Midwest Independent Film Festival announces Midwest premiere of Hesburgh documentary, about University of Notre Dame President and civil rights leader Fr. Theodore Hesburgh CHICAGO — The Midwest Independent Film Festival will host the Midwest premiere of Hesburgh, a feature-length documentary film from award-winning filmmakers Patrick Creadon and Christine O’Malley, which examines the challenges and triumphs … Continue reading ““Hesburgh” to premiere at Midwest Indie Film Fest”
Chicago media personality and executive Amy Guth joins organization dedicated to creative community-building for Midwestern filmmakers (Chicago — 2 July 2018) The Midwest Independent Film Festival (MIFF) — the year-round film festival dedicated to celebrating and strengthening the Midwest filmmaking community — today named Amy Guth as Executive Director. Guth is a WGN-AM 720 … Continue reading “Midwest Indie Film Fest names Amy Guth Exec Director”
No, the new independent film, Cold War, won’t make you sick (unless you can’t catch your breath from laughing), but the actors in it sure are — as in catching the nasty “Raccoon Flu.” The romantic comedy, which will make its Chicago premiere and open the 2018 season for Midwest Indie is coming off a … Continue reading “Midwest Indie Film Fest opens with sickening premiere”
River West Films premieres their romantic-mob-comedy “Osso Bucco” at the Midwest Independent Film Festival on Feb. 5, followed by a theatrical self-release beginning Feb. 8 at the Wilmette Theatre.
“We’re trying to create a pedigree, or a compelling argument for why the film will succeed,” said Gary Taylor, who wrote the script, and directed with Fred Blurton. They’re producing with Douglas Weidner.
The Midwest’s first film market is gearing up for its launch Aug. 8-10, the last three days of Indiefest Chicago, a festival that begins Aug. 1.
“We’re out to promote the ‘Vision Without Compromise’ spirit of the independent filmmaker, and to bring a film festival and market to Chicago that is truly for the independent filmmaker,” said Indiefest organizer Lee Alan.
The Chicago International Film Festival announced the full lineup of its 57th edition, running October 13 – 24, 2021. This year’s Festival expands across the City, with screenings at AMC River East 21, Music Box Theatre, Gene Siskel Film Center, drive-in screenings at ChiTown Movies in Pilsen, and neighborhood pop-up screenings at Bronzeville’s historic Parkway … Continue reading “Chicago International Film Festival announces full lineup of 57th edition”
Join Midwest Film Festival and The Gene Siskel Film Center on Tuesday, September 29th at 6:00pm at the CHI-Town Movies Drive-In with a brand new themed night to celebrate the passion projects created by Union & Indie Filmmakers. This night is all about celebrating the short films created not only by indie filmmakers, but also members of … Continue reading “MFF Union & Indie Passion Projects exciting lineup”
The Midwest Film Festival is delighted to announce three upcoming events to round out the 2020 season, all taking place at Chi-Town Movies Drive-In, located in Pilsen. Based on the sold-out success last month of Female Filmmakers Shorts Night, Erica Duffy, Executive Director, and the MFF Board, want to charge ahead with screenings, to fulfill … Continue reading “Midwest Film Fest announces drive-in events”
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”
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. Grace is a Polish-American filmmaker native to the Northwest … Continue reading “REEL WOMEN: Independent Filmmaker, Grace Pisula”
Twelve screenwriters have been selected to participate in Sundance Institute’s eighth annual Screenwriters Intensive in Los Angeles, to take place March 4-5, 2020. One of the students selected is Chicagoan, Jason Park. The Intensive, a two-day workshop for select emerging writers and writer/directors from underrepresented communities, focuses on the development of first fiction features. Fellows … Continue reading “Sundance picks 12 Filmmakers for Screenwriters Intensive”
For the past 15 years, the Midwest Independent Film Festival has been showcasing Midwest filmmakers at monthly screenings known as “First Tuesdays.” Over the past two years, MIFF leadership, board members, and volunteers have weathered personnel changes, programming challenges, and attendance ebbs and flows. Now, the Fest is embarking on a major transformation, led by … Continue reading “Erica Duffy describes her Midwest Film Fest vision”
‘Thieves Quartet,’ ‘Quarter Life Crisis,’ ‘Clarence Elkins,’ and ‘Rendezvous in Chicago’ light up the largest ad-supported VOD service on earth A quartet of films made in and around Chicago will premiere this month on Tubi, the world’s largest ad-supported video-on-demand service. Distributed by Cow Lamp Films, the only indie distributor in the Midwest, the work … Continue reading “Four Midwest indies premiering on Tubi”
‘Merry Christmas from DePaul’ stop-motion holiday scene will light up the loop from November 7 to January 15 DePaul University will light up the corner of State Street and Jackson Boulevard with a new holiday tradition on November 7. Merry Christmas from DePaul is a stop-motion animated film and 3D design created by faculty filmmakers … Continue reading “DePaul film brings holiday magic to State St.”
