and to accept as many voices as possible within that community. Any requests for waivers of the fee should be addressed to and will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Please ensure before submitting that your film adheres to our guideline of portraying mental health in a realistic and empathetic way.

Mental Filmness 2023 will be a hybrid festival. We will continue to host our increasingly popular virtual festival on the Eventive platform, broadening our reach to communities around the globe. We also plan to host live screenings in Chicago that coincide with World Mental Health Day on October 10. Please note that if your film is selected, it will be ensured a place in our virtual festival, which is scheduled to run October 10 through November 5 online. It will not guarantee a live Chicago screening, which will be dependent on resources and circumstances.

By participating in Mental Filmness, you will become an exciting part of the community surrounding Chicago’s first film festival based around mental health.

Our festival will continue to give out awards based on some of our objectives. There will be a Stigma Breaker award for the film we feel most effectively battles the stigma of mental illness. There will be a Realism Award for the film we feel most realistically depicts its condition. There will be an Empathy Award for the film that we feel best promotes empathy for mental illness. There will be no cash value for these awards.

Mental Filmness proudly accepts entries on FilmFreeway, the world’s #1 way to enter film festivals and creative contests.