Reel Women: Angie Gaffney, Executive Director at IFA Chicago, film producer

Editor’s Note: They are leaders. They are inspirational. They are mentors. They are visionaries. They are, quite frankly, badasses. They are our 2022 REEL WOMEN. During Women’s History Month, you will be able to meet these incredible personalities in Advertising, Entertainment, Media and Production. Women like Angie Gaffney are making “Herstory.” Strong, confident, capable, Angie Gaffney is a true renaissance woman … Continue reading “Reel Women: Angie Gaffney, Executive Director at IFA Chicago, film producer”

Behind the scenes with the Chicago IFA’s Angie Gaffney

Angie Gaffney chaperones a lot of dreams in the Windy City. As Executive Director of the Chicago Independent Film Alliance — an organization recently formed by combining the Independent Filmmaker Project with Stage 18 — she helps people achieve their goals, and their goals are to make movies. Or short films. Or pilots. Or web … Continue reading “Behind the scenes with the Chicago IFA’s Angie Gaffney”

Stage 18 set for new office & space move next month

STAGE 18 WILL MOVE into its specially constructed 3,000-sq. ft. office and stage space in Cinespace’s Center Building at 16th and Rockwell in mid-September.

Says Angie Gaffney, executive director of the year-old film incubator, “We will have our own sound stage available to members, along with large and small offices, common areas, a conference room and kitchen.”

New Stage 18 Production Partners meet with members

Stage 18, Chicago’s Film and Media incubator at Cinespace, co-founded by Angie Gaffney, introduced its new Production Partners Program — 16 companies that provide resources and discounts — to its 40 members last Friday night at AbelCine’s showroom at Cinespace Studios.

During the evening, the nonprofit once again delivered on its commitment to building Chicago’s independent film and narrative content community.

Incubator Stage 18 set for office and stage buildout

Construction of 7,500-sq. ft. of office space for Stage 18 at Cinespace Studios, the area’s first media and entertainment incubator, will start shortly and is expected to be finished within the next four months.

When completed, says Angie Gaffney of Black Apple Media, co-founder of Stage 18, “We will have a variety of small to large office suites, some open shared office space, conference rooms, a kitchen and cafeteria.”

Join Christine Dudley at IFA for virtual meeting on IL Film Tax Incentive

Join the Illinois Production Alliance Executive Director Christine Dudley and Chicago Media Angels Executive Director Ted Reilly for an in-depth virtual conversation on the Illinois State Film Tax Incentive. Topics include: tax incentive basics, what to expect with the recent expansion of the incentive, and how to leverage the tax incentive to help finance your projects. Moderated by … Continue reading “Join Christine Dudley at IFA for virtual meeting on IL Film Tax Incentive”

Troy Pryor relaunches ISA Chicago with International Women in Screenwriting

Creative Cypher Founder and Executive Producer Troy Pryor relaunches the International Screenwriters Association (ISA) Chicago chapter and kicks off Women’s History Month with an all women panel ‘International Women In Screenwriting’. Powered by Cypher Latino, a new extension of Creative Cypher, the panel will consist of Latina panelists Director and writer Lauryn Lugo and moderator … Continue reading “Troy Pryor relaunches ISA Chicago with International Women in Screenwriting”

Lightswitch Video launches $5000 grant for Chicago filmmakers

Lightswitch Video, a Chicago-based video production company, launched The Full STEM Ahead Filmmaker’s Initiative. The first-year initiative is designed to encourage STEM education and careers in STEM, and to also cultivate the careers of the filmmakers of tomorrow in the process.  One grant recipient (ages 15-25) will receive a $5,000.00 grant to produce a short-form … Continue reading “Lightswitch Video launches $5000 grant for Chicago filmmakers”

IFA Block Party celebrates the growth of the Chicago film industry

IFA Chicago’s inaugural Fall Into Film Block Party event, celebrates the growth of the film industry in Chicago, the arts, creatives & filmmakers, and the local community. Whether you are a creator/filmmaker, member of the community, sponsor, business in the neighborhood or a local community member…all those looking to support our mission – this event … Continue reading “IFA Block Party celebrates the growth of the Chicago film industry”

AbelCine & IFA collaborate on The Hub @Cinespace for Indie filmmakers

The Independent Film Alliance of Chicago (IFA) and AbelCine are collaborating on the development of a community center on the Cinespace Chicago Film Studios lot. Programming will address the business, creative, and technical aspects of independent production. The organizations will focus on developing the potential of local independent producers and filmmakers and introducing them to … Continue reading “AbelCine & IFA collaborate on The Hub @Cinespace for Indie filmmakers”

IFA Chicago hosts Grey’s Anatomy director Daniel Willis

IFA Chicago’s Executive Talks event series, is hosting Chicago-native, award-winning television director, producer, and writer, Daniel Willis in a virtual conversation moderated by IFA Chicago Executive Director, Angie Gaffney. Daniel Willis’ directing credits include Freeform/Hulu’s Cruel Summer, ABC’s The Rookie, NBC’s The Blacklist, and ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy. He also recently served as producer/writer for the … Continue reading “IFA Chicago hosts Grey’s Anatomy director Daniel Willis”

Chicago filmmakers’ Monuments opens at Siskel Center

This Friday, June 4, is the exclusive Chicago streaming engagement of Monuments, from local filmmaker and Gene Siskel Film Center alum Jack C. Newell (Open Tables, 42 Grams), and Chicago Producer, Angie Gaffney (Executive Director of the Chicago Independent Film Alliance). The road film, featuring many Chicago landmarks and faces, stars David Sullivan (Primer, Flaked, Sharp Objects) as a college … Continue reading “Chicago filmmakers’ Monuments opens at Siskel Center”

Oscar-nominated, Diane Quon on IFA Executive Talks

Angie Gaffney, Executive Director of the IFA wants to hear from you. As we all know, visual storytelling is a powerful medium in which to delve into diverse experiences that enrich, enlighten and provoke empathy. And with your invaluable input, the IFA is taking a hard look at what Chicago’s independent content community needs to tell … Continue reading “Oscar-nominated, Diane Quon on IFA Executive Talks”

CIFF announces ‘Go to the Body’ as winner of The Pitch

The 56th Chicago International Film Festival has announced the winner of The Pitch at the 6th edition of Industry Days: Go to the Body, written and directed by Kyra Jones (co-creator of The Right Swipe) and produced by Angellic Ross.  The film follows Sanaa, a rising racial justice organizer who is sexually assaulted by a fellow activist … Continue reading “CIFF announces ‘Go to the Body’ as winner of The Pitch”

Camera Ambassador Grant winner Raju faces challenges

This past summer, director and writer Sean Sankalp Raju won the Camera Ambassador Community Builders Grant for his project A Nickname. The autobiographical short film tells the story of how the filmmaker received the moniker, Sean, as an Indian American child. In an economy where funding an independent film is especially difficult, Raju was ecstatic … Continue reading “Camera Ambassador Grant winner Raju faces challenges”

212 and IFA collaborate for new streaming platform, Aha

212 Creative Network and Independent Film Alliance (IFA) have joined forces on a unique collaboration for 212’s streaming platform, Aha. The platform features creative professionals sharing their knowledge and expertise via filmmaker discussions, Q&As, webinars, panel discussions, and more. Additionally, Aha highlights talent in the Midwest to enhance their outreach, to potentially connect them to … Continue reading “212 and IFA collaborate for new streaming platform, Aha”

Chicago Film Office lists new production guidelines

With the world slowly reopening, the film, advertising and TV industries are in search of answers, especially with COVID-19 and demonstrations still ongoing.  With economic and political uncertainty pushing insecurities, filmmakers, actors, and other collaborators look to the Illinois Film Office and Chicago Film Office. This week, the Chicago Film Office website posted their Be … Continue reading “Chicago Film Office lists new production guidelines”

Indie Film Town Hall: Production and New Protocols

The Indie Film Town Hall series brings together Chicago’s independent film and media-making community during these difficult times. In a series of lunchtime meetings over Zoom, members of Chicago’s indie film and media organizations will discuss the challenges that face our industries and actions we are taking in support of each other and Chicago-area creators. … Continue reading “Indie Film Town Hall: Production and New Protocols”

