Chicago Critics Film Festival returns to Music Box Theatre

The Chicago Film Critics Association (CFCA), the Chicago-area print, online and broadcast critics group that celebrates the art of film and film criticism, announces the first six films selected for the 2021 Chicago Critics Film Festival. First titles include highly anticipated films like the Chicago premiere of Maggie Gyllenhaal’s THE LOST DAUGHTER, Venice Film Festival winner … Continue reading “Chicago Critics Film Festival returns to Music Box Theatre”

The Music Box Theatre has plans for a big weekend

Whether you venture out on Open Chicago weekend or plan to stay in, Music Box has an awesome lineup of entertainment. From the creator of HAMILTON and the director of CRAZY RICH ASIANS, the joyous new musical IN THE HEIGHTS opens this weekend at the Music Box! Rated 97% FRESH on RottenTomatoes, this exuberant story of young dreamers … Continue reading “The Music Box Theatre has plans for a big weekend”

Music Box Theatre showing trio of 2021 Oscar Nominees

The Music Box Theatre is giving you a chance to see a trio of 2021 Oscar Nominees on the big screen! From April 16th – April 22nd only, you can catch screenings of the beautiful and poetic Best Animated Film nominee WOLFWALKERS, the powerful Best International Film nominee QUO VADIS, AIDA?, and special 35MM presentations of Aaron Sorkin’s timely THE TRIAL OF THE CHICAGO … Continue reading “Music Box Theatre showing trio of 2021 Oscar Nominees”

‘Holy Trinity’ Chicago premiere at Music Box Theatre

One of Indiewire’s “Fabulous LGBTQ Films Not To Miss” will make its Windy City debut on Friday September 27 On Friday September 27, Full Spectrum Features’ newest feature, Holy Trinity makes its Chicago debut at the Music Box Theatre. The screening will be followed by an exclusive cast and crew Q&A. Click on this for … Continue reading “‘Holy Trinity’ Chicago premiere at Music Box Theatre”

‘Solstice’ comes full circle at the Music Box Theatre

The 25th Anniversary Screening of Lifetime TV’s Original World Premiere Movie “will be an even bigger deal than it was before.” Jerry Vasilatos’ 1993 feature, Solstice resonates through generations. Following an individual’s journey from disillusionment to happiness, the film reaches a level appeal and credibility that is strengthened by the creator’s own personal experience. The … Continue reading “‘Solstice’ comes full circle at the Music Box Theatre”

Chicago Critics Film Festival announces Audience Award Winners

Over 1,000 vaccinated and masked film enthusiasts safely returned to the cinema this weekend for exclusive screenings and special guests, marking another successful year for Chicago Critics Film Festival, the only film festival programmed and produced by film critics. The Chicago Film Critics Association (CFCA), the Chicago-area print, online and broadcast critics group that celebrates … Continue reading “Chicago Critics Film Festival announces Audience Award Winners”

Winners of the 57th Chicago International Film Festival

The Chicago International Film Festival announces the winners of its 2021 competitions. Celebrating its 57th edition October 13 – 24, 2021, the Chicago International Film Festival is North America’s longest-running competitive international film festival. In a virtual ceremony live-streamed via the Chicago International Film Festival YouTube channel, the Festival awarded prizes in the following categories: … Continue reading “Winners of the 57th Chicago International Film Festival”

Jamie Lee Curtis in Halloween Kills to open CIFF After Dark

The Chicago International Film Festival (CIFF) announced the Opening Night After Dark feature, Halloween Kills, the new chapter in the iconic four-decade horror franchise starring Jamie Lee Curtis and co-written and directed by David Gordon Green.  In 2018, David Gordon Green’s Halloween, starring Curtis, killed at the box office, earning more than $250 million worldwide, becoming the highest-grossing chapter in the four-decade … Continue reading “Jamie Lee Curtis in Halloween Kills to open CIFF After Dark”

Chicago Film Society is back screening difficult movies for difficult people

After spending the pandemic experimenting with new hobbies–bread-baking, zine-making, whittling, etc.–Chicago Film Society returns to “the only thing we ever knew how to do” — programming difficult movies for difficult people. “We are planning a demi-season of select attractions at the Music Box Theatre. Won’t you join us?” Contrary to recent reports of the death … Continue reading “Chicago Film Society is back screening difficult movies for difficult people”

Reeling 39 LGBTQ+ International Film Festival opens tonight

Today is the Opening Day of Reeling 39! Chicago LGBTQ+ International Film Festival. The festival kicks off September 23 at 7 PM with Peeter Rebane’s FIREBIRD at the Music Box Theatre. There will be a Q&A after the screening with the director Peeter Rebane. FIREBIRD is streaming virtually starting Monday, September 27th and running until … Continue reading “Reeling 39 LGBTQ+ International Film Festival opens tonight”

Chicago International Film Festival announces full lineup of 57th edition

The Chicago International Film Festival announced the full lineup of its 57th edition, running October 13 – 24, 2021. This year’s Festival expands across the City, with screenings at AMC River East 21, Music Box Theatre, Gene Siskel Film Center, drive-in screenings at ChiTown Movies in Pilsen, and neighborhood pop-up screenings at Bronzeville’s historic Parkway … Continue reading “Chicago International Film Festival announces full lineup of 57th edition”

