CIFF announces ‘Go to the Body’ as winner of The Pitch

0 The 56th Chicago International Film Festival has announced the winner of The Pitch at the 6th edition of Industry Days: Go to the Body, written and directed by Kyra Jones (co-creator of The Right Swipe) and produced by Angellic Ross.  The film follows Sanaa, a rising racial justice organizer who is sexually assaulted by a fellow … Continue reading “CIFF announces ‘Go to the Body’ as winner of The Pitch”

CIFF screens Chicago-made film ‘Finding Yingying’

1+ Chicago made, award-winning feature documentary, Finding Yingying is screening tonight at the Chicago International Film Festival.  Produced by Kartemquin Films, Finding Yingying is Chicago-based filmmaker Jiayan “Jenny” Shi’s debut feature documentary. The film follows the story of the Zhang family who, in the summer of 2017, travel to the United States from China in search of their missing 26-year old … Continue reading “CIFF screens Chicago-made film ‘Finding Yingying’”

The CIFF opens tonight with world premiere of Belushi

2+ The Chicago International Film Festival is kicking off their 56th year with the World Premiere of Belushi, celebrating the genius and legacy of Chicago comedy icon John Belushi in the words of those who most closely knew and worked with him. The drive-in screening starts at 6:30pm CT at the ChiTown Movies Drive-In  (2343 S Throop … Continue reading “The CIFF opens tonight with world premiere of Belushi”

Interview: CIFF Senior Programmer Anthony Kaufman

1+ Today is the beginning of the 56th Chicago International Film Festival. Unlike other years, the prestigious festival is a bit different than the ones we have experienced in the past. With an ongoing pandemic and COVID on the rise in Illinois, the fest is combining streaming on-demand and appointment screenings and an in-person drive-in … Continue reading “Interview: CIFF Senior Programmer Anthony Kaufman”

Two Kino Lorber films to screen at CIFF next week

0 Next week begins the 56th Chicago International Film Festival and Reel Chicago will bring you coverage of the films. This year, we can look forward to two award-winning films from Kino Lorber. THE REASON I JUMPDirected by Jerry Rothwell **WINNER! Sundance 2020 Film Festival Audience Award,World Cinema Documentary** Based on the best-selling book by … Continue reading “Two Kino Lorber films to screen at CIFF next week”

CIFF selects four IL film projects for “The Pitch”

1+ 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 … Continue reading “CIFF selects four IL film projects for “The Pitch””

CIFF announces Gardner as keynote speaker

1+ The Chicago International Film Festival, presented by Cinema/Chicago, has announced this year’s Industry Keynote conversation with Academy Award-winning producer and president of Plan B Entertainment Dede Gardner. Her credits include 12 Years a Slave and Moonlight. Both presented at past editions of the Festival. Additionally, Industry Days will host master classes with Academy Award®-nominated … Continue reading “CIFF announces Gardner as keynote speaker”

Children’s Fest winners announced by Facets, CIFF

3+ “The Big Bad Fox and Other Tales: ‘A Baby to Deliver,’” “The Little Fish and the Crocodile,” and “Beauty” among this year’s recipients (Chicago — 12 November 2018) Facets’ 35th Chicago International Children’s Film Festival hosted its Closing Night Ceremony on November 9, 2018 at the DePaul University’s College of Computing and Digital Media … Continue reading “Children’s Fest winners announced by Facets, CIFF”

Swanbergs and Steve James on Kutza, CIFF, and Chi film

5+ Indie-film legends Steve James, Kris and Joe Swanberg discuss the Chicago film fest and Michael Kutza’s retirement.   Surrounded by the glitz of the Chicago International Film Festival (CIFF)’s Summer Gala at the Loews Chicago Hotel on July 14, it only makes sense that three of Chicago’s greatest independent filmmakers gravitated towards each other. … Continue reading “Swanbergs and Steve James on Kutza, CIFF, and Chi film”

CIFF debuts program of local directors’ short films

ONE OF THE HIGHLIGHTS of the Oct. 13-27 Chicago International Film Festival is the “Shorts 1: City & State” program of eight films produced by Chicago / Illinois filmmakers.

The program screens Oct. 18, 23 and 26 at the AMC River East 21 Theatres. Gender roles and identity, God, police brutality, the meaning of life and a Bosnian refugee experience are among the topics explored in the films.

Geraldine Chaplin to talk about Charlie at CIFF event

THE CHICAGO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL calls it a once in a lifetime event Oct. 15 when actress Geraldine Chaplin — the daughter of Charlie Chaplin, who started his illustrious film career in Chicago in 1915, and Oona O’Neil, daughter of writer Eugene O’Neil during the Oct. 13-27 festival.

CIFF to honor directors Bogdanovich and McQueen

Two tributes will be paid to iconic award-winning film directors at the 52nd Chicago International Film Festival coming up Oct. 13-27.

Pete Bogdanovich (“The Last Picture Show”) will receive a Gold Hugo Lifetime Achievement Award and in conjunction with the 25th anniversary of CIFF’s Black Perspectives, a tribute will be paid to British filmmaker, Oscar and BAFTA-winning director Steve McQueen (“12 Years a Slave”).