Free Spirit Media announces premiere screening of Bermuda at IFA Chicago

Free Spirit Media announces its first in-person public screening in over two years. In association with IFA Chicago, Free Spirit Media presents the premiere of Bermuda, a short film written by Jasmine Ogunjimi and directed by Lorenzo Leyva on May 21, 2022. On the evening of her 25th birthday, Tomi Adebiyi is surrounded by half-packed … Continue reading “Free Spirit Media announces premiere screening of Bermuda at IFA Chicago”

Free Spirit Media celebrates 20 years of Media Magic

On Thursday, May 20, Free Spirit Media celebrates 20 years of media magic, 8,000+ participants, 50,000+ unique pieces, and 1,000,000+ views. This momentous occasion demarcates how its participants have used media to create the world they envision-past, present, and future.  Free Spirit Media, a North Lawndale based, Emmy award winning nonprofit and social enterprise has … Continue reading “Free Spirit Media celebrates 20 years of Media Magic”

Free Spirit Media appoints interim Executive Director

Free Spirit Media has announced the appointment of Anedra Kerr as interim executive director. The statement today from Board Chairman, Stacey Bolton, that began by thanking everyone for their input during the search efforts, announced that the interim position was appointed to Anedra Kerr. Andrea will serve as the lead staff-member for the organization and … Continue reading “Free Spirit Media appoints interim Executive Director”

Glenance Green, Deputy Director, Free Spirit Media

Glenance Green, Deputy Director of Free Spirit Media, joins the 2020 Reel Chicago Black List, a celebration of African-American creativity published during Black History Month. The Reel Chicago Black List includes Global Mixx founder Mary Datcher, McDonald’s US Marketing Director Lizette Williams, and filmmaker Rhyan LaMarr. To view the archives, click here. Glenance Green is … Continue reading “Glenance Green, Deputy Director, Free Spirit Media”

Free Spirit Media succeeds at ‘Building Bridges’

Film leaders echo the inspiration of emerging creators at Founder’s Circle fundraising event   A panel of young professionals made it clear that Free Spirit Media is worth the hype that it consistently generates during an event at the Arts Club of Chicago on October 1. Explaining the organization’s worthiness to a room full of … Continue reading “Free Spirit Media succeeds at ‘Building Bridges’”

Free Spirit Media sharpens a thrilling Focus

The Chicago nonprofit’s energetic fundraiser brought media pros together with young artists for an exciting night at the Ivy Room Free Spirit Media’s annual Focus event started out as a cocktail reception and turned into a rocking throwdown over the course of three hours last Thursday night. When it ended, the organization had collected over … Continue reading “Free Spirit Media sharpens a thrilling Focus”

Free Spirit Media 2018 cohort film to premiere at DePaul

“What makes ‘Fuzzy Legs’ so special is that it’s told from a Pakistani-American girl’s perspective” Amber Eswani (Chicago — 7 November 2018) Fuzzy Legs — a short film written and directed by Amber Eswani and produced by Free Spirit Media’s 2018 film cohort — will premiere Saturday November 17 at DePaul University. The film tells … Continue reading “Free Spirit Media 2018 cohort film to premiere at DePaul”

“Drive Slow” preview at Free Spirit Media’s Focus event

Free Spirit Media’s Focus event at The Ivy Room on May 31 will feature “a lot of people and a chance to get together and reflect on a great year,” says Chelsea Corbin, FSM’s development & communication manager.

“It’s a big celebration of media in Chicago,” she adds, “specifically, the youth voice.”

One of the greatest causes for celebration will be a sneak peak at the film series Drive Slow, which was made by ten emerging filmmakers in Free Spirit’s Industry Pathways Certification program.

Corbin describes the group as “super talented.”

Success stories abound as Free Spirit Media turns 10

Jeff McCarter has no regrets about having left his successful film and TV career to start Free Spirit Media, which, since 2001 has put 2,500 underserved urban youth “on the path to tell their stories in this crazy industry.”

On Thursday, June 9, Free Spirit Media will celebrate its “10th incredible anniversary” at Café Brauer at Lincoln Park Zoo, to help raise funds for FSM’s continuing work in its partner schools.  

Free Spirit Media benefit at Hootenanny Thursday

Some 200 guests are expected Thursday night at Hootenanny’s benefit in its spacious River North facility on behalf of Free Spirit Media Focus 2010.

The fund-raiser will help fund the video production programs of the non-profit organization that has been building connections between talented high school students and the visual media industry since founded by Jeff McCarter in 2000.

At the cocktail party, a group of 20 Free Spirit filmmakers will showcase their work, and eight will collaborate with Hootenanny editors to produce a Free Spirit PSA on the spot.

RBL Spotlight: actor, comedian, filmmaker Tyler Davis

Editor’s Note: “The Reel Black List” is our annual spotlight of brothers and sisters in the worlds of advertising, film, TV, music, radio and media who are making a difference through their contributions and creativity on a daily basis. For the month of February, you will be able to celebrate wonderful human beings, like Tyler Davis with … Continue reading “RBL Spotlight: actor, comedian, filmmaker Tyler Davis”

Film Independent Spirit Awards announces nominations

Film Independent announced nominations for the 2021 Film Independent Spirit Awards. Not just another pretty face on the awards circuit, the Spirit Awards are the primary fundraiser for the nonprofit Film Independent’s year-round slate of programs, which cultivate the careers of emerging filmmakers and promote diversity and inclusion in the industry. Film Independent President Josh … Continue reading “Film Independent Spirit Awards announces nominations”

Jeff McCarter resigns from Free Spirt Media

In an announcement today from the Board of Free Spirit Media, Jeff McCarter has officially step down from his role as the executive director. As reported earlier, McCarter had been placed on leave while “serious allegations” against McCarter were examined and evaluated by the board. Anedra Kerr was appointed as executive director in the interim. … Continue reading “Jeff McCarter resigns from Free Spirt Media”

Free Spirit Exec Director Jeff McCarter placed on leave

In a written statement from the Board of Free Spirit Media, Executive Director Jeff McCarter has been placed on leave while “serious allegations” against McCarter are examined and evaluated. A spokesperson from Free Spirit Media spoke with our publisher, Barbara Roche and although she could not discuss the specific nature of the allegations, she said … Continue reading “Free Spirit Exec Director Jeff McCarter placed on leave”

Taking off with Bottle Rocket Media

Award-winning Chicago-based video content agency wields a startling variety of depth and expertise Chicago video content agency Bottle Rocket Media fuels traditional expertise with DIY spirit. Guided by a pair of visionaries who met while working at the Oprah Winfrey Show, the company has become one of the industry’s most unique production and post operations … Continue reading “Taking off with Bottle Rocket Media”