The Chicago International Film Festival announces Opening Night film

The Chicago International Film Festival announced the opening night film at its Opening Night at the Drive-In presentation, and more highlights of the 57th edition, running October 13 – 24, 2021. This year, the Festival expands to venues across Chicago, including AMC River East 21; the Music Box Theatre; and the Gene Siskel Film Center; … Continue reading “The Chicago International Film Festival announces Opening Night film”

Reeling39 fest will have vaccine policy for theater screenings

Reeling39: The 39th Chicago LGBTQ+ International Film Festival opens on September 23 at the Music Box Theatre and runs September 24 – 30 at the Landmark Century Centre Cinemas and virtually from September 27 – October 7. Boasting 42 shows including 33 feature films and 9 short film programs, this year’s festival includes films from … Continue reading “Reeling39 fest will have vaccine policy for theater screenings”

‘I Dream of a Psychopomp’ announces Chicago premiere

How Bizarre Pictures just announced the red carpet world premiere screening event for writer/director Danny Villanueva Jr.’s debut feature-length supernatural drama/horror anthology film, I Dream of a Psychopomp. The film, which opens in September at the Music Box Theatre, in Chicago, stars Jillian Lebling (Bridge of Spies, The Blacklist), Elohim Peña, Ben Shaul, Peter Knox, … Continue reading “‘I Dream of a Psychopomp’ announces Chicago premiere”

RLHTalent signs Chicago actor/comedian Alex Ortiz

RLHTalent has signed Chicago, Illinois, actor/comedian Alex Ortiz. Alex, labeled the “Boriqua Beast of Comedy,” is one of the fastest rising stars in the comedy world today. Along with working comedy clubs around the world, and his many TV appearances (HBOs Bad Boyz Of Comedy, Comedy Centrals Premium Blend, Who Got Jokes, and Winning Showtime at the … Continue reading “RLHTalent signs Chicago actor/comedian Alex Ortiz”

16th CineYouth Festival announces winners

CineYouth Festival, presented by Cinema/Chicago, announced award winners for its expanded 2021 edition, comprising films accepted for the pandemic-preempted 2020 edition plus a new slate of films submitted for the 2021 festival. These include Best Drama winners She Who Wasn’t Tamed (2020) by 19-year-old Saleh Kashefi of Iran and The Pleasure of Killing Bugs (2021) by 21-year-old Leonardo Martinelli from Brazil. Best Animation went … Continue reading “16th CineYouth Festival announces winners”

Second City Teacher, Marine Vet screens film in GI Fest

Chicago filmmaker and Marine Corps veteran Jonah Saeson is featured in this years GI Film Festival. This veteran turned actor and filmmaker is the director of the GI Festival contending film  The Sweatshirt. This comedic short which blenders Chicago crime show style interbred with sarcastic undertones is about a woman who must negotiate the release … Continue reading “Second City Teacher, Marine Vet screens film in GI Fest”

DePaul grad screens ‘Tom of Your Life’ at Music Box

Written and directed by acclaimed singer-songwriter Jer Sklar, Music Box Theatre will screen Chicago comedy Tom of Your Life from May 7-13. Featuring an original soundtrack with 11 original songs from his local band The Blackstrap Molasses, Sklar also edited, produced and stars.  Tom of Your Life tells the story of a baby who inexplicably ages four years on each hour. … Continue reading “DePaul grad screens ‘Tom of Your Life’ at Music Box”

‘Dreaming Grand Avenue’ director Hugh Schulze

Dreaming Grand Avenue, produced by Newcity’s Chicago Film Project, is the story of Maggie and Jimmy, who have never met, but they keep showing up in each other’s dreams. As they navigate memories, traumas, hopes and desires in sleep and the waking world, they’ll discover the truth of their linked destiny with the help of … Continue reading “‘Dreaming Grand Avenue’ director Hugh Schulze”

2019-2020 Chicago/Midwest Emmy Nominations List

Congratulations to our friends and advertisers who have received nominations for a Chicago/Midwest Emmy. The 62nd Chicago/Midwest Emmy Awards will broadcast virtually in November. Regions covered by the Chicago/Midwest Chapter include Chicago, Illinois; Peoria-Bloomington, Illinois; Rockford, Illinois; South Bend-Elkhart, Indiana; Green Bay-Appleton, Wisconsin; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Wausau-Rhinelander, Wisconsin; and Madison, Wisconsin. Here is the complete list … Continue reading “2019-2020 Chicago/Midwest Emmy Nominations List”

Chicago-made ‘I Used to Go Here’ has drive-in premiere

The Chicago premiere of the critically acclaimed, bittersweet comedy I Used To Go Here, featuring in-person Q&As with Chicago-based writer/director Kris Rey, will take place on Wednesday, July 29 (two screenings) at ChiTown Movies Drive-In Theater.  The event is co-presented by two of the city’s most-respected cinematic institutions—Elevated Films and Music Box Theatre—and audience members can enjoy … Continue reading “Chicago-made ‘I Used to Go Here’ has drive-in premiere”

