“Hesburgh” to premiere at Midwest Indie Film Fest

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”

Midwest Indie Film Fest names Amy Guth Exec Director

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”

Midwest Indie Film Fest opens with sickening premiere

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”

“Osso Bucco” star Mike Starr to appear at Midwest Indie FilmFestival screening

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.

Indiefest Chicago launches Aug. 1, featuring Midwest’s first film market

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.

Chicago International Film Festival announces full lineup of 57th edition

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”

MFF Union & Indie Passion Projects exciting lineup

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”

Midwest Film Fest announces drive-in events

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 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”

REEL WOMEN: Independent Filmmaker, Grace Pisula

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”

Sundance picks 12 Filmmakers for Screenwriters Intensive

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”

Erica Duffy describes her Midwest Film Fest vision

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”

Four Midwest indies premiering on Tubi

‘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”

DePaul film brings holiday magic to State St.

‘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.”

Cow Lamp acquires a pair of Jack Newell films

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”

ChiFilmFest announces 2019 audience winners

‘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”

‘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””

Midwest Indie’s 2019 Female Filmmakers Night

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”

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”

ChiFilmFest unveils Gala & Special Presentations programs

“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”

‘Bleed American’ captures youth in the Midwest

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”

2019 Chicago Underground Film Festival

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”

Festivault brings a world of films to remote screens

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”

Midwest Indie Fest reveals Ad Community Shorts lineup

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”

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”

Cow Lamp Films’ “Skeletons in the Closet” at Horrorama

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”

MIFF presents first-ever juried Female Filmmaker Night

“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”

Cow Lamp Films acquires “Welcome to Unity”

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””

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

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”

Cinepocalypse fest from June 21 – 28 at Music Box

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”

Chicago filmmakers prepare for 48 Hour Film Project

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”

Cow Lamp Films acquires “The View From Tall”

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 shares insight at Chicago Indie Film Fest

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”

Chicago Underground Film Festival 2018 lineup

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”

Chicago Underground Film Fest offers a taste of 2018

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”

Pitching with IL Film Office Director Christine Dudley

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”

Lakeside cabin setting for Smith’s 2nd indie dramedy

The concept of Chicago writer / director Michael Glover Smith’s second indie drama, “Mercury in Retrograde,” grew out of a scene from his firstfeature comedy / drama, “Cool Apocalypse, ” in 2015.

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.”

“Empire” wraps season 2, will resume filming in July

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.  

14 indie made TV shows earn Midwest Emmy nominations

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.

Michigan doubles film grant cap to $50 million for 2013

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

IFO calls for Shortcuts Short Film Contest entries

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. 

Indie film “Dog Jack” a Black History Month release

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. 

Ad Community Shorts Night screens 15 films Oct. 1

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.

O’Keefe’s short posted online before fest run gets 30,000 hits

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.  

One film screens at two fests the same time

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.

Festival a perfect weekend destination

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.

“Of Boys and Men” filmmakers top IFP Summit,
3 days of panels, pitching and parties Oct.19-21

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.

Enjoy a super abundance of indie films to screen at 75-plus events now through the end of 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.

Unhappy with distribution deals, Schwaba self-releasing his indie film on 14 Wisconsin screens

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.

Screenings, Festivals, Events, Etc.

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.

Events being planned by new Chicago chapter of indie producers group to expand Latinos in film

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.

Festivals, screenings, events and more

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.

“Juvies”

Roundup of Indie Production, Screenings

JOHN MALKOVICH stars in the indie production “Drunkboat” that shoots May 23-June 25. Writer/director is Chicago native and theatre director Bob Meyer who, like his old friend Malkovich from early, early Steppenwolf days, makes his home in France.

The story, based on Meyer’s life in Chicago, is about a teen boy conspiring with his uncle (Malkovich), who likes the sauce a lot and hence the title, to buy a boat.

Midwest Independent Film Festival?formerly CCC? to launch true HD projection at Landmark May 3

When Chicago Community Cinema re-launches May 3 as the Midwest Independent Film Festival at Landmark’s Century Centre, it will be one of the first fests between the coasts to offer true HD projection.

