Winners of Reeling: The 39th Chicago LGBTQ+ Film Festival

The audience votes are in and the judges have spoken. The winning films of Reeling: The 39th Chicago LGBTQ+ Film Festival have been announced! The 39th Chicago LGBTQ+ Film Festival ran from September 29 to October 7. It was the first ever hybrid film festival in the 39 year history of the festival, with a … Continue reading “Winners of Reeling: The 39th Chicago LGBTQ+ Film Festival”

Reeling 39 LGBTQ+ International Film Festival opens tonight

Today is the Opening Day of Reeling 39! Chicago LGBTQ+ International Film Festival. The festival kicks off September 23 at 7 PM with Peeter Rebane’s FIREBIRD at the Music Box Theatre. There will be a Q&A after the screening with the director Peeter Rebane. FIREBIRD is streaming virtually starting Monday, September 27th and running until … Continue reading “Reeling 39 LGBTQ+ International Film Festival opens tonight”

Reeling39 fest will have vaccine policy for theater screenings

Reeling39: The 39th Chicago LGBTQ+ International Film Festival opens on September 23 at the Music Box Theatre and runs September 24 – 30 at the Landmark Century Centre Cinemas and virtually from September 27 – October 7. Boasting 42 shows including 33 feature films and 9 short film programs, this year’s festival includes films from … Continue reading “Reeling39 fest will have vaccine policy for theater screenings”

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

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

Reeling LGBTQ+ International Film Festival lineup

Reeling will celebrate its 38th anniversary this fall with a new virtual edition of the second-oldest LGBTQ+ film festival in the world. Showing 30 features, 54 shorts across eight shorts programs from 21 countries, Reeling will offer home viewers access to new films not currently available on commercial streaming platforms. Over the course of 11 days – … Continue reading “Reeling LGBTQ+ International Film Festival lineup”

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

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

Chicago Filmmakers hints at Reeling festival going virtual

Today, Thursday May 14th, The Indie Film Town Hall met to discuss the future of production in Illinois.  The panel included Christine Dudley (IPA) Angie Gaffney (IFA), Peter Hawley (Illinois Film Office), Anthony Kaufman (Chicago International Film Festival Industry) Brenda Webb (Chicago Filmmakers), Colette Ghunim (Mezcla Media Collective).  The discussion was led by Angie Gaffney, … Continue reading “Chicago Filmmakers hints at Reeling festival going virtual”

Reeling to showcase a load of Chicago-connected films

The annual LGBTQ+ fest will screen work by Lilly Wachowski, Jesús Canchola Sánchez, Michael Cicetti, Wendy Jo Carlton, Laura Madalinski, and more Reeling, Chicago’s LGBTQ+ film festival, will host international, national and local actors and filmmakers at its 37th edition, unspooling September 19-29 at Music Box Theatre, Landmark Theatres’ Century Centre Cinema and Chicago Filmmakers. … Continue reading “Reeling to showcase a load of Chicago-connected films”

2019 Reeling LGBTQ film festival

From ‘Shiny Shrimps’ to ‘Scream Queen,’ the annual Windy City tradition promises to entertain, inspire, amuse, arouse and break a few hearts Reeling, the second-oldest LGBTQ film festival in the world and a beloved Chicago cultural institution for more than 35 years, kicks off fall with an exciting slate of movies that showcases the diversity … Continue reading “2019 Reeling LGBTQ film festival”

Reeling LGBTQ+ Int’l Film Fest opens tomorrow

The program’s 31 features and 19 shorts — each one a Chicago premier — will screen through the 30th The 36th edition of Reeling — the world’s second-oldest LGBTQ film festival and a beloved Chicago cultural institution — will launch its presentation of 31 features and 19 shorts with a party and screening of Freelancers … Continue reading “Reeling LGBTQ+ Int’l Film Fest opens tomorrow”

Wendell Etherly’s “Market Value” premieres at Reeling

Chicago writer/director Wendell Etherly’s feature, Market Value, will premiere at The Reeling: Chicago LGBTQ+ International Film Festival on September 25. The powerfully emotional drama tells the story of Audrey Stewart (Jules Bruff), a professional nurse living comfortably with her wife, who is abruptly forced to confront the circumstances that forced her to give up her … Continue reading “Wendell Etherly’s “Market Value” premieres at Reeling”

29th REELING Festival runs until Nov. 13

THE 29th REELING: Chicago International Lesbian and Gay Film Festival opened Nov. 4 with “Children of God,” an interracial romance between two men in the Bahamas against the backdrop of religious furor over the 2004 launch of Rosie O’Donnell’s gay family cruise ship.