Indie distributor scores ‘Open Tables’ and ‘Close Quarters’ by Second City’s Harold Ramis School Program Director Cow Lamp Films — the Midwest’s first and only full-service, independent film and television distributor — has acquired two movies by romantic comedy legend Jack C. Newell. In Newell’s signature style, both of the stories use food and humor … Continue reading “Cow Lamp acquires a pair of Jack Newell films”
‘Just Mercy,’ ‘And Then We Danced,’ ‘Ready for War’ take top honors at 55th Chicago International Film Festival The Chicago International Film Festival today announced the winners of the Festival Audience Awards, presented by Xfinity. Voted by Festival-goers, the Audience Award for Best Feature goes to Just Mercy by director Destin Daniel Cretton. The … Continue reading “ChiFilmFest announces 2019 audience winners”
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”
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””
The Midwest Independent Film Festival’s venerable tradition takes place tomorrow night at Landmark Century Cinema The Midwest Independent Film Festival will present Female Filmmakers Night for the October installment of its monthly First Tuesday event tomorrow, October 1, from 6-9:30 p.m. at Landmark Century Cinema. Dating back more than a decade, Female Filmmakers Night is … Continue reading “Midwest Indie’s 2019 Female Filmmakers Night”
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”
“Knives Out” starring Daniel Craig among first round of films announced for 55th run, October 16-27 Mimi Plauché, Artistic Director of the Chicago International Film Festival, today announced titles selected for the Galas and Special Presentations programs for the 55th edition of the Festival. Offering movie lovers a first look at the year’s most highly … Continue reading “ChiFilmFest unveils Gala & Special Presentations programs”
Indy director Tre Manchester brings authentic regional flavor to a universal reality Bleed American is a coming-of-age tale that puts separate socioeconomic classes into a common frame. Inspired by director Tre Manchester’s memories of growing up in Northwest Indiana, it brings Midwestern flavor to a universal reality. “In my hometown, upper class kids would throw … Continue reading “‘Bleed American’ captures youth in the Midwest”
CUFF opens June 5 with ‘Empty Metal’ and closes June 9 with “Dollhouse: the eradication of female subjectivity from American popular culture’ The Chicago Underground Film Festival has built a reputation for innovative, exciting, and provocative cinema since it was founded in 1993. Known as “the world’s longest-running” celebration of its kind, CUFF will expand … Continue reading “2019 Chicago Underground Film Festival”
New technology aims to offer thousands of films that might otherwise disappear after screening at regional festivals Chicago film entrepreneurs Saj Adibs and Hamzah Jamjoom are bringing film festivals to viewers around the world through a new web application called Festivault. Festivault allows users to screen select film festival programs on individual laptops, tablets, and … Continue reading “Festivault brings a world of films to remote screens”
Working with a jury of pros from the likes of Quriosity, The Mill, and The Onion, MIFF and AICP present the popular program Nov. 6 (Chicago — 22 October 2018) The Midwest Independent Film Festival, in partnership with AICP Midwest, has announced the program lineup for the 2018 Advertising Community Shorts Night, an annual event … Continue reading “Midwest Indie Fest reveals Ad Community Shorts lineup”
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”
The “hilarious” and “terrifying” anthology series starring The Widow and her dead husband, Charlie screens at the Davis Theater on September 7 (Chicago — 17 August 2018) Cow Lamp Films announce the World Premiere of its newly acquired indie horror comedy feature film Skeletons in the Closet by Chicago Directors Tony Wash and B.A. Lewandowski. … Continue reading “Cow Lamp Films’ “Skeletons in the Closet” at Horrorama”