Media Burn offers startling history lesson in ‘Ghosts’

‘Ghosts in the Machine’ is a highlight reel of culture and history that leaves viewers with a profound vision of truth Ghosts in the Machine is a 65-minute mosaic of American video clips from the 1970s to the present. Created by four filmmakers using material from Media Burn Archive, the work is a meticulous and … Continue reading “Media Burn offers startling history lesson in ‘Ghosts’”

Elastic Arts premieres “spiritual vision, brutalist flesh”

“Beyond Form” is a three-part, audio-visual installation and performance series featuring Julien Bayle’s “FRGMENTS” and Kim Alpert’s “Scan Lines.”   (Chicago — 17 July 2018) On July 27, 28, and 29 Elastic Arts will present a series of intentional duality featuring Julien Bayle’s FRGMENTS [USA PREMIER] with Kim Alpert’s Scan Lines [PREMIER]. This series is … Continue reading “Elastic Arts premieres “spiritual vision, brutalist flesh””

Explore Media names Seth Deahl Executive Producer

Deahl brings 15 years of experience producing commercials to leadership role as company expands Chicago offices Explore Media, a full-service HD video production company focused on creating commercials and digital content, is thrilled to announce that Seth Deahl has been named Executive Producer. Deahl brings over 14 years of successful experience producing acclaimed commercial productions … Continue reading “Explore Media names Seth Deahl Executive Producer”

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”


Place your classifieds on the Reel: Job openings, jobs wanted, services offered, space for rent, equipment for sale, etc. $150 per month. Contact Phone, 312/274-9980.


Free Spirit Media
Job Title: Deputy Director
Reports To: Executive Director
Supervises: Program Managers

Melissa Thornley to appear on Global Industry Spotlight

Melissa Thornley, Director of Marketing at Pravda Records, will appear on Global Industry Spotlight, a conversational series focused on providing resources and insight for the creative entrepreneur. Thornley is a leadership consultant, content producer, and writer specializing in emotional intelligence and media arts. She is also the Director of Marketing for Pravda Records, one of … Continue reading “Melissa Thornley to appear on Global Industry Spotlight”

Two feature debuts take top honors at Chicago Latino Film Festival

The 38th Chicago Latino Film Festival announced today the winners and runners-up for its Audience Choice Awards. The slate of 50 features and 36 shorts from Latin America, Spain, Portugal and the United States, included an array of premieres, stories of underrepresented communities, and an increase in LGBTQIA+ films. Even though the festival is a non-competitive … Continue reading “Two feature debuts take top honors at Chicago Latino Film Festival”

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”

2112 partners with Comcast Business on a Startup Studio

2112, Chicago’s business incubator focused on the development of entrepreneurs in creative industries, has partnered with Comcast Business on the development of a Startup Studio, with additional support provided by Shure, Wintrust, Hughes Foundation, and Karp Designs. Conceived to support the transition to digital in response to COVID-19, the studio will provide free access to … Continue reading “2112 partners with Comcast Business on a Startup Studio”

Details of the allegations against Jeff McCarter leaked

The Free Spirit Media mission statement says it “provides opportunities for emerging creators, primarily from communities of color, to produce and distribute original content and to pursue artistic, personal and professional aspirations.” But the program appears to be at odds with its own mission statement, when, as reported in Reel Chicago, a statement was released … Continue reading “Details of the allegations against Jeff McCarter leaked”

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”

The Mill Chicago welcomes new EP Jenny Lumpkin

“Force to be reckoned with” brings industry expertise and relationship-building finesse to full-service production studio The Mill announced today that Jenny Lumpkin has joined their Chicago studio as Executive Producer. Lumpkin arrives at The Mill after spending the last seven years at Quriosity Productions, a Chicago-based production company. As Senior Producer, she developed Quriosity’s production … Continue reading “The Mill Chicago welcomes new EP Jenny Lumpkin”

Local 476 pickets non-union production

The Chicago Studio Mechanics Union works for interests that range far beyond the film industry   Members of Chicago Local 476 picketed a non-union production shooting in the city last weekend. Inspired to protect the opportunities, wages, and benefits of its members, the Studio Mechanics believe that their protest also serves interests far beyond the … Continue reading “Local 476 pickets non-union production”

Reel Black List: Chakka Reeves, creative producer, mentor

The versatile pro has a proven knack for making an impact on film sets as well as classrooms Chakka Reeves is a creative producer, coach, and workforce development specialist who has been mentoring young artists and producing films for more than a dozen years. The corporations, institutions, and organizations that have benefitted from Chakka’s full … Continue reading “Reel Black List: Chakka Reeves, creative producer, mentor”

Ebert sends Black female storytellers to Sundance

Tiffany Walden, Niani Scott, and Whitney Spencer navigate the fast-paced, deadline-driven world of film review Three Chicago-based African American women storytellers with experience in documentary film, multimedia journalism and cultural research are attending the 2019 Sundance Film Festival Jan. 24 – Feb. 2 on a coveted Roger Ebert Fellowship, announced Tuesday. The workshop, established … Continue reading “Ebert sends Black female storytellers to Sundance”

MIFF presents first-ever juried Female Filmmaker Night

“When we’re talking about issues of gender equality and representation, I think it’s an everybody problem.” Executive Director, Amy Guth For the first time in its history, the Midwest Independent Film Festival will screen a juried selection of work during the annual Female Filmmakers Night celebration, which takes place Tuesday August 7th at Landmark Century … Continue reading “MIFF presents first-ever juried Female Filmmaker Night”

Reel Women: Yasmine Gorleku, Producer

Yasmin is a first-generation West African who has travelled the world, but still feels right at home in her native Chicago, where she spent the last four years as part of the team at Quriosity Productions. From intern to Associate Producer, Yasmin’s climb to success did not come without her pulling up her sleeves to … Continue reading “Reel Women: Yasmine Gorleku, Producer”

The Reel Black List: Jonathan Desir, Executive Producer

Jonathan Desir is an Executive Producer at Optimus. He has been involved in post production for over a decade and is president of the board for Free Spirit Media as well. Jon achieved his B.A. in Psychology and minored in Business and Communication at Eastern Michigan University. Aside from studying, he was also involved with … Continue reading “The Reel Black List: Jonathan Desir, Executive Producer”

