Pritzker mandates vaccine for all healthcare workers, teachers, students

As COVID-19 infection and hospitalization rates across the state continue to increase, particularly in downstate communities with the lowest vaccination rates, Governor JB Pritzker and IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike today announced vaccine requirements for individuals in high risk settings. All healthcare workers, including nursing home employees, all pre-k-12 teachers and staff, as well as … Continue reading “Pritzker mandates vaccine for all healthcare workers, teachers, students”

Pritzker announces $10M Tourism Attractions and Festivals Grant program

Governor Pritzker announced a new $10 million grants program aimed at revitalizing the hard-hit tourism industry by bringing back new and returning tourism attractions and festivals to our state. The Tourism Attractions and Festivals Grant program is made possible with support of federal dollars from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and is part of … Continue reading “Pritzker announces $10M Tourism Attractions and Festivals Grant program”

Pritzker announces commitment to digital equity

Governor JB Pritzker announced a new Digital Equity Package, enlisting state, local, nonprofit and philanthropic support to address gaps in digital access, adoption, and affordability for high-speed internet access. The comprehensive approach is designed to help communities identify and address existing broadband equity gaps, as well as to leverage new and existing sources of funding … Continue reading “Pritzker announces commitment to digital equity”

Gov. Pritzker Launches ‘Healthy Holidays to You’

With a new wave of COVID-19 sweeping the nation and concerning trends here in Illinois, Governor JB Pritzker launched a new awareness campaign. ‘Healthy Holidays to You’ created by O’Keefe Reinhard & Paul encourages residents to take safety precautions throughout the upcoming holiday season to protect themselves and their families — and ultimately save lives.  The Illinois … Continue reading “Gov. Pritzker Launches ‘Healthy Holidays to You’”

Gov Pritzker and OKRP launch $5 M awareness campaign

Governor JB Pritzker and OKRP launched a new $5 million awareness campaign today to encourage Illinois residents to wear a face covering every time they’re in public — because it only works if you wear it. Following the data-driven approach that has guided Illinois’ coronavirus response, the campaign uses local information to advertise on broadcast … Continue reading “Gov Pritzker and OKRP launch $5 M awareness campaign”

Gov Pritzker announces $300k to support broadband

State of Illinois announces $300,000 public private investment to support community-driven broadband plans.New Illinois Connected Communities program will foster community engagement and planning for broadband access, adoption, and utilization across Illinois. The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) Office of Broadband today announced the first recipients of the Illinois Connected Communities grant program, created to … Continue reading “Gov Pritzker announces $300k to support broadband”

Pritzker launches ‘Get Hired’ website for jobs and training

Governor JB Pritzker, the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) and the Illinois Department of Employment Services (IDES) today launched Get Hired Illinois – a new portal designed to connect workers with available jobs and career training opportunities across the state of Illinois. Governor Pritzker also announced that beginning in June, Illinois residents … Continue reading “Pritzker launches ‘Get Hired’ website for jobs and training”

Pritzker and Wellington the Penguin in ‘All In Illinois’ PSA

Governor JB Pritzker got some help from Wellington the Penguin and several other friends at Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium in a new All in Illinois video that reinforces the message for families and children to stay home and practice social distancing. The 60-second social media video features the Governor and Shedd’s iconic aquatic resident, Wellington the … Continue reading “Pritzker and Wellington the Penguin in ‘All In Illinois’ PSA”

Pritzker mandates shutdown of public events over 1,000

Today in a formal announcement, Illinois Gov JB Pritzker and Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot have join other states by placing restrictions on large gatherings. Pritzker asked that events of 250 people or more be postponed or cancelled. He then further mandated that all events of more than 1,000 people are banned in an effort to … Continue reading “Pritzker mandates shutdown of public events over 1,000”

Pritzker’s “Louis” tour starts here Aug. 25

Professional musician Daniel Pritzker has written and directed “Louis,” a black-and-white silent film with a live musical performance that starts its five-city tour in Chicago Aug. 25 at Symphony Hall.

Jazz legend Wynton Marsalis, renowned pianist Cecile Licad and a 10-piece, all-star jazz ensemble accompanies the film with a score comprised primarily of Marsalis’ own compositions.