“When we’re talking about issues of gender equality and representation, I think it’s an everybody problem.” Executive Director, Amy Guth For the first time in its history, the Midwest Independent Film Festival will screen a juried selection of work during the annual Female Filmmakers Night celebration, which takes place Tuesday August 7th at Landmark Century … Continue reading “MIFF presents first-ever juried Female Filmmaker Night”
Midwest indie film distributor Cow Lamp Films presents the award-winning, instant classic that Sports Illustrated called, “touching and hilarious” Imagine how crazy things may get when you put seven international exchange students, including two kids from Muslim backgrounds, into a Christian home in Unity, Oregon — a small rural American town. Literally filmed by … Continue reading “Cow Lamp Films acquires “Welcome to Unity””
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. Reel … Continue reading “Swanbergs and Steve James on Kutza, CIFF, and Chi film”
A cornucopia of classic genre screenings, premieres, and events to take place at Chicago’s iconic Music Box Theatre. From June 21st through June 28th, a cornucopia of genre screenings and events will take place at the Music Box Theatre for its second annual Cinepocalypse. The film festival grinds together a gory cocktail of … Continue reading “Cinepocalypse fest from June 21 – 28 at Music Box”
Winners of the international contest will receive $1,000 and a chance to have their work screened at Cannes Dr. Phranque Wright is sitting across a table at a dark dive bar looking to hookup — with actors, producers, and writers trickling into the Lincoln Tap Room on a Sunday night. Like most of the … Continue reading “Chicago filmmakers prepare for 48 Hour Film Project”
The Chicago-based national indie distributor signs Caitlin Parrish and Erica Weiss’s intimate coming-of-age comedy-drama (Chicago — 16 My 2018) Cow Lamp Films announced today that they have acquired all rights in North America to Caitlin Parrish and Erica Weiss’s The View From Tall. Written and directed by Parrish and Weiss (CBS TV’s upcoming The … Continue reading “Cow Lamp Films acquires “The View From Tall””
Cow Lamp Films will continue to earn its keep as the Midwest’s only distributor of independent films on Saturday afternoon at the Chicago Independent Film (+TV) Festival (CIFF). Director of Acquisitions Josh da Silva will join a 4 p.m. panel discussion about distribution at the New 400 Movie Theaters in Rogers Park, where a majority … Continue reading “Cow Lamp Films shares insight at Chicago Indie Film Fest”
CUFF adds second screening of “Industrial Accident,” the opening night film about Wax Trax! Records that sold out hours after going on sale After selling out the initioal opening night screening in less than an hour, the 25th annual Chicago Underground Film Festival has added a special encore presentation of INDUSTRIAL ACCIDENT: The Story of … Continue reading “Chicago Underground Film Festival 2018 lineup”
Opening night Julia Nash’s Industrial Accident: The Story of Wax Trax! Records Chicago premiere Closing night Lori Felker’s Future Language: The Dimensions of VON LMO Chicago premiere [Editor Note: The “Industrial Accident” screening sold out shortly after this story was published, but CUFF organizers are working to schedule another. Stay tuned to Reel … Continue reading “Chicago Underground Film Fest offers a taste of 2018”
Christine Dudley rarely goes to the movies. That may seem odd for the Director of the Illinois Film Office, but she’s dedicated to a job that begins before most of the scenes are even shot and ends, like, never. So what does she do? When Dudley’s not pitching Hollywood studios, she’s reading the … Continue reading “Pitching with IL Film Office Director Christine Dudley”
This gave him, he says, “a chance to go deeper and darker with the conflict between couples: how do they talk to each other, how do they not talk to each other, and how do they talk around problems.”
Film producer Reid Brody’s comedy, “Who Gets the Dog?” is being released today, Sept. 13 on iTunes, worldwide digital platforms, Video on Demand and DVD by Samuel Goldwyn Films.
The feature premiered in Chicago last Tuesday at the Midwest Independent Film Festival to an enthusiastic audience that filled all of the Music Box theatre’s 750 seats.
