HBO Max renews comedy series ‘South Side’ for a third season

South Side got a thumbs up from HBO Max for a third season. The streaming service announced the renewal of the Chicago series. The second season of the beloved, critically acclaimed comedy series premiered as a Max Original in November 2021. Starring Bashir Salahuddin, Sultan Salahuddin, Kareme Young, Quincy Young, Chandra Russell, Zuri Salahuddin, Nefetari Spencer, … Continue reading “HBO Max renews comedy series ‘South Side’ for a third season”

Filmed in Chicago, Station Eleven is a hit on HBO Max

Station Eleven, a ten-episode limited series drama filmed in Chicago, premiered last Thursday on HBO Max. No, it’s not just another sensational tale of global pandemic. Station Eleven, receiving a whopping 97% on Rotten Tomatoes, is based on the international award winning bestseller of the same name, by Canadian novelist Emily St. John Mandel. A … Continue reading “Filmed in Chicago, Station Eleven is a hit on HBO Max”

It’s the end of the road for HBO’s Lovecraft Country

It’s the end of the road for the characters of HBO’s Lovecraft Country. The horror drama series will not be receiving a second season order, HBO told Deadline. “We will not be moving forward with a second season of Lovecraft Country,” HBO said in their statement. “We are grateful for the dedication and artistry of … Continue reading “It’s the end of the road for HBO’s Lovecraft Country”

Chicago is setting for new HBO Ma-Xmas film

Production is currently underway on 8-Bit Christmas, a Max Original film from New Line directed by Michael Dowse. Set in suburban Chicago in the late 1980s, the film is a humorous and heartfelt look back at the adventures of childhood. The story centers on ten-year-old Jake Doyle’s (Winslow Fegley) herculean quest to get the latest and greatest … Continue reading “Chicago is setting for new HBO Ma-Xmas film”

HBO launches LOVECRAFT COUNTRY: SANCTUM, VR

To celebrate the highly anticipated new series LOVECRAFT COUNTRY, HBO has announced Lovecraft Country: Sanctum, a series of exclusive virtual reality events transporting invited guests into a world inspired by the show. Join LOVECRAFT COUNTRY’s Jurnee Smollett, Jonathan Majors, Courtney B. Vance and Michael Kenneth Williams For A Groundbreaking Virtual Experience. The series airs Sundays at 9:00 … Continue reading “HBO launches LOVECRAFT COUNTRY: SANCTUM, VR”

HBO Max orders ‘Young Love’ based on ‘Hair Love’

HBO Max has ordered a 12-episode season of the all-new, 2D animated series, Young Love, based on the characters introduced in the Academy Award®-winning short film, Hair Love from Oscar® winner and Chicago born  Matthew A. Cherry and Sony Pictures Animation. The new series for HBO Max is created by Cherry, who will showrun with long-time animation creative Carl Jones (The … Continue reading “HBO Max orders ‘Young Love’ based on ‘Hair Love’”

HBO debuts ‘Lovecraft Country’ filmed at Cinespace

Filmed at Cinespace Chicago Film Studios, HBO’s new drama series from J.J. Abrams, Jordan Peele and showrunner/executive producer Misha Green, LOVECRAFT COUNTRY debuts Sunday, August 16 (9:00-10:00 p.m. ET/PT) on HBO and will be available to stream on HBO Max. Based on the novel of the same name by Matt Ruff, the ten-episode series follows … Continue reading “HBO debuts ‘Lovecraft Country’ filmed at Cinespace”

Chicago’s Lil Rel debuts stand-up special on HBO

The Windy City actor, writer, and producerwas filmed before alive audience atSusan Miller DorseyHigh School in LA Comedian, actor, writer and producer Lil Rel Howery makes his HBO stand-up comedy debut with an hour-long special, premiering Saturday November 23 exclusively on HBO (10:00-11:05 p.m. ET/PT). The special will also be available on HBO NOW, HBO GO, … Continue reading “Chicago’s Lil Rel debuts stand-up special on HBO”

Peele and Abrams bring new HBO series to Cinespace

Jordan Peele and J.J. Abrams are bringing their new HBO series to Cinespace Chicago Film Studios. Titled Lovecraft Country, the series is based on Matt Ruff’s 2016 novel of the same name. According to IMDb, the story is about “a young African-American (who) travels across the U.S. in the 1950s in search of his missing … Continue reading “Peele and Abrams bring new HBO series to Cinespace”

HBO picks up “Brown Girls” series set in Chicago

There is a bridge in Trenton NJ, that boldly says, “What Trenton Makes, The World Takes.” The same could be said for Chicago when it comes to entertainment.

Brown Girls, a web series made by Chicago-based writer Fatimah Asghar and director Samantha Bailey, has been picked up by HBO. The show, an untitled version of Brown Girls, will be produced by 3Arts and MXN Entertainment.

New HBO Go digital airs ‘Single Long’ comedy series

Jack Lawrence Mayer, Sarra Jahedi and Ed Hausman were a year out of the University of Chicago when they created the comedy pilot Single Long, based in part on a weekly web series they’d produced as undergrads.

“I took that casual format and the broad characters we’d been building for a few years, and put together a script, says Lawrence Mayer, who wrote the first draft, then revised with Jahedi.

Talarico-Koetz comedy collaboration to screen at HBO’s U.S. Comedy Arts Festival

Three former performer/writers who worked together at The Second City combined their considerable comedy talents in a comedy short directed by award-winning spot director Leroy Koetz.

The payoff: “Jakarta Boom Boom” will be one of 19 comedy shorts presented at the prestigious and career-boosting HBO U.S. Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen, Feb. 9-13.

The 12-minute short is based on a performance of the improvisational group “Dasariski,” comprised of co-writer/performers Craig Cackowski, Robert Dassie and Rich Talarico.

HBO star Jeff Garlin’s directing debut wraps Chicago shoot, continues in L.A.

Jeff Garlin kept a 14-year-old promise to Pete Biagi that the local DP would shoot the comedian’s debut feature.

Garlin, a co-star and executive producer of HBO’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” was in town for a week in October for location shooting of his “I Want Someone to Eat Cheese With,” a low-budget romantic comedy based on his former Second City routine and set in his native Chicago.

Garlin is writer, director, and star. It’s being produced through his Sawin and Puddin production company.

Paramount Global film ‘Heist 88’ at Cinespace for August 1 start

The Paramount Global feature film Heist 88, a project that has been in the works since 2017 is set to begin filming in Chicago next month with a start date of August 1 through September 2. The movie was originally associated with FX as a series.  Two-time Emmy award winner Courtney B. Vance (61st Street) has … Continue reading “Paramount Global film ‘Heist 88’ at Cinespace for August 1 start”

Check out how Chicago is represented in the 74th Primetime Emmy Awards

The nominations for the 74th Primetime Emmy Awards have been announced and you may be surprised to see how often Chicagoland is represented this year. Between The Second City alums, actors born in Chicago and shows set in Chicago, we’ve got the rundown on how our city can claim representation within the nominations.  Bob Odenkirk … Continue reading “Check out how Chicago is represented in the 74th Primetime Emmy Awards”

Reid Brody announces new color grading service ColorNation

He’s at it again. Reid Brody, the entrepreneur who’s helped build some of the industry’s leading production companies and post production studios, has announced the formation of his latest venture, ColorNation. Based here but working remotely, ColorNation is a new color grading service that offers the talents of world-class color artists to clients in the … Continue reading “Reid Brody announces new color grading service ColorNation”

Westworld explores the simulation of 1920s Chicago in Années Folles

HBO’s Westworld, Season 4, Episode 3 titled, Annees Folles, channels Chicago during the rip-roaring 1920s. In the episode Maeve (Thandiwe Newton) and Caleb (Aaron Paul) find themselves inside the Westworld park, however it has been completely transformed to “The Golden Age,” aka the town of Temperance which is modeled after prohibition-era Chicago complete with bootlegging … Continue reading “Westworld explores the simulation of 1920s Chicago in Années Folles”

South Side begins filming Season 3 this week

It’s official, America’s hardest working comedy, South Side, is back to work. Filming for Season 3 of the HBO Max series begins this week. From July 11-12 the East side of Ewing from 102nd to 10125 as well as both sides of 102nd from Ewing to Ave J will be closed to accommodate production. Starring … Continue reading “South Side begins filming Season 3 this week”