Cinepocalypse names Katie Rife new Senior Programmer

Cinepocalypse — Chicago’s premiere annual genre festival, produced and presented by the Music Box Theatre — is proud to bring in the New Year with the announcement of Katie Rife as new Senior Programmer of the festival. Rife, a Senior Writer for The A.V. Club who previously helmed the festival’s shorts programming, joins ahead of … Continue reading “Cinepocalypse names Katie Rife new Senior Programmer”

Chicago Film Society unveils 2020 season schedule

This week, the Chicago Film Society unveiled its multi-venue 2020 film schedule in a press release of superior charm, detail, and creativity. The lineup contains enough screenings to satisfy the appetite of any cinemaficionado. Listed in the second part of the text below, it follows an introduction that is a joy to read. So without … Continue reading “Chicago Film Society unveils 2020 season schedule”

Interview with Oscar winning-editor Paul Hirsch

Film Editor Paul Hirsch achieved success long before he started working on Planes, Trains & Automobiles in 1987. Besides winning the Academy Award for his work on Star Wars nearly a decade earlier, the native New Yorker had earned a place among the greats for a batch of early 1970s collaborations with Brian DePalma. But … Continue reading “Interview with Oscar winning-editor Paul Hirsch”

Oscar winner Paul Hirsch at Music Box

Editor of ‘Star Wars,’ ‘Carrie,’ and ‘Ferris Bueller’s Day Off’ joins James Hughes for Q&A following a special screening of ‘Planes, Trains & Automobiles’ To celebrate the release of his new memoir — A Long Time Ago in a Cutting Room Far, Far Away: My Fifty Years Editing Hollywood Hits—Star Wars, Carrie, Ferris Bueller’s Day … Continue reading “Oscar winner Paul Hirsch at Music Box”

Wright’s ‘Story of the Movie Palace’ at Music Box

April Wright’s ‘Going Attractions’ chronicles cinema history from the perspective of the theatre April Wright’s Going Attractions: The Definitive Story of the Movie Palace is scheduled to screen in Chicago on November 12 at 7 pm. Momentous in its scope, Wright’s documentary chronicles the story of movies through an often-ignored lens, the places where they … Continue reading “Wright’s ‘Story of the Movie Palace’ at Music Box”

Advertising Community Shorts night lineup

Midwest Independent Film Festival’s popular annual industry tradition tomorrow night at Landmark Century The advertising and independent filmmaking communities converge for an inspiring night of short films as First Tuesdays with The Midwest Independent Film Festival hosts its tenth annual Advertising Community Shorts Night on Tuesday, November 5th. The evening will open at 6 p.m. … Continue reading “Advertising Community Shorts night lineup”

Cinespace at the Chicago 48 Hour Film Project Awards

World-class studio’s Manager of Ops, Dino Mirkopoulos, to attend 2019 Awards Screening at Music Box Theatre on September 25th The Chicago 48 Hour Film Project Premiere Screenings return to the Music Box Theatre September 22nd through the 23rd with the Red Carpet Best of Chicago Awards taking place on September 25th. The screenings spotlight 45 … Continue reading “Cinespace at the Chicago 48 Hour Film Project Awards”

Facets announces Children’s Film Fest schedule

Breathtaking in their beauty, the program selections offer kids and teens the opportunity to engage Facets’ 36th Annual Chicago International Children’s Film Festival will present an Official Selection of 248 films from 49 countries from November 1 – 10, 2019 at Facets, Music Box Theatre, Davis Theater, University of Chicago: Reva and David Logan Center … Continue reading “Facets announces Children’s Film Fest schedule”

IFP throws first annual fundraiser at Lagunitas

Event auction prizes include lunch with IFO Director Peter Hawley, CFO Director Kwame Amoaku, and Cinespace Chicago President Alex Pissios IFP Chicago’s new associate board is proud to announce that their first annual fundraiser will be hosted by Lagunitas at the Lagunitas brewery facility near Cinespace Studios at 2607 W 17th St. on September 30, … Continue reading “IFP throws first annual fundraiser at Lagunitas”

Reeling to showcase a load of Chicago-connected films

The annual LGBTQ+ fest will screen work by Lilly Wachowski, Jesús Canchola Sánchez, Michael Cicetti, Wendy Jo Carlton, Laura Madalinski, and more Reeling, Chicago’s LGBTQ+ film festival, will host international, national and local actors and filmmakers at its 37th edition, unspooling September 19-29 at Music Box Theatre, Landmark Theatres’ Century Centre Cinema and Chicago Filmmakers. … Continue reading “Reeling to showcase a load of Chicago-connected films”

ChiFilmFest unveils Industry Days agenda

Master Classes with Oscar and Sundance winners are just a few of the events scheduled for October 17-20 program     The 55th Chicago International Film Festival announced today the program for Industry Days (October 17-20, 2019) with an impressive list of guest speakers to inspire and illuminate the film and entertainment community.   A … Continue reading “ChiFilmFest unveils Industry Days agenda”