New sponsor Resolution Digital Studios?The Show Department’s HD facility which officially opens its doors this April?is supplying Digital Light Processing (DLP) HD projection equipment.

Longtime CCC sponsor Fletcher Chicago is providing a DVC-Pro HD playback deck.

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.

“Geek Lounge” leads comedy lineup at May’s MIFF

Larry Ziegelman’s funny poke at geek culture will be one of several short films and web series screening at the May 1st Midwest Independent Film Festival 2018 Comedy Shorts Night. The evening begins with a panel discussion about crowdfunding. According to acting MIFF director Mike Kwielford, a handful of filmmakers will get real about what … Continue reading ““Geek Lounge” leads comedy lineup at May’s MIFF”

Social Media Pays Tribute to Ruth Ratny

Tributes poured in on Reel Chicago’s Facebook and Twitter accounts, as well as other social media pages, as word spread around the city that they had lost their beloved film and advertising herald.

From advertising creatives to production companies to post houses, Ruth Ratny’s articles touched the lives of many and will forever hold meaning for them.

 

These are a few:

Relax, the tax incentives will go into effect

IRONICALLY, GOV. BLAGOJEVICH was going to sign the Illinois 30% tax credit bill into law next Monday at Essanay Studios! The unconfirmed signing ceremony was being set up because the governor had the time to do so.

We can safely assume that the gov’s photo op signing will be put indefinitely on hold.

That doesn’t mean the bill will languish as it did earlier this year — delayed first by the senate action and then by Blago’s demand for a photo op surrounded by celebs, taking it into May.

Blagojevich will remain governor, however, for the forseeable future.

Interview: CIFF Senior Programmer Anthony Kaufman

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 theatre … Continue reading “Interview: CIFF Senior Programmer Anthony Kaufman”

National Geographic acquires Kartemquinn’s City so Real

National Geographic announced the acquisition of CITY SO REAL, an official Indie Episodic selection at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival, set to premiere on the network this fall. From twice Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Steve James (America to Me, Hoop Dreams) and his longtime producing partner Zak Piper (Life Itself, The Interrupters) the fascinating and complex … Continue reading “National Geographic acquires Kartemquinn’s City so Real”

MFF offers free online Comedy Shorts Program

Just when we needed it the most, the Midwest Film Festival (MFF) is participating in #GivingTuesday by giving viewers access to their Comedy Shorts Program online, free of charge. Originally presented in February as the 2020 season opener program, there are 10 films available to view that touch on a wide variety of topics, all with one goal … Continue reading “MFF offers free online Comedy Shorts Program”

Behind the scenes with the Chicago IFA’s Angie Gaffney

Angie Gaffney chaperones a lot of dreams in the Windy City. As Executive Director of the Chicago Independent Film Alliance — an organization recently formed by combining the Independent Filmmaker Project with Stage 18 — she helps people achieve their goals, and their goals are to make movies. Or short films. Or pilots. Or web … Continue reading “Behind the scenes with the Chicago IFA’s Angie Gaffney”

‘The Dawn’ sends shivers from Minnesota to California

Executive Producers Chris Charles and John W. Bosher have expanded their Midwestern canon with the award-winning paranormal psycho-thriller The Dawn, which was released in select theaters, digital, and on-demand throughout North America on January 10, 2020. Filmed in Minnesota and California, The Dawn follows a young woman in post-World War I America who is sent … Continue reading “‘The Dawn’ sends shivers from Minnesota to California”

Kwielford, Guth step down from MIFF leadership

Midwest Independent Film Festival’s President and Executive Director announce their resignations on Saturday-morning Facebook posts Midwest Independent Film Festival President Mike Kwielford and Executive Director Amy Guth have stepped down from their leadership roles with the organization. They announced their departures in separate Facebook posts on Saturday morning. Finding time to focus on other film- … Continue reading “Kwielford, Guth step down from MIFF leadership”