Justified: City Primeval adds Ravi Patel to the cast

Ravi Patel joins the cast of FX’s Justified: City Primeval in the recurring role of Rick Newley. Announced on Deadline, Patel joins Timothy Olyphant who reprises the role of now-retired U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens, along with stars Aunjanue Ellis (King Richard), Boyd Holbrook (The Premise), Adelaide Clemens (The Great Gatsby), Vondie Curtis Hall (Harriet), Marin Ireland (Y: The Last Man), Norbert … Continue reading “Justified: City Primeval adds Ravi Patel to the cast”

Chicago PD, Somebody Somewhere among Humanitas Prizes nominees

Humanitas has revealed the nominees for this year’s Humanitas Prizes, which recognize “television and film writers whose work explores the human condition in a nuanced way.” The award is given out in nine categories, including comedy, drama and limited series. This year’s nominees include Chicago-filmed projects Chicago P.D. and Somebody Somewhere. For the Best Drama … Continue reading “Chicago PD, Somebody Somewhere among Humanitas Prizes nominees”

Chicago series Somebody Somewhere leading the Dorian TV Nominations

The Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics has announced its 14th Dorian TV Awards nominations for the best in all of TV, mainstream to LGBTQIA+ content. Leading the list of TV’s best, with five nominations each, is the HBO comedy Somebody Somewhere and the HBO Max comedy Hacks. Although set in small town Kansas, Somebody Somewhere is filmed in … Continue reading “Chicago series Somebody Somewhere leading the Dorian TV Nominations”

Former Blue Island hospital up for grabs as the next Chicago Film Studio

The shuttered MetroSouth Medical Center in the South Chicago suburb of Blue Island is tapped to get a new lease on life. The Florida real estate firm that holds ownership is preparing to repurpose the property by marketing it to sell as a film studio or hub for life science research. Lockwood Partners has hired … Continue reading “Former Blue Island hospital up for grabs as the next Chicago Film Studio”

Illinois shatters record for film revenues with $630 million in 2021

Governor JB Pritzker and Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot have announced that projected film revenues in 2021 hit a record high of $630 million, shattering pre-pandemic levels in 2019 by $70 million. Film production revenues are the costs associated with film, television, streaming, and digital media, which have steadily increased over the past 10 years. Additionally, … Continue reading “Illinois shatters record for film revenues with $630 million in 2021”

Chicago Public Library hosts David Duchovny together with Peter Sagal

Chicago Public Library (CPL) announced that they will be hosting award-winning actor, writer, director, singer-songwriter and bestselling author David Duchovny at the Harold Washington Library Center June 14 at 6 p.m., in conversation with Peter Sagal, to discuss his new novella The Reservoir.  Books will be available for purchase and Duchovny will be available to autograph … Continue reading “Chicago Public Library hosts David Duchovny together with Peter Sagal”

Sheila R. Brown exits from CineCares after a long history of changing lives

Sheila R. Brown has stepped down from her position as Executive Director of the CineCares Division of Cinespace Film Studios. Brown joined the Mirkopoulos and Pissios families at Cinespace in 2016 to help partner in the development of the Mirkopoulos Inclusion Program. The program was part of the CineCares Foundation, created to help young adults … Continue reading “Sheila R. Brown exits from CineCares after a long history of changing lives”

Sarofsky creates dazzling 3D glass-house main titles for The Staircase

Sarofsky’s dazzling 3D glass house main titles for the HBO Max limited series The Staircase are so captivating that it will make you hit rewind to take another look. Inspired by a true story, the eight-episode Max Original limited series The Staircase, debuted Thursday, May 5 on HBO Max. The Staircase explores the life of … Continue reading “Sarofsky creates dazzling 3D glass-house main titles for The Staircase”

Filmed in Chicago: Bleed American picked up by Cow Lamp for distribution

Chicago Director, Tre Manchester announces that his indie feature, Bleed American has been picked up by Cow Lamp Films in Chicago for national distribution, with a release date in three weeks on Tubi and Amazon. The coming-of-age story was inspired by Manchester’s memories of growing up in Northwest Indiana. “In my hometown, upper class kids would … Continue reading “Filmed in Chicago: Bleed American picked up by Cow Lamp for distribution”

Burrell names Khari Streeter as new Chief Creative Officer

Burrell names Khari Streeter as its new Chief Creative Officer, effective immediately. In this role, Streeter will lead the agency’s dynamic, award-winning creative teams in developing the strategic, impactful work that is the agency’s hallmark. A respected leader, creative visionary, storyteller and filmmaker with three decades of experience, Streeter most recently served as executive vice … Continue reading “Burrell names Khari Streeter as new Chief Creative Officer”

Chicago native, longtime character actor Mike Hagerty, has died at 67

Mike Hagerty, longtime character actor, best known as Mr. Teeger the building manager on Friends, passed away suddenly at 67. Hagerty was born in Chicago and got his start in acting at Second City. He has a long list of credits, having appeared in episodes of Cheers, Boston Legal, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Cheers, Community, CSI, Curb Your … Continue reading “Chicago native, longtime character actor Mike Hagerty, has died at 67”

Backyard Productions signs directors Mac Eldridge and John M. Lopez

Backyard Productions announces the additions of Mac Eldridge and John M. Lopez to their roster of acclaimed directors for US commercial representation.    Mac Eldridge is a multidisciplinary director with a rich background in crafting films, branded content, and commercials. Acclaimed for bringing his captivating visual style and narrative-driven storytelling to the sporting industry, his work … Continue reading “Backyard Productions signs directors Mac Eldridge and John M. Lopez”

Comedian Negin Farsad brings her newly minted hour to Chicago

Negin Farsad is an Iranian-American Muslim comedian bringing her newly minted hour to Chicago! She is no stranger to the city as she is a regular panelist on the beloved NPR/WBEZ show Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me.  Farsad presents an evening of standup-comedy-meets-TEDTalk-meets-ethnic-lady. She cycles through her life as an Iranian-American Muslim, married to a black … Continue reading “Comedian Negin Farsad brings her newly minted hour to Chicago”

Chicago Humanities Festival hosts Molly Shannon and Jonathan Van Ness

Chicago Humanities Festival will host two separate events at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance: the first with comedian Molly Shannon and the second with Queer Eye’s Jonathan Van Ness, on Wednesday, April 13th. At 6 PM on April 13th, Molly Shannon will sit down to talk about her memoir, Hello Molly! Shannon is best known for her … Continue reading “Chicago Humanities Festival hosts Molly Shannon and Jonathan Van Ness”

What new series are setting up in Chicago and what’s leaving

What do HBO, Amazon, Hulu, Apple TV, Netflix, NBC/Uni, Sony, Disney, AMC Studios, Showtime, STARZ all have in common? They’ve all moved into town, setup shop, and made themselves a home in Chicago to shoot a tv series. I’ve lived through the ebb and flow of the Chicago film industry since the mid 80s. This … Continue reading “What new series are setting up in Chicago and what’s leaving”

Chicago’s own Jennifer Hudson named entertainer of the year

Chicago’s own Academy award winning actress and Grammy award winning singer and songwriter, Jennifer Hudson was named entertainer of the year at the 53rd annual NAACP Image Awards which highlighted works by entertainers and writers of color. Not only did she accept the top honor of the evening, but she also won Outstanding Actress in … Continue reading “Chicago’s own Jennifer Hudson named entertainer of the year”

Sarofsky’s main titles for Peacemaker go viral on Facebook

In the opening titles of James Gunn’s new The Suicide Squad spinoff Peacemaker which debuted on HBO Max last month, John Cena’s character performs a show-stopping dance number with his co-stars, colorfully setting the stage for the epic and the unexpected. The title sequence, another creation by the creatives and producers from one-stop cross-media production … Continue reading “Sarofsky’s main titles for Peacemaker go viral on Facebook”

At age 41, Macualey Culkin is having a midlife crisis

Macaulay Culkin has been part of our pop culture ever since he was 10 years old. We were all hooked back in 1990, the moment we met the precocious Kevin McCallister (Macaulay Culkin) in the Chicago based, John Hughes holiday classic, Home Alone, directed by Chris Columbus, co-starring Katherine O’Hara and a surprisingly cleaned mouth … Continue reading “At age 41, Macualey Culkin is having a midlife crisis”