48 Hour Film Project screenings return to Music Box

Winning entries will compete for a chance to screen at the Cannes Film Festival Short Film Corner The Chicago 48 Hour Film Project premiere screenings will return to the Music Box Theatre September 22nd through September 25th. The screenings spotlight 45 short films completed in only 48 hours during this past August 23rd competition weekend. … Continue reading “48 Hour Film Project screenings return to Music Box”

Stop Us Before We Disrupt Again

Chicago Film Society unveils lineup for Season 24, “dedicated to exhibiting neglected works of cinema in their original medium” The streets of Chicago are clogged with scooters in a cutthroat competition for marketshare, behemoth commercial landlord The We Company (nee WeWork) has positioned itself as a tech company in anticipation of its IPO, and Disney … Continue reading “Stop Us Before We Disrupt Again”

Inside the Music Box’s 90th Anniversary Video

The 12-minute film showcases one of the theatre’s greatest resources, its audience   Filmmaker Curtis Matzke shot a lot of interviews while helping to make the Music Box Theatre’s 90th Anniversary tribute video, and in doing so he captured one of the greatest things about the place: its audience. Since opening nearly a hundred years … Continue reading “Inside the Music Box’s 90th Anniversary Video”

2019 Reeling LGBTQ film festival

From ‘Shiny Shrimps’ to ‘Scream Queen,’ the annual Windy City tradition promises to entertain, inspire, amuse, arouse and break a few hearts Reeling, the second-oldest LGBTQ film festival in the world and a beloved Chicago cultural institution for more than 35 years, kicks off fall with an exciting slate of movies that showcases the diversity … Continue reading “2019 Reeling LGBTQ film festival”

2019 Chicago Film Festival Symposium

Event will unite nearly 40 festivals to “better understand our collective work as an industry” The first-ever Chicago Film Festival Symposium will bring together Chicago-area film festival stakeholders for an industry-wide discussion addressing shared challenges and opportunities. Continental breakfast, lunch, and cocktail reception are included with the $20 registration fee. Learn more and register here. … Continue reading “2019 Chicago Film Festival Symposium”

Cinepocalypse announces 2019 winners

Third annual Chicago genre festival closes with big stars, big winners, and record-shattering audiences The Music Box Theatre is honored to announce the juried winners of the 2019 edition of Cinepocalypse. ALSO READ: Danzig launches Cinepocalypse with sold-out show   Best Film, Best Director Led by The Lost Boys and Falling Down director Joel Schumacher, … Continue reading “Cinepocalypse announces 2019 winners”

Danzig launches Cinepocalypse with sold-out show

The legendary artist packed the house with devoted fans for the world premiere of his first film ‘Verotika’ Cinepocalypse made nightmares come true at the Music Box Theatre last night. Putting Glenn Danzig into a room full of fans who came for the world premiere of his directorial debut, Verotika, it launched this year’s program … Continue reading “Danzig launches Cinepocalypse with sold-out show”

Matzke’s ‘Orchestra’ to screen at Cinepocalypse

With virtually no dialogue and a cast of one, the five-minute film rides a mysterious symphony into a frightening climax Chicago filmmaker Curtis Matzke’s short horror film, The Orchestra, will screen Sunday night and Monday afternoon during Cinepocalypse 2019 at the Music Box Theater. The Orchestra is a six-minute, one-act thriller set in a grandiose … Continue reading “Matzke’s ‘Orchestra’ to screen at Cinepocalypse”

Cinepocalypse unveils 2019 lineup

The June 13-20 Music Box Theatre fest opens with the World Premiere of Glenn Danzig’s “Verotika” Cinepocalypse, Chicago’s premiere festival for electrifying and provocative genre cinema, returns to the Music Box Theatre June 13th for eight days of features, shorts, events and surprises, including eight fantastic break-out world premieres! We’re proud to announce our new … Continue reading “Cinepocalypse unveils 2019 lineup”

2019 CineYouth audience and jury awards

”No Such Sunrise” and “Mad Lib Pixie Dream Girl” earn top honors from passionate global audience CineYouth Festival, presented by Cinema/Chicago, announced award winners for the 2019 program that was held April 26-28 at the Music Box Theatre. No Such Sunrise — by 22 year olds Dana Brandes-Simon, Laura Li, and Cella Wright from Oberlin, … Continue reading “2019 CineYouth audience and jury awards”

2019 Chicago Critics Film Festival

Highlights include 40th Anniversary screening of “Alien”, Chicago premiere of Danny Boyle’s “Yesterday”, guests Jay Duplass, Tatiana Maslany, Tom Skerritt, Jim Gaffigan The Chicago Film Critics Association (CFCA), the Chicago-area print, online and broadcast critics group that celebrates the art of film and film criticism, today announces the complete lineup, schedule and special guests expected … Continue reading “2019 Chicago Critics Film Festival”

‘Jawline’ to open CineYouth Festival

Director Liza Mandelup’s teen-focused doc that wowed at Sundance screens April 26 at the Music Box CineYouth Festival, presented by Cinema/Chicago, today announced the Opening Night presentation of award-winning documentary Jawline, directed by Liza Mandelup, which had its world at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival. Jawline follows 16-year-old Austyn Tester, a rising star in the … Continue reading “‘Jawline’ to open CineYouth Festival”