Advertising Community Shorts night lineup

Midwest Independent Film Festival’s popular annual industry tradition tomorrow night at Landmark Century The advertising and independent filmmaking communities converge for an inspiring night of short films as First Tuesdays with The Midwest Independent Film Festival hosts its tenth annual Advertising Community Shorts Night on Tuesday, November 5th. The evening will open at 6 p.m. … Continue reading “Advertising Community Shorts night lineup”

Nanfu Wang named keynote for DVID graduation

Award-winning filmmaker will help celebrate grads of the doc program organized by Kartemquin and the Community Film Workshop Kartemquin Films and the Community Film Workshop of Chicago are thrilled to announce award-winning filmmaker Nanfu Wang (One Child Nation, Hooligan Sparrow) will provide the keynote speech at the 2019 Diverse Voices in Docs (DVID) graduation on … Continue reading “Nanfu Wang named keynote for DVID graduation”

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”

Cow Lamp signs ‘Rendezvous’ for distribution

Michael Glover Smith’s award-winning “love letter” to the Windy City will begin streaming online in October Cow Lamp Films has acquired the rights to Rendezvous in Chicago. According to a press release issued today, the company will make the locally-produced romantic comedy available for online viewing in October, when Rendezvous’ summer festival run concludes. Rendezvous … Continue reading “Cow Lamp signs ‘Rendezvous’ for distribution”

Chicago-made ‘Musician’ wins big at Vero Beach

Mark Schimmel’s musical fantasy drama enhances Florida film fest with the sounds of Chicago Filmmaker Mark Schimmel felt that he and co-producer Normann Pokorny had created something very special after they premiered The Musician at the Midwest Independent Film Festival’s annual Midwest Shorts program in March. Last week, it won the Grand Jury Award at … Continue reading “Chicago-made ‘Musician’ wins big at Vero Beach”

Interview with former IFO Director Christine Dudley

The woman who helped Illinois make hundreds of TV shows and generate $2.5 billion in revenue talks about the ever-changing Midwestern filmscape Christine Dudley joined the Illinois Film Office at the exact time when the Illinois Film Office needed Christine Dudley. Combining exceptional legislative knowledge with a “modest background in production,” she helped guide the … Continue reading “Interview with former IFO Director Christine Dudley”

Cinepocalypse unveils 2019 lineup

The June 13-20 Music Box Theatre fest opens with the World Premiere of Glenn Danzig’s “Verotika” Cinepocalypse, Chicago’s premiere festival for electrifying and provocative genre cinema, returns to the Music Box Theatre June 13th for eight days of features, shorts, events and surprises, including eight fantastic break-out world premieres! We’re proud to announce our new … Continue reading “Cinepocalypse unveils 2019 lineup”

DePauw and DePaul’s “King Rat” on Amazon Prime

“It was either go to grad school or just make a movie right now, and I decided to just make a movie.” Writer / Director Henry Johnston DePauw University and DePaul University alumni teamed up to create King Rat – a feature film that utilized university resources to take a meta look at the graduation … Continue reading “DePauw and DePaul’s “King Rat” on Amazon Prime”

Asian Pop-Up Cinema returns to Chicago September 12

Features seventeen films from across the Asian continents, presents premieres including Japanese zombie comedy “One Cut of the Dead” as Closing Night — tickets on sale now (Chicago — 13 August 2018) — Non-profit pan-Asian film organization Sophia’s Choice today announces Asian Pop-Up Cinema – Season Seven, the fall film series presenting seventeen films from … Continue reading “Asian Pop-Up Cinema returns to Chicago September 12”

Windy City Horrorama call for entries

Submissions for the international April 26-28 Windy City Horrorama are being accepted via Film Freeway   The second annual Windy City Horrorama will bring the horror to Lincoln Square’s Davis Theater once again next Spring on April 26th – April 28th​, 2019.​ Horrorama is in search of the scariest and most fun work in the … Continue reading “Windy City Horrorama call for entries”