Chicago Filmmakers hints at Reeling festival going virtual

Today, Thursday May 14th, The Indie Film Town Hall met to discuss the future of production in Illinois.  The panel included Christine Dudley (IPA) Angie Gaffney (IFA), Peter Hawley (Illinois Film Office), Anthony Kaufman (Chicago International Film Festival Industry) Brenda Webb (Chicago Filmmakers), Colette Ghunim (Mezcla Media Collective).  The discussion was led by Angie Gaffney, … Continue reading “Chicago Filmmakers hints at Reeling festival going virtual”

The first Indie Film Town Hall meeting on Thursday

On Thursday, May 14th, the Independent Film Alliance Chicago, the Chicago International Film Festival and Industry days are hosting their first Indie Film Town Hall, bringing together Chicago’s independent film and media-making community during these difficult times. From 1-2 pm CST, grab your lunch and join panelists from Chicago’s indie film and media organizations as they discuss the challenges that face … Continue reading “The first Indie Film Town Hall meeting on Thursday”

Can out of work film crews help prepare for COVID-19

Workers in the entertainment industry have been particularly hard hit as production sets and performance venues find themselves completely shut down as a precaution against the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. According to IATSE who spoke to The Wrap, 120,000 below-the-line production people are out of work in Hollywood.  Tobin Neis is the Director of Marketing at … Continue reading “Can out of work film crews help prepare for COVID-19”

CineCares’ Mirkopoulos Internship cohort keeps it going

A cohort of young professionals assured industry leaders that the future of Chicago production is in good hands at Cinespace Chicago Film Studios on Monday afternoon. Highlighting the Wrap Party for the Mirkopoulos Internship Program, each member of the group had just finished working as temporary crew on Chicago Fire / PD / Med, and … Continue reading “CineCares’ Mirkopoulos Internship cohort keeps it going”

Cinespace pledges $50K to UC Comer Children’s Hospital

Cinespace Chicago Film Studios is proud to announce a five-year pledge of $50,000 to the University of Chicago Medicine Comer Children’s Hospital in support of the Pediatric Mobile Medical Unit. The doctor’s “office on wheels” takes primary care to children in underserved communities on Chicago’s South Side. The 38-foot-long Comer Children’s Hospital Pediatric Mobile Medical … Continue reading “Cinespace pledges $50K to UC Comer Children’s Hospital”

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”

Hawley and Amoaku help film industry move forward

Newly installed office-holders explain their plans for keeping Chicago and Illinois on the path of success The thriving regional film industry is only going to get better, according to two of its recently appointed top leaders. Illinois Film Office Executive Director Peter Hawley and Director of the Chicago Film Office Kwame Amoaku described their visions … Continue reading “Hawley and Amoaku help film industry move forward”

Cinespace goes to the dogs for a day

Chicago Film Studio partners with PAWS Chicago to spread awareness and showcase “amazing pets” available for adoption   Production at Cinespace Chicago Film Studios was temporarily disrupted yesterday when a half-dozen dogs appeared in a patch of grass at Rockwell and 16th. Frolicking, rolling around, and generally being adorable without really trying, the pooches were … Continue reading “Cinespace goes to the dogs for a day”

The Chicago Media Standards are a win for everyone

By ridding film sets of discrimination and harassment, we’ll all have more great content to choose from As soon as the Chicago Media Standards were unveiled at Stage 18 last Thursday night, they began making an impact that will eventually bring joy to everyone who loves movies. The Chicago Media Standards is a code of … Continue reading “The Chicago Media Standards are a win for everyone”

Camera Ambassador announces Builders Grant

Chicago-based equipment rental house to award winning filmmaker with nearly $10K in cash, gear, and goodies Camera Ambassador is offering creators a chance to win nearly $10k worth of funding, gear, and other goodies by way of a Builders Grant designed “to recognize accomplished individuals, as well as provide opportunities for young and emerging artists.” … Continue reading “Camera Ambassador announces Builders Grant”

CAFM celebrates 10th year of “Fun & Fundraising”

Holiday Hurrah at Carbon Arc features networking, raffle prizes, silent auction, “Winter Weekend Getaway” and more (Chicago — 5 December 2018) Tasty food, cool prizes, and dancing are on the menu as the Chicago Acting In Film Meetup (CAFM) celebrates the year with a film industry party, fundraiser, and networking night all rolled into one. … Continue reading “CAFM celebrates 10th year of “Fun & Fundraising””

