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”

Chicago Filmmakers seeks projects for CDMPF grant

Chicago Filmmakers announces the 2021 call for applications for the Chicago Digital Media Production Fund (CDMPF), a grant designed to support Chicago-based filmmakers and digital media artists whose work encourages social change. The fund will award up to $100,000 in cash grants to support locally-made, web-based digital media projects.  The application window will be open … Continue reading “Chicago Filmmakers seeks projects for CDMPF grant”

Chicago filmmakers have the #1 box-office hit this week

Chicago filmmakers Chris Charles, Columbia College Chicago Adjunct Professor Danny Kravitz, and three-time Academy Award nominee Robert Lorenz have a No. 1 box-office hit this week with the Liam Neeson thriller, The Marksman. The idea was first hatched in 2009, and the journey from script to screen was a long one. “It was ultimately our … Continue reading “Chicago filmmakers have the #1 box-office hit this week”

Conversation with Steven Poster at Chicago Filmmakers

Chicago Filmmakers is pleased to announce another edition of Masterwork: Industry Conversations, a series of virtual interviews with long established and award-winning filmmakers followed by a Q&A session with the audience. Award-winning Director of Photography, Steven Poster, ASC will join us on Wednesday, November 18 at 7:00PM CST to discuss his career as a cinematographer in Hollywood.  Steven … Continue reading “Conversation with Steven Poster at Chicago Filmmakers”

Chicago Filmmakers announces Film Education Program

Chicago Filmmakers announces the launch of Masterwork: Industry Conversations, a series of virtual interviews designed to provide insight into the careers of long established and award-winning filmmakers. The first session will take place on July 23 with cinematographer Jeff Jur, and the second will be on August 27 with cinematographer Michelle Crenshaw, both followed by a … Continue reading “Chicago Filmmakers announces Film Education Program”

Chicago filmmakers treat us to Vanlife at its Lowest & Best

Chicago filmmakers, Andrew Morgan and co-director Nick Nummerdor set out to make a film about the reclusive, and enigmatic American automotive subculture known as “vanning.’ Welcome to Sleeze Lake! It’s 1977 and the idealistic message of the hippie counter-culture has played a decade long game of telephone with America’s youth. Still searching for freedom and … Continue reading “Chicago filmmakers treat us to Vanlife at its Lowest & Best”

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”

Chicago Filmmakers offers online filmmaking courses

Chicago Filmmakers, a community media arts organization based in Chicago, announces today the launch of several online filmmaking courses for adults and youth starting in April. In response to the social distancing measures imposed in mid-March, Chicago Filmmakers is adapting several of its filmmaking courses for the web to continue serving the film community with … Continue reading “Chicago Filmmakers offers online filmmaking courses”

Reel Women: Brenda Webb, Chicago Filmmakers Exec Dir

Editor’s Note: They are leaders. They are inspirational. They are mentors. They are visionaries. They are, quite frankly, badasses. They are our 2020 Reel Women During Women’s History Month, you will be able to meet these incredible personalities in Advertising, Entertainment, Media and Production. Get ready. Brenda Webb started at Chicago Filmmakers in 1978 as … Continue reading “Reel Women: Brenda Webb, Chicago Filmmakers Exec Dir”

Chicago Filmmakers announces Onion City lineup

Chicago Filmmakers is pleased to announce the full lineup for the 30th anniversary edition of the Onion City Experimental Film + Video Festival, which will take place Thursday, March 12 to Sunday, March 15 at Chicago Filmmakers’ Firehouse Cinema in Edgewater. Featuring an array of beautiful, timely, and formidable works that transcend borders from Chicago … Continue reading “Chicago Filmmakers announces Onion City lineup”

Chicago filmmakers prepare for 48 Hour Film Project

Winners of the international contest will receive $1,000 and a chance to have their work screened at Cannes   Dr. Phranque Wright is sitting across a table at a dark dive bar looking to hookup — with actors, producers, and writers trickling into the Lincoln Tap Room on a Sunday night. Like most of the … Continue reading “Chicago filmmakers prepare for 48 Hour Film Project”

Chicago Filmmakers’ housewarming celebration

The ribbon-cutting ceremony for Chicago Filmmakers’ new Edgewater home featured dedications, activities, and hors d’oeuvres on Saturday April 28. It was an exciting chapter in a story that has and will continue to run for years. The event began with heartfelt introductions from Founder Sgharon Zurek and Executive Director Brenda Webb. “Chicago Filmmakers has been … Continue reading “Chicago Filmmakers’ housewarming celebration”

Chicago Filmmakers invites public to celebrate new space

Chicago Filmmakers invites the public to join us in celebrating the opening of our new home, a 1928 Chicago Historic Landmark firehouse purchased from the city of Chicago in 2016. After extensive renovations, Chicago Filmmakers has restored the retired firehouse and developed it into a new space that will be a vital cultural addition to … Continue reading “Chicago Filmmakers invites public to celebrate new space”

Chicago Filmmakers pitch for $1MM Tribeca competition

The Year Between, a project written by Chicago filmmaker and comedian Alex Heller in development with Full Spectrum Features, will compete in AT&T Presents: Untold Stories, a live pitch event presented by AT&T and Tribeca Film Institute. Five teams will compete to receive a $1 million to produce their film. The competition will take place … Continue reading “Chicago Filmmakers pitch for $1MM Tribeca competition”

Chicago filmmakers unleash “Super Narcoleptic” trailer

The trailer for Super Narcoleptic Girl has arrived. The highly anticipated, Chicago-made webseries “follows the story of a low-level, narcoleptic superhero with the power to make people dance as she struggles to save the day and stay awake,” according to a press release. Chicago Director Larry Ziegelman (Geek Lounge) helmed the series, which consists of … Continue reading “Chicago filmmakers unleash “Super Narcoleptic” trailer”

Keeping up with Chicago filmmakers working in LA

A group of six ambitious Chicago transplants now working in LA gathered for more shop talk over breakfast at Kitchen 24 in West Hollywood last week.

They were screenwriters Dante Bacani and Ron Maede; standup comedian/producer Lindsey Luck; agency-turned-TV and comedy writer Parde Bridgett and actress and newly published children’s book author, Kelli McNeil and myself, a screenwriter and former agency creative.

2 of 4 CIFF Audience Awards go to Chicago filmmakers

Two of the four coveted Audience Choice Awards of the 50th Chicago Film Festival went to Chicago filmmakers now living on the West Coast. Kartemquin director Joanna Rudnick’s “On Beauty,” won the award for Best Short Film, out of 68 short films from 50-plus countries and Gabe Polsky’s Best Feature Documentary “Red Army” won out of a field of 19.

12 Chicago Filmmakers 2008 classes start Jan. 8

Oscar-nominated Bill Siegel, who co-directed and produced “The Weather Underground,” will teach Chicago Filmmakers’ most popular class, “Developing the Documentary,” during its winter 2008 instructional program.

Siegel’s feature doc, the story of the radical activists and politics of the ?70s, won top prizes in four major festivals, and was nominated as best feature doc by the DGA and the International Documentary Association.

Chicago Filmmakers’ Patrick Friel programs offbeat shows and large international festivals

WHO HE IS: Patrick Friel, since 1996 the program director of 34-year old Chicago Filmmakers.

WHAT HE DOES: He coordinates nine programs a year with his only co-worker, executive director and Chicago Filmmakers’ founder Brenda Webb.

Having just ended the 19th Annual Onion City Experimental Film Festival, he’s sending out a call for entries for the Nov. 8-18 27th annual Gay and Lesbian International Film Festival.

More shots at L.A. industry insiders at biggest IFP/Chicago Filmmakers Summit

With more chances for interaction with national industry insiders and a strong selection of local filmmakers, IFP/Chicago continues to bolster its centerpiece program with the 15th Annual Midwest Filmmakers Summit.

“Last year we had a record-breaking number of attendees, with over a thousand people over the course of the weekend,” said IFP/Chicago managing director Molly Hansen.

New to the Summit is Straight Pitch, a chance for passholders who register by Oct.