Chicago Film XLerator Program for BIPOC creators announces 2022 winner

The Chicago Film XLerator, a Creative Cypher Project is a content lab intended to discover new BIPOC talent and increase creative pipelines in the entertainment industry. Founder Troy Pryor is an advocate for connecting undiscovered diverse talent to mainstream media platforms through his entertainment brands Creative Cypher and Pryor Holdings. On Thursday, January 19th, 2022, … Continue reading “Chicago Film XLerator Program for BIPOC creators announces 2022 winner”

11 Dollar Bill launches Post-Production facility in Raleigh

11 Dollar Bill, a leading independent post-production studio specializing in creative design, editorial and finishing services, has opened a facility in Raleigh, North Carolina. The site boasts resources for creative editorial, design, motion graphics and animation as well as color correction and editorial finishing. It shares a high-speed connection with the company’s studios in Chicago … Continue reading “11 Dollar Bill launches Post-Production facility in Raleigh”

Jeff Garlin exits The Goldbergs after HR investigation

Jeff Garlin will no longer be a part of the cast of the ABC TV series, The Goldbergs. The actor, who had starred as patriarch Murray Goldberg on the comedy series from producers Sony Pictures Television for the past eight-plus seasons, has departed the series following an HR investigation that stemmed from multiple complaints about … Continue reading “Jeff Garlin exits The Goldbergs after HR investigation”

Lana Wachowski explains why now is the right time to return to The Matrix

We are only a couple of weeks away from the opening of the fourth, and long-awaited chapter, to The Matrix, the groundbreaking 1999 film that redefined a genre. That trilogy came from the visionary minds of Chicago-born writer/directors Lilly and Lana Wachowski. Now, Lana is out on her own as she brings The Matrix: Resurrections … Continue reading “Lana Wachowski explains why now is the right time to return to The Matrix”

One at Optimus signs directors Ashley C. Battle and Chris Vanderwall

Ashley C. Battle and Chris Vanderwall join the directorial roster of ONE, the production arm of Optimus. The latest in a series of moves marking significant growth for the leading production and post house, the new directors further expand ONE’s creative offerings. Battle brings visual storytelling and fashion expertise, and Vanderwall excels in performance-driven pieces, docu-style work, and comedy. … Continue reading “One at Optimus signs directors Ashley C. Battle and Chris Vanderwall”

Chicago filmmaker Jim Vendiola awarded NewNarratives inaugural grant

NewFilmmakers Los Angeles (NFMLA), supported by WarnerMedia OneFifty, has announced the final selection of its NewNarratives artist grant program. Chicago filmmaker Jim Vendiola has been awarded the NewNarratives inaugural grant for 2021. The program is committed to identifying one winner who would be awarded a grant ranging between $10,000 and $100,000, to be determined based … Continue reading “Chicago filmmaker Jim Vendiola awarded NewNarratives inaugural grant”

Hoop Dreams goes to series as Lena Waithe inks Warner Bros TV deal

Warner Bros TV has announced that Lena Waithe (The Chi, Master of None, Queen & Slim, Ready Player One) has inked a new deal that brings the acclaimed documentary Hoop Dreams to HBO Max as a scripted series. Waithe’s Hillman Grad Productions will produce the series that is based on the Kartemquin Films sports documentary Hoop Dreams, produced by Frederick Marx, Steve … Continue reading “Hoop Dreams goes to series as Lena Waithe inks Warner Bros TV deal”

Macaulay Culkin living life to its fullest

Macaulay Culkin is trending, but not for hilarious social media shenanigans, or his latest project, but for his appearance at the Gucci Love Parade in Los Angeles last week. The star studded parade also included celebrities such as Jared Leto, Lizzo, Salma Hayek, Billie Eilish, James Corden, Miley Cyrus and Gwyneth Paltrow, just to name … Continue reading “Macaulay Culkin living life to its fullest”

South Side announces Season 2 premiere date

The boys are back. South Side, the aspirational, scripted comedy set in and around the working-class neighborhood of Englewood on the South Side of Chicago is back for Season 2 on HBO Max. Executive Producer and writer, Diallo Riddle announced on his Instagram account, that the series would return on November 11. “IT’S OFFICIAL: South … Continue reading “South Side announces Season 2 premiere date”

Chicago Critics Film Festival announces full lineup

The Chicago Film Critics Association (CFCA), today announces the complete lineup, schedule and special guests expected for the eighth Chicago Critics Film Festival, November 12-14. The festival opens with the Chicago premiere of Maggie Gyllenhaal’s directorial debut, The Lost Daughter, starring Olivia Colman, Dakota Johnson, Jessie Buckley and Peter Sarsgaard. The weekend-long festival will close with … Continue reading “Chicago Critics Film Festival announces full lineup”

FACETS 38th Annual Chicago International Children’s Film Fest

FACETS 38th Annual Chicago International Children’s Film Festival (CICFF), one of only two Academy Award qualifying international children’s film festivals in the world, presented from Friday, Nov. 5 through Sunday, Nov.14.  FACETS is pleased to offer limited in-person screenings as well as the entire festival available via national streaming. The in-person screenings will take place at FACETS, 1517 W. … Continue reading “FACETS 38th Annual Chicago International Children’s Film Fest”

Behind the Scenes of ‘Respect’ and ‘The Many Saints of Newark’

Kramer Morgenthau, ASC takes Panavision behind the scenes of the period features Respect and The Many Saints of Newark. On the surface, a biopic about “Queen of Soul” Aretha Franklin and a heavy-hitting mob drama about a young Tony Soprano’s coming of age might not seem to have much in common. In fact, though, there’s more … Continue reading “Behind the Scenes of ‘Respect’ and ‘The Many Saints of Newark’”

Roger joins forces with SG+Partners for midwest representation

Creative agency Roger has signed with SG+Partners for Midwest commercial representation. Roger joins a collective of premier production, post, and VFX talent represented by SG+Partners, led by Sarah Gitersonke.  “Combining top-tier talent, animation, live-action, and editorial, Roger is a fully integrated powerhouse that’s been on fire lately with their latest for Disney+, HBO, and General Mills,” says Gitersonke, who … Continue reading “Roger joins forces with SG+Partners for midwest representation”

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”

Jason Sudeikis gives a shout out to Chicago in Emmy acceptance speech

Our predictions on Reel 360 became a reality as Apple TV+’s Ted Lasso, one of the most hilarious shows on television, took home seven Emmys after being nominated for an impressive 20 awards. The series won best comedy after Jason Sudeikis, Hannah Waddingham and Brett Goldstein all scored acting accolades. This broke the record for … Continue reading “Jason Sudeikis gives a shout out to Chicago in Emmy acceptance speech”

Lovecraft Country represents Chicago with two Emmy wins

Last night, the 73rd Emmy Awards were held with Cedric the Entertainer hosting on CBS. While most of the big Emmy news for Chicago will be pointed (deservedly so) toward Ted Lasso’s Jason Sudeikis’, who studied here at the IO Theater, Second City and Anonymous, and co-creator, co-star and Chicagoan Brendan Hunt’s wins, another Chicago-based … Continue reading “Lovecraft Country represents Chicago with two Emmy wins”

Creative Hustle brings Chicago’s most talented under one roof

Award-winning writer, producer, and actor Jay Davis (Not Another Black Movie, Choke On That: The Series, and Not Another Zombie Movie) presents Creative Hustle! This is a brand new show that brings creative entertainers of all kinds together on one platform to cultivate an unforgettable experience where you will leave with your stomach hurting from laughter, … Continue reading “Creative Hustle brings Chicago’s most talented under one roof”

‘Maya’ continues Pearle Vision’s strategy to showcase Small Moments

Pearle Vision has launched their latest installment in the award-winning Small Moments campaign, a cinematic mini-movie titled “Maya,” in which a young Indian girl goes from feeling like an outsider to a more confident young woman with the help of a Pearle Vision eye care expert.   “Maya” continues Pearle Vision’s strategy to showcase the … Continue reading “‘Maya’ continues Pearle Vision’s strategy to showcase Small Moments”

Phillipa Soo joins Elisabeth Moss in cast of The Shining Girls

Grammy Award winner and Emmy nominee Phillipa Soo has joined the cast of Apple TV Plus’ Shining Girls, a metaphysical thriller based on the 2013 novel by Lauren Beukes.  Soo will be starring as the intelligent and sure-footed Jin-Sook, who does research at the Adler planetarium, Soo joins previously announced cast members Elisabeth Moss, Wagner … Continue reading “Phillipa Soo joins Elisabeth Moss in cast of The Shining Girls”