Here’s your first look at the some of the first of 50 panels and workshops that will be presented at CIMMcon, April 16-17, the Midwest’s premiere Film, Music and Tech Conference.
TV UPDATE. “Empire” has wrapped its second season, with elegant scenes filmed at the Drake Hotel that lit up Michigan Ave. the past two days. Fox TV’s hit series is expected to return to Chicago in July to start filming 18 episodes for season three.
While the number of women directors of major studio films has dropped to all-time low of 4.6% in 2014, it’s encouraging that various studies show that larger numbers of female directors of indie cinema are holding their own.
BIG PARTY TONIGHT hosted by Corey Coken and Jamie Vanadia’s NoiseFloor to celebrate the opening night of the seventh consecutive year of CIMMfest, which, in association with city-sponsored Lake FX Summit + Expo, is our answer to SXSW.
INDIE FEATURE “ANIMALS” was the big Best of the Midwest Awards Tuesday night, hosted by Midwest International Film Festival, winning for Best Feature, Best Director, Collin Schiffli and Best Actor, David Dastmalchian.
CNGM PICTURES, led by EP Michael P.
“Law and Order’s” Dick Wolf, who’s here filming two NBC TV shows will be the keynote speaker at Sunday’s Chicago Film and Media Summit & Expo at the Cultural Center at 5 p.m. But be forewarned – his speech is open for registrants only so sign up to attend now.
SHAMELESS SELF PROMOTION. As many of you may know, I’ve been working on a feature, the dramatic music biopic about Mahalia Jackson, the world’s greatest gospel singer and Civil Rights Champion, whose music and money amplified the vision of Dr.
For the first time in its 15 years, Michigan’s popular Waterfront Film Festival, June 13-16 will be held in a place other than the popular Saugatuck resort town where it originated. Holding it in the larger city of South Haven will put the destination a half hour closer to Chicago and Kalamazoo fans.
It turns out that Chicago’s Jack O’Donnell and Michigan’s Hopwood DePree had the same idea at the same time. Both were mulling how they could move their respective production companies into the entertainment arena when they met through a mutual business associate in Los Angeles.
Not as many non-broadcaster-produced shows received 2012 Midwest Chapter Emmy nominations this season as they had in past years. Still, approximately 14 companies, especially multiple nominees Bitter Jester and HMH Media, had award-worthy spots, docs and craft skills to qualify for an Emmy nod.
Here are the non-broadcast nominees in nine out of 22 categories of endeavor, with some winning more than one nod for the project. The producer/host/reporter receives the award.
Gov. Rick Snyder has upped Michigan’s film grant money to $50 million, from the present $25 million that all but killed what had been one of the biggest US film markets, for the new fiscal year that starts in October.
The higher cap, which still must be approved by legislators, is considerably less than the film industry and pro-film legislators had been seeking, reports The Detroit Free Press.
Hopefully State doubles film grant to $50 million cap for 2013
THE RECENT NATO SUMMIT in Chicago is the setting for filmmaker award-winning filmmaker Ben Kolak’s indie feature MAYDAYS that he says is in the political tradition of filmmaker Haskell Wexler’s Medium Cool.
FOR THE 5TH YEAR, the Illinois Film Office is sponsoring its annual Shortcuts Short Film Contest that is open to Illinoisans 18 years old and older. Basic requirements: All genres welcome (narrative, doc, live or animated) and no film longer than 15 minutes. Industry experts will serve as judges. Deadline is Aug. 31.
Filmmaker Edward T. McDougal’s inspiring historical feature, “Dog Jack,” opens theatrically nationwide in celebration of February’s Black History Month — a year after the distributor discovered this gem at a regional film festival.
The story – narrated by Lou Gossett, Jr. – is about young runaway slave Jed and his dog, who join the Pennsylvania 102nd Volunteers and must face a Confederate Army regiment led by Jed’s former master.
The 3rd annual Advertising Community Shorts Night Tuesday at the Midwest Independent Film Festival, Tuesday, Oct. 1, presents the work of 15 filmmeisters from ad and marketing agencies, post/production houses, still photographers, Second City and Steppenwolf, from Chicago, Madison and Detroit.
Earlier this month a jury of knowledgeable souls from various aspects of visual media production judged an imaginative collection of entries from one to 16 minutes in length.