The Reel Black List: Qadree Holmes, Visionary EP

Qadree Holmes has successfully risen from intern to production assistant to producer and, finally, to the Founder / Executive Producer of Quriosity Productions. While line producing, he recognized a significant shift in the market — clients and agencies were seeking integrated creative talent options to represent the different social channels now available. Conversely, they did … Continue reading “The Reel Black List: Qadree Holmes, Visionary EP”

10:20 a.m. — AbelCine

AbelCine is busier than most retail establishments at 10 o’clock on a weekday morning. But then again, AbelCine is not like most retail establishments. Located in a stately redbrick four-story building across the street from Cinespace, the company includes several film industry vendors among its neighbors. “We encourage people to touch things when they come … Continue reading “10:20 a.m. — AbelCine”

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”

12:40 p.m. — Sheila Brown, CineCares Foundation

“It’s a good day,” says Sheila Brown, the Executive Director of the CineCares Foundation. “The interns will receive twelve weeks of on-the-job training.” Brown leads an effort to place young adults from nearby neighborhoods into paid internships at Cinespace. This morning, she learned that the first cohort participating in the foundation’s internship program will be … Continue reading “12:40 p.m. — Sheila Brown, CineCares Foundation”

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”

It’s official: Qadree Holmes is a “Game Changer”

Quriosity founder and executive producer Qadree Holmes will be honored as a “Game Changer” at the Global Mixx Music & Film Forum this weekend. He is one of ten recipients who will claim the title during the 11th annual two-day music and film conference at the Illinois Institute of Art in River North.

“A Game Changer is someone who has impacted in some way and given back to the community through his or her talent,” says Global Mixx founder Mary L. Datcher. “Q has a great deal of success on the filmmaking side, but he also has mentored younger kids.”

AICE & AMP partner on post/music mentorship program

Trade associations AICE and AMP (Assn. of Music Producers) have teamed up to launch PrePro, a new mentorship program to help local high school and college students explore careers in post and music for advertising.

The PrePro diversity program, open to students age 17 to 23, will kick off this coming semester in the active Chicago and New York chapters. Other chapters will follow as the year progresses.

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.

Internationally-experienced Dolan joins Onion, Inc.

THE ONION named award-winning international media producer Michael Dolan as director of strategic brand partnerships.  In his role, Dolan wil lfocus on selling Onion Productions’ comprehensive video production and post-production services. 

Dolan reports to Kristine Desrochers. VP/strategic partnerships.  Prior to joining Onion, Inc., he had been Bridges Media’s global business director for two years.

AICP expects 300 guests at annual social event, 4/7

MEET. DRINK. TALK. — that’s the official title of AICP-Midwest’s popular annual event held exclusively for Midwest agency, commercial production and editorial professionals Thursday, April 7 at The Underground.

More than 300 guests are expected from AICP member production companies and their agency clients, “to eat, drink and “talk face-to-face in a comfortable, casual environment,” notes Stan Glapa, Cineverse rentals manager and a member of the event planning committee.

Chris Breneman heads USA sales for NZ’s Curious Film

NEW ZEALAND’S CURIOUS FILM has dived into the North America market with the appointment of Chris Breneman as Head of Sales USA, based in Chicago. He’s now the link to all things Curious, including the production company’s dozen directors and a team of Australasian producers, with 12 years experience in Australia, New Zealand and Asia.

Top docmakers collaborate on school closings impact

In an unprecedented collaboration, filmmakers from documentary powerhouses Kartemquin Films, Media Process Group, Siskel/Jacobs Productions, and The Kindling Group are documenting the aftermath of the largest mass school closure in U.S. history.

“We’ve all worked together in different capacities, but putting us all together is unprecedented,” says Bob Hercules, co-owner of Media Process Group.

Capacity crowd for May 16 AICE Awards, tix going fast!

BUY YOUR AICE TICKETS NOW as the national Awards Show is reaching space capacity, advises Optimus’ Tom Duff, AICE Chicago chapter. The show will be held Thursday, May 16, throughout the entire Museum of Broadcast Communications: cocktail reception on the third floor, awards presentations on the fourth floor, and after-party on the second floor.

14 indie made TV shows earn Midwest Emmy nominations

Not as many non-broadcaster-produced shows received 2012 Midwest Chapter Emmy nominations this season as they had in past years.  Still, approximately 14 companies, especially multiple nominees Bitter Jester and HMH Media, had award-worthy spots, docs and craft skills to qualify for an Emmy nod. 

Here are the non-broadcast nominees in nine out of 22 categories of endeavor, with some winning more than one nod for the project.  The producer/host/reporter receives the award.

BVI to learn filmmaking essentials from local pros

The island of Tortola in the British Virgin Islands wants to become a serious contender for feature film production and invited Nate Grant of Lake Shore Film & TV Productions to start the ball rolling with a reprise of Grant’s surprisingly successful Feature Film Seminar.

Grant’s invitation was extended after a BVI representative attended the seminar (FFS) last February at Cinespace and told BVI film commissioner Rhodni Shelton having the seminar would be a good way to provide core information as a way of seeding their ultimate infrastructure.

Cutters wins at AICE; Beast boosts Bradley

KUDOS TO CUTTERS for winning three top 2012 AICE awards at the ceremony held Thursday in Marina Del Ray Ritz Carlton. Editor Chris Hafner scored Best of Chicago and Best Automotive for Fiat 500 “Karl Abarth,” and John Binder of Another Country aced Best Sound Design for Allstate.  Optimus Design won for Best Design for Craftsman. 

Alex Beh makes his feature debut with “Warren”

L.A. BASED ORIAN WILLIAMS, who produced the Joy Division biopic Control, has signed on to produce Winnetka native actor/director Alex Beh’s feature directorial debut, the coming-of-age story Warren.  “Orian has become a good friend of mine through friends out here in Los Angeles,” Beh says. 

“He’s a great guy and a stellar producer.  We are doing our best to get this Chicago picture in production by late spring/early summer.” 

A huge crowd for MPG’s Siskel retrospective

In celebration of Media Process Group’s 25th anniversary, a retrospective of company’s award-winning and always provocative documentaries were screened at the Gene Siskel Film Center recently, an event MPG’s founder Bob Hercules deemed “a great success.”

Carol Marin MC’d the program, which was divided into segments that covered MPG’s earlier body of work and its present projects and activities.

Special guests were Father Michael Pfleger of St.

Three win ?Looking for Democracy’ contest

A short film examining the issues of free speech while chronicling a veteran’s protest to a flag hung upside down, won the grand prize in the 2010 Illinois Humanities Council’s second annual “Looking for Democracy” contest.

Theophilus Jamal an actor, filmmaker and master’s candidate at DePaul’s Digital Cinema program, creatively answered the contest’s question: “Where do you see democracy in your life?”

Jamal’s top prize entry, “American Flag,” and the two other winners will screen at a May 3 awards presentation and panel discussion at Columbia College’s Film Row Cinema.

“Peep Show” for Spike TV appears to be the
only new TV pilot set to shoot in Chicago soon

THE ONLY NEW TV SHOW on the Chicago horizon seems to be “Peep Show” for Spike TV. The pilot of the Americanized version of the British hit series is scheduled to shoot here in September or October.

Tenner Paskal Rudnicke is casting eight or nine actors for lead roles, “but no one is officially cast yet,” says TPR partner Jennifer Rudnickne.

On the commercial front, TPR’s recent casting was for 59 Films’ two-day shoot for Coors/DraftFCB, calling in the four “regular guys” for the latest entry in the ongoing campaign.

Wrangler celebrates 75-years of outfitting the West

Wrangler, the genuine source for comfortable jeans and western apparel, celebrates 75-years of outfitting the West in a new multimedia ad campaign honoring the Western way of life and tipping their cowboy hat to the legions of loyal customers who have come along for the ride.  The ad, which is an extension of Wrangler’s ‘For the Ride … Continue reading “Wrangler celebrates 75-years of outfitting the West”

Ironheart plays pivotal role in Black Panther plot leak

Warning: this article MAY contain actual spoilers for the film Black Panther: Wakanda Forever! Known spoiler extraordinaire, Daniel Richtman recently had a post of his from his Patreon shared on Reddit detailing several plot points of the highly anticipated, and secretive, MCU film Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. The post was more than likely pulled from … Continue reading “Ironheart plays pivotal role in Black Panther plot leak”

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”

UNAIDS and FCB launch Unbox Me highlighting the rights of trans children

UNAIDS and FCB’s India and Chicago offices have partnered to launch “Unbox Me,” an initiative aimed at raising awareness for the rights of transgender children by empowering them to stop hiding their identities and embrace their true selves. Part of the #SeeMeAsIAm campaign, “Unbox Me” is the latest collaborative effort from UNAIDS and FCB, whose … Continue reading “UNAIDS and FCB launch Unbox Me highlighting the rights of trans children”

REEL WOMEN: Rebecca Considine of SpeedPro Chicago Loop

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 Rebecca Considine are making “Herstory.” Alongside her partner Eric Lazar, … Continue reading “REEL WOMEN: Rebecca Considine of SpeedPro Chicago Loop”

Legendary Chicago marketing and advertising ‘GOAT’ Joel Goldsmith passes

Legendary Chicago Marketing and Advertising “GOAT” and Producer Joel Goldsmith passed away earlier this week at age 84, after a lengthy battle with Parkinson’s Disease.  Joel was a legend in advertising. Beginning his early career as an accomplished copywriter, next a Creative Director he quickly rose through the ranks of the top agencies in Chicago … Continue reading “Legendary Chicago marketing and advertising ‘GOAT’ Joel Goldsmith passes”

Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs and #CIROCStands feature trailblazing Black Chicagoans

In celebration of Black Excellence Month, CÎROC and Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs unveil the newest iteration of their ongoing community-centric platform #CIROCStands. #CIROCStands is an initiative that supports Black and Brown voices through original video spotlights, visuals and billboards, sharing inspirational true stories of progress, achievement and success. The next leg of the campaign takes the #CIROCStands … Continue reading “Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs and #CIROCStands feature trailblazing Black Chicagoans”

Directors Steve Conry & Christian Schultz find the heart of Electric Forest

Directors Steve Conry and Christian Schultz recently released this heart felt documentary that celebrates the 10 year anniversary of world famous music festival, Electric Forest. Steve Conroy is on the Seed Media Arts director’s roster. Electric Forest is co-produced by Madison House Presents and Insomniac Events who gave Conry and Schultz carte blanche to document … Continue reading “Directors Steve Conry & Christian Schultz find the heart of Electric Forest”

Jeff Dickerson longtime ESPN Chicago Bears reporter passes away at 44

Chicago native and longtime ESPN Chicago Bears reporter Jeff Dickerson passed away on Tuesday of colon cancer complications at age 44.  Dickerson’s wife, Caitlin, died two years ago from melanoma, tragically at the very same hospice care facility where he passed away. Caitlin Dickerson had undergone treatment for melanoma and its complications for eight years … Continue reading “Jeff Dickerson longtime ESPN Chicago Bears reporter passes away at 44”

Carbon animated film ‘Repeater’ opens the OFFF Dach Design Festival

From creative production studio Carbon comes Repeater, the story of a world in which creatures speak in symbols and can turn those symbols into realities. The vibrant animated short is the Title Film to this year’s OFFF Dach creativity and design festival in Vienna. With original live-recorded orchestra music and sound design from Antfood, it’s a tale of … Continue reading “Carbon animated film ‘Repeater’ opens the OFFF Dach Design Festival”

List of nominees for the 63rd Chicago/Midwest Emmy Awards Dec 5

The 63rd Chicago/Midwest Emmy Awards will be a virtual presentation held on Sunday, December 5 at 7:00 pm. Comedian Pat McGann, the South Side Chicago native who hosted the Chicago/Midwest Emmy Awards in 2016 and 2020, returns to emcee the show this year and legendary Bob Newhart is expected to make a guest appearance. The virtual presentation … Continue reading “List of nominees for the 63rd Chicago/Midwest Emmy Awards Dec 5”

Upshot adds Michael Rivera as Executive Creative Director

Upshot, the Chicago-based full-service creative agency known for its work with clients such as Constellation Brands, Google, Starbucks and Procter and Gamble, has hired Michael Rivera as Executive Creative Director.   Throughout his 20+ year career, Rivera has created award-winning brand campaigns, innovative commerce experiences, mobile apps and loyalty programs. His focus is on building diverse … Continue reading “Upshot adds Michael Rivera as Executive Creative Director”

CFWC to host 50th Anniversary Industry Mixer Nov 6th

Community Film Workshop of Chicago (CFWC) in collaboration with Melanated in America, will kick-off a yearlong celebration of its 50th Anniversary with an Industry Mixer. Saturday, November 6th at Harriet Harris Park, 6200 S. Drexel Avenue, from noon-2pm. Prolific novelist and activist James Baldwin once stated, “Not everything is faced can be changed, but nothing can … Continue reading “CFWC to host 50th Anniversary Industry Mixer Nov 6th”

Guinness announces Chicago taproom in West Loop

Irish heritage, tradition, grit, and resilience all run deep in Chicago, and in the not-too-distant future, so will Guinness roots. This great American city will be the home to the new Guinness Chicago Taproom, slated to open to the public in 2023 in the city’s lively West Loop neighborhood. Located at 375 N. Morgan Street, the 15,000-square-foot … Continue reading “Guinness announces Chicago taproom in West Loop”

kaboom welcomes Maureen Butler as Midwest Rep

kaboom welcomes Maureen Butler, founder of Mo Butler Reps, for Midwest representation. A good listener, curator of talent, with a generous spirit, her passion for bringing people and ideas together makes her a respected and trusted film rep. Producers, directors, and creative teams are her tribe. “I’ve known Mo for a long time, and – like … Continue reading “kaboom welcomes Maureen Butler as Midwest Rep”

Skillicorn takes on partner moves Seed headquarters to LA

Seed Media Arts is expanding and moving their headquarters to Los Angeles. This originally Chicago-based company founded in 2011 by Roy Skillicorn has recently partnered with Los Angeles based Executive Producer Brad Johnson. As Johnson expands Seed to Los Angeles, Roy Skillicorn and Nathan Skillicorn are continuing in Chicago as the midwest representation.  “Chicago is where … Continue reading “Skillicorn takes on partner moves Seed headquarters to LA”

SRW names Matthew Sulzer Executive Creative Director

SRW, an independent, full-service marketing agency with a penchant for growing natural health and wellness brands, is pleased to name agency veteran Matthew Sulzer as its first-ever Executive Creative Director. In this role, Sulzer will lead the creative department in conceptualizing, producing, and executing creative campaigns across a variety of platforms and channels. Expanding their creative offerings … Continue reading “SRW names Matthew Sulzer Executive Creative Director”

Gerety Awards announces new deadline and new category

The Gerety Awards 2021 deadline has been extended until April 30 and a new category for humour is announced. The humour category will celebrate the best in advertising humour. Funny advertising becomes a part of popular culture. Just like Whassup for Budweiser by DDB Worldwide Chicago or Betty White’s spot from the campaign “You are not you when you are … Continue reading “Gerety Awards announces new deadline and new category”

CAF’s 2021 American Advertising Award Winners

The Chicago Advertising Federation (CAF) announced the winners of the local 2021 American Advertising Awards (AAA). One of the industry’s largest creative competitions, AAA rewards the spirit of creative excellence in advertising, seeing tens of thousands of submissions from both professional organizations and students each year. CAF gold and silver winners were advanced to the District 6 … Continue reading “CAF’s 2021 American Advertising Award Winners”

Highdive and Ram Truck launch campaign ‘I’m a Ram’

The Ram Truck brand is reinforcing how its award-winning trucks are “Built to Serve” through a new storytelling campaign titled “I’m A Ram,” featuring five-time Grammy-winning singer and songwriter Chris Stapleton. The Highdive campaign includes a series of commercials and long-form content that spans across broadcast, digital and the Ram brand social media channels. Two spots … Continue reading “Highdive and Ram Truck launch campaign ‘I’m a Ram’”

OKRP promotes Aubrey Walker to Exec Creative Director

O’Keefe Reinhard & Paul is adding a level to its creative leadership with the promotion of Aubrey Walker to the new role of Executive Creative Director. He assumes leadership of the agency’s creative department from Laura Fegley who left the agency this summer. Walker has led the agency’s recent work for The Illinois Lottery, including … Continue reading “OKRP promotes Aubrey Walker to Exec Creative Director”

Snowman transforms into Beerman for Coors Light

In a holiday season when nothing feels typical, Coors Light is introducing a festive tradition just for grownups – because, let’s be honest, adults deserve to enjoy the holiday season, too. Meet Beerman, a perfectly imperfect drinking buddy designed to keep your beers cold and your spirits up. In fact, Beerman is the holiday hero … Continue reading “Snowman transforms into Beerman for Coors Light”

OKRP ‘Brings Back Joy’ in new Illinois Lottery campaign

A new campaign for the Illinois Lottery from its agency O’Keefe Reinhard & Paul (OKRP) stars a charming –  but somewhat flawed –  hamster who playfully demonstrates the real joy in gifting the Lottery’s holiday instant tickets. When not in his cage, Claude the Hamster exercises his love of scratching, leaving his scratch marks on all surfaces … Continue reading “OKRP ‘Brings Back Joy’ in new Illinois Lottery campaign”

Meijer takes ‘Believe’ message into Covid era

Retail chain Meijer launched its latest holiday commercial, You Better Not Pout,’ on Black Friday, 27th November, which chronicles a family’s attempt to celebrate a COVID-impacted Christmas. The work was created by Chicago-based independent advertising agency The Distillery Project (TDP) and doesn’t feature any imagery of stores or merchandise. Instead, the focus is on one family … Continue reading “Meijer takes ‘Believe’ message into Covid era”

Congratulations to the 2020 Chicago Emmy recipients

Reel Chicago congratulates the winners of the 62nd Chicago / Midwest Emmy Awards. A big shout out to two of our loyal advertisers, October TV and WTTW for taking home Emmys. The Chicago / Midwest Emmy Awards are presented annually for outstanding achievements in broadcasting. Members come from all areas of the industry and include … Continue reading “Congratulations to the 2020 Chicago Emmy recipients”

CAF Honors Renetta McCann of Publicis Groupe

In continuing recognition of Renetta McCann, chief inclusion experience officer at Publicis Groupe, whom the Chicago Advertising Federation (CAF) honored with its 25th Silver Medal Award earlier this year, advertising industry leaders kicked off a special, three-part virtual event last week to highlight McCann and her important role in the community. The CAF Legacy & Leadership Series … Continue reading “CAF Honors Renetta McCann of Publicis Groupe”

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”

Jack Daniel’s makes first global campaign count

Guess Jack Daniel’s always wanted to do this. In a historic move, the whiskey brand is introducing its first truly global creative campaign, “Make it Count.” The campaign showcases a new way of thinking for the 154-year-old brand that celebrates the people who drink it. As a global brand that wanted to fuel its iconic … Continue reading “Jack Daniel’s makes first global campaign count”

2019-2020 Chicago/Midwest Emmy Nominations List

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

Editor Jen Dean joins Cut+Run’s award winning lineup

Cut+Run announces the addition of editor Jen Dean to its family of talent.  A native Texan, Jen went from studying experimental cinema with Stan Brakhage and Phil Solomon in Boulder to assisting Hank Corwin for many years at Lost Planet. Both experiences proved invaluable as she became an editor in her own right, developing a … Continue reading “Editor Jen Dean joins Cut+Run’s award winning lineup”