“Louis” is a 68-minute re-imagining of the early silent films, complete with title card dialog, as an homage to Louis Armstrong, Charlie Chaplin, beautiful women and the birth of American music.

Barack and Michelle here for ground-breaking of Obama Presidential Center

Former President Barack Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama will be in Chicago this week to attend the groundbreaking festivities for the Obama Presidential Center taking place on place on Monday, September 27 and Tuesday, September 28. The City of Chicago has begun its pre-construction work in the Jackson Park neighborhood on Chicago’s South … Continue reading “Barack and Michelle here for ground-breaking of Obama Presidential Center”

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”

Navy Pier announces free Fall programming schedule

Navy Pier, Chicago’s iconic lakefront destination, is packing in the fall fun with a full roster of free public programs from September through November, including outdoor movies, live music, extended fireworks and more. Navy Pier was able to add several new programs to this year’s fall programming schedule providing the Chicagoland community and guests access to free, … Continue reading “Navy Pier announces free Fall programming schedule”

City of Chicago will require all city employees to be vaccinated

Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot today announced that, effective October 15, 2021, the City of Chicago will require all City employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, joining many other major municipalities and government agencies in taking this important preventive step. While masking and social distancing requirements in the workplace remain, the best protection against COVID-19 is vaccination.   … Continue reading “City of Chicago will require all city employees to be vaccinated”

CoinFlip the fastest-growing biz in Chicago moves into the Old Post Office

CoinFlip, the world’s leading cryptocurrency ATM operator and the fastest-growing company in Chicago, today joined Governor JB Pritzker and local leaders to announce a new 44,000 square-foot headquarters located in the Old Post Office downtown. CoinFlip’s new headquarters represent a long-term commitment to the State of Illinois, with the largest lease by a cryptocurrency company … Continue reading “CoinFlip the fastest-growing biz in Chicago moves into the Old Post Office”

CIFF launches Chicago Industry Exchange and CIX:Lab

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

Chicago Auto Show has better than expected attendance

The Chicago Auto Show opened to the public today better than anticipated attendance. The long awaited 2021 Special Edition is taking place July 15-19 inside McCormick Place’s West Building and outdoors along Indiana Avenue. This marks the first time in history that the show, traditionally hosted in February, will be held in the summertime, taking advantage of … Continue reading “Chicago Auto Show has better than expected attendance”

Chicago’s Open Culture artist lineups and programs

The Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) announced even more returning, new and reimagined summer cultural events across Chicago — plus artist lineups and other details for City programs previously announced as part of “Open Culture” — just one component of the Mayor’s Open Chicago initiative to safely and fully reopen the city.  … Continue reading “Chicago’s Open Culture artist lineups and programs”

Juneteenth declared official state holiday in Illinois

Governor JB Pritzker signed legislation declaring June 19, Juneteenth, an official state holiday. To commemorate the abolition of slavery throughout the United States and its territories in 1865, Juneteenth will be recognized as National Freedom Day in Illinois.  The state continues to build upon efforts to actively dismantle systemic racism through robust reforms in the … Continue reading “Juneteenth declared official state holiday in Illinois”

Guidelines for Illinois Phase 5 full reopening on June 11

Phase 5 will go into effect on June 11 and mark the full reopening of all activities and businesses. Businesses, large-scale events, conventions, amusement parks, and seated-spectator venues will be able to operate at full capacity for the first time since the start of the pandemic. Gov. J.B. Pritzker said this was a defining moment … Continue reading “Guidelines for Illinois Phase 5 full reopening on June 11”

The Chi producer plans $60M film studio on South Side

Film and TV production in Chicago is 100% up and running, and expanding to the south side. The executive producer of The Chi television series, Derek Dudley is joining forces with Loop Capital Chairman and CEO, Jim Reynolds with plans for a film studio that they expect will bring thousands of jobs to the South … Continue reading “The Chi producer plans $60M film studio on South Side”

Vinyl & OKRP launch Illinois Office of Tourism campaign

Vinyl, a Songtradr company that provides direct access to creative talent, commercial music licensing, pre-cleared music, sonic branding, and custom composition, announced today the commercial license of “Time for Me to Fly” by REO Speedwagon for the new Illinois Office of Tourism ad spot. The ad titled “Time for Me to Fly” encourages families to … Continue reading “Vinyl & OKRP launch Illinois Office of Tourism campaign”