“Louder Than Words” is a testament to Deaf Culture

“It kind of makes sense,” says Filmmaker Saj Adibs. “We would want deaf children to hear, but for deaf parents, it’s normal to be deaf.”   Filmmaker Saj Adibs was nearly moved to tears by the story of a deaf couple he met on a project for his company New Slate Films in 2008. “They … Continue reading ““Louder Than Words” is a testament to Deaf Culture”

Kartemquin’s Oscar-nom’d docs headline MIFF

The Midwest Independent Film Festival announced that April’s First Tuesday will be a celebration of sorts for Chicago’s own Kartemquin Films with a special double feature showcasing both of their 2018 Academy Award Nominated films on April 3! Screening will be Abacus: Small Enough to Jail and Edith and Eddie. Helmed by acclaimed director Steve … Continue reading “Kartemquin’s Oscar-nom’d docs headline MIFF”

10th anniversary for cross-cultural Paco Collective

PACO COLLECTIVE this week celebrated its 10th business anniversary, evolving from an Hispanic-focused multicultural marketing agency to a cross-cultural agency with such major clients as ComEd, the Chicago Bears, the Chicago White Sox and Blue Cross Blue Shield among others.

Founded in 2006 by marketing expert Ozzie Godinez, CEO and innovative creator Pablo Acosta, CCO, the agency is now one of the fastest-growing minority-owned agencies in the Midwest and employs more than 40.

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

Wake and funeral services for Dennis Farina Monday and Tuesday

A WAKE FOR DENNIS FARINA will be held Monday from 4-9 p.m. at Monclair-Lucania Funeral Home, 6901 W. Belmont and a funeral mass will be said for the actor and Chicago native Tuesday at Assumption Catholic Church, 313 W. Illinois at 10 a.m.  Burial will be private.  In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials be sent to the Police Chaplains Ministry and the Hundred Club of Chicago.

MWFF 2013 season opens with Looby’s ‘Be Good’ feature

TODD LOOBY’S FEATURE BE GOOD opens Midwest Independent Film Festival’s 2013 season Feb. 5.  The Chicago-made indie, written and directed by Looby, stars Amy Seimetz (of recent Sundance selection Upstream Color) as a new mother making the tough adjustment back to the work world, and Thomas J. Madden (Looby’s Lefty) as her husband, an independent filmmaker balking at his new childcare duties. 

Timely ‘God particle’ doc screens July 16 at Landmark

BEFORE SCIENTISTS at the CERN particle accelerator outside Geneva, Switzerland apparently discovered the long-sought Higgs Boson or “God Particle” earlier this month, 137 Films captured the ill-fated hunt by physicists at the Fermi National Accelerator outside Geneva, Illinois.

Filmmakers Monica Long Ross and Clayton Brown copresent a screening of their 2008 documentary The Atom Smashers with the Illinois Science Council July 16 at 6:30 p.m. at Landmark Century Centre, 2828 N. Clark St.

May 10 fundraiser for ‘ChiTown’ basketball doc

A FUNDRAISER FOR CHITOWN, a documentary-in-progress from New York-based reality TV show director/producer Nick Budabin (Cake Boss, Kathy Griffin), who started shooting when he spent time here in 2011 producing “Season 25: Oprah Behind the Scenes,” will be held Thursday, May 10 at The Joynt, 650 N. Dearborn, from 6-9 p.m. 

“Last Rites of Joe May“ feature wins 3 top BMA awards

Steppenwolf Film’s “The Last Rites of Joe May,” starring Dennis Farina and written and directed by Joe Maggio, topped the Best of the Midwest’s nine category awards presented Thursday, Dec. 6 at the Rockit Bar & Grill, cheered by a capacity audience crowd of Midwest Independent Film Festival fans.

The low-budget indie, that filmed in Chicago for four weeks in May, 2009, won best feature, best actor and actress (Meredith Droeger) awards. It’s the story of Farina as an aging and lonely short-money hustler who finds redemption.