‘In the Heights’ DP Alice Brooks talks crafting a big look

Cinematographer Alice Brooks discusses using DXL2 and G Series anamorphics to craft a big look for director Jon M. Chu’s musical In the Heights. In 2002, when cinematographer Alice Brooks and director Jon M. Chu were still film students at the University of Southern California, they partnered for the short When the Kids Are Away, a musical … Continue reading “‘In the Heights’ DP Alice Brooks talks crafting a big look”

RLHTalent signs Chicago actor/comedian Alex Ortiz

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

Coda Collection acquires Dave Grohl’s What Drives Us

Dave Grohl has been one of the most beloved and respected figures on the international music scene since his recorded debut with Nirvana on 1991’s generation-defining Nevermind. Grohl took center stage with Foo Fighters’ 1995 self-titled debut, the first album in a massive 12-Grammy-winning catalogue, including the band’s most recent release Medicine at Midnight (2021). … Continue reading “Coda Collection acquires Dave Grohl’s What Drives Us”

Chicago actress “mixes” it up on hit ABC sitcom

Deb Snyder’s creative path of acting has been a nomadic, long, and winding road of self-discovery beginning from her early days in Chicago and leading all the way to Los Angeles, where she now appears on ABC’s mixed-ish. As a recurring guest star, Deb plays ‘Dolores’ on the hit series that follows black-ish’s Rainbow Johnson … Continue reading “Chicago actress “mixes” it up on hit ABC sitcom”

Chicago PD LaRoyce Hawkins up for NAMIC Vision Award

Congratulations are in order for Chicago P.D. star LaRoyce Hawkins, who has been nominated for a NAMIC Vision Award in the Best Performance – Drama category. “I’m grateful. It means that we’re storytellers in the right direction,” LaRoyce said. “I’m always in it to storytell authentically about not just my hometown, but my culture. To … Continue reading “Chicago PD LaRoyce Hawkins up for NAMIC Vision Award”

Lightfoot announces further easing of Covid regulations

Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot, the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) and the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP) today announced the further easing of COVID-19 regulations for Chicago businesses. Due to sustained progress in all four reopening metrics, effective immediately, indoor capacity at bars, restaurants and other businesses can increase to 50%. … Continue reading “Lightfoot announces further easing of Covid regulations”

Kartemquin Films appoints three new board members

Kartemquin Films announced the addition of three esteemed new members to the organization’s board, including Abby Kang Davis, Patrice Perkins and Shirley Yang. The three additions join the board ahead of the Chicago documentary production non profit’s April board meeting. Kartemquin’s board is now comprised of 16 members, led by Chair Pamela Sherrod Anderson. “I am delighted to welcome these three dynamic women to … Continue reading “Kartemquin Films appoints three new board members”

Backyard Productions signs Director/DP Max Gutierrez

Backyard Productions announces that Award-winning Director/DP, Max Gutierrez, noted for his authentic lifestyle and warm family oriented work, has signed with the internationally acclaimed production house. With a passion for visual storytelling and capturing authentic slice of life moments, Max approaches his craft with a steadfast vision for finding the truth in a scene, having … Continue reading “Backyard Productions signs Director/DP Max Gutierrez”

Harry Lennix confirms he’s Martian Manhunter

Acclaimed actor Harry Lennix (The Matrix, Man of Steel) may have been born in Chicago, but soon the 56-year-old star, star of television’s hit series Blacklist will be from Mars – as Martian Manhunter in HBO Max’s upcoming Zack Snyder’s Justice League. The veteran stage and screen actor confirmed that his appearance will reveal that … Continue reading “Harry Lennix confirms he’s Martian Manhunter”

Leviathan adds to account & creative teams

The principals of specialized creative agency Leviathan has announced the addition of Account Manager Meg Miller, Art Director Mackenzie Suben, and Designer Morgan Itterly. Prior to landing at Leviathan, Miller was a Digital Experience Project Manager at Gensler who specialized in integrating digital content into the architectural design process. Having earned her degree from the University of … Continue reading “Leviathan adds to account & creative teams”

Don Burgess reteams with Zemeckis to adapt The Witches

The Witches marks the eighth feature collaboration between director Robert Zemeckis and cinematographer Don Burgess, ASC, following such titles as Forrest Gump, Cast Away, Flight and Allied — and their partnership can be traced back even further, through Death Becomes Her and Back to the Future Part II and Part III, on which Burgess served as 2nd-unit director of photography. “It’s nice when you work with a … Continue reading “Don Burgess reteams with Zemeckis to adapt The Witches”

Energy BBDO designs ‘Go Vote!’ gifs for election

Energy BBDO launched a ‘Go Vote!’ campaign across its social media channels. The campaign was born internally from a team with a strong desire to encourage all eligible voters to register and vote on 3rd November. According to the United States Elections Project, only 58.1% of the voting-eligible population cast a ballot in 2016’s presidential … Continue reading “Energy BBDO designs ‘Go Vote!’ gifs for election”

‘Candyman’ pushed to 2021, Nia DaCosta explains why

With Tenet’s muted box office and Warner Bros‘ decision to move Wonder Woman 1984 to December 25, other studios are beginning to take note. Universal has decided to push the Jordan Peele-produced, Nia DaCosta-helmed reboot of Candyman to an undisclosed date in 2021. Many fans were hoping the Chicago-produced film would find its way to … Continue reading “‘Candyman’ pushed to 2021, Nia DaCosta explains why”

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”

Lovecraft gets the unimaginable from Framestore

Behind the Scenes: Lovecraft Country calls on the visionaries of Framestore to bring to life all the creatures and mythos that would need to be realized. When the team adapting Matt Ruff’s Lovecraft Country for television started to take stock of all the creatures and mythos from the works of Lovecraft that would need to … Continue reading “Lovecraft gets the unimaginable from Framestore”

What reviews say about ‘Lovecraft Country’

The wait is over. Lovecraft Country, which was filmed at Cinespace Studios, premiered Sunday night on HBO to 760,000 viewers, the best since Watchmen. Based on the novel of the same name by Matt Ruff, the ten-episode series follows Atticus Freeman (Jonathan Majors) as he journeys with his childhood friend Letitia (Jurnee Smollett) and his uncle … Continue reading “What reviews say about ‘Lovecraft Country’”

Court TV to cover trials of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery

Court TV to cover trials involving George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Robert Durst, R. Kelly & more in months ahead. Court TV, the only multi-platform network devoted to live, gavel-to-gavel coverage, in-depth legal reporting and expert analysis of the nation’s most important and compelling trials, today at the 2020 summer press tour unveiled the cases and … Continue reading “Court TV to cover trials of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery”

Meet ‘Lovecraft Country’s’ showrunner Misha Green

HBO’s Lovecraft Country, which was filmed at Cinespace Studios, debuts on August 16. Based on the novel of the same name by Matt Ruff, the ten-episode series follows Atticus Freeman (Jonathan Majors) as he journeys with his childhood friend Letitia (Jurnee Smollett) and his uncle George (Courtney B. Vance) on a road trip from Chicago across … Continue reading “Meet ‘Lovecraft Country’s’ showrunner Misha Green”

LOVECRAFT COUNTRY: Upcoming Episodes

From showrunner and executive producer Misha Green, HBO’s new drama series LOVECRAFT COUNTRY debuts SUNDAY, AUGUST 16 (9:00-10:00 p.m. ET/PT) on HBO and will be available to stream on HBO Max. Based on thenovel of the same name by Matt Ruff, the ten-episode series follows Atticus Freeman (Jonathan Majors) as he journeys with his childhood … Continue reading “LOVECRAFT COUNTRY: Upcoming Episodes”

‘Lovecraft Country’ cast talks family atmosphere

This year’s web-based San Diego Comic-Con featured a panel for HBO’s new series Lovecraft Country, from industry giants JJ Abrams and Jordan Peele, among others. H. P. Lovecraft, whose work inspired the surreal horror aspects of the show, was a prolific writer of unsettling pulp fiction in the early 1900’s.  The show, based on Matt … Continue reading “‘Lovecraft Country’ cast talks family atmosphere”

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”

Oprah Winfrey, Lionsgate, NY Times adapt 1619 Project

Oprah Winfrey and Lionsgate Join Forces With Pulitzer Prize-Winning Journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones and The New York Times to Adapt the Acclaimed 1619 Project Into a Portfolio of Films, Television Programming & Other Content Across All Studio Platforms Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones and The New York Times have chosen global content leader Lionsgate to be the home for … Continue reading “Oprah Winfrey, Lionsgate, NY Times adapt 1619 Project”