Chicago’s beloved architect Helmut Jahn has died

AIA Chicago’s Lifetime Achievement Award winner Helmut Jahn, a prominent German modernist/postmodernist architect who designed an Illinois state government building (James R. Thompson Center) and worked on the design of the FBI headquarters in Washington, was killed in a bicycle accident involving two vehicles as he was riding his bicycle outside Chicago according to the … Continue reading “Chicago’s beloved architect Helmut Jahn has died”

Navy Pier Flyover links north & south Lakefront Trail

Years in the waiting, the amazing Navy Pier Flyover is officially open. The transformative pedestrian and bike bridge links the two halves of Chicago’s signature Lakefront Trail and creates an uninterrupted, 18-mile ribbon from 71st Street to Hollywood Avenue. “The Lakefront Trail is undoubtedly one of Chicago’s crown jewels—a reputation that has only been amplified thanks … Continue reading “Navy Pier Flyover links north & south Lakefront Trail”

Music and more, summer events reopen across Chicago

“Open Culture” signals the reopening of summer events in Chicago’s diverse and legendary cultural scene with music, dance, public art, markets, and more at Millennium Park and venues citywide. Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot, the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE), Choose Chicago, and Chicago’s cultural community announced “Open Culture” — the next phase … Continue reading “Music and more, summer events reopen across Chicago”

Chicago Auto Show returns to McCormick Place in July

The Chicago Auto Show, a marquee event that draws tourists from around the world, returns to McCormick Place marking the first large convention to take place since the COVID-19 pandemic began. The Chicago Auto Show will be held at McCormick Place from July 15 to 19 and will incorporate several innovative safety features – including … Continue reading “Chicago Auto Show returns to McCormick Place in July”

Kimberly-Clark moving into Chicago’s Fulton Market

Kimberly-Clark, maker of trusted brands including Huggies, Cottonelle, Kleenex and Depend, will expand their presence in Chicago with a new commercial center for its North American consumer products business. “Kimberly-Clark’s move to Illinois is just the latest sign that our investments in talent, innovation and digital infrastructure are not only paying off for residents but … Continue reading “Kimberly-Clark moving into Chicago’s Fulton Market”

Illinois launches 14th mass vaccination site. See full list

4,747,845 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Illinois, representing about 30% of residents 16 and up receiving their first dose. And on April 12, vaccines will be available for everyone. Illinois is launching its 14th mass vaccination site in Forest Park. Governor JB Pritzker and local officials announced the Illinois National Guard supported site, which will … Continue reading “Illinois launches 14th mass vaccination site. See full list”

Chan C. Smith brings her storytelling skills to Tessa Films

Chan C. Smith, a Chicago native who’s taken her skill as a storyteller to such genres as publishing, media and documentary film, is set to make her mark on the advertising scene by signing with Tessa Films. This is the director’s first representation agreement for advertising and branded content. Her signing was announced by Tessa … Continue reading “Chan C. Smith brings her storytelling skills to Tessa Films”

Chicago’s United Center becomes Federal Vaccination Site

The United Center, home of the Chicago Bulls and the Chicago Blackhawks will be used as a mass vaccination site that prioritizes access for seniors and equity for the hardest hit populations. The Biden Administration is opening pilot Community Vaccination Centers across the country. The United Center site will open on March 10 with the capacity to administer … Continue reading “Chicago’s United Center becomes Federal Vaccination Site”

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”

Jon McDaniel, Wolfgang Puck pair for masterclass

This is tasty. On November 19, 2020, Provence Rosé Group (PRG) will present “A Perfect Pairing,” a special virtual Thanksgiving and rosé wine event featuring Food & Wine Magazine’s 2018 Sommelier of the Year and Chicago’s Jon McDaniel and renowned chef Wolfgang Puck. The announcement was made today by PRG CEO Bob Gaudreau. Live from the kitchen of WP … Continue reading “Jon McDaniel, Wolfgang Puck pair for masterclass”

CIFF selects four IL film projects for “The Pitch”