Diving into Highdive and their Emmy nomination

Daring to break the traditional agency mold, Highdive is producing exciting work that pushes the envelope in new ways. Most recently, the Ad Age Small Agency of the Year partnered with Jeep to create a Super Bowl spot celebrating the 90’s classic Groundhog Day, starring Bill Murray. The commercial resonated with audiences as it was … Continue reading “Diving into Highdive and their Emmy nomination”

City of Chicago awards $2m in CityArts Program grants

Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot and the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) announced the recipients of the 2020 CityArts Program grants. This year, the CityArts Program is awarding general operating grants between $2,000 to $30,000 – and special project grants ranging from $2,500 to $56,200 – to 191 nonprofit organizations for a total … Continue reading “City of Chicago awards $2m in CityArts Program grants”

Woodford Reserve launches ‘Spectacle for the Senses’

Created for the Kentucky Derby, of which Woodford is the presenting sponsor, the campaign highlights the 200+ different flavor notes in the bourbon. Woodford Reserve is more than a spirit. It’s a spectacle. This sentiment is the driving force behind Woodford Reserve’s new campaign “Spectacle for the Senses.” Developed as the first platform launch between … Continue reading “Woodford Reserve launches ‘Spectacle for the Senses’”

The Brewing Irish are partnering with the Fighting Irish

While this may not be the launch moment we planned for, when a partnership nearly two centuries in the making comes together, it’s a reminder that history’s best teams are built over time. Guinness is proud to announce it is now a partner and Official Beer of Notre Dame Fighting Irish Alumni and Fans, a group … Continue reading “The Brewing Irish are partnering with the Fighting Irish”

Country Time’s ‘Littlest Bailout’ for kid’s lemonade stands

To help the smallest of small businesses, kids’ lemonade stands, Country Time is launching the Littlest Bailout Relief Fund, a fund to send stimulus checks to kids who had to close their lemonade stands due to COVID-19. It’s summer and that means lemonade season, but this summer things are looking a bit dry. Lemonade stands across the … Continue reading “Country Time’s ‘Littlest Bailout’ for kid’s lemonade stands”

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”

DePaul’s Eltanal & Khatami chosen for IFP fellowship

DePaul School of Cinematic Arts announced that Assistant Professors, Ronald Eltanal and Alireza Khatami, have been selected for the prestigious IFP Episodic Lab fellowship program for their project titled, Tenure. The Independent Filmmaker Project (IFP) announced today twenty-six feature projects and series selected to participate across three labs over the next month: The IFP Filmmaker … Continue reading “DePaul’s Eltanal & Khatami chosen for IFP fellowship”

DCASE announces ‘Millennium Park at Home’

Millennium Park at Home begins Memorial Day weekend with House Music, Gospel Music and Blues Music concerts to launch the new online series of music, arts and recreation programming. Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot and Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) announced new virtual events for everyone missing Millennium Park’s renowned cultural programming. The new online Millennium … Continue reading “DCASE announces ‘Millennium Park at Home’”

Zoom Interview: Richard Song of Eleven04

Asian Americans have been a silent voice in American Media since the birth of cinema.  While many other demographics have found a way to break through to mainstream markets, few filmmakers and actors of Asian descent have risen to the top.  Asians currently make up the majority of the world’s population, and continue to be … Continue reading “Zoom Interview: Richard Song of Eleven04”

Zoom Interview: with David and Joan of O’Connor Casting

There are two sides to every camera story: those behind it creating movie magic, and the talented performers in front.  What many may not consider are the people who bridge the gap between the two worlds; one of these departments being Casting.  One company that’s been adjusting during these turbulent times is O’Connor Casting, run … Continue reading “Zoom Interview: with David and Joan of O’Connor Casting”

Jeep debuts new spot during ‘One World’ global special

As part of the One World: Together At Home globally televised and digital special on Saturday night to support frontline health care workers and the World Health Organization, FCA premiered an all-new television commercials for the Jeep® brands. The 30-second video, “Seven Continents” for Jeep, aired during the two-hour TV special as part of the globally televised … Continue reading “Jeep debuts new spot during ‘One World’ global special”

Chicago Film Office presents screenwriting competition

The Chicago Film Office, Rubinstein Law, and Emanuel Congregation present a new screenwriting competition for Chicago-based feature and television scripts. Accepting Features and TV Pilots The Chicago Film Office, Rubenstein Law Firm, and Emanuel Congregation present the Chicago Social Justice Screenwriting Competition. This competition aims to further the voice of the disenfranchised though narrative media … Continue reading “Chicago Film Office presents screenwriting competition”

REEL WOMEN: Karolyn Raphael, Pres, Winger Marketing

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. Karolyn Raphael, President of Winger Marketing, with more than … Continue reading “REEL WOMEN: Karolyn Raphael, Pres, Winger Marketing”

REEL WOMEN: Independent Filmmaker, Grace Pisula

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. Grace is a Polish-American filmmaker native to the Northwest … Continue reading “REEL WOMEN: Independent Filmmaker, Grace Pisula”

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”

Reel Chicago’s own Reel Woman, Laura Day

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. She claims her mom named her after Twin Peaks … Continue reading “Reel Chicago’s own Reel Woman, Laura Day”

Aretha Tatum, minister, filmmaker, author

Aretha “Ms. Respect” Tatum is a minister and the director of Courage Over Fear Productions, a facet of Free Life – Life Changing Ministries. Tatum is also an award-winning filmmaker who uses film to ignite faith, the author of two award-winning books, a motivational speaker, and a freelance writer. Her work has appeared in various … Continue reading “Aretha Tatum, minister, filmmaker, author”

Behind the scenes of the Jeep ‘Groundhog Day’ spot

Chicago-based Highdive Advertising reinvigorated an existential pop sensation through Groundhog Day, a commercial that became a classic before it even premiered during yesterday’s Super Bowl. In a fast-forward recreation of the identically-named 1993 film, the 60-second spot stars Bill Murray as Phil Connors, a weatherman caught in a kink of the space-time continuum. In scene … Continue reading “Behind the scenes of the Jeep ‘Groundhog Day’ spot”

Kartemquin announces recipients of $90K in grants

A dozen documentary projects will share rewards of Diverse Voices and Emerging Storyteller Fund grants Kartemquin Films today announced the 12 documentary projects that will receive their 2019 Diverse Voices Accelerator Fund and Emerging Storyteller Fund grants. Both grants are designed to provide funding towards emerging filmmakers who are currently enrolled or who have previously … Continue reading “Kartemquin announces recipients of $90K in grants”

Nanfu Wang named keynote for DVID graduation

Award-winning filmmaker will help celebrate grads of the doc program organized by Kartemquin and the Community Film Workshop Kartemquin Films and the Community Film Workshop of Chicago are thrilled to announce award-winning filmmaker Nanfu Wang (One Child Nation, Hooligan Sparrow) will provide the keynote speech at the 2019 Diverse Voices in Docs (DVID) graduation on … Continue reading “Nanfu Wang named keynote for DVID graduation”

ChiFilmFest unveils Gala & Special Presentations programs

“Knives Out” starring Daniel Craig among first round of films announced for 55th run, October 16-27 Mimi Plauché, Artistic Director of the Chicago International Film Festival, today announced titles selected for the Galas and Special Presentations programs for the 55th edition of the Festival. Offering movie lovers a first look at the year’s most highly … Continue reading “ChiFilmFest unveils Gala & Special Presentations programs”

Jeremy Renner stars in Jeep campaign by HighDive

I did not know Hawkeye could sing. Avengers, Mission Impossible and Bourne star, Jeremy Renner, is now not only featured on screen in a new Jeep brand television campaign that but in the audio as well as all three spots use the actor’s music tracks. Thanks to Chicago boutique agency HighDive, I now know different. … Continue reading “Jeremy Renner stars in Jeep campaign by HighDive”

The 35th annual Chicago Latino Film Festival

The two-week event launches on March 28 with Icían Bollaín’s “Yuli” followed by a “Noche Cubana” celebration The 35th Chicago Latino Film Festival (CLFF) will take place March 28-April 11 at the AMC River East 21, 322 E. Illinois St. and will feature over 100 feature-length and short films from Latin America, Spain, Portugal and … Continue reading “The 35th annual Chicago Latino Film Festival”

Reel Black List: La Donna Tittle, Renaissance Woman

Acting on Showtime’s hit series “The Chi” is just one of the versatile artist’s many career success stories Native Chicagoan La Donna Tittle is an accomplished actor, model, radio personality and CEO / producer / host of Cookin’ Wit’ Tittle … Bon Appetite, Let’s Eat, a spirited show about food and drink on CAN TV … Continue reading “Reel Black List: La Donna Tittle, Renaissance Woman”

Reel Black List: Pemon Rami, Chicago film legend

Meet the man who has worked with Cab Calloway, Chaka Khan, Angela Bassett, John Belushi, Aretha Franklin, James Earl Jones, Sammy Davis Jr., and more Pemon Rami is an international film producer, theatre director, arts administrator, historian, lecturer, and consultant who wields one of the most impressive film pedigrees in Chicago and beyond. The features … Continue reading “Reel Black List: Pemon Rami, Chicago film legend”

mcgarrybowen creates holiday thrills for Crayola

A colorful campaign rouses the holiday spirit with DIY adventure and lovable crayon characters The Crayola characters are back this holiday season and are starring in two action-packed holiday spots. Stepping out into the real world and leveraging cinematic appeal and humor, they connect with kids and adults alike. In Rube Goldberg Machine, Scarlet, Gus, … Continue reading “mcgarrybowen creates holiday thrills for Crayola”

The 2018 Chicago/Midwest Emmy Awards

The 60th annual celebration of the standard bearers for excellence in the television broadcasting industry   The 2018 Chicago/Midwest Emmy Ceremony will be held on Saturday, November 10, 2018 at the Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile, Chicago Ballroom, 540 N. Michigan.       The Nominees Outstanding Achievement for News Programming – Evening Newscast: Larger … Continue reading “The 2018 Chicago/Midwest Emmy Awards”

Northwestern’s Block Museum debuts new branding

New logo, videos, website and social media celebrate how “every inch of the museum offers a new creative opportunity”   (Evantson, IL — 30 October 2018) Over the past few years The Block Museum of Art at Northwestern University has consistently presented its audiences with surprising and innovative projects, rooted in original, interdisciplinary research. The … Continue reading “Northwestern’s Block Museum debuts new branding”

Dictionary promotes Cody McGuire, adds Joe Kirkendall

The integrated house adds a pair of Senior Producers who have completed projects of all sizes for dozens of top tier brands (Chicago — 3 October 2018) Dictionary Films U.S. managing director Chris Rossiter today announced the promotion of Cody McGuire to senior producer and the addition of senior producer Joe Kirkendall to the company’s … Continue reading “Dictionary promotes Cody McGuire, adds Joe Kirkendall”

Applications open for Kartemquin Diverse Voices in Docs

Kartemquin will award grants ranging from $5-$10K to individual DVID fellows (Chicago — 6 September) — Applications are now open for Diverse Voices in Docs (DVID), a mentorship program for Midwestern documentary makers of color organized by Kartemquin Films and the Community Film Workshop of Chicago. Eight Midwest filmmakers will be selected from those who … Continue reading “Applications open for Kartemquin Diverse Voices in Docs”

Asian Pop-Up Cinema returns to Chicago September 12

Features seventeen films from across the Asian continents, presents premieres including Japanese zombie comedy “One Cut of the Dead” as Closing Night — tickets on sale now (Chicago — 13 August 2018) — Non-profit pan-Asian film organization Sophia’s Choice today announces Asian Pop-Up Cinema – Season Seven, the fall film series presenting seventeen films from … Continue reading “Asian Pop-Up Cinema returns to Chicago September 12”

Windy City Horrorama call for entries

Submissions for the international April 26-28 Windy City Horrorama are being accepted via Film Freeway   The second annual Windy City Horrorama will bring the horror to Lincoln Square’s Davis Theater once again next Spring on April 26th – April 28th​, 2019.​ Horrorama is in search of the scariest and most fun work in the … Continue reading “Windy City Horrorama call for entries”

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”

The Reel Black List: Annette Galloway, Filmmaker

Annette Galloway is an admirable and accomplished filmmaker who has achieved success and notoriety in her profession. As a writer, producer, and director, she certainly possesses the ambition and determination to continuously create a memorable repertoire of masterpieces that showcase what she is passionate about.   Along with her pioneering spirit and a love for … Continue reading “The Reel Black List: Annette Galloway, Filmmaker”

Pacifico’s new campaign advises, “live life anchors up”

Hey dudes and dudettes, Cramer-Krasselt has launched the first national integrated campaign for Pacifico Beer. The brand was developed in 1900 and brought to Baja, California in the 1970s by surfers. It’s a long-time west coast favorite and is now one of the fastest-growing brands in the Constellation portfolio (Corona, Modelo). Poised at the intersection … Continue reading “Pacifico’s new campaign advises, “live life anchors up””

Tribute to a legend: Jay B. Ross, Entertainment Lawyer

Attorney Jay B. Ross passed away on March 1. A beloved member of Chicago’s media community, Ross’s former client list reads like a who’s who of American music. James Brown, Ray Charles, Muddy Waters, Woody Guthrie, Jerry “The Iceman” Butler, Koko Taylor, Albertina Walker, and Willie Dixon were among the legends who relied on his … Continue reading “Tribute to a legend: Jay B. Ross, Entertainment Lawyer”

United Airlines ends NRA discount & other news

United Airlines joins other brands in NRA boycott Chicago-based United Airlines has joined other major brands including Delta Airlines, Hertz, National and Avis car rentals as well as MetLife, Allied Van Lines and North American Van Lines in discontinuing or altering their relationships with the National Rifle Association. In a tweet, United said it is … Continue reading “United Airlines ends NRA discount & other news”

Escape Pod, Ogilvy, Box Office, Foo Fighters in the news

Escape Pod launches freelance recruitment app Go Shortlist Today, Escape Pod announced the creation of a free online platform connecting the industry’s top creative freelancers with top ad agencies. Created by Escape Pod’s interactive arm, Ora Interactive, “Go Shortlist” uses a proprietary algorithm combined with a personalized talent assessment to rank the top creative freelancers, … Continue reading “Escape Pod, Ogilvy, Box Office, Foo Fighters in the news”

BK, Hulu, and “People Die in This Movie” in the news

Today’s Reel Thing keeps us in the Halloween spirit(s) with some creepy news from around the world of advertising and film. Last week, we reported on Fox’s All City and the scary work they are doing for Mars Candies. Now we have this whopper (ha!) from Burger King. Like I haven’t had enough of scary … Continue reading “BK, Hulu, and “People Die in This Movie” in the news”

Artisans to sell their wares at CRC’s “Rock & Shop”

CHICAGO RECORDING is getting into the holiday spirit with its first “Rock and Shop,” Tuesday, Nov. 12, a chance to shop for a variety of unique artisan creations all made by agency and production people after they leave their day jobs.

Studio manager Rose Razal has gathered together 16 such artisans, whose jewelry, fine art, home decorations, knits, glassware, clothing, food, leather accessories, photographs and more will be open for business.

“We certainly invite other artists we may have missed to participate,” Razal says. 


Temp to FT hire position (start immediately for 90 days @ 20/hrs/week).  Operations management position.


Office Management:  Responsible for all activities when president & CEO is absent;  incoming/outgoing mail; filing of records, contracts, and other paperwork

McCann returns to Burnett as top recruiter

RENETTA McCANN has returned to Leo Burnett after a four year absence in the important position of US chief talent officer, overseeing all Burnett’s recruitment, training and talent management, reporting to North American president Rich Stoddart.

She replaces Jeff Tritt, EVP-people and culture, who joined Resource Interactive, Columbus, Ohio as chief talent officer.

‘Oprah’ vets form New Chapter Entertainment

When The Oprah Winfrey Show ended its 20-year run last year, senior producer Candi Carter says she knew she wanted to continue working with fellow Oprah producer Rick Segall.

“I’ve always had an entrepreneurial spirit,” Carter says. “Even when I was a senior producer at the Oprah show, I founded my own company, It’s Hip-Hop, Baby!, a DVD series for kids that used fun, child-friendly hip-hop music to educate toddlers and preschoolers. So when the show ended in 2011, it was a natural for me to want to start my own company.”

Abel Cine Tech opens a Midwest office

ABEL CINE TECH opened a Midwest sales office and small showroom in Oakbrook Terrace, headed by Kari Hess, and joined by production salesman Gregger Jones, from Abel’s New York headquarters and office administrator Colleen Nutter.

This is Abel’s first official office since it purchased the camera and accessories sales division of Fletcher Chicago in March, 2008, and hired Hess, who’d been with Fletcher for 13 years.

For the past 18 months, Hess had been working out of her home.

Becky Cattie casting for Towers

FIRST ASSIGNMENT for Towers Productions’ new casting director, Becky Cattie is to find the perfect cast for Towers’ “Housewives of Chicago” reality TV show, currently in development.

Cattie, who moved here from L.A. last summer, has six years experience casting unscripted TV shows, including “Extreme Makeover,” “America’s Got Talent,” “My Fair Wedding,” “10 Years Younger” and “The Simple Life.”

Response to the “Housewives” casting call has been “fantastic,” says Cattie.

Stephens’ “Conventioneers” at Facets Feb. 15

“CONVENTIOEERS” ACTORS Trevor Murphy and Alek Freidman conduct a workshop Feb. 15 before the film plays in the IFP/Chicago Meet the Filmmakers Series.

Mora Stephens directed from a script she wrote with producer/editor Joel Viertel, about a delegate and a protester who rekindle a failed romance from their school days at Dartmouth.

Shot against the backdrop of the 2004 RNC, “Conventioneers” premiered at the 2005 Tribeca Film Festival and is nominated for a John Cassavetes Award from the Independent Spirit Awards.

Telling Truth in Chicago:
A Survey of Local Docmakers, Part I

Drawing on a rich tradition of bluntness and iconoclasm, Chicago is home to a wealth of documentarians, from TV powerhouses like Towers and Kurtis Productions to national theatrical and TV leaders Kartemquin to a range of small to mid-size companies capturing public imagination and affecting social change by telling true stories. This is the first in a two-part survey of the local docmaking scene. Part two, covering companies M-Z, in our next issue.

REELSCREEN: News and Notes

THE FOUNDATION OPENS. When his 10-year Red Car contract ended, editor James Lipinsky decided the time had come to go into business for himself. On March 1, he opened the doors to the Foundation, located in spacious quarters at 200 E. Ohio St., and in West Hollywood, with three employees and a steady stream of major agency clients.

The current staff consists of editor Steve Morrison, who joined after four years at Superior Street, Producer Laurie Abels, an Element 79 associate producer, and assistant Rob Chambers, a Columbia College grad.

Bilingual thriller produced for under $100,000 shoots entirely in Chicago area this month

“To Kill a Killer” director Ricardo Islas and DP Joe Passarelli on location in Indiana.

Catania to direct/lens his first indie,
‘Cup of My Blood,’ a horror film

Lance Catania directing/lensing Ch. 7 promos on location.