CineYouth unveils 2019 film and program schedule

Cinema/Chicago’s young filmmaker celebration will light up the Music Box Theatre with 64 films screening April 26-28 Celebrating its 15th edition in 2019, CineYouth, presented by Cinema/Chicago, yesterday announced the selection of 64 thrilling and diverse short films for a weekend of free screenings, discussions, and events. The three-day film festival will be held April … Continue reading “CineYouth unveils 2019 film and program schedule”

‘Among Wolves’ week-long screening at Music Box

“Gorgeous … intimate” Chicago-produced doc tells of Bosnian War veterans who find peace while defending a herd of wild horses To celebrate the release of Among Wolves, an award-winning documentary that premiered at the Chicago International Film Festival (CIFF), the Chicago filmmakers present a special week of screenings, events, and discussions that explore combat trauma … Continue reading “‘Among Wolves’ week-long screening at Music Box”

NoiseFloor helps Jon Heder save the world

The Chicago company “put all hands on deck” to handle music and sound for Kendall Goldberg’s feature starring the Napoleon Dynamite sensation NoiseFloor provided full post production sound services and music supervision for director Kendall Goldberg’s first feature film, When Jeff Tried to Save the World. Jeff is the story of an old-school bowling alley … Continue reading “NoiseFloor helps Jon Heder save the world”

CineYouth 2019 Film Festival call for entries

North America’s longest-running competitive film festival seeks work by filmmakers aged 22-years-old and younger Submissions for CineYouth 2019 are now open! Created in 2005, Cinema/Chicago’s CineYouth Film Festival is designed to encourage youth filmmakers in their creative endeavors. CineYouth provides opportunities for young filmmakers to articulate themselves artistically, and have their voice heard. Held annually … Continue reading “CineYouth 2019 Film Festival call for entries”

Oscar-winner Friedkin to host Facets Film Summit

Chicago Public School students get a free master class from the director of “The French Connection” and “The Exorcist” (Chicago — 4 October 2018) Facets will present their second Chicago Film Summit on Friday, October 12, 2018, from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Music Box Theatre (3733 N Southport Ave, Chicago, IL 60613). … Continue reading “Oscar-winner Friedkin to host Facets Film Summit”

$100K reels to light up Music Box 70MM Film Festival

The iconic Chicago cinema’s old-school celebration underscores a wide-format renaissance currently sweeping through Hollywood From September 14 to 27, the Music Box Theatre is hosting The 70mm Film Festival 2018. This year’s lineup includes a fresh print of David Lean’s Lawrence of Arabia, a blown-up print of John Carpenter’s The Thing, possibly the last 70mm … Continue reading “$100K reels to light up Music Box 70MM Film Festival”

Noir City returns for 10th run at the Music Box

In mid-August, The Music Box Theatre will be screening a series of noir films, accompanied by special guests and features   This weekend, Noir City: Chicago celebrates its 10th anniversary! From August 17th-23rd, the Music Box will be joined by Eddie Muller, host of TCM’s Noir Alley, and Alan K. Rode of the Film Noir … Continue reading “Noir City returns for 10th run at the Music Box”

Restored “The Fog” haunts Music Box Halloween

  New 4K Restoration will roll October 26 in Chicago, LA and New York     New York-based Rialto Pictures will release John Carpenter’s landmark horror movie The Fog on October 26, in its first-ever major restoration. The horror classic, in a full 4K restoration from Studiocanal, opens October 26 for limited runs at The … Continue reading “Restored “The Fog” haunts Music Box Halloween”

My own personal 48-hour filmmaking experience

Reel Chicago’s Julia Sarata offers a play-by-play recollection of her participation in this year’s 48 Hour Film Project     After covering the 48-Hour Mixer in June — an event where filmmakers gather and, ideally, join forces to compete in a two-day filmmaking competition — I signed up as a scriptwriter for the team I … Continue reading “My own personal 48-hour filmmaking experience”

Cinepocalypse announces 2018 award winners

A record-shattering sophomore year of the Chicago genre festival comes to a close with big audiences, big stars, and big winners   (Chicago, Illinois — 29 June 2018) The Music Box Theatre is honored to announce the juried winners of the 2018 edition of Cinepocalypse. As the festival wraps today, it is also immensely proud … Continue reading “Cinepocalypse announces 2018 award winners”

Cinepocalypse fest from June 21 – 28 at Music Box

A cornucopia of classic genre screenings, premieres, and events to take place at Chicago’s iconic Music Box Theatre.     From June 21st through June 28th, a cornucopia of genre screenings and events will take place at the Music Box Theatre for its second annual Cinepocalypse. The film festival grinds together a gory cocktail of … Continue reading “Cinepocalypse fest from June 21 – 28 at Music Box”

‘Empathy, Inc.’ to premiere at Music Box Cinepocalypse

The “highly entertaining” film investigates the “potential dark side” of a widely-accepted virtue   Empathy, Inc. — a sci-fi thriller about a tech company that offers a VR experience of poverty to wealthy people — premieres June 24th at Chicago’s legendary Music Box Theatre. The film is part of the official selection for the second … Continue reading “‘Empathy, Inc.’ to premiere at Music Box Cinepocalypse”