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

State of IL gives U of I Research Park an SBA FAST Grant

The State of Illinois announced that Enterprise Works, the tech incubator at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s Research Park, has been awarded a competitive grant through the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to support the growth and development of tech companies across the state. The university-based tech hub is one of 24 awardees nationwide … Continue reading “State of IL gives U of I Research Park an SBA FAST Grant”

OKRP Lottery campaign shows “You Can’t Hide Winning”

The Illinois Lottery is extending its highly successful ‘You Can’t Hide Winning’, integrated marketing campaign from agency O’Keefe Reinhard & Paul to add additional support for the introduction of new instant tickets for the summer of 2020. The advertising first started in July and helped to support Instant Ticket sales growth of 10% in the following … Continue reading “OKRP Lottery campaign shows “You Can’t Hide Winning””

The 36th Chicago Latino Film Festival goes virtual

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

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

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

Chicago launches free high-speed internet to CPS students

Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot announced the launch of ‘Chicago Connected’ a groundbreaking program that will provide free high-speed internet service to approximately 100,000 Chicago Public Schools (CPS) students in their households. This first-of-its-kind program will be one of the largest and longest-term efforts in the nation to provide free, high-speed internet over the course of … Continue reading “Chicago launches free high-speed internet to CPS students”

Next phase & beyond protocols, guidelines & what’s next

The State of  Illinois and City of Chicago are now operating in Phase 3 of their respective reopening plans and there is a lot of film production news and information to share. In addition to the Chicago and Illinois Film Offices issuing Phase 3 film production guidelines, last Friday, SAG-AFTRA, DGA, IATSE, and the Teamsters released “The Safe Way Forward”, COVID 19 Safety … Continue reading “Next phase & beyond protocols, guidelines & what’s next”

‘Graduation 2020: For Chicago. By Chicago’ lineup

Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot today announced the lineup of Chicago and national celebrities who have come together to celebrate and pay tribute to the over 35,000 graduating high school seniors across Chicago. “Graduation 2020: For Chicago. By Chicago.” is a live, commercial-free 60-minute ceremony hosted and co-created by the City of Chicago and Citadel to … Continue reading “‘Graduation 2020: For Chicago. By Chicago’ lineup”

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’”

Pants Optional: A Steppenwolf Soirée raises $640k

Steppenwolf Theatre Company’s Pants Optional: A Steppenwolf Soirée is a one-of-a-Kind Online Fundraiser Entertains with Live Music, Celebrity Guests and Surprise Appearances. (Video of event below) Steppenwolf Theatre Company replaced its 2020 Gala with a live online event, Pants Optional: A Steppenwolf Soirée, celebrating the power of theatre and raising vital funds to keep it alive … Continue reading “Pants Optional: A Steppenwolf Soirée raises $640k”

Industry thoughts on getting back to work safely

A message from the Illinois Production Alliance. As a film industry professional, you no doubt have seen, read or been sent a wide array of proposed production safety guidelines. That is one of several issues that studio stakeholders and the workforce are grappling with as they discuss readiness to restart production.  It is anticipated that the Industry-Wide … Continue reading “Industry thoughts on getting back to work safely”

Camera Ambassador set to reopen May 1st

Chicago camera and equipment rental house Camera Ambassador has announced that it will reopen for business beginning this Friday, May 1st. “Beginning May 1st, we’re officially open with curbside pick up and sanitized equipment! Email us to make your order today!” its Instagram post reads. Subscribe: Sign up for our FREE e-lert here.  Stay on top of … Continue reading “Camera Ambassador set to reopen May 1st”

Lightfoot launches weekly series ‘Stay Home. Hit Play.’

Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot and Citadel today announced the launch of Stay Home. Hit Play., a twice-weekly video series on WTTW that will bring engaging, educational programming from Chicago institutions to students and families across the city. The series will partner with the city’s museums and cultural institutions to invite students to go behind the scenes … Continue reading “Lightfoot launches weekly series ‘Stay Home. Hit Play.’”

