about doc10

a community festival for chicago


The DOC10 Film Festival was launched in 2016 to bring to Chicago the premieres of 10 highly curated documentary films in a neighborhood setting as an extension of the work of Chicago Media Project (CMP). CMP's goal is to bring to Chicago cinematically powerful non-fiction films to illustrate the power of great storytelling in media to entertain, ignite, inspire and activate audiences.

DOC10 is designed to be an intimate and highly engaging experience for the Chicago community. We limit the festival slate to 10 films, or 10 "gems" as we call them, curating the best documentaries from major film festivals from Sundance to Tribeca, from Toronto to Berlin- and beyond. Each film premieres once over the weekend - to maximize its audience and to avoid forcing moviegoers to choose amongst cinematically great movies. The beautifully renovated Davis Theater in the Lincoln Square neighborhood, with its restored art deco interiors and superior projection and surround sound, is the perfect home for DOC10. There is simply no better place to see movies in Chicago. We bring together neighborhood partners - from the local Chambers of Commerce to local merchants to community groups - to present great content to the larger Chicago community.



We build out follow-up interactive experiences around each film so that audience members not only “watch” great non-fiction film, but also “take part” in extending the power of great stories to trigger broader discussion of the issues. These follow-on events range from Q and A’s with film teams to interactive VR and innovative media exhibits; from “Continue The Conversation” panel discussions held at our DOC10 pop-up lounge to live music, dance, poetry and spoken word performances. We create a week-end of wrap-around experiences, with great non-fiction films at the center.


Our inaugural 2016 DOC10 festival attracted 1,000+ audience members to 10 sold-out screenings by world-renowned filmmakers such as Oscar-winner Barbara Kopple, documentary luminary Werner Herzog, and legendary Albert Maysles. DOC10 Films included the Sundance award winner Sonita, the award-winning Audrie & Daisy, and the YouTube crowd-pleaser Presenting Princess Shaw.

In 2017, we doubled attendance at the Festival to 2500+, bringing in diverse audiences from across Chicago’s neighborhoods. We featured the premieres of ground-breaking films such as early Oscar frontrunners STEP, TROPHY and WHOSE STREETS, as well as the compelling biopic of John Coltrane, CHASING TRANE, and an inside look at the NYT obituary writers in OBIT. DOC10 movies focused on a range of subjects, from racism to animal conservation, from the power of journalism to the subtle eloquence of jazz—all through the lens of dramatic storytelling and empathetic, complex main characters

As Michael Phillips summed up perfectly the festival in the Chicago Tribune: DOC10 is “A pocket sized, highly pedigreed, documentary festival.”

about cmp


CMP is based on four founding principles: bring people together; connect them with great media; support, amplify, and impact films; and do so in an innovative way. CMP is a 501c3 qualified, nonprofit member-supported organization that brings great documentary films and social impact media to Chicago to promote and foster interest and engagement in documentary projects in unique ways. CMP employs a Community Model of Philanthropy; membership donations are combined to support films and media organizations making a real difference.

CMP and DOC10 have quickly become a vital part of Chicago’s arts and social justice ecosystem. CMP has emerged as a Chicago---based financial resource for the global independent documentary community. As evidenced by the recent premiere of 7 CMP-supported documentaries at the Sundance Film Festival 2 years in a row, CMP and its community of members have established a reputation as change makers in the nonfiction film landscape in Chicago and nationally.