The Chicago Irish Film Festival Award Nominees Are…

Festival Awards

These films were chosen from the hundreds of submitted films and the more than 40+ official selections by the 2021 CIFF Jury for outstanding filmmaking. Congratulations!

How to Fall in Love During a Pandemic

Directors: Michael David McKernan

A romance accelerates dramatically against the backdrop of the pandemic as two filmmakers who met on-line are forced to move in together; and it all began in Chicago!

Cost You Nothing

Director: Patricia Kelly

A mother’s fractious relationship with her son disintegrates when she cannot accept the man he has become.


Director: Jonathan Hughes

A self-obsessed call-center worker deals with personal heartbreak while on shift as the world crumbles around him…due to a zombie apocalypse.

Ascending Grace

Director: Claire Byrne

First officer Maedhbh has high hopes for her first day of work, but when she fails to impress Captain Cara and with a cabin full of restless passengers, it’s far from what she expected…


Director: Brendan Canty

A 16-year-old school dropout interviews for a job, but when he’s let down by his brother he lashes back and looks to his friends for support.

Consulate of Ireland Awards

The award was established by former Consul general, Aidan Cronin, to honor a short film that captures Ireland, it’s spirit, history, or culture. The winner will be selected the current Consul General of Ireland–Chicago, Mr. Kevin Byrne. This year’s nominees represent Irish folklore, Irish adventure, a moment in Irish sport’s history, a lost Irish heritage and faith in Irish luck. 


Directors: Narae Kim and Lewis Barfoot

‘Fisherman’ follows a young girl’s mission to discoverher ancestor’s land whereshe discovers her gift forshapeshifting and awakens her true power within.

The Mountain Keg

Directors: Justin Stevenson and Diarmuid Connon

A cinematic telling of the true story of the team that carried the first ever full keg of stout up Carrauntoohil Mountain: the first and highest poured pint in Ireland.

An Irish Underdog Story

Director: Johnathan Farrelly

‘All Ireland Final Day’ of Baltinglass on March 17th, 1990. The club made history and become the lowest ranked team to ever win the Club All Ireland, an honor that they still have to this day.

At Heart and Soul

Directors: Greta Steinberg and Jorinde Weinmann

A little Irish girl shares her love for her home country in a self-written poem about Ireland celebrating the power of imagination, the longing for freedom, and the courage to look beyond one’s own limitations.


Director: Abaigeal Collins

A small four-leaf clover named Lucky is companion to an old Irish man in downtown Chicago, but there are some things that luck just can’t fix.

One Minute Irish Shorts Awards

There is something truly remarkable about a film that lasts only a minute but perfectly captures a moment of national sentiment, advice, reflection, or say a bright object. 

Lockdown Upside-down

Director: Barbara Soares

Lockdown in Dublin—a teeny tiny doc in 60 seconds.

Back Home
Back Home

Directors: Luca Di Bartola

How big is our vital space? What shapes, sounds and colors can it acquire?

Morning Murder
Mourning Murder

Director: Liam Fahy

A short one-minute film about a group of crows holding a funeral for a dead friend.

Sign of the Times
Signs of the Times

Director: Amy-Joyce Hastings

Signs of Covid or Covid signs? On February 29th Ireland had its first diagnosed case of Covid-19.

2021 Special COVID-19 Awards

One of the unexpected effects of Covid-19 was a worldwide creative response to the pandemic, in music, poetry, art and of course film.

Shielding Nico

Director: Maire Campbell

Matt opens the door to find his young son Nico has come to live with him. Reclusive and depressed Matt struggles to cope, but Covid-19, the lockdown and shielding Nico changes his outlook on life.

Stay Home, Stay Safe, Stay Sane?

Directors: Nick Hales

The slow decline of a worker over lockdown. A story that may, or may not echo my own days of the Covid pandemic in front of the computer screen…

60 Days of Hell

Director: Sohaila Lindheim

Lockdown in Dublin—a teeny tiny doc in 60 seconds.

The Final Performance
The Final Performance

Director: David Phillips

A man gives his all in a performance in front of a captive audience.


Director: Mark Jackson

A child goes on an extremely scary adventure.


Audience Awards

Vote for Your Favorite Shorts!

Everyone who has an individual ticket or a pass for this year’s amazing Shorts Programs 1–5 and the shorts presented in our partnership programs, Dublin Animation Film Festival and Green Ray Agency, will be able to vote for their favorite short. Just click the stars below the film title you want to vote for, submit your vote. Voting is only available on a mobile device not on your TV. Watch our social media pages to find out the 2021 Audience Award Winners!