Tribute to DuShon Monique Brown

Chicago lost a true star when DuShon Monique Brown passed away at Franciscan St. James Health Olympia Fields last Friday afternoon. Besides achieving considerable success in an acting career that included roles on Empire, Prison Break, and Shameless, Brown also formerly served as crisis counselor and leader of a drama program at Kenwood Academy High … Continue reading “Tribute to DuShon Monique Brown”

Chicago-made “Hammersmith” going to Cannes

The eight-minute short, HAMMERSMITH: Hurdle Of Dreams, will be the first submission from Chicago’s 48 Hour Film Project to screen at the Short Film Corner program of the Cannes Film Festival. Opening with an impeccably crafted foot-chase over a tribal percussion track, Hurdle Of Dreams was shot and finished within two days by Chicago-based Kalopsia … Continue reading “Chicago-made “Hammersmith” going to Cannes”

CMA Digital Studios to fund five webseries with $50k each

CMA Digital Studios (CMADS) has created a potentially life-changing opportunity for filmmakers and content creators in Illinois. The company’s 2018 Content Initiative will invest $250,000 in five Illinois-made webseries to be selected by a committee of key players from the Chicago film community over the next two weeks.   The opportunity is open to all … Continue reading “CMA Digital Studios to fund five webseries with $50k each”

CAFM brings the “action” to Carbon Arc holiday bash

There are a lot of reasons to join the Chicago Acting in Film Meetup group’s annual signature celebration — aka the “Holiday Hurrah” — on Monday Dec. 11 at the Carbon Arc Bar & Board in Lincoln Square. Besides serving hors d’oeuvres and offering an hourlong drink ticket followed by music and dancing, the event … Continue reading “CAFM brings the “action” to Carbon Arc holiday bash”

Chicago Media Standards

An Open Letter to the Chicago Film Community: The Chicago film industry continues to enjoy record-breaking growth and development. But there’s one change we are not seeing fast enough — an unequivocal rejection of the culture of sexism, misogyny, and discrimination that has long dominated this business. If our community is to continue to thrive, … Continue reading “Chicago Media Standards”

Dwelling within Chicago’s “Public Housing Unit”

Screenwriter Patrick Wimp gathered an abundance of background material before he began on Public Housing Unit, a story about three police officers who patrol the Chicago projects in the 1980s. Over the previous year, along with creators Angie Gaffney and Ted Reilly, he had interviewed not only the cops who had worked the public housing … Continue reading “Dwelling within Chicago’s “Public Housing Unit””

11:33 a.m. — Stage 18

There’s always something going on at Stage 18, and it’s usually pretty cool. Right now, the Public Relations director of Chicago’s Underground Film Festival is preparing to make a call for 2018 submissions, J Jack Productions is writing an inside scoop for the newsletter “Exposing the Crew,” and Digital Hydra is working on its latest … Continue reading “11:33 a.m. — Stage 18”

Public Housing Unit among shows headed to NY TV fest

Seven Chicago-produced TV pilots for have been selected for the 2017 New York Television Festival, which will light up the Big Apple in the third week of October. From a candid glimpse at life in the projects to a personal crisis in a suburban basement, the themes reflect a dynamic and exciting Windy City production scene.

Chicago Actors Meetup celebrates 10th anniversary

On August 18, the Chicago Acting in Film Meetup will mark its 10th anniversary with a celebration and fundraiser in the restaurant and lounge connected to the historic Davis Theater, the Carbon Arc Bar & Board, from 7:30-9:30 p.m.

Open to CAFM members as well as the production community and the general public, admission includes a drink ticket for the first hour followed by a cash bar for the remainder of the evening in the movie-themed Lincoln Square venue. The price is $25 now through August 11, $30 between August 12-17, and $35 at the door.

ISA brings TV Weekend’s Master Series to Chicago

For all the Chicago Writers who crave to write TV, an important weekend is about to happen, brought to them by Los Angeles-based the International Screenwriters’ Association.

Founded by award-winning Chicago native and filmmaker, Craig James Pietrowiak, the renowned screenwriting organization is bringing their Masters Series Seminar “TV Weekend: From Concept to Studio Deal” to Chicago on May 5, 2017.

Social Media Pays Tribute to Ruth Ratny

Tributes poured in on Reel Chicago’s Facebook and Twitter accounts, as well as other social media pages, as word spread around the city that they had lost their beloved film and advertising herald.

From advertising creatives to production companies to post houses, Ruth Ratny’s articles touched the lives of many and will forever hold meaning for them.


These are a few:

Find indie films and crews on JJack’s new ETC site

Filmmaker Justin Jackola’s JJack Productions’ recently launched “Expose the Crew” (ETC), a double-duty online platform that showcases the latest films produced by local independent filmmakers it’s also a source from which to hire experienced crews.

Each Tuesday, “Exposing the Crew” highlights an indie film project, along with one of its crewmembers.

NY firms back Chicago-made TV comedy show “The Jamz”

If there ever were an “overnight success story,” this is it! Unknown Chicago-made and Chicago-set comedy shorts called “The Jamz” is discovered by New York powerbrokers who fund and produce a TV series and will digitally distributing it worldwide.

The first four half-hour episodes of “The Jamz” will have its world premiere Monday night, April 4 at the Logan Theatre, an invitation only event for the creators, producers, cast and crew, followed by a cast talk-back moderated by Eric Ferguson of 101.9 The Mix.

Daniel J. Travanti stars in feature development short

An old man that he saw reading The Odyssey in a café set the ball rolling for Richard Cohen.  “It was, for me, a striking image,” Cohen says.  “The rest just came from wondering.”

Writer-director Cohen landed Chicago actor Daniel J. Travanti to play a fictional version of the Odyssey reader in Cicero in Winter, now shooting through March 4 in Chicago, Oak Park and Franklin Park.

CIFF selects four IL film projects for “The Pitch”

The 56th Chicago International Film Festival announced a slate of four narrative feature film projects in active development that will be pitched live in front of a virtual audience and a panel of distinguished industry judges during the Festival’s Industry Days on Sunday, Oct. 18, 2020.  Now in its sixth year, The Pitch at Industry Days has established itself as a leading industry showcase spotlighting bold, original work from the Chicago region. Past projects from The Pitch at Industry Days have gone onto completion, including Jennifer Reader’s Signature Move, and two films showing at last year’s Chicago International Film Festival: Knives and Skin, also directed by Jennifer Reeder, and Haroula Rose’s Once Upon a River. This year’s filmmakers represent a diversity of voices that continue to reinforce the breadth and vitality of Chicago-area filmmakers and projects: from a sci-fi comedy horror film set in the suburbs to a drama set along the Mexico-American border, to the story of a sexual assault within a Black community and an estranged daughter in an Iraqi-American family who impersonates her recently deceased father. See below for loglines. The winning pitch receives an awards package of in-kind goods and services worth tens of thousands of dollars. Contributors include Keslow Camera, IFA Chicago and The Story Stage at CineSpace, Chicago Media Angels, Ramo Law PC, and the Sundance Institute. “Right now, during the pandemic, it’s the perfect time to develop, workshop, hone, and fine-tune feature film projects and make them great,” said Chicago International Film Festival and Industry Days Senior Programmer Anthony Kaufman. “The Pitch is a terrific way for the Festival to support and encourage local filmmakers and help push their projects forward.” This year’s Pitch will be hosted by IFA Chicago Executive Director and producer Angie Gaffney, and this year’s jury includes: Bronwyn Cornelius, producer of Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize winner Clemency; Ilyse McKimmie, Deputy Director for Sundance Institute’s Feature Film Program; and Yvonne Huff Lee, co-CEO of Lagralane Group. The selected projects for 2020’s The Pitch at Industry Days are: Anchor Baby After witnessing his father nearly beat a Mexican immigrant to death while patrolling the desert border, a thirteen-year-old boy growing up in the Arizona Border Militia finds solace in an unlikely place — the arms of the new undocumented migrant girl in town. Screenwriter: Anna Hozian Director: Danny Mooney Producer: Dale Armin Johnson Go to the Body After Sanaa, a rising racial justice organizer, is sexually assaulted by a fellow activist, she tries to push past her trauma and return to her normal life. The only thing standing in the way is her fianceé, Kendrick, an overprotective boxer who has his own idea of justice. Writer/Director: Kyra Jones Producer: Angellic Ross Invasion of the Housewives … Continue reading “CIFF selects four IL film projects for “The Pitch””