The juried festival runs now through Nov. 13 and screens 54 films from among 550 global entries.

This year, submissions came in from 24 different countries including one from a Hong Kong filmmaker ? a festival first, said Angelique Smith, festival spokesperson.

Bruce Vilanch, RuPaul guests at 2007 Reeling Festival Nov. 8-18 at seven city-wide venues

Legendary comedy writer and actor Bruce Vilanch, who has ties to Chicago, appears during the Nov. 8-18 Reeling 2007: The 26th Chicago Lesbian & Gay International Film Festival.

Vilanch will appear Nov. 13 at the Landmark’s Century Centre Cinema in connection with the screening of his movie adaptation of “Naked Boys Singing,” the long-running musical.

Reeling offers 46 features and documentaries and 21 themed shorts programs, from 28 countries, in genres ranging from romantic comedy to esoteric experimental.

Chicago Filmmakers is offering a free Illinois Tax Incentives Seminar

Chicago Filmmakers is offering a free in person seminar on Illinois tax incentives for independent productions, co-presented with the Illinois Film Office and Full Spectrum Features. Followed by an info session for the Chicago Digital Media Production Fund. There are many reasons to film in Illinois – diverse communities and locations, Chicago sights and architecture, talented … Continue reading “Chicago Filmmakers is offering a free Illinois Tax Incentives Seminar”

Les Grobstein bobblehead unveiled at National Bobblehead Hall of Fame

The National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum unveiled a limited-edition official bobblehead to honor longtime Chicago Sports Radio Broadcaster Les Grobstein, who passed away on January 16, 2022 at the age of 69. The bobblehead was released on March 11, 2022, which would have been Grobstein’s 70th birthday. In addition, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot issued a proclamation … Continue reading “Les Grobstein bobblehead unveiled at National Bobblehead Hall of Fame”

The Salvation Army helps people Keep It Going in new Camp Lucky PSA

Camp Lucky is honored to help bring to life The Salvation Army’s new giving campaign PSA, Keep It Going. The film, via agency LERMA/ and directed by Jeff Bednarz, is a holiday tribute to the families The Salvation Army serves. The film features real people who face critical choices and still continue to move forward. … Continue reading “The Salvation Army helps people Keep It Going in new Camp Lucky PSA”

Full Spectrum official presenter of Chicago Underground Film Fest

Full Spectrum Features will be the official presenter at the 28th Annual Chicago Underground Film Festival this year in order to program more diversity, equity, and inclusion to represent a wider range of artists and voices, including women, BIPOC, and LGBTQ+ filmmakers. Chicago Underground Film Festival (CUFF), the the world’s longest-running underground film festival, will … Continue reading “Full Spectrum official presenter of Chicago Underground Film Fest”

Winners of the 57th Chicago International Film Festival

The Chicago International Film Festival announces the winners of its 2021 competitions. Celebrating its 57th edition October 13 – 24, 2021, the Chicago International Film Festival is North America’s longest-running competitive international film festival. In a virtual ceremony live-streamed via the Chicago International Film Festival YouTube channel, the Festival awarded prizes in the following categories: … Continue reading “Winners of the 57th Chicago International Film Festival”

Plans for Chicago Fire, P.D. and Med crossover episode

Never before has a franchise created such an in depth and cohesive interconnected universe such as the One Chicago Family that often sees the characters from Chicago Fire, Chicago Med and Chicago P.D. crossing over between shows seamlessly and organically on a consistent basis. From the members of Chicago Fire dropping off patients and interacting … Continue reading “Plans for Chicago Fire, P.D. and Med crossover episode”

Chicago filmmakers’ Monuments opens at Siskel Center

This Friday, June 4, is the exclusive Chicago streaming engagement of Monuments, from local filmmaker and Gene Siskel Film Center alum Jack C. Newell (Open Tables, 42 Grams), and Chicago Producer, Angie Gaffney (Executive Director of the Chicago Independent Film Alliance). The road film, featuring many Chicago landmarks and faces, stars David Sullivan (Primer, Flaked, Sharp Objects) as a college … Continue reading “Chicago filmmakers’ Monuments opens at Siskel Center”