Director Julian Grant and producer Boris Wexler couldn’t attend the New York City International Film Festival closing ceremonies last week, but fortunately two production company members did, as they were repeatedly called up to the stage to accept a record number of awards that put Chicago indies on the map.
THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER sure got it wrong when it published its July 27 inaugural list of 25 top film schools in the world and egregiously omitting Columbia College –- one of the oldest film schools with largest film enrollment in the country.
IN ITS ONLINE RELEASE, director Eddie O’Keefe’s short film, The Ghosts, garnered 30,000 hits in two weeks. It’s a dreamy, black and white, rock-infused ‘50s-style tale of a girl caught between her preppy boyfriend and the romantic leader of a greaser gang.
“We have released the film online in advance of our festival run in hopes of tapping into the vast network of blogs and all the niche audiences that our film appeals to,” producer Matthew Mandarino says.
WHAT ARE THE ODDS of filmmakers actually seeing their short film premiere at two international film festivals, being held the same weeks this month, at two widely separated locations?
Short film producers Kathryn Henderson and Marie Ullrich fly to London Tuesday to see their short, “Faster!” showcase at the ultra prestigious 54th British Film Institute London Film Festival.
At the same time, “Faster!” also screens as one of the 11 choice selections in the Illinois(e)Makers program at the 46th Chicago International Film Festival.
Actor/director Jeff Daniels’ latest feature will have its Midwest premiere at the 11th Annual Waterfront Film Festival June 11-14 in Saugatuck, Mich., where 70-plus films in five venues will screen.
Daniels’ “The Answer Man” is a comedy about the reclusive and misanthropic author of a landmark book that redefined spirituality for a generation, in which he claims to have spoken directly to God.
Fast on the heels of its smashingly successful fund-raising gala comes IFP/Chicago’s 16th annual Midwest Filmmakers Summit the weekend of Oct. 19.
“We’re just recovering from the gala,” good-naturedly moaned IFP executive director Elizabeth Donius who, with development director Colleen O’Neill and staff put on one kick-ass event.
A full house of 300 guests jammed Salvage One Friday, Sept. 28 to party, meet other indie filmmakers, bid on a slew of neat auction items, and leave IFP approximately $20,000 richer to use for programs throughout the year.
With the advent of Labor Day, when white shoes are tucked in the back of the closet, and sunlight vanishes all-too-early, a pent-up avalanche of non-theatrical films descends upon Chicago.
There’s something for everyone, as hundreds and hundreds of indie films will screen in more than 75 movie events to date at familiar and new venues, now through December.
Pete Schwaba joins the growing ranks of independent filmmakers choosing self-release over unsatisfactory distribution offers, when he opens his debut feature “The Godfather of Green Bay” in theaters March 24.
Schwaba and his producers Brian and Josh Etting are playing “Godfather” on 14 screens across Wisconsin.
“Just seeing it play in festivals for over a year, we saw how audiences responded,” Schwaba said.
“We saw offers for straight-to-video or a week in New York. We didn’t know if our investors would see a dime.
LAUREN FISCHER is hitting her stride as a recognized screenwriter. On Aug. 31 her “Wish I Might”?winner of the 2005 IFP/Chicago-Chicago Scriptworks contest?will have a staged reading by Chicago Scriptworks at the Cultural Center.
“Wish I Might” is the story of two teenaged stepsisters and the one wish that will either bring them together or tear their family apart. It’s also a semi-finalist in the 2005 PAGE International Screenwriting Awards.
A dozen Latino filmmakers have set out to make Chicago a better place for their fellow Latinos to make movies.
Juan J. Lopez and his colleagues have launched the Chicago chapter of the National Association of Latino Independent Producers (NALIP).
Founded in 1999 and boasting chapters in 11 cities, NALIP is dedicated to supporting Latinos working throughout the film industry.
Aspiring filmmaker Adriana Rivera has some basic questions that the Reel is happy to answer, and hopes it also helps you.
Rivera : I’d love to know what’s filming in Chicago.
INDIEFEST CHICAGO has extended the submission deadline to May 10 for the Third Annual Indiefest Film Festival & Market, the only film market in Midwest, which runs July 29-Aug. 7. See www.indiefest.org.