Sandy Film Festival celebrates the power of film and artistic expression. This platform observes film as a gateway to mental health and understanding within the community, while at the same time promoting the collaboration and development of future filmmakers.

What we do


A hub for movie therapy. A digital library that’s browse-able, streamable, and available anytime, from anywhere.

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Join us on the beach for a night of movies, awards and relaxation.

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Honest feedback. Submit your film and we swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help us God.

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Sign up for workshops and courses, taught by industry professionals, both in-person and virtual.

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Popcorn and private screenings of contemporary film projects. Network with cinema enthusiasts.

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Sandy makes it easier to find and connect with emerging filmmakers. Search content by Director, Genre, or Category.

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Our Mission

We know that artists can create some of their best work in response to difficult experiences. Through hardship, human beings can develop a deeper sense of empathy and compassion, and by acknowledging these experiences in our art, we can create work that is meaningful and relatable. Sandy Fest strives to make Chicago a better place by providing a platform for meaningful artwork and encouraging residents to use art as a way to heal. 

we don't believe in excuses

Do you have any idea where you will be 10 years from now? You may think there are too many uncertainties to even guess. But let me tell you, as someone who took a leap of faith and followed my passion, the power of our dreams can lead us to extraordinary places.

I was once on the fast track to success, enrolled in one of the top business schools in America. When I dropped out freshman year to pursue my passion for filmmaking, everyone from my parents to my peers looked at me strangely. I’m not going to sell you a Disney Channel story about how from that day forward I never looked back. I definitely looked back. I still wonder what my life would have been  if I had earned that business degree in Finance. But I also know that I wouldn’t trade the joy of doing what I love and being recognized for my ideas for anything.

In these times of great challenge, people with great ideas will come to the forefront. The world needs doers, people who are willing to take risks and pursue their vision with passion and determination. I understand that pursuing your passion is not the practical choice, but I encourage you to believe in your dreams and your ability to make them a reality. Your expectations for yourself are the key to your future success. They are the vision of what you will one day be. This is the way to move up in life. Take a chance on yourself.


Danielle DeGrasse – Alston
Founder, Sandy Film festival


Did you know Sandy Fest is looking for sponsors?