Lil Rel brings big laughs to NBC’s ‘Small Fortune’

NBC has named Chicago comedian, actor, writer and producer Lil Rel Howery as host of the new game show, Small Fortune. Howery, who will also serve as executive producer, joins the pint-sized series that will offer contestants the opportunity to amass large sums of money on the smallest of scales. “I’m really excited to host this … Continue reading “Lil Rel brings big laughs to NBC’s ‘Small Fortune’”

Michael Shannon responds to Snyder’s ‘Justice League’

Back in 2013, Chicago fave actor, Michael Shannon, played General Zod in Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel. While the Chicago-shot film was divisive, it still grossed in the neighborhood of $600 million. And no one has ever criticized Shannon’s portrayal of the Kryptonian general. Shannon, always the professional, has never had a bad word to … Continue reading “Michael Shannon responds to Snyder’s ‘Justice League’”

Nia DaCosta posts origin story for ‘Candyman’

Director Nia DaCosta has taken to Twitter to share a new promo for her Candyman reboot. The horror film was originally scheduled to be released on June 12, but has been pushed to September 25. DaCosta has shared an original short film teaser detailing his origins. The twist – the short retells Candyman’s origin utilizing paper puppets … Continue reading “Nia DaCosta posts origin story for ‘Candyman’”

Chicago takes a home a bundle of Telly Awards

The 41st annual Telly Awards, the world’s largest honor for video and television content across all screens, has announced the 2020 winners. With a collection of Gold, Silver and Bronze awards, Chicago-based standouts range from Bottle Rocket Media’s “Nicholas Brinley Experiences” and Studio 1847’s “Make It With Menards: Glassblower Jason Wein” to There Be Dragons LLC’s “Dustburgs” and Iron Light, PACO Collective, WTTW … Continue reading “Chicago takes a home a bundle of Telly Awards”

Chicago’s Harry Lennix hints at Martian Manhunter role

Last week, Warner Bros made big headlines by announcing the release of Zack Snyder’s version of Justice League. In 2016, Snyder stepped away from the production and was replaced by Avengers and Avengers: Age of Ultron director Joss Whedon, who supervised several rewrites and reshoots to the film that saw many elements cut out. One … Continue reading “Chicago’s Harry Lennix hints at Martian Manhunter role”

UPDATED: Ruby Rose leaves ‘Batwoman’

Um…. well… This is Bat Sh*t crazy! Deadline is reporting that Ruby Rose, the star of the CW’s drama series Batwoman, is leaving the Warner Bros. TV/Berlanti Prods. drama after one season. The series, which shoots exteriors in Chicago, has been renewed for a second season, will continue with the title role getting recast. “I have made the … Continue reading “UPDATED: Ruby Rose leaves ‘Batwoman’”

Filming in Chicago: Intimate view into Amy Schumer’s life

Thursday, July 9th is the premiere of the three-part documentary series Expecting Amy on HBO Max. It’s an unfiltered and intimate view into comedian Amy Schumer’s life on tour creating a stand-up special during her difficult pregnancy, directed and edited by Alexander Hammer. Expecting Amy is an unfiltered three-part documentary that shows the struggle, strength and ambition that has made … Continue reading “Filming in Chicago: Intimate view into Amy Schumer’s life”

Watch trailer for Peele and Abrams’ ‘Lovecraft Country’

HBO’s new drama series, Lovecraft Country, which had a large portion filmed at Cinespace Studios debuts this August. The series, based on the 2016 novel by Matt Ruff of the same name, follows Atticus Freeman (Jonathan Majors) as he joins up with his friend Letitia (Jurnee Smollett-Bell) and his Uncle George (Courtney B. Vance) to embark … Continue reading “Watch trailer for Peele and Abrams’ ‘Lovecraft Country’”

Bochian details fundraising plans for Seth Rogen Charity

Actress, author and philanthropist Ina Bochian, knows how to pull a team together for a good cause. This year, to help Seth Rogen and Lauren Miller’s not-for-profit charity raise donations, Bochian has enlisted Dr. Irene Yaymadjian, founder of Hillside Wellness Center, The Defunked Band members Danny Jay and Eric Johnson, and Facebook community Bricklayers, started … Continue reading “Bochian details fundraising plans for Seth Rogen Charity”

Behind the Scenes: documentary filmmaker Robert Hanna

Noah Kadner, Editor-in-chief at AbelCine goes Behind the Scenes with filmmaker Robert Hanna. Cinematographer Robert Hanna is an Emmy-award winning, veteran commerical, and documentary filmmaker, whose credits include Carrier, Circus, and A Portrait of Robert Frank. His current project is Atlanta’s Missing and Murdered: The Lost Children, a documentary miniseries for HBO debuted in April 2020. In this exclusive … Continue reading “Behind the Scenes: documentary filmmaker Robert Hanna”

Peele on why he chose Nia DaCosta for ‘Candyman’

When Universal and MGM announced the remake of Candyman, the 80s classic horror icon, many assumed (including our resident Geek at sister outlet Reel 360) that Jordan Peele (Get Out, Us) would be directing. As it turned out Peele was signed on to produce under his Monkeypaw production company and he chose up-and-coming African American … Continue reading “Peele on why he chose Nia DaCosta for ‘Candyman’”

‘Shooting Heroin’ is hosting a Virtual Live Red Carpet

Shooting Heroin, one of the first narrative feature films on the current opioid epidemic in North America, is hosting a virtual Live Red Carpet Premiere with cast and crew on April 3 at 2:30pm PDT. Shooting Heroin, written and directed by Spencer T. Folmar (Generational Sins) tells the story of a small-town Pennsylvania community that comes together … Continue reading “‘Shooting Heroin’ is hosting a Virtual Live Red Carpet”

REEL WOMEN: Megan Donnelly, Training Mgr, AbelCine

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. Megan Donnelly is the Technical and Educational Development Manager … Continue reading “REEL WOMEN: Megan Donnelly, Training Mgr, AbelCine”

REEL WOMEN: Laurie Adrianopoli, EP Sales/Mktg at Carbon

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. Laurie is a native Chicagoan who enjoys being a … Continue reading “REEL WOMEN: Laurie Adrianopoli, EP Sales/Mktg at Carbon”

REEL WOMEN: Christina Varotsis, producer, UPM

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. Christina has produced a wide variety of studio and … Continue reading “REEL WOMEN: Christina Varotsis, producer, UPM”

‘Fargo’ on hiatus,’Candyman’ wraps amid COVID-19 crisis

Coronavirus, COVID-19, is hitting the media and entertainment industries hard.  With local, state and federal shutdowns occurring across the United States and theater chains closing, larger cities such as New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta and Chicago, all thriving entertainment hubs, are being impacted hardest as many in those communities – from actors to crew – … Continue reading “‘Fargo’ on hiatus,’Candyman’ wraps amid COVID-19 crisis”

Reel Women: Award-winning filmmaker, April Wright

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. April Wright is an award winning filmmaker who brings … Continue reading “Reel Women: Award-winning filmmaker, April Wright”

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”

Behind the scenes with “South Side’s” Bashir Salahuddin

South Side co-creator Bashir Salahuddin cannot talk for more than a few minutes without mentioning his mother. He name-checks the neighborhoods, the people, and the food that he got to know through her, especially the food. The memories shape his perception of Chicago’s South Side as a thriving mix of faces, places, and restaurants. Energized … Continue reading “Behind the scenes with “South Side’s” Bashir Salahuddin”

Elijah McKinnon, Executive Director, OTV

Multi-talented artist, advocate, and creative leader Elijah McKinnon — who is from the future — joins the 2020 Reel Chicago Black List, an annual celebration of African-American creativity published during Black History Month. The Reel Chicago Black List includes Global Mixx founder Mary Datcher, House Music pioneer Vince Lawrence, and filmmaker Rhyan LaMarr. To view … Continue reading “Elijah McKinnon, Executive Director, OTV”

Illinois production scores another record-breaking year

A quintet of leaders gathered to announce another record-breaking year of film, television, and media production in Illinois this morning at Kennedy-King College’s 6,000 square foot sound stage in Englewood. According to the Illinois Film Office, the industry helped add nearly $560 million to the economy last year. Manifesting itself in job creation and local … Continue reading “Illinois production scores another record-breaking year”