Chicago Critics Film Festival highlights, lineup

OPENING — Fast Color With Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Jordan Horowitz in attendance   CLOSING — Eighth Grade With filmmaker Bo Burnham in attendance     (Chicago, IL) The Chicago Film Critics Association (CFCA), the Chicago-area print, online and broadcast critics group that celebrates the art of film and film criticism, ​today announces the complete lineup, … Continue reading “Chicago Critics Film Festival highlights, lineup”

Clare Cooney’s “Runner” at Chicago Critics Film Festival

First-time filmmaker Clare Cooney’s award-winning short film, Runner, will screen at this year’s Chicago Critics Film Festival. It will open the shorts program on Sunday May 6th at 2:30pm at The Music Box Theatre. Runner is a psychological thriller about a woman who witnesses an accidental murder and must choose between intervention and her own … Continue reading “Clare Cooney’s “Runner” at Chicago Critics Film Festival”

Framestore, Music Box, “Anne and Andy,” and more

John Ridley Transforms Beer City into Film City According to Deadline, Oscar-winner John Ridley will team up with Milwaukee film organizations and studios to transform a former 40,000 square-foot Pabst Brewery into No Studios.   Ridley brings his depth of experience and history of excellence to Milwaukee. He has written, directed, and produced dozens of … Continue reading “Framestore, Music Box, “Anne and Andy,” and more”

Chicago Film Society screens classic 16 & 35mm films

THE CHICAGO FILM SOCIETY, which changed its name from the Northwest Film Society, starts a new season of 15 vintage films Wednesday, Jan. 11, with the 1947 thriller “Nightmare Alley,” at the Auditorium at Northeastern Illinois University, one of the series’ screening venues, along with the Music Box Theatre, the Logan Center for the Arts and the University of Chicago’s Film Studies Center.

Timely doc “Raising Bertie” screens at Siskel Center

THE FIRST THEATRICAL RUN of Kartemquin’s and Beli Film’s award-winning feature doc, “Raising Bertie” produced and directed by Margaret Byrne, screens Nov. 18-19, at the Gene Siskel Film Center.

Set in North Carolina’s rural Bertie County, the doc is a six-year portrait of three African American boys growing into adulthood as they grapple with unemployment, violence, first love, fatherhood and the complex relationships between generational poverty, economic isolation and educational inequity.

Vince Vaughn finally sells his Mag Mile penthouse

VINCE VAUGHN IS GONE from Chicago, that is, he finally sold the three-story penthouse atop the Palmolive Building at 919 N. Michigan for a total $12.1 million, a little more than he originally paid for it and after splitting it into three different units.

Lake Forest native Vaughn bought the penthouse in 2006 for $12 million while he and Jennifer Aniston were in Chicago filming (and also dating) the rom-com feature “The Break Up.”

Crowdfunding film spoof screens tonight at Music Box

IT’S ALL GOOD,” a comedy feature from Aaron Fronk, Vinny Degaetano and Cooper Johnson of FND Films screens Oct. 20 at the Music Box Theatre and the next day it’ll be digitally released on on FND’s website.

“It’s All Good” follows three broke filmmakers (Fronk, Johnson and DeGaetano) who suffer the consequences of a fraudulent crowdfunding campaign.

Best 48HFP teams win 27 Judges and Audience Awards

The 12th annual Chicago 48 Hour Film Project wound up with a presentation to 27 winning teams, out of 53 entrants, whose short weekend-made films were deemed best by judges and audiences, at Music Box Theatre last Thursday night.

“It was an amazing show and the talent, enthusiasm and excitement that our Chicago filmmakers brought to the competition was truly inspiring,” comments Jerry Vasilatos of Nitestar Productions, who produced the event for the second consecutive year.

All 48 Hour films to screen Sunday at the Music Box

The work of area-wide filmmakers, who raced the clock to produce a short film for the 12th 48 Hour Film Project over the Aug. 27 weekend, will screen Sunday and Monday, Sept. 11-12, with awards presented Sept. 15, at the Music Box Theatre.

“This is a great opportunity for audiences to discover emerging filmmakers and to see the work of steadily-producing local indie filmmakers,” said director / editor Jerry Vasilatos, who has helmed the Chicago 48 Hour competition for the past two years.

Chicago’s 12th 48 Hour Film Project kicks off July 31

The 48 Hour Film Project is back in Chicago for the 12th year of weekend filmmaking and director / editor Jerry Vasilatos of Nitestar Productions is helming it for the second year.

The winning short will compete for special prizes with 48HFP films from 130 cities around the world where more than 60,000 people will participate in the filmmaking weekend.

A meet-and-greet on Sunday, July 31 will launch Chicago’s 48HFP at the Music Box Lounge, which adjoins the Music Box Theatre, where all completed local films will be showcased.

Eventful: Special screenings, seminars & festivals

THEATRE TALK SERIES, hosted by the Chicago Film Critics Association (CFCA) and the Music Box Theatre, selected “Cartel Land” for its July 10 screening.  Directed by Matthew Heinman, the story is a harrowing look at two vigilante groups their shared enemy, the Mexican drug cartels.

