Prairie State Film Festival



2017 Official Film Selections!

Check out all of the awesome film selections for our 2017 Festival Season! 

The Sheriff's Children

Based on the acclaimed story by Charles Chesnutt published in 1889, “The Sheriff’s Children” dramatizes the conflict between duty and family, as a sheriff guarding a prisoner from a lynch mob faces a crisis of conscience.

Cellar Secret

Inspired by real life events, Cellar Secret is a downward spiral of tragic proportions. Rick and Virginia Sims have a simple, spiritual life together when they are given the gift of an unexpected pregnancy. Blessings can be deadly. When Rick is left to raise their daughter on his own, Dalana becomes the sole importance in her father’s world. As Dalana grows up and tries to have a life of her own, Rick must take steps to insure that she will never leave him. An extension of the 2008 short film, “God’s Hostage”. 


After the sudden loss of a family member, three suburban siblings struggle to move forward — as witnessed by their dog, Leadbelly.

The Nappers

After a brief stint in prison, Scott returns to his idyllic hometown to make amends with his childhood best friend, Robbie. But his past quickly catches up to him, and he'll have to pay his debts, outsmart a couple of meatheads and fix his and Robbie's friendship at the same time.


In full military uniform, Chad Tyler is welcomed back to his Midwestern hometown by new and old friends alike. From the bus stop, Chad works his way through his old stomping grounds, getting reacquainted with a drink at each stop and catching up on old times. Along the way Chad is joined by Camille who idolized him when he was a star on the high school baseball team. As his one-man parade winds its way through town, the enthusiasm for Chad's service and glory days soon fades as he's reunited with more 'friends' from his past.

Lookout...It's Flabby Hoffman

A comedic and musical allegory about how a visionary and his band of profoundly eccentric cohorts push to change the world using organically driven creativity, an exhaustive attention to detail and riff oriented acid rock and how the world pushes back.

Waiting for Harold

Edna sits with her best friend at the grave of her husband, waiting for his return.


The Goldfish

To her father's dismay, a young girl tries to understand death through playing with a dead goldfish.

4 Minutes

A boy wakes up in an all black room with only 4 lights, an outlet, a piece of string, a wall scanner, a piece paper, and a fork. An ominous man sets a timer for 4 minutes, where the boy is put to the test of escaping an impossible room.

The First Secret City

Before the creation of the secret cities of Los Alamos, Oak Ridge and Hanford, the Manhattan Project hired the Mallinckrodt Chemical Works of St. Louis to refine the first uranium used in the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima. For the next two decades, Mallinckrodt continued its classified work for the Atomic Energy Commission during the Cold War. The resulting radioactive waste contaminated numerous locations in the St. Louis area some of which have not been cleaned up 70 years after the end of World War II. Told through the eyes of an overexposed worker, the story expands through a series of interviews that careen down a toxic pathway leading to a fiery terminus at a smoldering, radioactively-contaminated landfill. The First Secret City reveals a forgotten history and its continuing impact on the community in the 21st Century, uncovering past wrongdoing and documenting the renewed struggles to confront the issue.

Love Burns

A desperate and hurt man who argues with his drunk father, must confront his girlfriend over their "Strange meetings". The relationship might burn with passion, but the mans heart must be as cold as Ice, for what he must do.

Might E. Clown

Years after a former mobster (who moonlit as a clown) is killed, his cursed object finds its way into the hands of an unlucky comic convention employee. The curse slowly consumes the life of the employee....and everything changes forever.

Detect Evil

A emotionally hurt detective, living in Woodbary, finds out he is more important than he thinks. Heaven and Hell are both counting on him to keep the balance.

The Phoenix: Hope is Rising

Facing demolition of their facility, zoning challenges, and a lack of volunteers, a scrappy ministry startup is changing how the community interacts with the homeless.


Two slackers embark on a relaxing getaway over the 4th of July weekend only to find the seclusion slowly chipping away at their sanity.

Hooray for the Madness

Cautiously treading through life, Cal gets kicked out of his comfort zone by an imaginary and wildly chaotic clown named Otis, that forces him to realize that sometimes you have to embrace the madness, to conquer the mundane.


A mother struggles to help her son remember who he really is when he gets into something way over his head....


The story takes place in a rural town in Illinois. It is told from the perspective of a dog named Stella, who was the victim of animal abuse by her owner. Stella's testimony is similar to those who are victims of domestic abuse and manipulation.

Thanks, Paul

Paul, a family man with depression, seeks counsel with Jack, as they drive to an undisclosed location.


Arthur, a retired musician, desperately tries to reconnect with his Alzheimer's stricken wife. When he accidentally finds an old music box that somehow triggers bits and pieces of her memory, he discovers an unsettling truth about himself.

Torn City

In a city torn apart by corruption an unlikely series of events unfolds when a union representative submits to a higher power setting into motion a struggle for survival between an unwavering idealist, a cowardly gambler, and a man intent on learning the truth. Unemployed and down on his luck, Dante begins to question the wrong people leading him down a dark path of reluctant involvement with Sarah, an undaunted school teacher pushing back against city hall. Caught in the middle is Bill, a man attempting to game the system and profit from the chaos but a desperate debtor named Nate could hold the key to changing all of their fates.

Don't Be Scared

A young woman’s sleepless night opens a doorway for a ghostly visitation.

The Bias of Youth

A scruffy, overworked man and a type-A, workaholic woman reminisce about their past relationship as they wait for each other at a cafe where they agreed to meet.


Muir is an animated short film that reflects on both the love and legacy of the naturalist John Muir, a man who spent much of his life promoting and advocating for the importance of the wilderness in people’s lives as well as its protection. His writings, a product of his own love and devotion to America’s wild places, eventually helped lead to the creation of the National Parks. This film pays homage to his reverence and devotion to that idea.

Heart Connected

A beautiful love story of a young couple revealing that love endures all.

Just A Little Cheese

A self-help obsessed husband turns to some unorthodox methods in an attempt to reconnect with his wife.

Good St. Nick

A young girl waits for Santa Claus to come down her chimney, but soon learns that St. Nick may not be so nice after all.

Population Zero

Hundreds of years into the future, after mankind has left Earth, what happens when we decide to return? Captain Paul Tadalan arrives on the Earth's surface to find the former home to humanity in ruins. In his exploration, he finds the new inhabitants of Earth.

Walk on Walk of Fame

Walk on Walk of Fame is about celebrity impersonators who is walking on Hollywood walk of Fame every day with a fame that is not theirs.

Paddling in Spite of the Ordinary: Bonnie Perry

Placeholder Image“Paddling in Spite of the Ordinary: Bonnie A. Perry: Agency and Grace" (1st in the series, 2nd film is in production) explores the spirituality of water and life balance through paddling, sport, and sermons. The video was filmed in several locations including Pictured Rocks, Maine coast, and Lake Michigan (Chicago). Bonnie A. Perry is an American Canoe Association (ACA) Level 4 Instructor Trainer. In the British Canoe Union (BCU), she is a Level 3 Sea Coach, a 3 Star Assessor, and a 5 Star sea paddler as well as a Wilderness First Responder. She has trained intensively on the Isle of Skye and on the West Coast of Scotland. When not paddling, Bonnie is the Rector/Senior Pastor at All Saints’ Episcopal Church in Chicago, Illinois.


Placeholder ImageA young man tries to take advantage of what might be the best romantic opportunity of his life.

2017 VENUE


DEKALB, IL 60115

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$10 / DAY PASS