Split Pillow’s collaborate doc features Chicago stories; at Chicago Filmmakers March 3-5

The production collective Split Pillow brings it “yes, and?” improv-based aesthetic to their first documentary “Chicago360.”

It premieres in a three-night engagement at Chicago Filmmakers March 3-5.

Split Pillow brought together five documentarians to create 10-minute stories, each focusing on the people of a different Chicago neighborhood.

“It’s a piece that could not have been done anywhere else,” said Jason Stephens, executive director of the nonprofit Split Pillow.

Stratman Retrospective at Chicago Filmmakers

A DEBORAH STRATMAN RETROSPECTIVE Dec. 4 at Chicago Filmmakers, with Stratman present, screens her 2004 “Kings of the Sky,” that follows tightrope artist Adil Hoxur as he and his troupe tour China’s Taklamakan Desert amongst the Turkic Muslim Uyghurs.

Preceding is Stratman’s 1995 “On the Various Nature of Things,” a 24-figure exploration of the natural forces at work in the world. Chicago Filmmakers is at 5243 N. Clark, 8 p.m.; $3 members, $7 general.

National guests draw big crowds at IFP/Chicago Filmmakers Conference

Donius presided over her first IFP Filmmakers Conference Oct. 21-24, featuring an expanded four-day schedule, a higher-profile roster of national figures and attendees from across the Midwest.

The Conference springboarded off the Chicago International Film Festival, which closed the night the Conference opened, drawing filmmakers who were in town for the fest: Alexander Payne, whose “Sideways” advance screening presaged the Conference, and director Dylan Kidd and star Laura Linney, whose “P.S.” headlined Friday night.

Chicago filmmakers advance to Top 10 in Project Greenlight competition

Scott Smith
Duane Edwards

Female filmmakers wow crowd at Chicago Latino Fest

Women-directed films win audience choice best feature and best documentary for the second year in a row   Icíar Bollaín’s Yuli and Gretchen Hilebrand’s Decade of Fire honored as 2019 winners The International Latino Cultural Center of Chicago announced today the winners and runner-ups of the 35th Chicago Latino Film Festival and for a second … Continue reading “Female filmmakers wow crowd at Chicago Latino Fest”

Filmmakers’ home becomes “go-to” Chicago location

“Chicago Fire” and “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel” are among the shows that have filmed in the 2,200 sq.-ft. loft on South Michigan Ave.   Filmmaker Cyrus Dowlatshahi was inspired by more than real estate when he decided to purchase his home five years ago. “I was looking for a place and just got really … Continue reading “Filmmakers’ home becomes “go-to” Chicago location”

Chicago-connected films and filmmakers head for Sundance; “Obama in Africa” gets local premiere

CHEVY CHASE hosts an evening at Sundance for the world premiere of Phil Ranstrom’s doc, “Electrified: The Story of the Maxwell St. Urban Blues” Jan 25 at Harry O’s in Park City.

Narrated by Chicago native Joe Mantegna, “Electrified” tells how Maxwell Street’s neighborhood led to the hard driving sound of the urban blues and ultimately to rock ?n’ roll.

Ranstrom’s companion film, “Cheat You Fair,” documents the last days of Maxwell Street market. Ranstrom began both projects in 1994 shortly before the Maxwell Street market was demolished.

Chicago Documentary Festival March 30-April 8 features four world premieres by local filmmakers

THE CHICAGO DOCUMENTARY FILM FESTIVAL returns in its biennial incarnation with more than 100 docs screening between March 30 and April 8 at eight venues throughout the city.

One of the highlights is an appearance by former Chicagoan Mike Gray and the showing of his “The Murder of Fred Hampton,” exposing the Black Panther leader’s assassination for Chicago police.

Best year yet for Chicago indie filmmakers, with an estimated 140 films and more DVD sales

For Chicago’s burgeoning community of active and creative independent filmmakers, 2005 was a very good year. The number of films?feature, short, doc, animation, experimental?enlarged, along with some decent distribution deals and growing respect for the auteur.

An estimated 40 indie films were produced over the course of the year, and at least 100 shorts and documentaries were reported here in 2005.

Every genre was represented.

57th Chicago International Film Festival announces Industry Days

The 57th Chicago International Film Festival announced the program for Industry Days, to be held October 14 – 17, 2021, with an impressive list of guest speakers to inspire and illuminate the film and entertainment community.  Highlights include this year’s Keynote talk with Brenda Gilbert, President and Co-Founder of BRON Studios, which has received six Academy … Continue reading “57th Chicago International Film Festival announces Industry Days”

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”

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”

Full Spectrum Features announces selections for Chicagoland Shorts

Full Spectrum Features (FSF) announces the films and filmmakers selected to take part in Chicagoland Shorts Vol. 7, an annual short film collection featuring boundary-pushing, emerging filmmakers from around Chicago. The world premiere will take place at the Gene Siskel Film Center on Thursday September 2 at 7PM. Chicagoland Shorts Vol. 7 includes:“35” by Eseoghene … Continue reading “Full Spectrum Features announces selections for Chicagoland Shorts”

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”

CIFF launches Chicago Industry Exchange and CIX:Lab

The Chicago International Film Festival, presented by Cinema/Chicago, announced the formation of the organization’s Chicago Industry Exchange (CIX), the new name for its year-round industry programming, along with the launch of CIX:Lab The CIX:Lab is a year-long creative development lab focusing on 4-5 feature film projects made by diverse voices and underrepresented filmmakers in the region. CIX will build on … Continue reading “CIFF launches Chicago Industry Exchange and CIX:Lab”

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 film community mourns loss of Jeff Marpé

The Chicago film community is sadden by the loss of film pioneer Jeff Marpé, executive producer, director and founder of Line 9 Productions who passed away suddenly on July 14th. Jeff’s sudden passing came as a shock to his family, son Breydon age 23, daughter Kali age 20, and ex-wife Rose who said that Jeff had … Continue reading “Chicago film community mourns loss of Jeff Marpé”

Ida B. Wells ‘Chicago Stories’ premiere tonight on WTTW

On Friday, May 21 at 8:00 pm on all WTTW platforms, Ida B Wells, a one-hour Chicago Stories special and companion website, paints a deeply humanizing portrait of a woman who was uncompromising in her quest for justice. The program tells her story through interviews with her descendants and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones, creator of the Ida B Wells … Continue reading “Ida B. Wells ‘Chicago Stories’ premiere tonight on WTTW”

Chicago producer, director offers NFT distribution

Chicago Producer Anthony Gibson and Director Zach Lona are introducing a new distribution mode with their feature film He Who Lives in Hidden Lakes, a wacky mockumentary comedy about faith and folklore. The film will be released this year via Film Hub, but only after it has been auctioned off as an NFT- that’s a … Continue reading “Chicago producer, director offers NFT distribution”

Doc featuring life of Chicago LGBTQ+ leaders Art and Pep

A teaser and website for the new film Art and Pep was just released, giving a first glimpse into the documentary that will feature the life and love of LGBTQ+ civil rights leaders, Art Johnston and José Pepe Peña, owners of the iconic Sidetrack bar in Chicago. For more than 40 years, Johnston and Peña … Continue reading “Doc featuring life of Chicago LGBTQ+ leaders Art and Pep”

How two Chicago guys made a #1 box office hit

Reel Chicago talks with the Chicago writing team Danny Kravitz and Chris Charles about how they managed to take The Marksman to the #1 box office hit. Universal Pictures is releasing the film on digital platforms on April 27 followed by on-demand platforms and Blu-ray/DVD on May 11. In anticipation of the digital release of … Continue reading “How two Chicago guys made a #1 box office hit”

37th Chicago Latino Film Audience Choice Award wins

The 37th Chicago Latino Film Festival announces the winners and runners-up for the Audience Choice Awards. The Audience Choice Award for Best Feature went to The Heist of the Century, Argentinian director Ariel Winograd’s heist comedy about the most famous and audacious bank robbery in Argentina’s history starring Guillermo Francella (The Secret in Their Eyes) … Continue reading “37th Chicago Latino Film Audience Choice Award wins”