Dennis Farina to appear at MWFF’S Best Awards Dec. 6

VETERAN ACTOR DENNIS FARINA and director Joe Maggio of indie feature “The Last Rites of Joe May,” will be special guests at the Midwest Independent Film Festival’s Best of the Midwest Awards Dec. 6 at Rockit Bar & Grill.  “The Last Rites” is a contender for a BMA award. 

Actor David Pasquesi, whose newspaper editor character on “Boss” was screwed out of his job by the mayor’s people, will also attend, along with just about everyone else in town, myself included.

Every night booked through the end of the month

Take advantage of the last of the big, important events in November, especially during the two weekends prior to Thanksgiving, including several film festivals, a tour of Cinespace studios and a night with The HistoryMarkers.  Then we swing into holiday mode.  

The first cheery Christmas party invitation from LimeGreen may signal a month of holiday parties, to celebrate the season and also a year that many say was better than expected.  Send along your party information and add your forthcoming events to our Calendar page.

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.

Paskal Rudnicke hosting Mickey Grossman memorial tapings

THE LATE MICKEY GROSSMAN’S many friends, colleagues and clients can share their stories and feelings about him on tape, courtesy of his good friends, casting directors Mickie Paskal and Jennifer Rudnicke, who are hosting the taping, June 6-8, from  10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., at their office at 10 W. Hubbard St.

“People can stopy by and tape a few words that we will include in a collection of stories and moments for Mickey’s wife, Faith, and partner Linda Jack,” says Rudnicke.

“We Believe” Cubs doc producer sued by investors

A CAUTIONARY TALE.  A couple who believed that their investment in the upbeat 2008-09 Cubs documentary, “We Believe,” would return an ROI has filed a lawsuit against the producer who invited their investment.  

Husband and wife plaintiffs, Peter Cerbin and wife Hilary Carr, invested $650,000 of the doc’s $1.5 million budget with producer Chad Smith. They claim in 2008 Smith told them he had secured distributors and corporate sponsors. Not true, their lawsuit alleges. 

Alshaibi’s “Profane” bows at Boston Underground

USAMA ALSHAIBI’S button-pushing feature “Profane,” starring Manal Kara, as a devout Muslim dominatrix, has its U.S. premiere March 26 and 29 at the Boston Underground Film Festival. 

Alshaibi made the personal Iraq documentary “Nice Bombs” and is working on the Kartemquin doc “American Arab.”  

Charges are pending in a March 6 incident in which Alshaibi alleged that he was beaten and called racial slurs after wandering into a party in Fairfield, Iowa, where he moved last summer.

Foundation Content wins a prestigous Gold Hugo

GOLD HUGOS TEND TO BE SCARCE around these parts, so it was with understandable great excitement that Foundation Content’s Samantha Hart received word of a Gold Hugo awarded to their United Way piece in the Charitable Activity category.

“Everyone on the team collaborated on the film,” says Hart, to produce the 2-minute piece for presentation at United Way’s gala benefit last May,” says Hart, who came up with the Hugo Gold idea.

The piece utilized live action and special effects in the use of a clothes line criss-crossing the city.

Big extras casting call for “Contagion”

AN OPEN EXTRAS CASTING CALLS for Steven Soderbergh’s big budget, big cast “Contagion” will be held by Rich King Casting of L.A. Sept. 25 at the Lincoln Park Cultural Center, 2045 Lincoln Park West, 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. and Sept. 26 at the Annoyance Theatre, 4830 N. Broadway, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

King says he’s looking for adult men and women, 18 and older, all sizes, shapes, types and ethnicities. It’s a paid gig and meals are included.

“Contagion,” will spend two months shooting in and around Chicago, starting Oct. 19, arriving here from filming in Hong Kong.

WIFC’s Focus Award honors Merri Dee

WOMEN IN FILM has made a righteous choice to honor broadcast trailblazer, talk show host, news anchor and community activist Merri Dee as its 2010 Focus Award honoree.

Dee has parlayed her celebrity into many children’s and educational charitable works. She spearheaded Illinois’ victims rights’ legislation after she and one of her talk show guests had been kidnapped, driven to a wooded area, shot twice in the head and left for dead, in 1971.

