VETERAN TV PRODUCER DON DUPREE of DuPree Productions is producer of the half-hour pilot A Piece of the Game, a sports reality show presented by Alllstate that’s running five times in March on WGN/9 mostly before Cubs exhibition games.
DuPree describes the show as “‘Antiques Roadshow’ meets Chicago sports memorabilia.” Mike Hegedus hosts.
Mike Swanson and Keith Walker of Media Process Group shot the pilot at Harry Caray’s Restaurant on Navy Pier, where collectors told their and had their sports memorabilia appraised. The items include a White Sox uniform from 1910 and the bat Ron Santo allegedly held when the black cat ran across the field in the Clubs’ 1969 series with the Mets.
Mike Waterkotte, who served as art director on the pilot, is a former award-winning agency creative director and longtime friend of DuPree, who connected him with director John Komnenich. Waterkotte and Komnenich worked together when Waterkotte’s agency had the Chicago Chevy Dealers account and Komnenich directed the Chevy Blazer spots with Michael Jordan.
MPG production manager Lisa Pooler was the line producer; Jan Muller and Joe Winston edited at MPG.
DuPree had been the executive producer/director of “Siskel & Ebert” TV show for 16 years, and produced/director Ebert’s 2010-2011 review revival, “Ebert Presents At the Movies” on PBS. DuPree has had a lengthy career in local broadcasting serving as a creator/producer of local programs for Fox TV, NBC/5 and CBS/2.
DIRECTOR/CO-WRITER BEN BERKOWITZ’S Polish Bar, starring Vincent Piazza (Boardwalk Empire) as a young man torn between his family’s jewelry store and his secret life as a DJ at a Polish nightclub, is out March 19 on VOD.
It also stars Judd Hirsh, Golden Brooks, Meat Loaf, Richard Belzer and James Badge Dale.
The award-winning indie premiered at the 2010 Chicago International Film Festival. Berkowitz wrote the script with Ben Redgrave. L.A.-based Effie T. Brown of Duly Noted produced. Executive producers: Mark Brockbank, Cynthia P. Stafford and Jermaine O’Neal.
MONICA ROSS AND CLAYTON BROWN of science documentary company 137 Films signed with London-based TVF International for overseas sales of their documentary The Believers, about the controversy over, and aftermath from, the purported discovery of cold fusion.
137 recently completed Fermilab: Science at Work, commissioned by the national laboratory, where they set their previous doc The Atom Smashers.
SAL ROMELLO BARCENA’S 2010 supernatural horror feature Fallen Souls is streaming now for $4.99 on Vimeo’s new on demand service. Ric Arthur stars as a husband investigating the mysterious death of his wife and child. With Adam McNulty, Herbert Porter, Petrucia Finkler, Jared Martzel, Terrence Mardis and Nikki Taylor Melton.
Vimeo announced the service at SXSW. It’s available to Vimeo Pro subscribers, with a 90/10 revenue split for producers, one of the most favorable in the industry.
PRODUCER/DIRECTOR XAN ARANDA’S in-production Kartemquin Films documentary Mormon Movie, about her mother’s brief career acting in the LDS film industry, was awarded a $50,000 grant by the Sage Foundation.
The film recently raised more than $26,000 towards production from a Kickstarter campaign.
WRITER/DIRECTOR ALEX BOHS and producer Jason Knade wrapped production on Mum, “an LGBT short film about silencing insecurities, embracing oneself and the importance of human connection.” David Thomases, Jake Cohen, Eve Rydberg, and Nic Collins star.
BORIS WEXLER’S comedy Roundabout American, starring Edouard Giard as a French immigrant who opens an escort service out of a Chicago pizza parlor, screens March 30 in the European Film Festival in Paris, France. Wexler wrote the script with Thomas Elgin and produced with Julian Grant.
ROBERT ALANIZ of Sole Productions’ comedy You Don’t Say premieres April 6 at 8 p.m. at the Patio Theater, 6000 W. Irving Park Road. Julia Chereson stars as a corporate executive whose boyfriend gives her a necklace that forces her to speak her mind.