Reel Black Filmmakers hold monthly film series

 In closing out their monthly South Side Short Film Series, the Reel Black Filmmakers—a program of the Community Film Workshop of Chicago—will dedicate the finale to films featuring stories about well-known as well as little-known leaders in the areas of the arts, religion and medicine on Thursday, April 22nd at 7pm.  The featured filmmakers are … Continue reading “Reel Black Filmmakers hold monthly film series”

STORY signs McCormick Brothers adventure filmmakers

Adventure filmmakers Kyler and Kody McCormick have joined STORY for advertising projects. The McCormick Brothers, who have directed commercials, branded content and social media for Southwest Airlines, Canon, Camping World, Hilton, Adobe and others, are seeking to tap STORY’s relationships with ad agencies nationwide to gain more opportunities to apply their unique style of inspirational … Continue reading “STORY signs McCormick Brothers adventure filmmakers”

Chicago Med, Fire actors in Rain Beau’s End

Rain Beau’s End is an intimate lesbian family-drama situated in the late 1990s, depicting how the labelling of their adopted son affects a progressive lesbian couple’s relationship as they struggle to raise their family in the spotlight. Based on a story by Chicago’s Joe Orlandino and written by Jennifer Cooney, the film tells a motherhood … Continue reading “Chicago Med, Fire actors in Rain Beau’s End”

LeBron James, AT&T celebrate Black Chicago

This Black History Month, AT&T Dream in Black presents the return of Black Future Makers, a future-forward celebration of inspirational people in the culture. The campaign was announced via a commercial celebrating frontline workers and everyday heroes from Chicago in a spot voiced by NBA superstar, philanthropist and entrepreneur LeBron James. James is also one of this … Continue reading “LeBron James, AT&T celebrate Black Chicago”

‘Ma Rainey’ ‘Chicago 7’ top AFI’s Top 10 List

The American Film Institute (AFI) announced today the recipients of AFI AWARDS 2020. AFI’s global Movie Club program will showcase the official selections beginning in February, with new and exclusive content released daily, including special guests from the honored works introducing the titles and AFI’s “Behind the Scene” conversations with filmmakers and actors. AFI MOVIES … Continue reading “‘Ma Rainey’ ‘Chicago 7’ top AFI’s Top 10 List”

Merry Christmas from Reel Chicago + Reel 360

No need to dive in-depth into what a dumpster fire of a year 2020 has been. We all know. The pandemic has altered the way many of us view life for good. Even how we celebrate Christmas this year. And we really understand the ramifications of COVID here at Reel 360 and Reel Chicago. Because we reported on … Continue reading “Merry Christmas from Reel Chicago + Reel 360”

Our Top 10 Chicago Christmas films

There’s nothing like Christmas in Chicago and Hollywood filmmakers have produced several films set in Chi-town, the midwestern city who embraces many warm and small town traditions that make transplanted Chicagoans across the nation feel homesick. So curl up on your couch with your remote and a nice cup of hot cocoa and enjoy these … Continue reading “Our Top 10 Chicago Christmas films”

Zoë Iltsopoulos Borys named VP/GM Panavision Chicago

Panavision has named Zoë Iltsopoulos Borys to lead the company’s Chicago office as Vice President and General Manager. Borys will ensure Panavision’s customers continue to receive the highest level of service and support throughout the commercial, television, and feature sectors, and will be supported by Chicago Operations Manager Stan Glapa. Sharon Walker Retires Borys’ appointment … Continue reading “Zoë Iltsopoulos Borys named VP/GM Panavision Chicago”

‘Chicago From The Air’ WTTW special filmed with drone

A new special narrated by Geoffrey Baer, filmed from above, explores Chicago and its history from a new and breathtaking perspective. Imagine if you could soar, swoop, dive, and spiral through and around Chicago’s landmarks, neighborhoods, and suburbs – with a familiar voice providing engaging commentary along the way. CHICAGO FROM THE AIR, a new … Continue reading “‘Chicago From The Air’ WTTW special filmed with drone”

37th Annual Chicago International Children’s Film Fest

The full schedule was announced for Facets 37th Annual Chicago International Children’s Film Festival (CICFF37) one of only two Academy Award-qualifying international children’s film festivals in the world. Presented this year from Friday, November 13 through Sunday, November 22, FACETS ever-popular signature program will be presented virtually in its entirety due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. “Since FACETS launched the Chicago International … Continue reading “37th Annual Chicago International Children’s Film Fest”

Chicago International Film Festival livestream Q&As

Connect with the artists and filmmakers of the Chicago International Film Festival with these livestream Q&As. Livestream Q&As will be hosted on the film’s webpage on our streaming portal. Ticket holders can access the Q&A through the virtual access link emailed with their ticket purchase. Attendees will have the opportunity to submit questions during the event. … Continue reading “Chicago International Film Festival livestream Q&As”

Applications open for Chicago Independent Producers Lab

Applications are now open for the 2021 cycle of the Chicago Film Office’s Chicago Independent Producers Lab. Participating producers will have the chance to work with industry professionals to grow their network and expertise in different areas of independent film producing.  Full Spectrum Features and the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) recognize producers … Continue reading “Applications open for Chicago Independent Producers Lab”

CIFF screens Chicago-made film ‘Finding Yingying’

Chicago made, award-winning feature documentary, Finding Yingying is screening tonight at the Chicago International Film Festival.  Produced by Kartemquin Films, Finding Yingying is Chicago-based filmmaker Jiayan “Jenny” Shi’s debut feature documentary. The film follows the story of the Zhang family who, in the summer of 2017, travel to the United States from China in search of their missing 26-year old daughter. … Continue reading “CIFF screens Chicago-made film ‘Finding Yingying’”

Reeling: Chicago LGBTQ+ Int’l Film Fest award winners

Reeling announces the winners of the 38th annual Reeling: The Chicago LGBTQ+ International Film Festival. The festival was held virtually this year from September 24 to October 7 and the event included 39 programs with films from 21 countries. The festival featured 31 Q&As with filmmakers which have been recorded and can be viewed here. We would … Continue reading “Reeling: Chicago LGBTQ+ Int’l Film Fest award winners”

The Chicago 48 Hour Film Project begins this weekend

The 48 Hour Film Project takes place in Chicago this weekend and you can still be a part of it! Filmmakers are taking over Chicago and turning it into movie-making madness for 48 hours! Teams of filmmakers have a single weekend – this one – to write, shoot and edit their short films! All completed … Continue reading “The Chicago 48 Hour Film Project begins this weekend”

56th Chicago International Film Festival announces juries

Mimi Plauché, artistic director of the 56th Chicago International Film Festival, today announced the jury members for its competitions, featuring a host of acclaimed filmmakers and film professionals from across the globe. Juries will review films competing for prizes in the following competitions: International Competition; New Directors Competition; International Documentary Competition; Out-Look; City & State; and Short Film … Continue reading “56th Chicago International Film Festival announces juries”

Chicago Latino Film Fest announces audience choice wins

The International Latino Cultural Center of Chicago announced today the winners and runner-ups for the AUDIENCE CHOICE AWARDS of the 36th Chicago Latino Film Festival. The festival was held virtually from Sept. 18 to Sept. 27 in Chicago and throughout the State of Illinois. In total, the Festival presented 44 feature and 38 shorts. Even though CLFF is … Continue reading “Chicago Latino Film Fest announces audience choice wins”

Chicago film community mourns loss of Andrew Biesen

It is always difficult to hear of a fellow filmmaker passing, especially someone as wonderful and influential as Andrew Beisen. Those who knew him best say that Andrew was talented, kind, ambitious, and empathetic in every way possible.  He was always optimistic, and a great problem solver, the type of person who would lend a … Continue reading “Chicago film community mourns loss of Andrew Biesen”

Chicago Humanities Festival has exciting Sept calendar

Chicago Humanities Festival has announced the entire digital line-up for the month of September. In addition to already-announced speakers Claudia Rankine and Jill Lepore, events include David Spade interviewing Colin Quinn, a conversation with Chicago filmmakers about the future of the film industry in town, and Eboo Patel talking with Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Ayad Akhtar.  … Continue reading “Chicago Humanities Festival has exciting Sept calendar”