The Chicago 48 Hour Film Project begins this weekend

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

Chicago Immersive presents WANDER: Lincoln Square

Chicago Immersive, in collaboration with interactive travel agency First Person Travel, is proud to announce the new interactive walking tour WANDER: Lincoln Square—A Chicago Walking Experience. This guided tour of the North Side neighborhood includes live agents and prerecorded historical scenes to facilitate exploration of the town’s present with the discovery of its past. Each showing will include up to 20 … Continue reading “Chicago Immersive presents WANDER: Lincoln Square”

Chicago Latino Film Fest announces lineup of films

Chicago Latino Film Festival announces their lineup for their 36th anniversary. The festival will shift to a virtual format and will take place from September 18-27. Since the beginning, the Chicago Latino Film Festival has consistently presented a significant number of features and short films that throw a spotlight on the continent’s diverse indigenous cultures. Until recently, most of … Continue reading “Chicago Latino Film Fest announces lineup of films”

Round two of the Indie Film Town Hall was held Thursday

Round Two of the Indie Film Town Hall was held on Thursday, May 28th. The Town Hall meetings bring together Chicago’s independent film and media-making community during these difficult times. In a series of lunchtime meetings over Zoom, members of Chicago’s indie film and media organizations will discuss the challenges that face our industries and … Continue reading “Round two of the Indie Film Town Hall was held Thursday”

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”

Reel Women: Brenda Webb, Chicago Filmmakers Exec Dir

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

Onion City opens with Beatrice Gibson March 12

The Onion City Experimental Film + Video Festival is pleased to partner with the School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s Conversations at the Edge series for the inaugural screening of its 30th anniversary edition. The program kicks off at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, March 12 and continues through Sunday, March 15 with all festival … Continue reading “Onion City opens with Beatrice Gibson March 12”

Chi native produces immigration stories in ‘#WeLAGente’

When you attend the 15th annual Oscar-qualifying Hollyshorts, you never know what treasure you will stumble upon. Make no mistake, whatever the block, it will be a thought-provoking treat. Daniel Sol, Nicole Castro and the other programmers, really do take the time to curate a special 10-day festival.     Such is the case with … Continue reading “Chi native produces immigration stories in ‘#WeLAGente’”

2019 Chicago Film Festival Symposium

Event will unite nearly 40 festivals to “better understand our collective work as an industry” The first-ever Chicago Film Festival Symposium will bring together Chicago-area film festival stakeholders for an industry-wide discussion addressing shared challenges and opportunities. Continental breakfast, lunch, and cocktail reception are included with the $20 registration fee. Learn more and register here. … Continue reading “2019 Chicago Film Festival Symposium”

Rage against the Oscar keeps growing

The Academy’s impending ceremonial snub continues to spark outrage among film industry groups and professionals This may be talked about more than the “whoops” moment two years ago at the Academy Awards when La La Land was announced as Best Picture and it was really Moonlight. Whoops. In another “What were they thinking?” move – … Continue reading “Rage against the Oscar keeps growing”

Digital Media Fund awards $100k to Chicago artists

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

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”

Chicago Filmmakers’ housewarming celebration

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

Chicago Filmmakers invites public to celebrate new space

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

AICP Show the climax of November’s many activities

11/7 GREEK FILM FESTIVAL FILM HELLENES  opens two different venues, the Patio Theatre and the Gene Siskel Film Center for the US premiere of “The Grocer.” This award-winning film by director Dimitris Koutsiabasakos will be preceded by student-filmmaker Stella Kyriakopoulos’ short, “Bob Goes to the Parthenon.” Thereafter, the festival of Greek storyteller in countries throughout the world takes place exclusively at the Patio

Merger shouldn’t affect business, vendors speculate

Sunday’s announcement about New York-based Omnicom and Paris-headquartered Publicis Groupe intention to create the world’s largest advertising firm had the global adworld reeling, and quick to respond with many positive, skeptical and probing takes on the seismic news. 

Chicago’s ad/production community is also voicing its thoughts on how the pending gigantic, $35 billion holding company will/won’t affect them. 