Stephanie Jeter, filmmaker

Stephanie Jeter, filmmaker and co-founder of OTV Studio, joins the 2020 edition of Reel Chicago Black List, an annual celebration of African-American creativity published during Black History Month. The Reel Chicago Black List includes ‘The Chi’ cast member LaDonna Tittle, house music pioneer Vince Lawrence, and filmmaker Rhyan LaMarr. To view the archives, click here. … Continue reading “Stephanie Jeter, filmmaker”

Billy Dec launches COACT marketing agency

Chicago restaurateur, club owner, media personality, actor, and all-around Renaissance man Billy Dec has launched a new Windy City-based marketing agency called COACT. Boasting of capabilities in strategic concepting and multi-channel creative ideation, the company is staffed by an impressive group of marketing veterans with an abundance of experience working on top national brands. Dec … Continue reading “Billy Dec launches COACT marketing agency”

Oscar winner Matthew A. Cherry to speak at Macy’s

Macy’s on State Street will celebrate Black History Month with a screening of the Academy Award-winning short film Hair Love followed by a thoughtful discussion with the film’s writer and director, Chicago native Matthew A. Cherry. The event takes place on February 20 at 6 p.m., Macy’s Narcissus Room, 111 North State St. Hair Love, … Continue reading “Oscar winner Matthew A. Cherry to speak at Macy’s”

‘Breaking Bad’ producer Stewart Lyons at DePaul

Breaking Bad producer Stewart Lyons will be among the TV and film creators appearing at DePaul University’s School of Cinematic Arts Visiting Artists Series this winter. The award-winning guest, who also produces Better Call Saul, will take part in the VAS’ series of feature screenings and onstage discussions with leading talent in the entertainment industry … Continue reading “‘Breaking Bad’ producer Stewart Lyons at DePaul”

‘61st Street’ to begin shooting at Cinespace this April

AMC announced today from the Television Critics’ Association (TCA) Press Tour that Emmy Award-winner Courtney B. Vance (The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story, Lovecraft Country, Genius) will star in its upcoming thrilling courtroom drama 61st Street, from BAFTA-winner Peter Moffat (Criminal Justice, The Night Of, Your Honor) and executive-produced by Michael B. … Continue reading “‘61st Street’ to begin shooting at Cinespace this April”

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”

IL Film Office strives to increase minority presence

The Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity (DCEO) plans to invest $500,000 through the Illinois Film Office Workforce Training Program to enable more women and minorities to access job opportunities within the film industry. As the industry grows, more minority groups are moving toward film production as a career, making up 49% of the … Continue reading “IL Film Office strives to increase minority presence”

‘Brothers from the Suburbs’ updates a film tradition

Chicago filmmaker Patrick Wimp sheds new light on the drama of high school life The Chicago-made web series Brothers from the Suburbs is on a winning streak that includes Best Web Original at HBO/BET’s Urbanworld Film Festival, Best Direction at SeriesFest, and the Audience Award and Jury Award for Best Scripted Digital Series at the … Continue reading “‘Brothers from the Suburbs’ updates a film tradition”

Interview with OTV founder Dr. Aymar Jean Christian

Open Television author and creator is helping to bring marginalized creators and content into the spotlight of American culture   Over the last four years, Dr. Aymar Jean Christian has inspired a community of artists and intellectuals to disrupt one of the greatest institutions in America. With analytical expertise, online manipulation, shrewd outreach, and boundless … Continue reading “Interview with OTV founder Dr. Aymar Jean Christian”

MPG’s Keith Walker helps Oprah win Emmy

Cinematographer filmed ’60 Minutes’ segment about the National Memorial for Peace and Justice dedicated to nation’s lynching victims   Media Process Group cofounder Keith Walker helped Oprah Winfrey and 60 Minutes win an Emmy by commemorating a brutal chapter of American history. In a segment titled The Legacy of Lynching, the Chicago cinematographer filmed Winfrey’s … Continue reading “MPG’s Keith Walker helps Oprah win Emmy”

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’”

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”

FCB captures raven for Chicago Humanities Festival

The dark harbinger delivers antique scrolls announcing an event with “Game of Thrones” author George RR Martin FCB Chicago captured an airborne fantasy to help the Chicago Humanities Festival spread the word about its October 11 event, An Evening with George R. R. Martin. To advertise the engagement with the legendary Game of Thrones author, … Continue reading “FCB captures raven for Chicago Humanities Festival”

Cinespace sponsors 7th annual Mex Talks

Event produced by Latinos Progresando spotlights culture and contributions of Mexico and Mexican-Americans   Latinos Progresando — a Chicago community development organization working on the issues of immigration, peace, health, and education — yesterday presented MEX talks, an exciting speaker showcase featuring a panel of Mexican-American filmmakers, authors, politicians, activists, and media personalities who delivered … Continue reading “Cinespace sponsors 7th annual Mex Talks”

Backyard signs Jeff Aron Lable

Production shop hires LA director known for working with celebrities and creating “awkwardly funny” humorous vignettes Production company Backyard Productions has announced the addition of award-winning Los Angeles-based director Jeff Aron Lable to its roster for both US commercial spot representation and content creation. A humor director with a flair for strong art direction and … Continue reading “Backyard signs Jeff Aron Lable”

Chicago actors join cast of Jordan Peele’s ‘Candyman’

Abundance of Windy City talent to appear in latest film by blockbuster director and Metro Goldwyn Mayer With principal photography underway in Chicago on Candyman, from Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures (MGM) and Jordan Peele and Win Rosenfeld’s Monkeypaw Productions, director Nia DaCosta has cast several local performers in key supporting roles. The film’s previously announced … Continue reading “Chicago actors join cast of Jordan Peele’s ‘Candyman’”

New Fox drama series to film at Cinespace

“neXt” — a modern-day series about technology run amok — will start shooting in Chicago this Fall Cinespace Chicago Film Studios announced today that Fox’s new American drama series, neXt, will film at its West Side campus this fall. The studio announces the news less than 24 hours after unveiling its 2019 production schedule, adding … Continue reading “New Fox drama series to film at Cinespace”

Cinespace announces 2019 production lineup

The largest film studio in the Midwest prepares for a busy season of hit shows with 13 new interns Cinespace Chicago Film Studios, based on the west side of Chicago, and currently the second-largest film studio in the country, welcomes back many popular series and announces several new television shows now filming at its campuses. … Continue reading “Cinespace announces 2019 production lineup”

Chicago shops score at the Telly Awards

AbelsonTaylor, Daily Planet, Delack, KemperLesnik, Mimi, rEvolution, Richter Studios, Spirit Juice, Strange Loop among 2019 winners The Telly Awards announced this year’s winners on May 21. Celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2019, the awards represent the world’s largest honor for video and television content across all screens. Entries were judged by jury members from creative … Continue reading “Chicago shops score at the Telly Awards”

Interview with former IFO Director Christine Dudley

The woman who helped Illinois make hundreds of TV shows and generate $2.5 billion in revenue talks about the ever-changing Midwestern filmscape Christine Dudley joined the Illinois Film Office at the exact time when the Illinois Film Office needed Christine Dudley. Combining exceptional legislative knowledge with a “modest background in production,” she helped guide the … Continue reading “Interview with former IFO Director Christine Dudley”

The One Show 2019 announces top global winners

Wieden+Kennedy And Droga5 each win eight Gold Pencils, W+K named 2019 Agency of the Year, “Dream Crazy” for Nike wins Best of Show Wieden+Kennedy Portland and Droga5 New York were top winners before a full house at Cipriani Wall Street in New York on the second night of The One Club for Creativity’s 46th annual … Continue reading “The One Show 2019 announces top global winners”

Amazon to film ‘On The Spectrum’ at Cinespace

Coming-of-age comedic drama follows the lives of three roommates on the autism spectrum who are “striving for the same things that we all desire” Cinespace Chicago Film Studios, one of the largest film studios in the country, based on the west side of Chicago announced a deal with Amazon Studios to begin filming the half-hour … Continue reading “Amazon to film ‘On The Spectrum’ at Cinespace”

Interview with ‘The Tale’ writer/director Jennifer Fox

Documentary Filmmaker talks to Reel Chicago before her twice Emmy-nominated film The Tale plays tomorrow at Gene Siskel Film Center This Saturday, acclaimed writer/director Jennifer Fox’s haunting and fascinating 2018 film based on her real-life experiences, The Tale, will play at a P.A.X.A (Parents Against Child Sex Abuse) event at the Gene Siskel Film Center. … Continue reading “Interview with ‘The Tale’ writer/director Jennifer Fox”

Beer Wars: Miller Lite goes medieval on Bud Light

New creative from agency DDB and a lawsuit take the battle to a whole new level Marsellus Wallace would be proud. The #corntroversy between Bud Light and Miller Lite, which began on the Super Bowl, has now turned into a Super Brawl. MillerCoors has taken the brewing battle with Bud Light to the next level … Continue reading “Beer Wars: Miller Lite goes medieval on Bud Light”

OTV launches biggest season to date, April 4 at MCA

Open Television will premiere four of 40+ pieces of original content at the Museum of Contemporary Art at Cycle 4 on April 4 Diverse TV platform Open Television (OTV) will premiere Cycle 4 of its upcoming season at the Museum of Contemporary Art on April 4th. The event will launch four original series infused with … Continue reading “OTV launches biggest season to date, April 4 at MCA”

Black List: Kyra Kyles, writer, creator, public speaker, entrepreneur

Chicago native, Northwestern grad held top editorial roles at EBONY and JET while co-piloting Myth Lab Entertainment, and fighting for media diversity   Kyra Kyles is a multi-platform senior-level media executive, a public speaker on issues of diversity and representation, and an award-winning writer.   Journalist Kyra, former EBONY Editor in Chief / Senior Vice … Continue reading “Black List: Kyra Kyles, writer, creator, public speaker, entrepreneur”

Beyond Meat engages Stun for branding and media

Relationship kicks off with video about plant-based protein diets starring “ambassador” Kyrie Irving Beyond Meat, the world’s leading plant-based meat company, has engaged Stun, an award-winning agency and content studio as its Branding and Media partner. The announcement was made today by Stun Principals & Co-Founders Mark Feldstein and Brad Roth, who is a native … Continue reading “Beyond Meat engages Stun for branding and media”

‘Black Panther’ star’s next project set in Chicago

AMC Networks opens a writers room for Michael B. Jordan’s Windy City series, “61st Street” Here’s potential good news for the Chicago production community. According to The Wrap, AMC Networks has opened a writers room (sorry Chicago writers, the rooms are in LA) for Michael B. Jordan’s 61st Street, a “murder mystery” that dives into … Continue reading “‘Black Panther’ star’s next project set in Chicago”

The Best and Worst of Super Bowl LIII commercials

The term “sucked” could have applied to the parade of mediocre, ho-hum spots that aired during Sunday’s big game. And so ends another Super Bowl season. The build up of anticipated commercials is finally (and mercifully) over until next January. If one were to say Sunday, “Well, that sucked the life out of me,” we … Continue reading “The Best and Worst of Super Bowl LIII commercials”

Leviathan caps off busy year with hires and promotions

The specialized agency’s creative expansion includes the hiring of Cody Tilson and the promotion of Kyle Shoup (Chicago — 19 December 2018) As a final order of business for a stellar year, specialized creative agency Leviathan’s Chief Executive Officer Chad Hutson and Chief Creative Officer Jason White are honored to announce the addition of Creative … Continue reading “Leviathan caps off busy year with hires and promotions”

Film Office Director Rich Moskal: a tough act to follow

The man who arranged gunfights on the el, demolition in the loop, and “Transformer” battles on Wacker Drive explains how the CFO got it done Rich Moskal helped to present the Windy City as a place of beauty, romance, destruction, and chaos in more than 5,000 films, TV shows, web series, and commercials while serving … Continue reading “Film Office Director Rich Moskal: a tough act to follow”

Explore Media adds two new directors

A pair of LA-based pros with wide-ranging commercial and film experience join the busy Chicago shop (Chicago — 24 October 2018) Explore Media, a commercial production company with headquarters in downtown Chicago, has announced the addition of Directors Dinh Thai and Christian Clark to its expanding roster. “We’re very excited to join forces with Dinh … Continue reading “Explore Media adds two new directors”

“Feeling of Being Watched” at Chicago Film Fest

Chicago-made doc explores an FBI operation that surveilled more than 500 mosques, schools, and businesses of American Muslims for more than a decade In The Feeling of Being Watched, journalist Assia Boundaoui investigates the legitimacy and scope of the FBI Chicago’s “Operation Vulgar Betrayal.” Vulgar Betrayal profiled and followed hundreds of members of the Muslim … Continue reading ““Feeling of Being Watched” at Chicago Film Fest”

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”

Click 3X adds Senior Colorist Fred Keller

The film and commercial vet will relocate from Chicago, where he was a mainstay at Filmworkers Club (New York — 24 September 2018) Senior Colorist Fred Keller is heading home; the veteran post production artist, a mainstay of the color scene in Chicago for the past dozen years, is going back to New York as … Continue reading “Click 3X adds Senior Colorist Fred Keller”

Digital Kitchen elevates Jason Esser to Creative Director

Besides contributing to client work, the ten-year veteran will add hiring, recruiting, and delegating across teams and departments to his responsibilities (Chicago — 4 September 2018) Digital Kitchen has promoted long-time agency vet Jason Esser to Creative Director / Resource Manager, with responsibility for leading the agency’s creative offering in its Chicago headquarters office. Esser … Continue reading “Digital Kitchen elevates Jason Esser to Creative Director”

Bing Liu on the making of “Minding the Gap”

“It’s sort of like watching a child grow up, ‘cause I’ve made hundreds of rough cuts over the years.” – Director Bing Liu Chicago-based filmmaker Bing Liu, the director of the Sundance award-winning Minding the Gap, sat down with Reel Chicago to discuss the making of his cinema-verite-style documentary. The film currently has a 100% … Continue reading “Bing Liu on the making of “Minding the Gap””

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”

Macy nabs Emmy nom for Chi-based “Shameless”

Aside from Macy and “Roseanne’s” Laurie Metcalf, Chicago connections went ignored: nothing for “The Chi,” “Empire,” and Dick Wolf’s “Chicago” series   Frank Gallagher is the worst father on TV, but for Two-time Emmy winner William H. Macy, the shiftless dad is pure gold. The talented actor scored his fifth Emmy nomination for his work … Continue reading “Macy nabs Emmy nom for Chi-based “Shameless””

“All the Queen’s Horses” coming to Netflix on July 10

  Award-winning documentary explores how Rita Crundwell stole millions from Dixon, Illinois   (Chicago — 27 June 2018) Kartemquin Films and Helios Digital Learning are pleased to announce that director Kelly Richmond Pope’s award-winning documentary, All The Queen’s Horses, will be available to stream on Netflix from Tuesday, July 10. All The Queen’s Horses tells … Continue reading ““All the Queen’s Horses” coming to Netflix on July 10″

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”

Cinepocalypse fest from June 21 – 28 at Music Box

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

Digital Kitchen brings ‘Westworld’ to Chicago AT&T stores

Fans get close to the action in Chicago, San Francisco, and Boston “Everything in this world is magic, except for the magician.” Dr. Ford The line uttered by Anthony Hopkins’ Dr. Ford in Westworld’s first season speaks to the power of illusion and belief and the blurred lines between realities within HBO‘s runaway hit sci-fi … Continue reading “Digital Kitchen brings ‘Westworld’ to Chicago AT&T stores”

Hey! Is that my graffiti in your film?

Entertainment lawyer Travis Life explains how courts settle disputes about copyrighted material appearing in films without legal clearance Filmmakers are usually so focused on the production of their story that sometimes they miss the little things contained in their work. These “little things” — posters, paintings, graffiti, etc. — can cause big problems if they … Continue reading “Hey! Is that my graffiti in your film?”