The 36th Chicago Latino Film Festival goes virtual

The International Latino Cultural Center of Chicago announced that the 36th Chicago Latino Film Festival will shift to a virtual format and will take place from September 18-27. The Festival was originally scheduled for April 16-30 at the AMC River East 21 Theatres, but was postponed on March 13th when Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker and Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot ordered … Continue reading “The 36th Chicago Latino Film Festival goes virtual”

Chicago Int’l Film Festival’s Industry Days goes virtual

The Chicago International Film Festival, presented by Cinema/Chicago, today announced this year’s Industry Days will be held virtually for a global audience, October 12-18, 2020. Early Bird accreditation is now available for qualified participants to secure registration at the lowest price. Registration prices will increase to the regular rate on August 21. Film and media professionals interested in … Continue reading “Chicago Int’l Film Festival’s Industry Days goes virtual”

Chicago ’66 wins Tirota/Finish Line Contest

Professor and Screenwriter Stephane Dunn’s Grand Prize winner in the first Tirota/Finish Line Social Impact Script Competition was inspired by Martin Luther King, Jr.’s activism in the Summer of 1966. Morehouse College Professor Stephane Dunn took inspiration from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s impactful but largely forgotten crusade in Chicago in writing her screenplay, Chicago ’66, which … Continue reading “Chicago ’66 wins Tirota/Finish Line Contest”

Chicago-Made doc screens at Gene Siskel Film Center

The Gene Siskel Film Center will host virtual screenings of the new locally-produced documentary “Seasons of Change on Henry’s Farm” beginning Friday, August 14. Set on an idyllic family farm in Central Illinois, “Seasons of Change on Henry’s Farm” (USA, 83 minutes) follows organic farmer Henry Brockman as he grapples with the future of farming … Continue reading “Chicago-Made doc screens at Gene Siskel Film Center”

Reeling: Chicago LGBTQ+ Int’l Film Festival goes virtual

The 38th edition of Reeling: The Chicago LGBTQ+ International Film Festival will be held as an online virtual event. Festival Dates: September 24 – October 4, 2020 Chicago Filmmakers, the presenting organization of Reeling, made the decision to go virtual amid the uncertainty surrounding the reopening of cinemas and an increase in cases of COVID-19 … Continue reading “Reeling: Chicago LGBTQ+ Int’l Film Festival goes virtual”

Q & A with SAG-AFTRA Chicago’s Kathy Byrne

Kathy Byrne provides a wealth of information for Chicago productions.  Currently the SAG-AFTRA Chicago Local Director of TV/Theatrical, she was a Project Coordinator for the Mayor’s Office of Special Events in the Film Office.   Byrne has been the Director of TV/Theatrical for SAG-AFTRA Chicago since May, 2010.  In addition to running the TV/Theatrical Department, … Continue reading “Q & A with SAG-AFTRA Chicago’s Kathy Byrne”

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”

Mezcla raises funds for femme filmmakers of color

Mezcla Media Collective is championing the film community by launching the month-long Mezcla Media Collective COVID-19 Relief Fund to raise $15K for its members in light of the Coronavirus pandemic . Members will be able to apply for $500 micro-grants of emergency relief once the campaign closes. A recent survey of Mezcla members found that … Continue reading “Mezcla raises funds for femme filmmakers of color”

Zoom Interview: Chicago Fire’s Daniel Kyri

With Pride around the corner, it’s exciting to chat about the importance of representation in media with those who work hardest to make change happen.  Daniel Kyri, who plays Darren Ritter on Chicago Fire/ Chicago PD, is one of those people.  Daniel Kyri is a Jeff-nominated Chicago-born actor, writer/director, filmmaker, singer, and curator.  A Windy … Continue reading “Zoom Interview: Chicago Fire’s Daniel Kyri”

‘Echo Boomers’ wraps in Chicago, moves to post

You may not be as familiar with the term from which Echo Boomers gets its title as you are with “generation Y,” or the all too ubiquitous “millennials.” As the children of Baby Boomers, our lives have echoed out from theirs.   It’s no secret our generation gets a lot of grief, and it stands to … Continue reading “‘Echo Boomers’ wraps in Chicago, moves to post”

Sundance picks 12 Filmmakers for Screenwriters Intensive

Twelve screenwriters have been selected to participate in Sundance Institute’s eighth annual Screenwriters Intensive in Los Angeles, to take place March 4-5, 2020. One of the students selected is Chicagoan, Jason Park. The Intensive, a two-day workshop for select emerging writers and writer/directors from underrepresented communities, focuses on the development of first fiction features. Fellows … Continue reading “Sundance picks 12 Filmmakers for Screenwriters Intensive”

From cosplay to comics, C2E2 comes to Chicago

Those who know me best might be surprised to learn that I’ve never attended a comic con, nor have I ever truly attempted cosplay. Conceptual modeling? Yes. Cosplay? Not so much. Last Halloween, I was excited to take on the challenge of creating my favorite Mortal Kombat character of all time (Kitana), while simultaneously making … Continue reading “From cosplay to comics, C2E2 comes to Chicago”

Reel Chicago’s own Reel Woman, Katharin Mraz

Editor’s Note: They are leaders. They are inspirational. They are mentors. They are visionaries. They are, quite frankly, badasses. They are our 2020 Reel Women During Women’s History Month, you will be able to meet these incredible personalities in Advertising, Entertainment, Media and Production. Get ready. Katharin “K” Mraz, is the owner of Ladie K … Continue reading “Reel Chicago’s own Reel Woman, Katharin Mraz”

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”

21st annual Chicago Irish Film Festival opens February 27

The 2020 Chicago Irish Film Festival kicks off with the US premiere of Guns & Rosaries, the 2019 documentary directed by award winning BBC filmmaker Peter Kelly, February 27 at Chicago’s Theatre on the Lake. Narrated by Martin Sheen, Guns & Rosaries is a “fascinating documentary about Father Patrick Peyton, the Irish-American priest who brought … Continue reading “21st annual Chicago Irish Film Festival opens February 27”

Behind the scenes of the Chicago-made ‘Conrad’ series

Jennifer A. Goodman and Ryan Atkins traveled separate journeys before finding one another and partnering up to create Conrad, a highly anticipated Crime Drama television show that recently finished filming in Chicago. Conrad tells the story of Kate Conrad, a rookie police detective in a male-dominated environment who fights to prove the innocence of her … Continue reading “Behind the scenes of the Chicago-made ‘Conrad’ series”

2nd annual “Chicago Shorts Night” & other news

Elevated Films’ 2nd Annual Chicago Shorts Night will light up the Chop Shop in Wicker Park on Wednesday, January 15th at 6 p.m. The special screening features ten Chicago-connected short films in a 100-year-old former auto body shop that is now the Windy City’s only sustainable butcher + deli + restaurant + bar. Be a … Continue reading “2nd annual “Chicago Shorts Night” & other news”

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”

Chicago Latino Film Fest launches streaming platform

CLFFMÁS will initially feature short films chosen from the last five years of the Festival, with more added every month The International Latino Cultural Center of Chicago (ILCC), producer of the Chicago Latino Film Festival (CLFF) among other events, announced today the launch of their streaming platform CLFFmás. Created in partnership with BTEC, an organization … Continue reading “Chicago Latino Film Fest launches streaming platform”

Midwest Indie’s 2019 Female Filmmakers Night

The Midwest Independent Film Festival’s venerable tradition takes place tomorrow night at Landmark Century Cinema The Midwest Independent Film Festival will present Female Filmmakers Night for the October installment of its monthly First Tuesday event tomorrow, October 1, from 6-9:30 p.m. at Landmark Century Cinema. Dating back more than a decade, Female Filmmakers Night is … Continue reading “Midwest Indie’s 2019 Female Filmmakers Night”