Meet the brains behind Mind Exchange Music

As productions across the globe come to a halt during the COVID-19 pandemic, most filmmakers have found themselves with a lot of time on their hands. Some have turned to sourdough bread baking and Tiger King, while others have decided to revisit back-burnered personal projects. Around the country, temporarily shelved footage has been brought to … Continue reading “Meet the brains behind Mind Exchange Music”

Local 727 purchases thousands of masks for members

When employers wouldn’t step up, Teamsters Local 727 stepped in—recently purchasing thousands of masks for distribution. On March 21, Governor Pritzker mandated a “shelter in place” order that outlined the specific employees who were deemed “essential” and could leave their homes to go to work. Many Local 727 members are considered essential, frontline workers under … Continue reading “Local 727 purchases thousands of masks for members”

ECD Matt Kuttan serves help to restaurants with new app

There are now 22,025 confirmed coronavirus COVID-19 cases and 794 deaths in Illinois. The pandemic has ravaged the economy from local independent movie theaters to Boeing. One of the hardest hit industries has been hospitality, which has been shut down since Governor Pitzker ordered them shut across Illinois on March 15. With over 3 million … Continue reading “ECD Matt Kuttan serves help to restaurants with new app”

‘CHICAGO TONIGHT’ provides local coverage of COVID

CHICAGO TONIGHT, correspondent/producer Paris Schutz reports live from Chicago neighborhoods highlighting community challenges and solutions The sudden onset of the COVID-19 pandemic has radically altered everyday life for Chicagoans as they try to adjust to a new normal. Now more than ever, our communities need fact-based news and trusted information about this developing public health crisis. … Continue reading “‘CHICAGO TONIGHT’ provides local coverage of COVID”

Michael Fassnacht to serve as Chicago CMO

Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot and World Business Chicago (WBC) Vice Chair Mellody Hobson today announced that WBC will name Michael Fassnacht as the Chicago Chief Marketing Officer (CMO). Working alongside City agencies and its public and private partners, the CMO will create a unified, citywide marketing, branding and business development strategy to elevate perceptions of Chicago as an … Continue reading “Michael Fassnacht to serve as Chicago CMO”

Jane Lynch, Jason Beghe “in” Illinois PSAs from OKRP

Governor JB Pritzker launched a new statewide effort today called ‘All in Illinois’ to reinforce the state’s core message, backed by scientists and public health experts: stay at home and stay safe. As Illinoisans continue to practice social distancing to stay healthy, the campaign is a way to unite residents across the state and remind … Continue reading “Jane Lynch, Jason Beghe “in” Illinois PSAs from OKRP”

Kartemquin Films’ Quinn diagnosed with COVID-19

There are now 134 reported new cases of Coronavirus, bringing the statewide total to 422, with at least four deaths. This according to the Chicago Tribune. Unfortunately, among those new cases is Chicago’s acclaimed documentary filmmaker and Kartemquin Films co-founder Gordon Quinn. Quinn, whose credits include Hoop Dreams and recent Oscar nominee Minding the Gap, … Continue reading “Kartemquin Films’ Quinn diagnosed with COVID-19”

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

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

2020 ScreenCraft Writers Summit postponed until 2021

In light of worldwide health concerns, this year’s Chicago ScreenCraft Writers Summit is rescheduling to next year. Previously scheduled in Chicago on April 24th-27th, 2020, the Summit will be rescheduled to April 23rd-26th, 2021.  Nearly all of the previously confirmed panelists have enthusiastically committed to next year, and additional industry speakers will be announced in … Continue reading “2020 ScreenCraft Writers Summit postponed until 2021”

COVID-19 claims Chicago & NY St. Patty’s Day parades

The mayor was not alone in her decision as New York City, Boston, Dallas, Dublin and other cities dropped their festivities for the holiday. According to the Chicago Tribune, Mayor Lightfoot made her decision after days of speculation. Also included in the decision were the South Side’s Irish Parade and even the smaller Northwestern Side … Continue reading “COVID-19 claims Chicago & NY St. Patty’s Day parades”

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”

Local 476 appoints Connelly to increase commercial work

I.A.T.S.E. Local 476 is sending VP Joe Connelly on a mission to forge partnerships with advertising agencies and commercial shops throughout the city. A production industry supplier with deep roots, the Chicago Studio Mechanics Union intends to reinforce a foundation it laid nearly a century ago. “This union is built on commercial work,” says Local … Continue reading “Local 476 appoints Connelly to increase commercial work”

Bing Liu among United States Artists 2020 USA Fellows

United States Artists (USA) is pleased to announce its 2020 USA Fellows. This year, fifty artists across ten creative disciplines will receive unrestricted $50,000 cash awards. The award honors their creative accomplishments and supports their ongoing artistic and professional development. The 2020 USA Fellows class is the largest since USA relocated from Los Angeles to … Continue reading “Bing Liu among United States Artists 2020 USA Fellows”

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”

ChiFilmFest opens with fresh new buzz

All-female red carpet helps launch reinvigorated Windy City tradition   The Chicago International Film Festival opened with an all-female red carpet ceremony at the AMC River East last Thursday night. Adding a fresh buzz to decades of Windy City tradition, the 55th annual launch was anchored by Artistic Director Mimi Plauché and Cinema/Chicago Managing Director … Continue reading “ChiFilmFest opens with fresh new buzz”

‘Three Hours’ wins ChiFilmFest’s $20K Pitch

Aemilia Scott, Holli McGinley film follows a single mother living on the edge of Chicago’s Humboldt Park The 55th Chicago International Film Festival has announced the winner of The Pitch at the 5th edition of Industry Days: Three Hours, directed by Aemilia Scott and produced by Holli McGinley. The film follows a single mother living … Continue reading “‘Three Hours’ wins ChiFilmFest’s $20K Pitch”

ChiFilmFest announces slate for “The Pitch”

Five film projects to compete for $20,000 awards package of in-kind goods and services   The 55th Chicago International Film Festival announced a slate of five narrative feature film projects in active development that will be pitched in front of a live audience and a panel of distinguished industry judges during the Festival’s Industry Days … Continue reading “ChiFilmFest announces slate for “The Pitch””

ChiFilmFest unveils Industry Days agenda

Master Classes with Oscar and Sundance winners are just a few of the events scheduled for October 17-20 program     The 55th Chicago International Film Festival announced today the program for Industry Days (October 17-20, 2019) with an impressive list of guest speakers to inspire and illuminate the film and entertainment community.   A … Continue reading “ChiFilmFest unveils Industry Days agenda”

Hawley and Amoaku help film industry move forward

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

‘No Small Matter’ back by popular demand

Chicago-produced doc about childhood education returns to the Gene Siskel Film Center September 6 Following up on its sold-out June premiere, the acclaimed early childhood education documentary No Small Matter returns to Chicago’s Gene Siskel Film Center for an encore week of screenings beginning Friday, September 6. The film’s encore run coincides with the start … Continue reading “‘No Small Matter’ back by popular demand”

Late summer media wrap

IL Film Tax Credit “Avengers: Endgame” Metallica “Skippers” “Solstice” SG + Partners in the news   Film Tax Credit extended til 2026 Governor JB Pritzker signed a bill extending the revenue-generating Illinois Film Tax credit until 2026. Officially known as Illinois Senate Bill 1981, the “Film Production Services Tax Credit Act of 2008” offers a … Continue reading “Late summer media wrap”

The future of the Illinois film industry looks brighter

How Cinespace President Alex Pissios, Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Governor J.B. Pritzker, and State Senator Elgie Sims plan to keep a good thing growing   Industry leaders and film professionals gathered to hear Governor Pritzker, Mayor Emanuel, and Senator Elgie Sims Jr. shine some reassurance on the future of Chicago’s film industry during a press conference … Continue reading “The future of the Illinois film industry looks brighter”

Chicago Int’l Film Fest releases Industry Days schedule

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

Millennium Park Summer Film Series

Beginning June 5th, the Millennium Park Summer Film series will enhance the Tuesday night screenings that have become one of Chicago’s most beloved outdoor traditions. According to a press release issued by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE), the movies will be “programmed in collaboration with a local independent film festival … Continue reading “Millennium Park Summer Film Series”

Ferrell and McHale get real in Hammer Museum short

Hmm, do I even call this 6-minute video from Hecho en 72, “Reel Ad of the Week?” Or at 6-minutes long, should it be “Branded film of the Week?” “Branded short-form video Ad of the Week?” I am as befuddled as A-list comedians Will Ferrell and Joel McHale are in this very, very funny video … Continue reading “Ferrell and McHale get real in Hammer Museum short”

Mauro’s tribute to fallen Marine to benefit veterans

The young man that Lucia Mauro met in St. Peter’s Square in Rome in 2009 wore shoes that didn’t fit and were torn to shreds.  Mauro, a Chicago arts critic, learned that the shoes had belonged to the man’s brother, a Marine killed by a roadside bomb in Iraq.