Lottery/DP spot wins major lottery industry award

The Illinois Lottery and agency Downtown Partners/Chicago won what is the biggest and most prestigious award in the North America lottery business: the annual Fleurry Award for the Lottery commercial “Shopping.”  

Presented by La Fleur Magazine, a worldwide lottery trade publication, “Shopping” was voted the best TV spot by lottery executives working in the industry, reports Lewis Lazare in Chicago BizJournals.

‘Underemployed’ director speaks at MWFF June 5

FEATURE/TV DIRECTOR ROGER KUMBLE, in town to direct an episode of the MTV series “Underemployed,” is the featured speaker June 5 at Midwest Independent Film Festival’s Producer’s Panel at 6 p.m., preceeding the 7:30 screening of Jack Newell’s first feature, “Close Quarters”

Job openings continue for laid-off Roscor veterans

JOB OFFERS KEEP POURING IN for Roscor’s former skilled employees, 100 of whom were suddenly and sadly terminated from the 35-year old Mt. Prospect-based AV equipment company on Black Friday, Oct. 28.  Many had been with the company for 20 years, and some as long as 30 years. 

Companies from all over who learned about the mass layoffs have reached out to the former staffers with job openings! 

Invitations to send in letters, resumes and applications appear in the BackTalk, or comments section, following our recent Roscor stories.

Producer cashed in her IRA to fund film

“All truth passes through three stages,” Ky Dickens, a producer for commercial MK Films, says in her documentary “Fish Out of Water.” “First it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. And third, it is accepted as being self-evident.”

“Fish Out of Water” screened Sunday as the documentary centerpiece of the 29th Reeling: Chicago Lesbian & Gay International Film Festival.

Dickens interviewed religious figures, scholars and everyday Americans in more than 20 states about shifting religious, social and political views on homosexuality.

Digital Cinema dismissals revisited

Former DePaul Digital Cinema professors Dave Stone, Vanessa Ament and Lou Kleinman are still reeling from the impact of the unexpected and unexplained decision by DePaul University officials to fire them on the eve of spring break, 2008.

Recovering slowly from the financial and personal hits they endured, the Hollywood veterans claim their case against the university is “still not finished.”

DePaul recruited the A-list professionals to provide legitimacy to the then-brand new Digital Cinema (DC) program. Oscar-winning sound editor Stone joined in 2005 and Kleinman a year later.

Memorial service Monday for Dottie Fletcher; L.A. union execs speak at SAG/AFTRA meeting

A MEMORIAL SERVICE will be held Monday for Dorothy Jean (Dottie) Fletcher, the Fletcher family matriarch, at 10 a.m. at the First Presbyterian Church of Lake Forest.

Mrs. Fletcher, 76, was the wife of Fletcher Chicago founder Archie Fletcher and mother of Tom (Cindy), Sally and David (Kimm) of Monticello, Illinois. The Fletchers had been married for 47 years.

Mrs. Fletcher had been a registered nurse specializing in public health, substance abuse and orthopedics until she retired in 1994.

Gamebeat Studios wins the Lottery — music house to score big Summer Campaign spot package

A NICE 10TH ANNIVERSARY PRESENT for Darryl S. Duncan’s Gamebeat Studios was landing the scoring assignment for the Illinois Lottery’s Summer Campaign for the second year in a row.

Gamebeat will compose music for three TV and two radio spots each for the urban market, with version for general and Hispanic markets for lottery agency R.J. Dale and producer Darryl Manuel.

A former songwriter for Warner Bros. and A&M records in Hollywood, Duncan founded his company in April, 1998. He employs seven and works out of a 3,000-sq. ft.

DePaul Digital Cinema abruptly fires two star professors recruited from Hollywood

Oscar-winning sound editor David Stone and two-time Emmy-winning sound and dialog editor Lou Kleinman spent the DePaul University spring break reeling from the surprise news that they should look for new employment.

They also were informed their contracts to teach the school’s Digital Cinema program would not be renewed, and were relieved of their teaching duties for the remainder of the academic year.

That left the fledgling program’s 350-plus students wondering who will fill their place for the spring semester.