The 2019 Chicago South Side Film Festival

Third annual run kicks off with a live party and screening of Jesse Saunders’ ‘House Music: The Real Story’ The Chicago South Side Film Festival (CSSFF) brings back the celebration of South Side of Chicago on films. Featuring a diverse slate of screenings and activities, the event promises to inspire, enlighten, and entertain filmgoers and … Continue reading “The 2019 Chicago South Side Film Festival”

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”

Chicago’s Local Legend premieres first film

”Out of Reach” will screen at the International Social Change Film Festival September 27 Local Legend Films, a Chicago-based documentary film and video company committed to employing young people at risk from gun violence, will premiere its first original production during the International Social Change Film Festival on September 27, 2019. Titled, Out of Reach, … Continue reading “Chicago’s Local Legend premieres first film”

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”

Chicago Asian Pop-Up Cinema announces season 9

This year’s lineup of musicals, thrillers, dramas, comedies, and awards dazzle the Windy City September 10 through October 10, 2019 Non-profit pan-Asian film organization Sophia’s Choice today announces Asian Pop-Up Cinema – Season Nine, is the film series that cultivates American interest and understanding of Asian culture through movie storytelling while making Chicago a destination … Continue reading “Chicago Asian Pop-Up Cinema announces season 9”

The 10th annual Chicago South Asian Film Festival

Weekend-long cultural event opens September 19 with a red-carpet screening of “The Last Color” at Spertus Institute An amazing lineup of films surrounding South Asian culture will be screened at the Chicago South Asian Film Festival (CSAFF). Celebrating 10 years, CSAFF is the largest film festival of its kind in the Midwest, taking place from … Continue reading “The 10th annual Chicago South Asian Film Festival”

Amoaku named Chicago Film Office Director

Versatile 25-year vet is the first African-American appointed to vital and visible leadership role The Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) today announced Kwame Amoaku as Director of the Chicago Film Office. Amoaku replaces longtime director of the Chicago Film Office, Rich Moskal, who retired last November. The first African American to hold … Continue reading “Amoaku named Chicago Film Office Director”

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”

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”

Costello’s ‘Dreamwisher’ to make Chicago debut

Writer / director Colin Costello brings ‘Twilight Zone’ inspired short film to the third annual Windy City International Film Fest Dreamwisher, an award-winning 8-minute film from writer/director Colin Costello, will have its Chicago premiere at the Windy City International Film Festival next month. The internationally-acclaimed short was produced by Eric Handler for his Positively Positive … Continue reading “Costello’s ‘Dreamwisher’ to make Chicago debut”

Chicago Critics Film Fest enjoys epic year

CFCA scores multiple sell-outs and unprecedented attendance as Chicago-made ‘Saint Frances’ wins audience fave   The Chicago Film Critics Association (CFCA) — the Chicago-area print, online and broadcast critics group that celebrates the art of film and film criticism — announced the Audience Award winners following the 7th Chicago Critics Film Festival on May 24. … Continue reading “Chicago Critics Film Fest enjoys epic year”

2019 Chicago Underground Film Festival

CUFF opens June 5 with ‘Empty Metal’ and closes June 9 with “Dollhouse: the eradication of female subjectivity from American popular culture’ The Chicago Underground Film Festival has built a reputation for innovative, exciting, and provocative cinema since it was founded in 1993. Known as “the world’s longest-running” celebration of its kind, CUFF will expand … Continue reading “2019 Chicago Underground Film Festival”

Jon Favreau to receive Renaissance Award in Chicago

Robert Downey Jr. will Interview Favreau during the Siskel Center’s annual event June 15 at the Four Seasons The Gene Siskel Film Center today announced that it will honor acclaimed director, producer, screenwriter and actor Jon Favreau with its 2019 Renaissance Award on Saturday, June 15 at the Four Seasons Chicago, 120 E. Delaware. “Marvel, … Continue reading “Jon Favreau to receive Renaissance Award in Chicago”

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”

Chicago South Asian Film Fest accepting submissions

In September, the celebration will light up screens in Chicago for the tenth consecutive year   The red carpet will roll out again for a tenth time … in tribute to South Asian films. The Chicago South Asian Film Festival (CSAFF), celebrating a decade of movie magic, is now accepting submissions. The festival will be … Continue reading “Chicago South Asian Film Fest accepting submissions”

Haiti in focus at Chicago Latino Film Fest

Dominican “Broken Island” and Chilean “Petit Frère” represent Haiti and its role in Latino culture, cinema, and politics. Last weekend, the 35th Chicago Latino Film Festival (CLFF) screened a pair of films that focus on the Haitian experience, the Dominican Republic’s La isla rota (Broken Island) and the Chilean Petiè Frère. Reel Chicago sat down … Continue reading “Haiti in focus at Chicago Latino Film Fest”

MIFF to host Chicago premiere of ‘Same Boat’

Stealthily filmed nautical thriller makes its Windy City debut at MIFF’s First Tuesday monthly event The Midwest Independent Film Festival presents the Chicago premiere of Same Boat, as part of the festival’s First Tuesdays screening series, directed by Chris Roberti and written by Chris Roberti and Josh Itzkowitz. Same Boat is the story of a … Continue reading “MIFF to host Chicago premiere of ‘Same Boat’”

‘A Fine Line’ Chicago premiere gala, panel discussion

Female-focused chef documentary will screen with wine, food, and a host of industry leaders in Greektown’s Hellenic Museum A Fine Line — the critically-acclaimed, award-winning documentary chronicling the challenges and triumphs female chefs face in a male-dominated environment — will host a screening at the National Hellenic Museum, 333 South Halsted Street, in Chicago on … Continue reading “‘A Fine Line’ Chicago premiere gala, panel discussion”

Chicago-made ‘Knockout’ is going to Cannes

Alley Cake’s story about a female boxer becomes second 48 Hour Film Project winner to screen in the Côte d’Azur Chicago-made Knockout, a seven-minute short completed during last year’s 48 Hour Film Project, will screen at the 2019 Cannes Short Film Corner. Created by Alley Cake Films, it becomes the second consecutive 48HFP to earn … Continue reading “Chicago-made ‘Knockout’ is going to Cannes”

Filmscape to keep Chicago production “on the forefront”

The two-day September event will feature more of what made its predecessor a success, plus a few new things Filmscape Chicago is a two-day, pro-level series of equipment demos, state-of-the-art training, and speakers happening at Cinespace Studios over the weekend of September 7th and 8th. Although technically an inaugural run, Filmscape is actually an enhanced … Continue reading “Filmscape to keep Chicago production “on the forefront””

Chicago International Film Festival call for entries

Submit work by July 8 (late deadline) to be considered for CIFF’s 55th annual run, October 16-27 The Chicago International Film Festival has announced entries are now being accepted for all programs of the Festival’s 55th edition taking place October 16-27, 2019. Filmmakers can now submit feature-length, documentary, and short films on the Festival’s website … Continue reading “Chicago International Film Festival call for entries”

Chicago’s Asian Pop-Up Cinema, March 12 – April 24

Consolidated series presents premieres, partner screenings, special guests and sixteen films, from across the Asian continent Non-profit pan-Asian film organization Sophia’s Choice today announces Asian Pop-Up Cinema – Season Eight, the spring film series presenting sixteen films from across Asia, running March 12 through April 24, 2019. The schedule represents a consolidated schedule, with more … Continue reading “Chicago’s Asian Pop-Up Cinema, March 12 – April 24”

Chicago Digital Media Production Fund open for biz

Artists with “varying levels of experience” encouraged to apply for grants ranging up to $18K by March 25 The Chicago Digital Media Production Fund (CDMPF) application period will open this Friday, February 15! Grants are awarded in amounts of up to $20,000 to artists and filmmakers in the Chicagoland area whose work encourages social change. … Continue reading “Chicago Digital Media Production Fund open for biz”

Chicago Latino Film Fest unveils poster for 35th run

Rome-based Polish artist Michal Tadeusz Golanski’s design celebrates women’s contribution to the art form   The International Latino Cultural Center of Chicago (ILCC), producer of the Chicago Latino Film Festival (CLFF), is proud to announce the winner of the 35th Chicago Latino Film Festival Poster Contest: Rome-based Polish graphic artist Michal Tadeusz Golanski. A graduate … Continue reading “Chicago Latino Film Fest unveils poster for 35th run”