Leo Burnett wins an armload of the CAF’s Addy Awards

NO SURPRISE THAT LEO BURNETT, which, with its several other agency  divisions, dominated the CAF-sponsored nominations with five out of six nods for Agency of the Year, won the Agency of the Year award.  And no surprise, either, that its P&G client was voted Client of the Year undoubtedly for its Always #Like a Girl” campaign.

It’s that time again: Optimus Block Party on Aug. 2

OPTIMUS 18TH ANNUAL BLOCK PARTY is right around the corner on Friday, Aug. 2 (always the first Friday in August) bringing together clients, colleagues and friends for its annual summer afternoon-into-night of fun.  “Yes, we’ll have a special guest as always,” someone well known and unexpected promises Gretchen Praeger, VP/managing director of Optimus post, and one of the party planners. 

70-80 teams to produce 48 Hour shorts over a weekend

More than 70 film teams participating in the upcoming Chicago 48 Hour Film Project, will meet and mingle with their competitors Tuesday, July 23 at the Rooftop on Joe’s Bar on Weed at 6 p.m. in advance of the sleepless, hectic Aug. 9-11 production weekend.

Chicago is one of 128 worldwide cities where some 60,000 people will collaborate on a short 4-7 minute film for the excitement of beating the clock, local bragging rights, prizes and a screening at Cannes.

Music Box tops distributors in Spirit Awards nods

Chicago-based Music Box Films leads independents distributors Film Independent’s Spirit Awards with seven nominations, behind only Fox Searchlight’s nine nominations in overall totals.

This puts the five-year old company ahead of such iconic specialty distributors as IFC Films, Focus Features, and Sony Pictures Classics, which tie for third place with six nominations each.

So few ACIP honors for Chicago they’re invisible

CHICAGO AGENCY APPEARANCES on the prestigious AICP Show Reel or agency honors list were virtually non-existent.  The 21st annual AICP Show and the NEXT Awards, was held June 12 at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and attended by a number of local adfolk who apparently weren’t going to Cannes next week.

Architecture Film Fest fittingly in Chicago, 4/12-16

If there is one thing Chicago is known for, aside from the blues, our corrupt politicians and the world’s best hot dogs, it’s our architecture.   So it’s fitting we have become the home of the Architecture and Design Film Festival (ADFF), for its third year.

The festival, running April 12-16 at the Music Box theatre, will showcase films from 13 countries, including 12 Chicago premieres, plus discussions with filmmakers, architects, designers and industry leaders.

Ministry movie opener for CIMMfest, April 14-17

Movies and music will be brought together when 70 films from more than 20 countries will screen April 14-17 at CIMMfest – the Chicago International Movies & Music Festival — at more than a dozen venues mostly located in the Bucktown-Wicker Park area.

“We chose to centralize the festival activities to make it easier for people to attend all of the events,” said Josh Chicoine, who co-directs CIMMFest with Ilko Davidson.

Split Pillow has three films in progress

Among the three films Split Pillow has in the works are a feature that starts shooting in May, and a documentary in progress that will finish shooting this year.

In the meantime, the collaborative will premiere “Chicago 360:Play,” the fourth installment of its “Chicago 360” documentary, May 20 at the Music Box Theatre at 7 p.m.

“We work only with Chicago talent and subjects, and we want to be a presence in the community rather than a fly-by-night production company,” says executive producer Dennis Belogorsky.

Michael Caplan’s “Magical Visions” doc previews; local filmmaker wins national WIF finishing fund

MICHAEL CAPLAN previewed a screening of his documentary, “A Magical Vision,” a portrait of magician, philosopher and “celebrated teacher of the magic arts,” Eugene Berger June 5 at Film Row Cinema.

The film delves into Berger’s approach to magic and its link to shamanistic traditions as well as the work of Berger and his colleagues as innovators in contemporary magic performance.

DP was Chris Peppey, Bryan McHenry provided the animation and motion graphics, Sharon Zurek of Black Cat Films edited.

Music Box owner becomes an art film distributor; plans a five-to-eight picture slate for the year

Music Box Theatre owner William Schopf has rapidly emerged as one of Chicago’s biggest players in the national film distribution business.

Schopf’s new venture, Music Box Films, is in the second acquisition of a planned five-to-eight-picture slate of foreign and art films for the year, “similar to the films we show at the theatre,” he said.

He is confident about getting into the distribution business during this tumultuous time for the industry.

“People are watching art films?there’s a growing market for them,” he said.

Chicago’s comedy bones to tickle with first ever Comedy TV Pilot Competition ? March 27 deadline

The Chicago Comedy TV Pilot Competition, designed to embellish Chicago’s stellar reputation for comedy, will bow at the Music Box Theatre next July.

Presented by Wits’ End Productions and the Chicago Film Office, the competition will be judged by savvy jury of Hollywood TV show executives and offer a sizable cash prize.

Deadline is March 27, which gives filmmakers and producers ample time to turn their ideas for TV shows into pilots, said Marion Sours, founder/director of Wits’ End.

Five Chicago features, two Sundance selections in Chicago Underground Film Festival Aug. 18-25

A heavy dose of hard-hitting politics joins the staples of transgressive and experimental cinema at the 12th Annual Chicago Underground Film Festival, which runs Aug. 18-25 in its new home at the Music Box Theatre.