After retiring from WGN-TV in 2008 after 30 years, Dee formed full-service MD Communications.

Roger Ebert officially announces his new TV show

TIMING IS EVERYTHING, they say, and Roger Ebert’s new movie review show comes on the scene coincidentally as the last vestiges of Disney’s “At the Movies” syndicated review show fade to black after nearly 25 years on television.

In his blog, printed in Friday’s Sun-Times, Ebert tells about his new movie review show, “Roger Ebert presents At the Movies,” that he and his wife, Chaz, are producing.

More than just a TV show, it will have total new media distribution: net streaming, cell phone apps, Facebook, Twitter, etc., he says.

“Something for everybody”

Roger Ebert will make a special guest appearance at the closing ceremonies of the Naperville Film Festival, one of ten film festivals being held in Chicago and Downstate this month.

Altogether, around 500 independent films — narratives, horror, drama, documentary, animated, experimental, to suit every film buff, including many by local filmmakers — will be showcased.

And to cap this indie film month, the Independent Feature Project will hold its annual Film Gala, Sept. 26, to raise funds for programs and events to support local independent filmmakers.

“Hannah Free” sneak preview wows

“Hannah Free,” the Chicago-produced indie, had a local sneak peek screening at a sold out Midwest Independent Film Fest event on August 4.

At a producer’s panel introduced by Mike McNamara before the screening and led by Women in Film Chicago’s Melissa Thornley, the “Hannah” filmmakers offered candid takes on producing their ultra low-budget indie feature.

“Hannah Free” was almost entirely shot at producer Tracy Baim’s stately turn-of-the-century Prairie Avenue home. “For 18 days,” Baim said, “I had 50 people showing up at my house at 5:00 in the morning wanting coffee.

Becky Cattie casting for Towers

FIRST ASSIGNMENT for Towers Productions’ new casting director, Becky Cattie is to find the perfect cast for Towers’ “Housewives of Chicago” reality TV show, currently in development.

Cattie, who moved here from L.A. last summer, has six years experience casting unscripted TV shows, including “Extreme Makeover,” “America’s Got Talent,” “My Fair Wedding,” “10 Years Younger” and “The Simple Life.”

Response to the “Housewives” casting call has been “fantastic,” says Cattie.

Bitter Jester Creatives goes home with the gold

THREE GOLD AURORA 2008 AWARDS for documentaries went to Bitter Jester Creative, a creative content company in Highland Park that’s led by CD Nicolas DeGrazia, DP Daniel Kullman and editor Travis Marriott.

Their winning entries: “Meet the Honorees 2007,” the Highland Park Chamber of Commerce’s annual dinner honoring high school students; “Our Stories,” a video created for parents and students by the Lake Forest/Lake Bluff Underage Drinking Prevention Coalition and “Jonas Gerard: A Distinctive Voice,” a 3-minute trailer for a feature about the artist’s life.

Illinois is the “State of Romance” for NBC pilot

LOVE IS IN THE AIR for the first Hollywood project to be shot in Chicago so far this year, breaking the nine-month dry spell and portending more business ahead. The NBC half-hour pilot, “State of Romance,” gets underway March 30.

The half hour romantic comedy, described as a modern day “Pride and Prejudice,” will shoot for eight days entirely on location ? no sets called for at all.

Essanay is supplying the lighting and grip equipment. UPM is Rich Lederer (“The Beast”). Universal Media Studios is producing the single-camera project.

The LB/OC L.A. director’s night of fun

ACCORDING TO RELIABLE SOURCES, one of the A-List L.A. directors, who came here for the Leo Burnett/Olympic Committee shoot last week, got into a bit of trouble at the wrap party at a local club and ended up in the ER.

It seems the director got into an altercation with the club management over the tab. Things got heated and an altercation with the bouncer ensued.

The bouncer removed the director from the premises. Because of a neck injury that the dust-up might’ve caused, the director was rushed to Northwestern Hospital.

“The Promotion” wins MWFF best feature award

PRACTICALLY EVERY INDIE FILMMAKERS turned out 350 strong at Rockit Bar & Grill Tuesday for Midwest Independent Film Festival’s annual awards and first-time fund-raiser.