“Chicago protest” double-bill lights up Siskel Center

“’63 Boycott” and “F*** Your Hair” will screen with filmmaker Q&As during special events on January 25, 26, 30 Later this month, the Siskel Film Center will offer audiences a chance to explore current and former grassroots political movements while viewing a pair of Chicago-made docs during special double-feature screenings of F— Your Hair and … Continue reading ““Chicago protest” double-bill lights up Siskel Center”

Yearlong Cuban film series comes to Chicago

Cuban filmmakers, journalists, and scholars scheduled to interact with U.S. audiences Full Spectrum Features (FSF), Americas Media Initiative (AMI), and Athenaeum Theatre Productions are thrilled to present Cuban Visions, a year-long film series that will provide a unique window into both early revolutionary and contemporary Cuban life and culture. Six two-hour programs will be held … Continue reading “Yearlong Cuban film series comes to Chicago”

‘Rendezvous in Chicago’ hometown premiere at the Siskel

“You can make a good movie for $20,000 and a good film for $100,000, but you shouldn’t use the same script for both.” Michael Glover Smith Michael Glover Smith’s Rendezvous in Chicago will make its hometown premiere with four screenings at the Gene Siskel Film Center in February 2019. On the festival circuit, the feature-length … Continue reading “‘Rendezvous in Chicago’ hometown premiere at the Siskel”

‘Olympia’ at Chicago Comedy Film Festival

“Olympia” received rave reviews at the Chicago Int’l Film Fest and is the latest from Chicago’s growing film community (Chicago, IL — 23 October 2018) Right off of a successful three-screening run at the 54th Chicago International Film Festival, Cow Lamp Films announce the film Olympia to screen for college audiences at the upcoming Chicago … Continue reading “‘Olympia’ at Chicago Comedy Film Festival”

Chicagoland Shorts Vol. 5 accepting submissions

Winners to screen at Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art, Brooklyn’s Spectacle Theater, LA’s Echo Park Film Center, and venues throughout the country   Full Spectrum Features is accepting submissions for its 5th annual Chicagoland Shorts program until November 30 (regular deadline, October 31). Continuing the tradition set forth by the previous four events, the award-winning … Continue reading “Chicagoland Shorts Vol. 5 accepting submissions”

Chicago’s “Brujos” & “the T” nom’d for Streamy Awards

A pair of Windy City web series take friendship and fantasy to unique, popular, and relevant levels (Chicago — 3 October 2018) Chicago-made series the T (Full Spectrum Features and OTV) and Brujos (Cinema Libertad, Full Spectrum Features, and OTV) have been nominated for Best Indie Series by the Streamy Awards. Produced by dick clark … Continue reading “Chicago’s “Brujos” & “the T” nom’d for Streamy Awards”

Chicago South Side Film Festival kicks off tonight

The cinematic celebration dedicated to Chicago’s South Side launches with a screening of the Gospel music doc, “Rejoice and Shout,” and runs through October 7 (Chicago — 27 August 2018) Chicago is eagerly awaiting the second year of The Chicago South Side Film Festival (“CSSFF”), a celebration of the South Side of Chicago on film! … Continue reading “Chicago South Side Film Festival kicks off tonight”

Chicago Int’l Film Fest releases Industry Days schedule

Headliners include Oscar-­winning director Steve McQueen, Emmy-­nominated writer Bashir Salahuddin, and award-­winning producers Albert Berger and Bob Teitel (Chicago — 26 September 2018) The complete program of Industry Days (Oct. 11­14) at the 54th Chicago International Film Festival was announced today with an impressive list of guest speakers to inspire and illuminate the Midwest film … Continue reading “Chicago Int’l Film Fest releases Industry Days schedule”

The 9th Annual Chicago South Asian Film Festival

Advancing diversity through cinema, conversation and culture, CSAFF provides a world platform for South Asian talent, stories and themes (Chicago — 11 September 11) The Chicago South Asian Film Festival (CSAFF) is proud to host over a 100 filmmakers and artists, representing over 60 films in Chicago at Columbia College and the Showplace Icon and … Continue reading “The 9th Annual Chicago South Asian Film Festival”

Chicago Int’l Film Fest releases 54th annual lineup

Big-budget premieres, exquisite docs, thoughtful shorts, special events, and a deep well of unsung gems create the “stunning variety” of this year’s program The Chicago International Film Festival announced the majority the films screening over its 54th annual run at the AMC Theaters earlier today. Culling from more than 6,000 submissions — the highest in … Continue reading “Chicago Int’l Film Fest releases 54th annual lineup”

Chi-made “Olympia” at Chicago Int’l Film Fest

McKenzie Chinn’s “beautifully complicated” feature arrives onscreen with help from notable industry vets and indie distributor Cow Lamp Films The 2018 Chicago International Film Festival “Sneak Peek” has just been announced and Chicago’s very own filmmaker and actress McKenzie Chinn is making headlines with her writing and feature film debut Olympia at this year’s fest, … Continue reading “Chi-made “Olympia” at Chicago Int’l Film Fest”

Digital Media Fund awards $100k to Chicago artists

Voqal Fund and Chicago Filmmakers’ Chicago Digital Media Production Fund presents a Showcase of Groundbreaking Projects from 2018 (Chicago — 8 August 2018) Voqal Fund and Chicago Filmmakers are pleased to announce the nine new grantees receiving funding from the 2018 Chicago Digital Media Production Fund. In 2018, the Production Fund awarded a total of … Continue reading “Digital Media Fund awards $100k to Chicago artists”

“Knockout” wins Chicago’s 48 Hour Film Project

Like all the submissions, the dialogue, editing, and direction reflect a film that was revised, rehearsed, and shot over and over again Alley Cake Films’ short film, Knockout, was named Best Picture of the 14th annual 48 Hour Film Project Chicago during an awards ceremony at the Music Box Theater last night. The story of … Continue reading ““Knockout” wins Chicago’s 48 Hour Film Project”

“The Musician” harmonizes a touching Chicago tale

Mark Schimmel combines beautiful visuals with conflict, resolution music, and performance in hard-to-shoot action sequences throughout the city Chicago filmmaker Mark Schimmel’s short, The Musician, features a violinist and a child in a story of redemption, forgiveness, and inspiration. Starring well-known musician Anne Harris and first time actor Reese Harley as the urchin who steals … Continue reading ““The Musician” harmonizes a touching Chicago tale”

“Destroy Your Art” returns to Chicago

Following 2017’s sold-out event, hybrid film and performance art showcase returns with five local filmmakers and never-before-seen work   (Chicago, IL) For a unique night celebrating film and performance art, Destroy Your Art ​returns Friday, August 10th. Following the sold-out success of last year’s inaugural event, five Chicago-based filmmakers will again screen and immediately destroy … Continue reading ““Destroy Your Art” returns to Chicago”

Fresh Films shoots TV pilot in historic Chicago mansion

​Fresh Films​ is shooting the TV pilot for “Dearly Departed” this week with 14 local teenagers working every position on the set.   (Rock Island, IL — 19 July 2018) Fresh Films started as an after-school film program in Chicago in 2002; since then, it has been giving teens around the country the chance to … Continue reading “Fresh Films shoots TV pilot in historic Chicago mansion”

¡Filmmakers: Fox wants you to pitch an ‘Alien’ short!

Fox wants a wholly original story with completely new characters (that) draw on all the things that made the original “Alien” so groundbreaking. How many times have you forked over hard cash to see an Alien sequel, hoping and praying that this would be the film to return the 20th Century Fox franchise back to … Continue reading “¡Filmmakers: Fox wants you to pitch an ‘Alien’ short!”