39th annual Telly Awards winners unveiled

Vice, Condé Nast, Ryot, Great Big Story, Complex Networks, Radicalmedia, and Buzzfeed among next generation of multi-screen producers at this year’s event Winners reflect initiative to honor groundbreaking work “across all screens.” (New York — 22 May 2018) Marc Jacobs’ A-Z of Music, ESPN’s Celtics/Lakers: Best of Enemies 30 for 30, National Geographic’s Breaking 2, … Continue reading “39th annual Telly Awards winners unveiled”

Havas Chicago goes “Westworld” for Carl’s Jr

To celebrate the fanboy and girl in all of us for Westworld’s return, Carl’s Jr has released a seriously close version of Westworld’s opening theme song via their Twitter account. Welcome to WesternBaconWorld. But as the 50-second video claims, “it’s in no way related to a certain show airing on a certain network at a … Continue reading “Havas Chicago goes “Westworld” for Carl’s Jr”

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”

Periscope praises “Empire,” Trump calls “Roseanne”

Half of ‘Empire’s’ mid-season premiere filmed as one-act play (Spoiler alert: Please don’t read ahead unless you’ve seen “Empire’s” midseason premiere.) Sheesh, it sure has been a minute since Empire has been on. The series, which is filmed at Cinespace Studios, returned with its mid-season premiere last night. In the episode titled “Birds in a … Continue reading “Periscope praises “Empire,” Trump calls “Roseanne””

Karabas, “Real Prayers,” “Make Out Party,” and more

RSA Films promotes Chris Karabas to executive producer Before the promotion, Chris Karabas was the Midwest representative for RSA Films. In his new role, Karabas is expected to utilize RSA Films’ resources to branch out into multiplatform storytelling – especially social media. Previously, Karabas worked for Shafer Antelis Music in the early 90s, was a … Continue reading “Karabas, “Real Prayers,” “Make Out Party,” and more”

Dee Rees, Yessian LA lead the week’s industry moves

“Mudbound” director Dee Rees signs with Anonymous Content Production and Management Company Anonymous Content has announced Mudbound director Dee Rees has signed for commercial representation in the U.S. and U.K. The news kicks off a groundbreaking 2018 for Rees, whose feature drama Mudbound has been met with sweeping praise and four Academy Award nominations, including two … Continue reading “Dee Rees, Yessian LA lead the week’s industry moves”

The Reel Chicago Black List: Patrick Wimp, filmmaker

Patrick is the first MFA graduate from DePaul University Digital Cinema. Throughout his career, he has written and produced films, commercials, and TV series all over the world. Pat is the co-founder and owner of Digital Hydra, an Emmy award-winning production company that has crafted commercial and creative content for a variety of major brands … Continue reading “The Reel Chicago Black List: Patrick Wimp, filmmaker”

WGA Awards, Guillermo del Toro, weekend box office

“Get Out” and “Call Me By Your Name” win at WGA Awards “I’m your host Patton Oswalt or as Guillermo del Toro puts it, ‘The Shape of Pudding,’” said the comedian as he opened up his third year of hosting The 70th Annual Writers Guild Awards which took place simultaneously in Los Angeles at the … Continue reading “WGA Awards, Guillermo del Toro, weekend box office”

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”

Chicagocentric “Big Sick” wins Critics Choice Award

Chicago once again proved that the city possesses a great wealth of talent as comedian and actor Kumail Nanjiani and wife, writer Emily V. Gordon, took home Best Comedy for their addictive interracial romantic comedy, The Big Sick, at the 233rd Annual Critics Choice Awards in Los Angeles. The awards are bestowed annually by the … Continue reading “Chicagocentric “Big Sick” wins Critics Choice Award”

MullenLowe, NFL, Johnson, Elizabeth in the news

MullenLowe L.A. wins Whole Foods According to Ad Age, Amazon finally finished shopping for a new creative agency for its newly acquired Whole Foods Market. The report says, the Austin, Texas-based grocery chain has chosen MullenLowe L.A., as its CAOR after a review. The review, which was run by SRI, began in late June. After … Continue reading “MullenLowe, NFL, Johnson, Elizabeth in the news”

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”

Dinklage, Ogilvy, FCB, Cisco, the Clios, DK in the news

Tyrion has traded his world of dragons, thrones and white walkers to enter the world of technology in a new spot for Cisco from Ogilvy, Chicago.

Featuring Peter Dinklage from “Game of Thrones,” which just wrapped Season 7 on HBO, the three-minute spot ponders some provocative questions. It introduces the world to Cisco’s new “interest-based networking” solutions. The campaign is titled “The Network. Intuitive.”

The solutions will help clients speed up digital operations and protect against future cyber attacks.

Chicago actor Nelsan Ellis dies at 39

Harvey-born Nelsan Ellis, who rose to fame as the character Lafayette on HBO’s True Blood, has died at the age of 39.

Variety confirms the cause was complications from heart failure.

“We were extremely saddened to hear of the passing of Nelsan Ellis,” HBO said in a statement given to Variety.

“Nelsan was a long-time member of the HBO family whose groundbreaking portrayal of Lafayette will be remembered fondly within the overall legacy of True Blood. Nelsan will be dearly missed by his fans and all of us at HBO.”

Jane Lynch to accept a Comedy Film Fest award

A LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD will be presented to actress/comedian Jane Lynch, a Chicago area native, by the Chicago Comedy Film Festival (CCFF) and the Second City’s Harold Ramis Film School, Thursday, Nov, 10 before a sold-out audience at The Second City Training Center.

Lynch will receive the award from Jessica Hardy, CIFF founder / artistic director and Second City president Andrew Alexander. The 7 p.m. presentation will be followed at 8:30 p.m. by the Chicago Filmmakers Shorts Program of a dozen locally-made comedy films.

Adman Ron Bess named CEO of Myelin agency network

VETERAN AD MAN RON BESS, who in August was named president/CEO of Hy Connect agency, was just appointed CEO of the agency’s ownership entity, Boston-based Myelin Communications, which bought the Chicago office of Hy Connect last year.

Four-year old Myelin, owned by Chicago’s Baird Capital, is a network of companies specializing in health and financial services. HY Connect’s accounts include Blue Cross Blue Shield and Indiana University Health.

Ch. 11 to air Superbowl winning “’85 Bears” doc 9/7

Thirty years ago last January, the 1985 Chicago Bears coach Mike Ditka was carried off the New Orleans Superdome turf after the Bears demolished the New England Patriots, 46-10, in Super Bowl XX on Jan. 26, 1986.

Now a feature-length doc brings that memorable victory back to life. “’85 Bears: The Greatest Team in Pro Football History” will premiere in for Chicago audiences Wednesday, Sept. 7 on WTTW/11 at 8 p.m.

Margulies’ visit canceled; film event-packed weekend

ACTRESS JULIANNA MARGULIES IS ILL – she has chicken pox – and her scheduled appearance Sunday, May 15 at Anderson’s Bookstore in Naperville has been canceled. “The Good Wife” star has been on tour promoting her children’s book, “Three Magic Balloons,” and her visit here will be rescheduled for another time.

THE WEEKEND WILL BE PACKED with city-sponsored Lake FX Summit events, with media and entertainment-related panels taking place at the Gene Siskel Film Center and the Cultural Center, free and open to all. Here are some of Friday’s panels:

Actress Margulies here promoting her children’s book

ACTRESS JULIANNA MARGULIES, whose 7-season series “The Good Wife” ended last Sunday, is on the book promotion route with her picture book, landing at Anderson’s Bookshop, 123 W. Jefferson in Naperville on Sunday, May 15 at 2 p.m.

Margulies’ book is “Three Magic Balloons,” a children’s story based on one written by her father, Paul Margulies, an advertising executive who was also a prolific writer.

Chicago-created spots dominate TV Awards’ finalists

Out of the 21 finalists in the upcoming Chicago International Television Awards, 16 spots came from Chicago-based agencies: eight spots from Leo Burnett; three from DDB Chicago, two from Pinnacle Advertising, Schaumburg and one each from Cramer-Krasselt, Digitas and Cavalry.

One finalist each from Iris New York, BBDO/New York, TBWA/Chiat/Day, New York and Innocean Worldwide, Seoul, Korea.

The Whitehouse edited nine of the finalist spots.

Steve Conrad among TV pros at TV Awards, April 18-20

Writer/director Steve Conrad, actor Gary Cole, TV show creators and “Empire’s” key crew members will be among the TV pros holding forth on the trials and triumphs of TV show production at the Chicago International Television Awards (CITA) April 18-20 at the AMC River East 21 theatres.

This marks the first time, CITA (formerly the Hugo Awards) is expanding its single TV awards evening into a three-day event.

Lisa Masseur brings her EP skills to One at Optimus

NEW EXECUTIVE PRODUCER at One at Optimus is veteran producer Lisa Masseur, who officially joined the production company a few weeks ago after being a permalance producer there since last January.  She replaces Kipp Christensen who returned to freelancing and reports to director of production Craig Leffel.

Masseur began freelancing as a producer last July after a seven year stint as EP/managing director at Radar Studios, where she oversaw all production and post, as well as sales and marketing efforts.