Glenance Green, Deputy Director, Free Spirit Media

5+ Glenance Green, Deputy Director of Free Spirit Media, joins the 2020 Reel Chicago Black List, a celebration of African-American creativity published during Black History Month. The Reel Chicago Black List includes Global Mixx founder Mary Datcher, McDonald’s US Marketing Director Lizette Williams, and filmmaker Rhyan LaMarr. To view the archives, click here. Glenance Green … Continue reading “Glenance Green, Deputy Director, Free Spirit Media”

Free Spirit Media succeeds at ‘Building Bridges’

2+ 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 … Continue reading “Free Spirit Media succeeds at ‘Building Bridges’”

Free Spirit Media sharpens a thrilling Focus

2+ The Chicago nonprofit’s energetic fundraiser brought media pros together with young artists for an exciting night at the Ivy Room Free Spirit Media’s annual Focus event started out as a cocktail reception and turned into a rocking throwdown over the course of three hours last Thursday night. When it ended, the organization had collected … Continue reading “Free Spirit Media sharpens a thrilling Focus”

Free Spirit Media 2018 cohort film to premiere at DePaul

5+ “What makes ‘Fuzzy Legs’ so special is that it’s told from a Pakistani-American girl’s perspective” Amber Eswani (Chicago — 7 November 2018) Fuzzy Legs — a short film written and directed by Amber Eswani and produced by Free Spirit Media’s 2018 film cohort — will premiere Saturday November 17 at DePaul University. The film … Continue reading “Free Spirit Media 2018 cohort film to premiere at DePaul”

“Drive Slow” preview at Free Spirit Media’s Focus event

Free Spirit Media’s Focus event at The Ivy Room on May 31 will feature “a lot of people and a chance to get together and reflect on a great year,” says Chelsea Corbin, FSM’s development & communication manager.

“It’s a big celebration of media in Chicago,” she adds, “specifically, the youth voice.”

One of the greatest causes for celebration will be a sneak peak at the film series Drive Slow, which was made by ten emerging filmmakers in Free Spirit’s Industry Pathways Certification program.

Corbin describes the group as “super talented.”

Success stories abound as Free Spirit Media turns 10

Jeff McCarter has no regrets about having left his successful film and TV career to start Free Spirit Media, which, since 2001 has put 2,500 underserved urban youth “on the path to tell their stories in this crazy industry.”

On Thursday, June 9, Free Spirit Media will celebrate its “10th incredible anniversary” at Café Brauer at Lincoln Park Zoo, to help raise funds for FSM’s continuing work in its partner schools.  

Free Spirit Media benefit at Hootenanny Thursday

Some 200 guests are expected Thursday night at Hootenanny’s benefit in its spacious River North facility on behalf of Free Spirit Media Focus 2010.

The fund-raiser will help fund the video production programs of the non-profit organization that has been building connections between talented high school students and the visual media industry since founded by Jeff McCarter in 2000.

At the cocktail party, a group of 20 Free Spirit filmmakers will showcase their work, and eight will collaborate with Hootenanny editors to produce a Free Spirit PSA on the spot.

Free Spirit Exec Director Jeff McCarter placed on leave

3+ In a written statement from the Board of Free Spirit Media, Executive Director Jeff McCarter has been placed on leave while “serious allegations” against McCarter are examined and evaluated. A spokesperson from Free Spirit Media spoke with our publisher, Barbara Roche and although she could not discuss the specific nature of the allegations, she … Continue reading “Free Spirit Exec Director Jeff McCarter placed on leave”

Taking off with Bottle Rocket Media

8+ Award-winning Chicago-based video content agency wields a startling variety of depth and expertise Chicago video content agency Bottle Rocket Media fuels traditional expertise with DIY spirit. Guided by a pair of visionaries who met while working at the Oprah Winfrey Show, the company has become one of the industry’s most unique production and post … Continue reading “Taking off with Bottle Rocket Media”

Media Burn offers startling history lesson in ‘Ghosts’

2+ ‘Ghosts in the Machine’ is a highlight reel of culture and history that leaves viewers with a profound vision of truth Ghosts in the Machine is a 65-minute mosaic of American video clips from the 1970s to the present. Created by four filmmakers using material from Media Burn Archive, the work is a meticulous … Continue reading “Media Burn offers startling history lesson in ‘Ghosts’”

Behind the scenes with media pioneer Jeff McCarter

8+ The founder of Free Spirit Media offers an intimate glimpse of how it all got started and what keeps going For nearly two decades, Jeff McCarter has been working to fix a thing that started bothering him when he was a kid. Inspired to ease “the inequities around race and class,” he has helped … Continue reading “Behind the scenes with media pioneer Jeff McCarter”

Elastic Arts premieres “spiritual vision, brutalist flesh”

3+ “Beyond Form” is a three-part, audio-visual installation and performance series featuring Julien Bayle’s “FRGMENTS” and Kim Alpert’s “Scan Lines.”   (Chicago — 17 July 2018) On July 27, 28, and 29 Elastic Arts will present a series of intentional duality featuring Julien Bayle’s FRGMENTS [USA PREMIER] with Kim Alpert’s Scan Lines [PREMIER]. This series … Continue reading “Elastic Arts premieres “spiritual vision, brutalist flesh””

Explore Media names Seth Deahl Executive Producer

5+ Deahl brings 15 years of experience producing commercials to leadership role as company expands Chicago offices Explore Media, a full-service HD video production company focused on creating commercials and digital content, is thrilled to announce that Seth Deahl has been named Executive Producer. Deahl brings over 14 years of successful experience producing acclaimed commercial … Continue reading “Explore Media names Seth Deahl Executive Producer”

Free Spirit moves the filmmakers of the future

10+ Industry experts advise future filmmakers that “antagonists are not totally bad” and “people in Hollywood don’t read.” Six young filmmakers presented movie concepts to a panel of industry experts during Free Spirit Media’s pitch night at the film incubator Stage 18 last Thursday night. They spoke one at a time, clicking through slide shows … Continue reading “Free Spirit moves the filmmakers of the future”

TV actors Elizabeth Moss, Sam Riley take Q&As at IFP Spirit screenings

Hardy souls braved freezing temperatures to attend a series of IFP/Midwest-sponsored screenings at Columbia College that presented films in 15 candidates vying for this year’s Independent Spirit Awards.

Awards will be made in three categories: Best Documentary, Best First Feature, and Best Film made for under $500,000. IFP members have until Feb. 17 to mail their ballots.

L.A. actors Elizabeth Moss and Sam Riley conducted a Q&A session after the Feb.

Classified ads at your service

Place your classifieds on the Reel: Job openings, jobs wanted, services offered, space for rent, equipment for sale, etc. $150 per month. Contact Phone, 312/274-9980.


Free Spirit Media
Job Title: Deputy Director
Reports To: Executive Director
Supervises: Program Managers

Details of the allegations against Jeff McCarter leaked

3+ The Free Spirit Media mission statement says it “provides opportunities for emerging creators, primarily from communities of color, to produce and distribute original content and to pursue artistic, personal and professional aspirations.” But the program appears to be at odds with its own mission statement, when, as reported in Reel Chicago, a statement was … Continue reading “Details of the allegations against Jeff McCarter leaked”