Chicago records unprecedented TV production in 2018

Four new shows filming this summer and fall increase Windy City TV production to a record ten series   Mayor Emanuel and the Chicago Film Office at the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) today announced ten shows will film this summer and fall in Chicago. This includes filming for four new shows, … Continue reading “Chicago records unprecedented TV production in 2018”

“In The Meantime” to showcase Chicago indie film voices

Emerging Chicago artists take matters into their own hands by curating their own shows and producing their own content   (Chicago — 18 June 2018) Indie Producers Crystal Joy and Sam George have come together to collaborate on “In the Meantime,” a gallery show which explores coping in the forms of photographs, poetry, and video. … Continue reading ““In The Meantime” to showcase Chicago indie film voices”

Chicago premiere of the International Media Mixer

The Chicago Film Archives will host a cross-cultural evening of film and music at Millennium Park on July 17   (Chicago — 21 May 2018) The US premiere of Chicago Film Archives new International Media Mixer project will take place on July 17, 2018 as part of the Millennium Park Summer Film Series produced by … Continue reading “Chicago premiere of the International Media Mixer”

Chicago indie “Hunting God” wraps production

Feature-length thriller, “Hunting God,” recently wrapped production in Savanna, Il, located just two and a half hours west of Chicago     (Chicago — 4 May 4) Produced by JJack Productions and backed by investment group Chicago Media Angels, Hunting God follows a recent widower who, when reunited with his old church buddies to film … Continue reading “Chicago indie “Hunting God” wraps production”

Chicago’s Eliaz Rodriguez to screen at Cannes, again

Chicago filmmaker Eliaz Rodriguez will light up the Cannes Film Festival for the second year in a row when his 2018 short, “Silica” premieres at the Court Métrage   In 2017, Eliaz Rodriguez’ award-winning and hilarious Think Twice took him to Cannes and 50 other festivals. This year, his sci-fi/comedy about the toll of cellphones … Continue reading “Chicago’s Eliaz Rodriguez to screen at Cannes, again”

Founder of Chicago Int’l Film Fest Michael Kutza to retire

Founder and CEO of Cinema/Chicago Michael Kutza to step down at the end of 2018   Kutza’s 55 years of service to the Chicago International Film Festival will be celebrated at a July 14 Gala at Loews Chicago     (Chicago — 7 May 2018) Michael Kutza, Founder and CEO of Cinema/Chicago, the presenting organization … Continue reading “Founder of Chicago Int’l Film Fest Michael Kutza to retire”

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”

Cow Lamp Films shares insight at Chicago Indie Film Fest

Cow Lamp Films will continue to earn its keep as the Midwest’s only distributor of independent films on Saturday afternoon at the Chicago Independent Film (+TV) Festival (CIFF). Director of Acquisitions Josh da Silva will join a 4 p.m. panel discussion about distribution at the New 400 Movie Theaters in Rogers Park, where a majority … Continue reading “Cow Lamp Films shares insight at Chicago Indie Film Fest”

Chicago Underground Film Festival 2018 lineup

CUFF adds second screening of “Industrial Accident,” the opening night film about Wax Trax! Records that sold out hours after going on sale After selling out the initioal opening night screening in less than an hour, the 25th annual Chicago Underground Film Festival has added a special encore presentation of INDUSTRIAL ACCIDENT: The Story of … Continue reading “Chicago Underground Film Festival 2018 lineup”

Chicago’s Cinespace Studios to add outdoor backlots

Chicago filmmakers have longed dreamt about turning Chicago into a Midwest Hollywood. Now, Cinespace Studios‘ president, Alex Pissios, has taken the steps to make that dream a reality. What has been in the works for two years came to fruition this past Wednesday when City Council passed an ordinance allowing the 1.45 million sq. ft. … Continue reading “Chicago’s Cinespace Studios to add outdoor backlots”

Chicago Underground Film Fest offers a taste of 2018

Opening night Julia Nash’s Industrial Accident: The Story of Wax Trax! Records Chicago premiere   Closing night Lori Felker’s Future Language: The Dimensions of VON LMO Chicago premiere   [Editor Note: The “Industrial Accident” screening sold out shortly after this story was published, but CUFF organizers are working to schedule another. Stay tuned to Reel … Continue reading “Chicago Underground Film Fest offers a taste of 2018”

Chicago/Mexico’s “En Algun Lugar” reflects the times

The Chicago-based production company – Iconoclast Films – shot En Algun Lugar in Chicago and Mexico. It has already screened at eleven festivals and has taken home major awards such as Best Foreign Feature and Best Director at the London Independent Film Awards 2018, Best LGBTQ Feature and Best Producer (Aric Jackson) at the Oniros … Continue reading “Chicago/Mexico’s “En Algun Lugar” reflects the times”

“Murder in the Woods” at Chicago Latino Film Fest

Chicago’s Yelyna De Leon produced, acted in, and wrote the script for a teen slasher that will screen at the 34th Chicago Latino Film Festival (CLFF). Titled Murder in the Woods, the English-language, U.S.-produced film was directed and produced by Mexican-born filmmaker Luis Iga.     A Latin American film Murder in the woods has … Continue reading ““Murder in the Woods” at Chicago Latino Film Fest”

Chicago Int’l TV Fest celebrates “Art of the Commercial”

The awards ceremony for the 54th Annual Chicago International Television Festival packed AMC River East in Streeterville last Thursday night. The evening began with a reception in the Wine Room at the Lucky Strike bowling alley, restaurant, and lounge, which is located on the second floor of the building where the theater resides. Executive directors, … Continue reading “Chicago Int’l TV Fest celebrates “Art of the Commercial””

Free Spirit moves the filmmakers of the future

Industry experts advise future filmmakers that “antagonists are not totally bad” and “people in Hollywood don’t read.” Six young filmmakers presented movie concepts to a panel of industry experts during Free Spirit Media’s pitch night at the film incubator Stage 18 last Thursday night. They spoke one at a time, clicking through slide shows on … Continue reading “Free Spirit moves the filmmakers of the future”

The Chicago European Union Film Festival

The 21st annual Chicago European Union Film Festival (CEUFF) at the Gene Siskel Film Center raises the curtain for 61 Chicago premieres in its newly renovated theaters, March 9 through April 5. Films represented by all 28 EU nations will give audiences thought-provoking, topical, poignant and hilarious stories, reminding us that while we may live … Continue reading “The Chicago European Union Film Festival”

Chicago helps grow diversity in Illinois productions

Women and minorities represented 53% of all crew hires reported in 2017, according to a January 25 press release issued by the Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity. The amount marks a new record for diversity in the state’s film industry. “These productions generated $423 million in estimated Illinois spending,” the document continues, “and … Continue reading “Chicago helps grow diversity in Illinois productions”

Chi Film Office announces 2018 Filmmakers in Residence

The producing team of Bea Cordelia and Daniel Kyri has been selected to be the 2018 Filmmakers in Residence by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs (DCASE). Commissioner Mark Kelly cited the pair’s “originality and commitment to telling stories” as significant factors driving the decision. Besides being a filmmaker, Cordelia is a “writer … performance … Continue reading “Chi Film Office announces 2018 Filmmakers in Residence”

Female filmmakers win big at the BMAs

Seven of the ten “Best” trophies handed out during last night’s BMA awards went to female filmmakers or films that were made with significant contributions by women. It was a great night for everyone. Master of Ceremonies LaRoyce Hawkins, who plays Detective Kevin Atwater on Chicago PD, was so touched by the enthusiasm that he … Continue reading “Female filmmakers win big at the BMAs”

Al Capone set to descend upon Chicago and the world

Just when Chicago thought we had gotten rid of infamous gangster Al Capone, we get pulled back in. Milo Gibson, son of Mel Gibson, is set to reprise the role made famous by Robert DeNiro in The Untouchables and Rod Steiger in Al Capone as he battles for control of 1920s Chicago’s criminal underworld as … Continue reading “Al Capone set to descend upon Chicago and the world”

AbelCine’s Chicago Cinema Tech Expo

AbelCine’s Chicago Cinema Tech Expo this Saturday will be “bigger than we’ve ever done before,” says Brian Khan, the company’s Business and Community Development Specialist. “Every year, we do a signature event,” he continues. “We did the open house two years ago, the Fall Tech Expo last year. This year, we’re going to have dozens … Continue reading “AbelCine’s Chicago Cinema Tech Expo”

Barbour to lead Camp + King Chicago

Former DDBer Kristin Barbour will have a homecoming of sorts as she has been named managing director of Camp + King’s new Chicago satellite office, created in part to serve client Energizer. An advertising veteran, Barbour has worked with some of the nation’s most prestigious brands, including McDonald’s, Mars, Kraft and Chevrolet. The San Francisco-based … Continue reading “Barbour to lead Camp + King Chicago”

Local filmmakers prepare to wreck their own work

The thrill of performance and the beauty of film will leave a lasting impression — and nothing more — for those who witness the Destroy Your Art event in the Lost Arts design studio on Goose Island next week.