Beautiful crystal awards were given to a variety of winners, and the grand prize went to “The Promotion,” the comedy written and directed by Steve Conrad, who was present, along with co-star Seann William Scott and producer Steven Jones. Richard Roeper made the presentation.

IFP honors Roger Ebert with a Gotham Award
Nov. 27 which he plans to accept in New York

THIS IS ROGER EBERT’S YEAR for prestigious awards. He will receive the Gotham Award presented by the Independent Feature Project Nov. 27 in New York.

The Gotham prize was awarded to only one other film critic, The New Yorker’s late Pauline Kael in 1995.

“Through all the outlets at his disposal, Roger has been a very vocal champion of independent films,” said IFP executive director Michelle Bryd.

“Nothing has given me greater pleasure on the job than discovering a wonderful film by a new director,” Ebert said.

MWFF March 7 evening features Sundance short, comedy, animation, musical drama, music video

Justin Hayward’s Sundance-selected short “Divorce Lemonade” headlines a selection of Midwestern shorts at the Midwest Independent Film Festival March 7.

The Midwest Indie also features George Eckart’s animated comedy “Time Traveler,” Junko Kajino and Ed Koziarski’s musical drama “Homesick Blues,” Jeremy Corray’s collision comedy “Every :30,” and John Weaver’s TransAlarm music video “The Process.”

$500,000 feature in development is an extension
of Toth’s acclaimed short drama “Cast in Gray”

Life is a Dream Productions is developing its $500,000 HD feature drama “Gray, White & Black,” from acclaimed Yugoslav-born director I. Michael Toth, to shoot here and in Paris this year.

“Gray, White & Black” is an extension of Toth’s 39-minute HD short “Cast in Gray.”

Festival award-winner “Cast in Gray” is an existential drama about a man (Timothy Burke, “Mitchellville”), whose car breaks down in a rainstorm, who offers shelter to a hitchhiker (Stephen Angus, “Homicide: Life on the Street”)and his dog, and faces the repercussions.

Pat Yacono split from the adworld to dedicate
new Signal Hill Sound to independent features

Rerecording mixer/Sound designer Pat Yacono has seen the future and there’s nary a spot in sight.

The future for his new Signal Hill Sound is independent films. In fact, his Barrington studio was built exclusively to provide audio services for features.

“No other audio post house between coasts can guarantee that level of commitment,” Yacono emphasized. And he is dead serious about his commitment to features?with no looking back to his 16 years in advertising.

Independent Production Roundup

SPLIT PILLOW’S CHALLENGE 3.0, the group’s third annual collaborative filmmaking contest, runs Memorial Day weekend, May 27-30. Friday, each filmmaking team writes a short script in 12 hours in an assigned genre.

Saturday, teams exchange scripts and each team has 24 hours to shoot their film based on the script they’ve received. Sunday, teams exchange footage and each team has 24 hours to edit the footage they’ve received.

Independent Production Roundup

A FIRST FILM by screenwriter/journalist Ytasha Womack, the feature-length “Love Shorts” screens Feb. 15 in the Patchwerx Film & Video Series. Womack co-produced with Jumaane N’Namdi, owner of G.R. N’Namdi Gallery. Jonothon Woods, CEO of A’se Creative Group production company, directed. The monthly series is held at the HotHouse, 31 E. Balbo, 7 p.m., $2 suggested donation. See www.hothouse.net.

REELSCREEN: News & Notes

WARNER BROS. SETS MAJOR FEATURE IN CHICAGO. A remake of a Korean movie now called “Il Mare” (“The Sea”) will start shooting in mid-March and is expected to be here for four months. Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves star; Argentinean Alejandro Agresti directs. Location is a house presently being built on a lake in the Forest Preserves.

Chicago native David Auburn (“Proof”) scripted the story for Chicago. Production designer is Matthew Crowley. Production headquarters are located in the Sofitel Hotel.

REELSCREEN: News & