The 30th Chicago Latino Film Festival, April 3-17 will showcase 74 features and 42 shorts, including three from Chicago directors, plus 11 Latino films that are Foreign Language Oscar winners or nominees.
John McGrath of Rethink Studios, who’s always been giant steps ahead of the digital curve, has seen the future and it’s Ultra High Definition, aka 4K technology.
“It’s coming and it’s coming fast,” he predicts.
A trailer for “Jupiter Ascending,” the Wachowskis latest action/adventure sci-fi epic, gives you a mouth-agape look at what is possibly their most jammed-packed visual effects epic out of their 22 films, to date.
“The Harvest,” says director John McNaughton,
is the first horror story that has interested him in 25 years, “so it’s kind of cool to return to the genre.” Its world premieres at is Oct. 19 at AMC River East at 6:30 p.m., with the principals present.
A TRIBUTE TO RONN PITTS by Columbia College Thursday evening, Oct. 17, will celebrate the unique life of a filmmaker who loved his Columbia students and was beloved in return, who was always there for them and his myriad friends and never said no to any of them.
One of the seven feature docs to be presented at Good Pitch Chicago on Oct. 22 will be “The Dreamcatchers,” now in production in Chicago by British filmmaker Kim Longinotto. “The Dreamcatchers,” like her 24 previous docs, highlights the plight of female victims of oppression or discrimination.
The Oct. 10-24 Chicago International Film Festival pays homage to Chicagoans this year, honoring producer/director George Tillman, Jr. with a Black Perspectives Tribute, and inviting Jennifer Hudson, star of Tillman’s new movie, to join the festivities Friday, Oct. 11.
SHAMELESS SELF PROMOTION. As many of you may know, I’ve been working on a feature, the dramatic music biopic about Mahalia Jackson, the world’s greatest gospel singer and Civil Rights Champion, whose music and money amplified the vision of Dr.
The Good Pitch Chicago Planning Committee chose seven documentary film teams out of more than 100 submissions from first-time to award-winning filmmakers –including activist Gloria Steinem — to participate in the inaugural Good Pitch Chicago.
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.
MULTICULTURAL AGENCY COMMONGROUND, named Ad Agency’s Small Agency of the Year in 2012, has just become bigger and a more important player. After a 3-month review, it won the African American work for Verizon Wireless, formerly with Global Hue.
TWO NEW SHOWS FOR 20 WEST PRODUCTIONS. According to Scot Thor, SVP/development and production, the Intersport division is going into production into its first MTV program – a docusoap called “South of Heaven.” It follows the beautiful 20something girls who work at the famous “Redneck Restaurant and Bar” (a fan gave it 5 stars: 3 stars for the food and an extra 2 stars for the women) in Lewisville, Texas, near Ft. Worth.
RADAR STUDIOS HAS EXPANDED its full production services with the addition this week of creative director Jason Guerrero of New York, whose background is in visual effects, 3D animation, compositing and collaboration conception. He will also make his debut as a live action director.
“A guy circling a bunch of obituaries in a newspaper the way someone would circle classified ads for jobs.”
That image was the starting point for Christian Gridelli and Hunter Norris’s debut feature Origins of Wit and Humor, which has just aced its Kickstarter goal and is slated to go into production here in late September.
Michigan film incentives are in suspended animation, so to speak, as the state House of Representatives approved a plan that would end the current $25 million incentives and give the money to local road projects instead, the Detroit News reported.
This would be an effort to help everyone by fixing roads and not just a few, one representative said.
Spring brings the first burst of festivals for the year, a variety of film screenings to suit every taste and interest, events where you can learn something relevant to your careers, awards and fund-raisers to make in the fast line more fun. Check in often as we will update as the month progresses.
WINNER OF THE IFO’S 2012 Illinois Shortcuts competition is the dark comedy “Wednesday’s Child, from director Rocco Cataldo and cinematographer Mike Kwielford of Potenza Productions, a corporate, spot and music video company, producer Mary Kay Cook and screenplay by Seattle-based writer Rebecca Bridge.
YOU NEVER KNOW who’s going to show up at the Chicago International Film Festival, which is part of the fun of attending. On Friday night, actor Vince Vaughn showed up to support his sister Valeri Vaughn’s documentary, “Art of Conflict: The Murals of Northern Ireland,” which he narrates, that examines how street art tells the story of Northern Ireland’s history. He also participated in a post-screening question-and-answer session.
October traditionally is the most eventfully-active month of the year as our calendar proves. We will continue to add events as quickly as they announced so, as they say, “stay tuned.”
Harry Lennix shows up as a controversial comic a la Richard Pryor at his wife’s (Tatum O’Neill) Chicago night club, in Mr. Sophistication, one of nine features and six shorts in the “City & State” section of the 48th Chicago International Film Festival’s spotlight on our vibrant indie cinema scene.
“City & State” films, by local filmmakers and shot in Chicago and the state, screen throughout the Oct. 11-25 festival at AMC River East theatres.
Leave it to founder/artistic director Michael Kutza and the board and staff of the Chicago and the 48th International Film Festival to elevate the city’s culture level with three weeks’ worth of world films, Oct. 11-25, at AMC River East theatre, 322 E. Illinois.
THE UNITED FILM FESTIVAL returns to the Music Box Theatre Sept. 22-27 with a program that includes some 19 narrative and documentary features and 21 shorts.
Sixteen highly regarded digital asset gurus will speak from a users POV at the Thursday, Sept. 13 all-day Henry Stewart Digital Asset Management Conference covering trends, strategies and technical best practices for managing digital assets.
FORDSON THE MOVIE, Rashid Ghazi’s Ruth Leitman-scripted documentary about an Arab American football team in Dearborn, Michigan fasting for Ramadan as they train to play their wealthier cross-town rivals during the eighth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, will be released on DVD the week of Aug. 20.
IT’S PROBABLY SAFE TO SAY that Mexican-born, Chicago-based playwright Tanya Saracho has emerged. She adds another impressive notch to her professional belt by being selected as a member of the 2012 Theatre Lab at Sundance Institute.
Saracho is in residence through July working on her play Song for the Disappeared, directed by Octavio Solis. It continues the theme of crime cartels in Mexico introduced in El Nogalar and is the second piece in her planned “Border Trilogy.”
NEW EDITOR is newly elevated Sean Halvorsen, who has been an assistant (mostly to editor Graham Metzger)since he joined the editorial house shortly after its founding in 2008. Halvorsen joins the ranks of Liz Tate, Jerem Sloan and Metzger and executive producer Don Avila.
Next September, The School of the Art Institute (SAIC) will be one of nine major institutions participating in the Sony Digital Media Academy (SDMA) that will give undergraduate and graduate curricular cutting-edge Sony equipment.
How depressing. For several weeks we studiously avoided watching the pilot for “The Pitch,” the new AMC cable series that takes us inside the ad industry to see how agencies land new business.
But over the weekend our resolve began to weaken, and we plunged in. Boy, are we sorry we did.
14TH ANNUAL EBERT FEST Ebert Fest in Champaign April 29 will feature Prashant Bhargava’s Patang (The Kite), a family drama about a father and daughter returning to their hometown of Ahmedabad, India during the city’s annual kite festival.
Eager to learn about Canon’s new cinema cameras, more than 100 professional motion and still shooters attended ProGear’s informative presentation of the highly touted new Canon C300 on Thursday.
Held at ProGear’s West Loop motion/still equipment rental house, the event centered on giving attendees an opportunity to get their hands on the C300 and Canon’s EOS family of 5DMII, 7D and the new 5DMIII cameras, says associate Doug Sperling.
A FORMER GOLDEN GLOVES middleweight boxing champion is the subject of “Fearless Fernando Hernandez: A Fighter’s Journey,” a 30-minute tragedy-to-triumph documentary made in its entirety, music included, by still/video photographer Jonathan Levin.
Indie filmmaker, screenwriter and New York Times best-selling author of 14 books, Jay Bonansinga is the keynote speaker at the Feb. 11 all-day symposium, “Pen to Digital Press:DIY Publishing in the Digital Age.”
Mark Levine, president of Hillcrest Media Group and author of The Fine Print in Self-Publishing, is a guest presenter.
AVI Systems, the 15-state systems integrator with a Bensenville office, has several good reasons to celebrate at its Eat Drink Edit holiday party Thursday, Dec. 15. The Minneapolis-based company been elevated to the loftiest status of relationship as an Avid Elite Reseller.
JOB OFFERS KEEP POURING IN for Roscor’s former skilled employees, 100 of whom were suddenly and sadly terminated from the 35-year old Mt. Prospect-based AV equipment company on Black Friday, Oct. 28. Many had been with the company for 20 years, and some as long as 30 years.
Companies from all over who learned about the mass layoffs have reached out to the former staffers with job openings!
Invitations to send in letters, resumes and applications appear in the BackTalk, or comments section, following our recent Roscor stories.
Filmmaker Mark Harris of 1555 Filmworks is doing something bold and brave, without any sponsorship support to speak of, for the love and hope of his neighborhood, which happens to be the most stricken in the city.
Harris is hosting the Englewood Film Festival, the first held inside Chicago’s African American community on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 28-29 at Kennedy King College at 63rd and Halsted, in the heart of the beleaguered South Side Englewood neighborhood.
The Naperville Independent Film Festival starts its fourth successful year Sept. 17-24, screening 79 features, documentaries, shorts and music videos at two venues in the western suburb.
Festival founder and executive director Edmond Coisson says 4,000 guests are expected this year for the weeklong event.
The important film that documentarian Michael Moore says he wants “everyone in the country to watch, Fordson: Faith, Fasting, Football, will screen exclusively for local filmmakers here Monday, Sept. 12 during its national theatrical rollout that week.
“We’re inviting fellow professionals to come celebrate with us and see that high-quality, nationally distributed theatrical releases are being produced and post produced in Chicago,” says Fordson editor Ed Pickart of Motion Post.
George Elder’s Luminair is in post on the eighth season of “Mexico: One Plate at a Time,” PBS’ top-rated cooking show hosted by restaurateur/chef Rick Bayless.
It will air in early September on WTTW/11 and 90% of PBS stations.
Accompanied by the Luminair crew, Bayless, the colorful owner of Frontera and Topolobampo restaurants, visits a different part of Mexico each season to discover traditional Mexican cuisine that can be prepared with modern interpretations.
SMASHED! A short film by writer/director Theophilus Jamal, about a band struggling to stay together during the changing Chicago alternative rock music scene in the ‘90s starts production Sept. 23 on a micro-budget.
Producers are Jamal’s Hipsters Union Productions and Kristine Kruse’s Red 27 Productions. Jamal is a second year DePaul graduate student and Kruse is an MFA graduate student in DePaul’s Digital Cinema school.
A FIRST FOR THE REEL! After years of managing the Reel solo, I am delighted that industry pro Nancy Reid has joined the Reel as VP/development.
In that role, Nancy will spearhead the Reel’s expansion in the coming months. We plan to widen our coverage and become involved in multiple media to connect and serve our growing readership and advertisers the best way possible.
CHRISTOPHER MELONI, who quit his 12-year gig as Det. Stabler, co-star of NBC’s Law & Order: SVU, is expected to have “an unspecified major role” in Man of Steel, the Warner Bros. Superman blockbuster that will film in Naperville and Plano in August.
Jonathan Cohon has been getting a lot of mileage out of his recently acquired Panasonic AF100. He has completed corporate and narrative projects shot on the 4/3 sensor HD camcorder and has a TV reality pilot in the works.
Cohon, of JHC Productions, recently shot an internal project for Marketing Drive on the AF100. “The AVCHD codec worked in Final Cut with the usual ease,” says Mark Ziekert of ShiftZ, producer/editor of the Marketing Drive shoot.
The emphasis of the April 1-14 Chicago Latino International Film Festival “is on new talent, with more than 20 features made by first time directors,” says Pepe Vargas, founder and executive director of the world-acclaimed event, now in its 27th year.
Writer/director Eric Bednarowicz’ 18-minute comedy, “Carpe Millennium,” is not only included in a compilation of shorts from around the world, but the program will be distributed internationally starting this spring.
Oracle Releasing, a Los Angeles-based film sales and distributor, picked up Bednarowicz’ short after seeing it in one of the many festivals in which the film screened this year.
The story is about a young man (Steven Yeun of AMC’S “The Walking Dead”) who is determined to lose his virginity on the eve of the millennium.
DAVID SCHWIMMER AND ALAN CUMMING are the stars at CIFF’s Red Carpet Monday night. The Festival welcomes openly gay actor Cumming, who receives the fest’s Artistic Achievement Award as part of its OUTrageous Program, celebrating contributions to GLBT films.
GOLD HUGOS TEND TO BE SCARCE around these parts, so it was with understandable great excitement that Foundation Content’s Samantha Hart received word of a Gold Hugo awarded to their United Way piece in the Charitable Activity category.
“Everyone on the team collaborated on the film,” says Hart, to produce the 2-minute piece for presentation at United Way’s gala benefit last May,” says Hart, who came up with the Hugo Gold idea.
The piece utilized live action and special effects in the use of a clothes line criss-crossing the city.
The Illinois(e)Makers program of six locally made features — showcasing the best features, documentaries and short films with their roots in our home state ? figures prominently at the Chicago International Film Festival.
Illinois(e)Makers plays at various times throughout the 46th festival, which starts screening Thursday, at the AMC River East multiplex, through Oct. 21.
Here’s the program:
The Defiled, directed by Julian Grant, a Columbia College assistant professor with 29 features to his credit, is a zombie movie seen through fresh eyes: those of the zombie.
OCTOBER WILL BE HERE quicker than we can say “Chicago International Film Festival.” The 46th annual event Oct. 7-21 will host 150 important films from all over the world, starting with the Chicago premiere of “Stone,” starring Edward Norton and Robert De Niro, directed by John Curran, who directed “The Painted Veil” which also starred Norton.
KEVIN COOPER’S 3D dog comedy, “Shakey,” which starts shooting this month in the western suburbs, signed lead actors Steve Guttenberg (“Police Academy”), Beverly D’Angelo of the National Lampoon’s Vacation series) and Alfonso Arau (“The Three Amigos”).
Cooper, a Hollywood executive turned Columbia College professor, makes his directorial debut with “Shakey,” which is possibly the first comedy to shoot anywhere in stereoscopic 3D.
WOMEN IN FILM has made a righteous choice to honor broadcast trailblazer, talk show host, news anchor and community activist Merri Dee as its 2010 Focus Award honoree.
Dee has parlayed her celebrity into many children’s and educational charitable works. She spearheaded Illinois’ victims rights’ legislation after she and one of her talk show guests had been kidnapped, driven to a wooded area, shot twice in the head and left for dead, in 1971.
After retiring from WGN-TV in 2008 after 30 years, Dee formed full-service MD Communications.
THE AICE CHICAGO’S BEST AWARD went to Optimus’ Craig Lewandowski for a spot for Cricket Wireless from Element 79, at the gala national AICE Awards Show held Thursday night at the Field Museum. The show was the 9th annual competition honoring creative excellence in editorial, design and visual effects.
Alas, Lewandowski was the sole Chicago winner among the 23 awardees, although the work of six local editors made it into the finals.
It looks like HD has arrived at the consumer home entertainment level. Sears is now selling Samsung 3D television sets, although there are no 3D movies on DVD or shows on television for home viewing. Nonetheless, the retailer expects to sell at least 2 million 3D sets this year and suggests that number may be conservative.
Samsung’s HD 3D flat-screen sets televisions will be available with plasma, LCD or LED displays and feature Samsung’s Internet@TV service, a connection to a home broadband network via Ethernet or WiFi.
WOMEN IN FILM’S well-attended Executive Breakfast March 31 takes on a very broad subject — a panel discussion about “Bringing Production to Chicago.”
That provocative title could mean Hollywood features. Or it also could mean trying to stimulate commercial production, since Dan “Ziggy” Ziguluch, Draftfcb’s production head, is a panelist, along with the IFO’s Betsy Steinberg. Producer and former IFP president Sandy Gordon is the moderator. The Wit Hotel is the venue.
WELCOME BACK, ROGER! It looks like Roger Ebert is returning to television with a new syndicated movie review show from Chicago, expected to be taped at WYCC/Ch. 20.
Ebert’s TV return was announced in the briefest of terms on Oprah’s Pre-Oscar Celebration show Monday, with Ebert and his wife Chaz, and pretty much confirmed by a station executive.
As part of the Eberts’ appearance on the show was “A Day in the Life of ?” which included scenes of the couple arriving at WYCC/Ch. 20.
Ebert has a full-fledged production company and t’is said that Ch.
Hollywood actor Casey Siemaszko grew up deeply immersed in Chicago’s Polish community, performing with his parents’ Polish dance troupe. And Siemaszko’s father Konstanty fought for the Polish underground in World War II.
Siemaszko made a fitting return to his hometown Friday night for the opening of the 21st Polish Film Festival in America, at the AMC River East 21 theatre.
SWEET HOME CHICAGO was a spectacular success Monday at the Le Grande Orange restaurant in Santa Monica, when 350 Chicagoans in the industry turned out for a night of meetups, fun and some down home Chicago food favorites.
Sweet Home was picked up by former IFO director Brenda Sexton after a four-year hiatus, Lettuce Entertain You’s Rich Melman and entertainer Tom Dreesen, who emceed the first party 20 years ago and most of the 15 since then.
Director Quentin Tarantino will receive a special tribute at the Chicago International Film Festival’s 2009 Summer Gala Aug. 18, along with the Chicago premiere screening of Tarentino’s wildly awaited “Inglourious Basterds.”
The Tarantino tribute features a montage of his groundbreaking body of work and a Career Achievement Award from Cinema/Chicago, celebrating its 45th anniversary this year.
The tribute and premiere will be held at the AMC East theatre, starting at 6 p.m., followed by a reception at theWit hotel following the tribute and screening at 9:30 p.m.
Christine Varotsis, Mark Hogan and Tom Bastounes urge us to get our butts over to a seat in a theatre showing “The Merry Gentleman” this week to show support of a locally-made film.
The call for action comes after Chicago showed an embarrassingly low per-screen average compared with New York and Los Angeles… like 40% lower.
MALACHI LEOPOLD IS BOUND FOR THE SUDAN, thanks to a $10,000 grant he received in order to make the expenses of the trip. He departs April 5 for a full month of shooting a documentary centered on one of the Lost Boys of Sudan, who returns to his native village after a 22 year separation from his parents.
Leopold received the $10,000 check April 1 from the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees based in Geneva, Switzerland.
He will be accompanied by DP Ian Issitt and two New York producers.
LOVE IS IN THE AIR for the first Hollywood project to be shot in Chicago so far this year, breaking the nine-month dry spell and portending more business ahead. The NBC half-hour pilot, “State of Romance,” gets underway March 30.
The half hour romantic comedy, described as a modern day “Pride and Prejudice,” will shoot for eight days entirely on location ? no sets called for at all.
Essanay is supplying the lighting and grip equipment. UPM is Rich Lederer (“The Beast”). Universal Media Studios is producing the single-camera project.
THE RADIO HALL OF FAME induction of controversial conservative broadcaster Dr. James Dobson of “Focus on the Family” stays, regardless of protests to the contrary by gay and other anti-bigotry groups.
Bruce DuMont, president/founder of the Museum of Broadcast Communications, Radio Hall of Fame sponsor, defended Dr. Dobson’s nomination by the RHOF steering committee. “Radio is an industry predicated on free speech — Dr.
Agency creative Larry Ziegelman’s romantic comedy short, “Check, Please,” based on a family incident, won the Illinois Film Office’s first Shortcuts short film contest.
IFO director Betsy Steinberg presented Ziegelman with a check for $665 and a crystal star award before his film screened as part of CIFF’s Short Films program Monday night at the AMC River East theatre.
Ziegelman, an ACD on the State Farm account at DDB, says he will use the check towards his next, more ambitious comedy that he will direct this weekend.
Locally-made features by Carl Seaton, Joe Swanberg and Tom Gustafson, a feature doc about an underground rocker, and 10 shorts shine in the Spotlight Illinois section of the 44th Chicago International Film Festival.
The 14 locally-made films screen on different days throughout the festival, now through Oct. 29, at AMC River East, 322 E. Illinois.
Executive producer Robert Townsend stars in “Of Boys and Men,” the third feature by Columbia alum Seaton (“One Week”), shot on a reported $650,000 budget.
Opening last week in more than 1,250 theatres nationwide, “Journey to the Center of the Earth” is the first wide-release movie filmed exclusively in the ?REAL D’ format.
As the AMC River East hosted the debut public screening, Reel Chicago heard the movie’s star, Brendan Fraser, and director Eric Brevig present the new technology.
Despite his established status, Brendan Fraser seemed both genuinely nervous and excited as he asked the audience to put on their “Buddy Hollies” before the screening began.
An estimated audience of 30,000 is expected to attend the 24th International Latino Film Festival, April 4-16 ? the nation’s largest cultural event, says founder Pepe Vargas.
Opening night spotlights the Spanish film, “El Prado de las Estrella” (“The Field of Stars”), at the AMC River East 21 Theaters, followed by a party at the River East Art Center.
Todd Haynes’ fractured Bob Dylan biopic “I’m Not There,” now in theatres, leads the nominees for the Independent Spirit Awards. Haynes talked with the audience after a preview screening at AMC River East, moderated by New City’s Ray Price.
Haynes casts six actors portraying different elements of Dylan’s persona, each shot in a distinct cinematic style inspired by the era.
Way back in the day of the adworld so aptly portrayed by the AMC series “Mad Men,” agencies largely promoted themselves through full-page ads mainly in Advertising Age to reach potential clients.
Few agencies since toot their own horns anymore, despite the horrific competition for new business. The welcome exception is The Ungar Group.
The latest in an on-going business development campaign is spot is called “Demanding Clients” and the copy was taken from a conventional want ad page.
HERE’S A REEL DEAL. Get free tickets to the screening of Jeff Garlin’s “I Want Someone to eat Cheese With” at the Nov. 6 Midwest Independent Film Festival by going to www.midwestfilm.com.
AND HERE’S ANOTHER. For a mere $15 aspiring screenwriters can learn about the craft, art and business of screenwriting from Paul Peditto, one of Chicago’s best teachers. He’s also a Jeff Award-winning playwright and filmmaker.
The Chicago Filipino American Film Festival and “7?
The world spotlight will shine on Chicago Oct. 4 when the 43rd Chicago International Film Festival?the longest running film festival in North America?opens for a two week run.
Some 150 features, shorts, student films and docs from more than 40 countries, many brightened by their stars and directors, will screen at five downtown and North Side venues.
The opening night program will be dedicated to Roger Ebert, who will be celebrated as the man who changed the way audiences watch movies.
Zacuto USA’s Illinois-made modular camera rigging accessories have gone national with an exclusive dealership arrangement with bi-coastal Abel Cine Tech.
One of the largest sales, rental and service companies, Abel Cine Tech now sells Zacuto’s 65 products in special showrooms in its Burbank and Manhattan locations.
Abel Cine Tech has installed 12×12-ft. showrooms to exclusively display Zacuto products in both film markets. A 40-inch showroom monitor displays the line of camera rigs, hand grips and base plates.
“THE DARK KNIGHT” the latest “Batman” installment will forever be known as “one of the biggest features we’ve ever had in terms of scope, spending and job creation,” says CFO’s Rich Moskal.
How big? Out of $150 million budget, it’s expected to pump $45 million into the local economy and hire 390 crew persons, 250 day players and 6,000 extras.
This week “Knight” shoots exteriors and helicopter shots, goes to London for two weeks, then returns to stay through early September.
SPINNING HUNK POWER INTO RELIEF AID, “Ocean’s Thirteen” will have a June 7 Chicago premiere to support relief efforts in war-torn Darfur.
Producer Jerry Weintraub and “Ocean’s Thirteen” stars George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon and Don Cheadle will hit Chicago on a three-city tour?L.A. on June 5 and Las Vegas on June 6.
Vanity Fair will host the Chicago premiere. It will include the screening at AMC River East 21, followed by a glitzy party at the new Room 21 restaurant and night club due to open at 2100 S. Wabash.
SPINNING HUNK POWER INTO RELIEF AID, “Ocean’s Thirteen” will have a June 7 Chicago premiere to support relief efforts in war-torn Darfur. Producer Jerry Weintraub and “Ocean’s Thirteen” stars George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon and Don Cheadle will hit Chicago on a three-city tour — L.A. on June 5 and Las Vegas on June 6.
Vanity Fair will host the Chicago premiere. It will include the screening at AMC River East 21, followed by a glitzy party at the new Room 21 restaurant and night club due to open at 2100 S. Wabash.
Zacuto is aggressively starting off the new year with an irresistible offer of a 50% discount on the first rental for new customers.
“We want to attract more local customers to experience the entire Zacuto rental package system,” said Steve Weiss, co-owner with cinematographer Jens Bogehegn.
Weiss also announced the purchase of $275,000 in new cameras and accessories to keep up with the demand for rapidly-changing equipment. “You not only must know current market demands, but what the market will be like a year from now,” he said.
TWO KODAK VETERANS have taken advantage of Kodak’s tempting early retirement package and will leave the company Jan. 31.
Regional marketing and sales manager J.J. Johnston had spent 33 years at Kodak, while regional account manager Ben Stone was close behind with 27 years.
In early January, Kodak will announce its reorganization of personnel placement and how territories will be divided as it moves deeper ito digital imaging.
Speculation is that the reorganization will not call for replacing the two Chicago veterans.
For the second consecutive year, Chicago will see a reel of 101 prize winning commercials from New York’s prestigious 2006 One Show when it screens Oct. 10 at AMC River East 21 theatre.
The complete exhibit of print and outdoor winners will be displayed Oct. 4-10 at Columbia College’s Conaway Center.
Not long after ReelChicago asked if I had any thoughts on changing technology’s impact on postproduction, I came across an interview with director David Fincher. He casually mentioned he’d edited most of his new film, “Zodiac,” on his laptop while loitering in airports.
Even if he exaggerated a bit, the viability of that statement is worth examining.
Let’s face facts. We live in a culture increasingly obsessed with cutting out the middle man. Bloggers don’t like the idea that news editors get to pick the story that goes on page one.
DANIELLE BEVERLY’S documentary “Learning to Swallow,” about Wicker Park artist Patsy Desmond’s journey to recovery after a suicide attempt destroyed her digestive system, screens at the Film Festival Wednesday, Oct 12 at 4:30 p.m. at AMC River East, 322 E. Illinois.
Beverly has been on the producing team for PBS documtaries.
They include include “Dance From the Heart” about the Joffrey Ballet, “Project Rebirth” about the healing process after 9/11, “Blink,” and the series “Independent View.”
“HOMESICK BLUES”, the 15-minute short that my wife Junko Kajino and I made in Osaka, Japan, will have its world premiere Oct. 8 at the Chicago International Film Festival.
The short is a prelude to our forthcoming feature film, also called “Homesick Blues.”
The short stars Japanese pop singer Zoey as an 18-year-old girl who runs away from her Osaka home, headed for Chicago hell-bent on becoming a blues singer.
Music by Shun Kikuta of Koko Taylor’s Blues Machine. Stephen Combs shot and edited. Sound by Benjamin Steger, Mark Messing and Adam Frick.
Veteran TV show producer Jamie Ceaser is working in L.A. for the next two months producing “Movie Club with John Ridley” that airs Fridays on AMC. She was brought aboard by executive producer John Davies, her old friend from Ch. 11 days.
“Sneak Previews” meets “The McLaughlin Group” is the way Ceaser described the eight-week series.
Editor Sue Lawson doesn’t mind fighting the “horrendous traffic” from Lake Bluff to the Adler Planetarium for a Chicago Final Cut Pro Users Group meeting, “because they are so well worth it,” she said.
Lawson of Blue Sky Video is one of CHIFCPUG’s 150 active members?film editors who work with Final Cut Pro software, and others in editing, post, sound, video and film.
For Lawson, the Group is an ideal amalgam of “networking, ideas, education, development, and more,” she said enthusiastically, sounding like the recently board-appointed “ambassador” she is.
The 21st Chicago Latino Film Festival will screen 58 feature films from 20 countries and 31 shorts from 13 countries at more than a dozen venues across the city and suburbs.
The Festival’s Opening Night Gala April 8 will be followed by Silvio Caiozzi’s Chilean art world drama “Cachimba.” Caiozzi and producer Guadalupe Bornand will appear. At Northwestern’s Thorne Auditorium, Chicago Ave. and Lake Shore Drive. 6 p.m. Screening and gala, $65, $50 for International Latino Cultural Center members. Screening only, $20, members $15.
STARS HERE IN APRIL. Director Marc Forster’s comedy, “Stranger than Fiction,” starts shooting April 25 at Chicago locations. It stars Dustin Hoffman, Emma Thompson, Queen Latifa, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Will Ferrell.
The story’s about an IRS auditor who suddenly finds himself the subject of narration only he can hear: narration that begins to affect his entire life, from his work, to his love-interest, to his death.
AN ENVIABLE PROJECT. A post job for Leo Burnett and client Philips Sonicare dental hygiene that Machete editors started in May and kept growing and growing finally ended two weeks ago.
“Philips is an international player,” notes Machete partner Luis Landgraf, “and the number of spots kept growing and they were sent back and forth to Germany, Holland and Japan.” Everybody edited, he says, meaning: Marty Bernstein, Scott Cohen, new addition Kenan Legg and Mary Roland.
Peter Riegert comes to town Dec. 14, not as the famous actor he is, but as co-writer, director/producer of “King of the Corner,” his first indie feature.
It will be screened at 5:30 at the AMC River East theatre, followed by Q&A with Riegert and his cinematographer, Mauricio Rubinstein (“Casa De Los Babys”). Kodak sponsors as a promotion for its new Super 16 250D daylight stock, utilized in the Riegert feature.
He shares with ReelChicago’s Ruth L Ratny the path traveled from the decision to direct a full-blown feature four years after directing an Oscar-nominated short.
One of the films was made in India and one of the directors lives in L.A., but with 12 films ? four features and eight shorts ‐ either made in Chicago, by a local director, or both, there’s more “Chicago” in the 40th Annual Chicago International Film Festival than there has been in recent memory.
Here’s a quick guide to all the Chicago films at this year’s CIFF, which runs through Oct. 21. Venue locations are listed at the end.
“THE JOURNEY,” World Premiere
Local attorney Ligy J.
After garnering a strong response at the Tribeca, UrbanWorld and New York Latino International film festivals, Marisol Torres’ debut feature “Boricua” has its first hometown screening Oct. 9 at the Chicago International Film Festival.
“The response has been phenomenal,” said Torres, who teaches film and video at Columbia College. “It’s a film that inspires conversation.”
The glitz and glamour of the Chicago International Film Festival (Oct. 7-21) ratchets up to ultra high as it celebrates its 40th anniversary, founded by artistic director Micahel Kutza, marked with more premieres, more star presentations, more special presenations and more parties than ever before.
Out of the 1,500 submissions received, 111 features and 54 shorts from 44 countries will screen. Of these two are world premieres, 13 North American premieres and 22 U.S. premieres.
Opening night (Oct.
“Outing Riley,” Pete Jones’ independent followup to his 2002 Project Greenlight movie “Stolen Summer,” has its world premiere Oct. 10 at the Chicago International Film Festival.
“We’ve gotten some offers for a U.S. theatrical release but the money was not what we wanted it to be,” Jones said.
“We’re hoping we can catch lightning in a bottle in Chicago and find a studio to get behind the film. My biggest goal is to get my investors their money back, and get myself another job.”
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.
Looking for a stage? How big? Where do you want to shoot? To help you make that determination, ReelChicago scouted around to identify a surprisingly large list of 38 stages for rent.
You’ll find 24 within city limits, while Oak Park leads the suburbs with three stages. We also give you stage size and rental costs.
Six local stages offer at least 5,000 sq. ft.: Ch. 11’s Chicago Production Center, rental houses Essanay and RAH, and Blackhawk Studios, AGLS and the Studio on Ogden. 18 more stages were confirmed to have at least 1,000 square feet.