Described in a press release as, “a wholly unique conceit from Chicago creative entrepreneur Rebecca Fons and filmmaker Jack C. Newell,” the evening will combine independent films and select “tools of destruction” as multiple artists present and destroy their work in a series of one-two-punches.

Havas Chicago welcomes new GCD Karen Goodman

Former Under Amour creative, Karen Goodman, has joined Havas Chicago as Group Creative Director.

According to Agency Spy, she will lead the creative on the agency’s Hefty and Reynolds accounts while reporting directly to ECD, Paul Hirsch.

In a statement, Hirsch said, “The range of experience Karen brings to Havas is invaluable. We’re building a shop infused with heart and soul and culture. There’s so much opportunity to create and Karen has the chops to run with it.”

Chicago’s wonder women talk about “Wonder Woman”

Does it take a “gal” (see what I did there?) to save the much-maligned and divisive DCEU?

After the critical floggings of Man of Steel, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad, it would seem 4th time is the charm as Wonder Woman is a massive critical success.

Coming in at a 94% fresh tomato rating on Rotten Tomatoes, the Amazonian Princess looks bound for a commercial success as well.

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.

Sundance to showcase “Trophy,” Chicago-funded doc

SCREENING AT SUNDANCE (Jan, 19-29) will be the 28-minute doc, “Trophy,” that was funded by the Chicago equity firm of CMP Invest / Impact, that invests in documentaries that are aimed at helping to bring about social change.

“Trophy,” from filmmakers Shaul Schwartz and Christina Clusiau, investigates controversial, multi-billion dollar big game industry and the complex consequences of imposing economic value on animals.

Chicago locations now available on Set Scouter site

Set Scouter, an online marketplace that connects filmmakers with residential spaces they can rent as locations throughout North America, has launched its services in Chicago.

Toronto-based Alex Kolodkin, Set Scouter’s founder/CEO, chose Chicago as the site’s third city, with the intention of making the process of location scouting much faster, more efficient, more affordable and to give producers locations that are not typically available to them.

48 Hour “Best of Chicago” awards screening Thursday

Judges and audiences of the 12th Chicago 48 Hour Film Project have weighed in with their decisions on the 21 films that will receive “Best of Chicago” awards at the Music Box screening Thursday, Sept. 15.

The Audience Award film is among them – “and it will be announced at the screening,” says Jerry Vasilatos, the 48 Hour city producer of the event for the second consecutive year.

Chicago premiere 9/16 for MPG’s acclaimed Angelou doc

Media Process Group’s feature doc, “Maya Angelou: And still I Rise,” the first documentary on the late author, poet and Civil Rights activist, will have a two-week US theatrical premiere, Sept. 16-20 at the Gene Siskel Film Center.

“After showing the film in festivals around the world,” including Sundance,” said MPG’s Bob Hercules, “we’re thrilled to finally have a chance to show it in our hometown of Chicago.”

Chicago Digital Media Fund grantees’ work to screen

Seven completed projects funded by the 2015 Chicago Digital Media Production Fund of $100,000 in grants from the Vogal Fund, administered by Chicago Filmmakers, will screen at the Chicago Cultural Center, co-presented by DCASE Tuesday, Aug. 2 starting at 6 p.m.

These web projects highlight a range of relevant social issues, from under-representation to ableism to trans bathroom bills. The films screening are:

MIFF to screen work of 14 fabulous Female Filmmakers

Filmmaker / editor Gail Gilbert’s short film, thriller “Democracy in the Driver’s Seat,” will be one of 14 women-made shorts showcasing at the Midwest Independent Film Festival’s annual Female Filmmakers Night, Tuesday, Aug. 2.

The distinguished filmmakers have been at their craft for many years, are producing an impressive body of work and possess a large collection of prestigious international awards.

The entries are:

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.

Chi Filmmakers aim for $50K in Indiegogo campaign

Chicago Filmmakers is gearing up for its first crowdfunding campaign to raise $50,000 to obtain a matching grant that will go towards renovating its recently purchased historic Edgewater firehouse that will become a center for diversity and literacy in media arts.

Videos are in the process of being edited for the upcoming Indiegogo campaign, says Brenda Webb, Chicago Filmmakers’ executive director. The crowdfunding campaign’s goal is to raise $50,000 to obtain a challenge grant that will match all individual contributions dollar-for-dollar up to $100,000.

Columbia wins the most prizes at Chicago Shorts fest

Shelley LaMantia, Professional Arts Dean at State Street-based business-oriented Robert Morris University, was very pleased at the turnout Thursday night’s 4th annual Chicago Shorts Film Festival.

The festival not only attracted about 100 entries, but the screening and awards ceremony played to an SRO audience of largely college students from the Loop and beyond, at the Gene Siskel Film Center.

Quartet of filmmakers are WIF’s Focus Award honorees

Chicago native Shira Piven, now of LA, is one of four prominent leaders in film and advertising who will be honored at Women in Film Chicago’s annual Focus Awards at a luncheon Wednesday, Nov. 5 at the Museum of Broadcast Communications. 

The three outstanding local leaders receiving the honor are Susan Credle, Leo Burnett’s chief creative officer; Erin Sarofsky, film company owner and creative director, and Cristina Varotsis, feature producer and unit production manager on features and TV shows. 

Good Pitch Chicago accepts doc submissions April 1

Three years after a trio of social issue documentary leaders agreed on the many advantages of holding an international Good Pitch event here, Good pitch Chicago arrives Tuesday, Oct. 22.

Sponsored by Tribeca Flashpoint Media Arts Academy, the intense, day long pitch of six-to-eight docmakers to nonprofit funders will take place at Tribeca Flashpoint’s new LaSalle Street space before an interested audience. 

Courshon’s course helps filmmakers find distribution

Producer and distribution expert and former Chicagoan  Jerome Courshon tackled the distribution maze when he made his award-winning, 1998 indie God, Sex & Apple Pie, which ultimately led to Warner Bros. distribution and his learning insider information on how filmmakers can score distribution deals.

He’s recently turned his hard-won knowledge into an 18-hour course on 9 DVDs, The Secrets to Distribution: Get Your Movie Distributed Now!

Steve Harvey NBC’s talk show will benefit Chicago

RETURNING TO CHICAGO in a big way this September is actor, standup comic, author and radio personality Steve Harvey, who started his career here in radio at WGCI-FM 20 years ago and is returning as the star of his own “Steve Harvey” TV show. 

The show will originate in the 10,000-sq. ft. studio in NBC Tower in front a studio audience expected to fill the studio’s 200 seats – the same studio where Jerry Springer and Jenny Jones put Chicago on the daytime TV show map. 

Three famous filmmakers here covering NATO protests

Three famous Chicago native filmmakers, who established their reputations during the shocking turbulence surrounding the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago, are returning this week as a team to document the many political, economic and environmental protests of the NATO Summit. 

Two-time Oscar winner cinematographer Haskell Wexler, director Andrew Davis and writer/director Mike Gray, with local activist/filmmaker producer Suree Towfighnia and a contingent of 15 to 20 filmmakers, will capture stories about the people in the various movements.

Filmmakers aim to elevate city as 3D production hub

In the spirit of “make no little plans,” a trio of filmmakers aim to be the catalyst to position Chicago as a 3D production hub, now that faster, more efficient 3D production technology offers more opportunities.

Philip O’Neil of Eyeromp Films and producer/directors Vincent V. Shade and Andrew Eick of VASE Productions have formed a joint venture to create original entertainment and reimagined 3D shows.

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.