NBC/Universal’s lobbying to include to TV talk shows delays passage of incentives till April

THE GOOD NEWS is that the Illinois Filmmakers Tax Credit has actually, finally, honestly passed the state Senate!! Now it’s due to go back to the House for final passage, long past the times this year when enactment was expected.

The bill goes back to the House for final approval — but House is taking a two-week Easter hiatus, which pushes the final enactment into April, the second quarter of the year.

Passage had been stalled by NBC/Universal, producers of the Jerry Springer show, which heavily lobbied Sen.

2005’s bumper crop of 48 docs includes TV airings, theatrical releases, premieres

Chicago’s film industry reflected the national trend with a burgeoning documentary scene in 2005.

The Chicago International Documentary Festival continued to grow in scale, prominence and audience in its third year. Kartemquin continued unabated as a national leader in social documentaries, and acclaimed documentarians like Steve James and Tod Lending premiered new work.

JWT’s Woodall’s creative rejuvenation basic to goal of giving “a small agency a big future”

J. Walter Thompson/Chicago is “a little agency that has a big future,” says top creative Graham Woodall, who was charged with that future when agency president Barry Krause hired him last June.

In an advertising town that’s lost its pizzazz, lacks heroes and suffers an inferiority complex, Woodall & Co. are likely to change all that.

That’s mainly because Woodall and Krause are committed to redefining the JWT/Chicago brand, one of the ad industry’s oldest, whose strength has always been in great service, but whose creative reputation has been ho-hum.

Independent Production Roundup

PHIL DONLON’S Super 16mm short “A Series of Small Things,” which shot here last May, has its local premiere in a private screening Wednesday, Dec. 15 at 7:30 p.m. at the Adler Planetarium’s Universe Theater, 1300 S. Lake Shore Drive.

Doug Jones (“Hellboy”) stars in this 23-minute drama about the personal aftermath of a fatal hit-and- run. Producers are Dale Ingram, cinematographer Jim Andre of Film Branch and editor Steve Ordower of Rhythm & Light.

Three local independent feature films screen in Polish and Lesbian/Gay Fests

Three locally-made features screen this month at the Polish Film Festival in America and the Reeling: Chicago Lesbian and Gay Film Festival.

The improv film collective Split Pillow showcases their second improv feature at Reeling. And Polish-born local directors Filip Rymsza, and Aleksanda Hodowany and Monika Szewerniak, screen their debut features at the Polish Festival.

Guinevere Turner stars in Crouch’s $350K horror pic shooting 16 B&W in November

Writer/director Catherine Crouch reunites with “Stray Dogs” star Guinevere Turner (“Go Fish”) for Crouch’s sophomore feature “Metamora,” a horror pic she described as “a love triangle between two people.”

Crouch’s usual DP, former Columbia College classmate and reality TV regular Marie-Jo?lle Rizk, will shoot on black and white 16mm in Illinois and Indiana from Nov. 20 to Dec. 15.

REELSCREEN: News & Notes

Three Hollywood stars from Chicago will be honored at Showtime’s 8th annual Black Perspectives “Homecoming Celebration” Saturday, Oct. 16 at Thorne Auditorium.

Honorees are Chicago resident, stage and screen veteran Irma P. Hall (“Collateral,” “The Ladykillers”), with nearly 50 films to her credit; Robert Townsend, with close to 20 films to his credit, including “Hollywood Shuffle,” “The Five Heartbeats;” and Harry J. Lennix, (“The Human Stain,” “Matrix Reloaded”).

Presenters are Bonnie DeShong, Stella Foster, Jeanne Sparrow and Robin Robinson.

Looking for a movie tonight? Catch one of these non-traditional film series

Chicago boasts one of the biggest and most vibrant independent film scenes in America, in terms of both production and outlets. To prove the point, Chicago is experiencing a boom in non-traditional screening series.

In addition to a growing roster of annual film festivals, established and fledgling organizations host screenings scattered around the city at theatres, nightclubs and other venues.

Women, drag kings act in gender-bending sendup of

When Michele Mahoney first saw Mike Nichols’ classic “The Graduate” in its original 1967 release, she was both inspired and disappointed.

“I related to Ben (Dustin Hoffman), questioning my role in a pre-feminist era and wanting something very different from what I had been raised to value,” Mahoney said.

Networking in Chicago, part two

by Joan Tortorici Ruppert