Her name is provocative, its simple conceit. Filmmakers invited to participate in Destroy Your Art must adhere to only a few requirements.

“The only request we give to filmmakers beyond, ‘Hey, do you want to make an original film and destroy it?’ it has to be five minutes or less,” says Rebecca Fons, who co-founded the event in 2017 with her husband, Jack C. Newell.

A filmmaker’s goal is usually to make a movie and then run through it endlessly; Nowadays, audiences expect to see on demand, the idea that something might not be available to them is almost incomprehensible. What if these assumptions were set aside?

“There are two things we care about: One is, what would this do to the director?” says Newell, himself a filmmaker and program director of the Harold Ramis Film School in the Second City. (Fons is director of programming at the Gene Siskel Film Center.) “How would you make a movie if you knew it was only going to be shown once to this specific group of people, and then you were going to destroy it?”

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