CUFF 12 includes 13 narrative features, nine documentary features, 18 narrative shorts, 29 documentary shorts, 89 experimental shorts, and six animations.

Screenings, Festivals, Events, Etc.

LAUREN FISCHER is hitting her stride as a recognized screenwriter. On Aug. 31 her “Wish I Might”?winner of the 2005 IFP/Chicago-Chicago Scriptworks contest?will have a staged reading by Chicago Scriptworks at the Cultural Center.

“Wish I Might” is the story of two teenaged stepsisters and the one wish that will either bring them together or tear their family apart. It’s also a semi-finalist in the 2005 PAGE International Screenwriting Awards.

Making it Up: An interview with David Pasquesi, improv powerhouse, busy actor and show creator

A leading improviser and comic actor, David Pasquesi has appeared in films including “The Fugitive” and “Father of the Bride,” and Harold Ramis’ “Groundhog Day” and “Stuart Saves His Family.” His TV credits include “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” “Common Ground,” and “Strangers with Candy.”

Pasquesi has roles in two locally-shot features due out later this year: Ramis’ “Ice Harvest,” and former standup partner Jeff Garlin’s “I Want Someone to Eat Cheese With.” He’s also in the forthcoming film version of “Strangers with Candy.”

Pasquesi and Steppenwolf company member Tracy Letts premier

Independent Production Roundup

HURT McDERMOTT has taken home another screenplay award for the dystopian thriller “Nightingale in a Music Box,” which he wrote and directed, the first feature for the distinguished playwright.

“Nightingale” just picked up the best script honor at the Brooklyn International Film Festival, following a similar award at last year’s Slamdance Film Festival. Kelley Hazen, Catherine O’Connor, and Andrzej Krukowski star. Todd Slotten and Leigh Jones produced.

See www.nightingaleinamusicbox.com.

Screenings and Events

EMILY ARMSTRONG and PAT IVERS will be on hand for the May 29 screening of their hour doc “Nightclubbing: Greatest Hits,” a collection of performance footage culled from their ?70s New York public access TV series.

It features performances from Blondie, Talking Heads, Dead Kennedys, Iggy Pop, and the Cramps, at venues including CBGB, the Mudd Club, Max’s Kansas City, Boston’s Rat Club, and Danceteria. Also screening excerpts from “Looking for a Thrill” with Mike Watt of Minutemen and Bettina Richards. Screens at 7:45 p.m. and Thursday, June 2 at 8:30 p.m.

Festivals, screenings, events and more

INDIEFEST CHICAGO has extended the submission deadline to May 10 for the Third Annual Indiefest Film Festival & Market, the only film market in Midwest, which runs July 29-Aug. 7. See www.indiefest.org.

“Juvies”

Independent Production Roundup

MICHAEL OJEDA’S debut feature “Lana’s Rain” will be released Jan.18 on DVD by Chatsworth, Calif.-based Image Entertainment. Oksana Orlenko, who won best actress at the 2003 Milan International Film Festival for her role, stars as a Bosnian Croatian refugee who is lured into prostitution by her brother (Nickolai Stoilov) in Chicago.

Joel Goodman produced the $215,000 “Lana’s Rain” through his and Ojeda’s Reigning Pictures. The picture shot in Chicago and Croatia between 1999 and 2001.

REELSCREEN: News & Notes

Three Hollywood stars from Chicago will be honored at Showtime’s 8th annual Black Perspectives “Homecoming Celebration” Saturday, Oct. 16 at Thorne Auditorium.

Honorees are Chicago resident, stage and screen veteran Irma P. Hall (“Collateral,” “The Ladykillers”), with nearly 50 films to her credit; Robert Townsend, with close to 20 films to his credit, including “Hollywood Shuffle,” “The Five Heartbeats;” and Harry J. Lennix, (“The Human Stain,” “Matrix Reloaded”).

Presenters are Bonnie DeShong, Stella Foster, Jeanne Sparrow and Robin Robinson.

Art Institute prof’s women’s wrestling doc bows at CIFF before Feb theatrical release

Ruth Leitman’s feature documentary, “Lipstick & Dynamite, Piss & Vinegar: The First Ladies of Wrestling,” is one of four Chicago-made features that will premiere during the Oct. 7-21 Chicago International Film Festival.

Koch-Lorber picked up North American rights excluding premium cable for “Lipstick & Dynamite” after its U.S. debut at the Tribeca Film Festival last May.

The company is blowing the picture up to 35mm for a 30-50 city theatrical release next February, said Leitman, a School of the Art Institute professor.

November an event filled month

Put your roller skates, get out your notepads and party clothes for the busiest, most informative and social November we’ve seen in years. See details in Calendar.

NOV. 6-9: SHOWBIZ EXPO comes to town for the first time ever in its 20 year history, with 100+ exhibitors and 35 panels discussions. At the Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont.

NOV. 6-9 FIRST ANNUAL CINEME animation festival; opening night gala at Le Meridien hotel. Screenings and seminars at the Biograph and DePaul’s Lincoln Park campus. Festival awards Nov 9 at the Cultural Center.

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