First Artists-In-Residence for four INVEST neighborhoods

1+ Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot, the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) and the Department of Planning and Development (DPD) announced the first ever Artists-In-Residence for four of the City’s INVEST South/West neighborhoods: Auburn Gresham (Dorian Sylvain), Austin (Antonia Ruppert), Englewood (Eric Hotchkiss) and New City/Back of the Yards (Fernando Ramirez in partnership … Continue reading “First Artists-In-Residence for four INVEST neighborhoods”


2+ 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 … Continue reading “HBO launches LOVECRAFT COUNTRY: SANCTUM, VR”

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

0 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 … Continue reading “HBO Max orders ‘Young Love’ based on ‘Hair Love’”

HBO debuts ‘Lovecraft Country’ filmed at Cinespace

2+ 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 … Continue reading “HBO debuts ‘Lovecraft Country’ filmed at Cinespace”

Ding-dong ditch your neighbor with Chili’s Margs-to-go

2+ O’Keefe Reinhard & Paul and Chili’s invented a ding-dong ditch with benefits and we love it. With the insight that everyone needs a little extra care right now, OKRP is working with Chili’s to inspire others to #MargBomb friends, family and neighbors. Not only is Chili’s urging others to secretly drop off some Chili’s … Continue reading “Ding-dong ditch your neighbor with Chili’s Margs-to-go”

Chicago neighborhood food pantries get boost from AT&T

3+ Food pantries and organizations helping residents address food insecurity issues in Chicago’s south and west side neighborhoods are receiving support from AT&T, including three neighborhoods – Austin, Auburn Gresham and South Shore – receiving special focus by Mayor Lightfoot and the City’s Racial Equity Rapid Response Team. AT&T is supporting the effort through its … Continue reading “Chicago neighborhood food pantries get boost from AT&T”

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

4+ 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 … Continue reading “Chicago’s Lil Rel debuts stand-up special on HBO”

Peele and Abrams bring new HBO series to Cinespace

5+ 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 … Continue reading “Peele and Abrams bring new HBO series to Cinespace”

DDB & State Farm continue ‘Neighborhood of Good’

10+ What happens to the concept of giving back when the decorations come down and the red Starbucks cups disappear? DDB Chicago continues their strong “Neighborhood of Good” State Farm campaign with a touching reminder that the season of giving back never really ends. Directed by Anonymous Content’s Aoife McArdle, the dynamic :60-second film highlights … Continue reading “DDB & State Farm continue ‘Neighborhood of Good’”

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.

DDB and State Farm launch “Neighborhood of Good”

Both DDB Chicago and their long-time client, State Farm, believe that at the heart of any strong community are neighbors who care. Moved by this belief, the two have partnered to launch the Neighborhood of Good initiative online and on broadcast TV.

Beginning with a moving 2-minute short film called, “The Following,” the two hope to encourage viewers to take action on important causes they care about.

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.

Chris Nichols of Wishbox Media wraps production on “Diacritical,” gears up for second feature

CHRIS NICHOLS of Wishbox Media is in postproduction on “Diacritical,” a feature about identity theft. Nichols wrote and directed, and is producing with Cyn Dulay (“Holla If You Hear Me”). DP is Marcin Marzick.

It stars Ben Dubash (“The Reaper”), Kris Desautels (“Lockout”), Amena White, Sam Duthoy, Rob Ramos, Hugh Fritz, Yens Luecke, Cyn Dulay and Alison Butkus.

Nichols is gearing up to direct “Exit,” written and produced by Ben Dubash.

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.

Evanston Indie bookstore flips ‘You’ve Got Mail’ theme

0 When Nina Barrett opened a new branch of her independent bookstore Bookends & Beginnings on the main commercial street of downtown Evanston this weekend, she defied the trend of small-business collapse in the time of COVID. She also reversed the narrative arc of the popular 90s rom-com—You’ve Got Mail—in which an aggressive new chain bookstore drove a … Continue reading “Evanston Indie bookstore flips ‘You’ve Got Mail’ theme”

City announces $2.5 million arts fund

2+ Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot and the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) today announced $2.5 million in funding opportunities for Chicago artists and arts organizations. A new “Artist Response Program,” opening January 11, will provide $750,000 to support art that respond to the recent health, economic and humanitarian crises. The program … Continue reading “City announces $2.5 million arts fund”

Harry Lennix confirms he’s Martian Manhunter

1+ 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 … Continue reading “Harry Lennix confirms he’s Martian Manhunter”