The man was carrying out his brother’s unfulfilled dream to backpack across Italy.

Classical violinist Rachel Barton Pine plays in heavy metal rock band

Metal rock band, Earthen Grave, which marries the sounds of metal past and future, is probably the only metal rock band in the world whose band member is a world famous classical violinist.   

Formed in 2008, the thrash heavy metal band snowballed together one-by-one to include classically trained virtuoso Rachel Barton Pine on the 6-string electric violin, Ron Holzner, band manager and bassist, Jason Muxlow and Tony Spillman, guitar, Scott Davidson, drums and Mark Weiner, vocals. 

WME packaging 11Eleven’s remake of “Doberman Gang”

WME is packaging two of the several projects that local producer Darren Reagan is developing through his 11Eleven Entertainment.

The agency is onboard for Reagan and “Dog Whisperer” Cesar Millan’s remake of the “Doberman Gang” film series, and a cable series based on Cynthia Buchanan’s 1972 novel “Maiden.”  WME represents Millan for entertainment projects.

Be lucky to hail the “Cash Cab” and fare well

THE POPULAR “CASH CAB” SHOW is prowling the streets of Chicago, ready to pick up unsuspecting contestants and ask them questions en route to their destinations. The show is here as the result of Discovery Channel answering the pleas of more than 13,000 fans on a Facebook page called “Bring Cash Cab to Chicago.”

NBC premieres L.A. party special Oct. 27

COMEDIAN TOM DREESEN will MC the Oct. 27 invitation-only NBC premiere of the TV special shot by Resolution Digital Studios at the recent Sweet Home Illinois party, hosted by Brenda Sexton’s Chicago Link Productions and presented by AT&T.

Sexton, the former IFO director, is hosting the premiere at the new, super swank Elysian Hotel on Walton St. Sun-Times columnists Bill Zwecker and Richard Roeper are the red carpet hosts and Beth Malone and David Pisor the Elysian hosts who will be greeting the VIP guests.

L.A. companies on this spot this month

COMMERCIALS RULE this month, as a slew of bicoastal production companies are here or en route to shoot national spots on city streets with local crews and equipment.

The biggest gig is L.A.-based Form’s six-day shoot for Buick new car introductions. Form will shoot around the city Sept. 5-6 and for six days following the Labor Day weekend.

Directors Bureau shoots for Netflix for two days this week. Crossroads will be around for Kmart. @Radical Media has two jobs that get underway next week: A two day shoot for Titleist golf equipment Sept.

Reid Brody: Movie mogul in the making

Reid Brody’s lifelong dream to produce features is being realized with the Dec. 12 opening of “Nothing Like the Holidays,” which his 2DS Productions co-produced with State Street Productions.

The movie shot in Humboldt Park (its original title) early this year and stars Humboldt Park native Freddy Rodriguez and a strong Latino cast.

The story is about the surprises a Puerto Rican family reveals during one eventful week together at home in Chicago.

Talent unions and advertising industry’s extend Commercial Contract talks to next spring

THE PRESSURE IS OFF for another six months so the actors’ unions and the ad industry can hammer out a mutually satisfactory Commercials Contract.

SAG, AFTRA and advertising’s ANA/4As negotiating wing, the Joint Policy Committee, agreed to extend the contract deadline through March 31, 2009. Both sides of the table will now have more time to work out sticky new media payment issues.

This latest extension adds six months to the previous two-year extension of the 2006-2008 agreement that was due to end Oct. 29 of this year.

Ted Allen turns talents to theatre

Ted Allen, the food and wine specialist from “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy,” is Chicago’s newest TV star. Despite the recognition he’s found on Bravo/NBC, he still makes his home here with his partner of 10 years. While TV may be new for Ted, he’s been a media star for many years as a multiple award winning journalist with a regular gig at Chicago Magazine and national credits for Esquire, GQ, National Geographic Adventure and Men’s Journal among others.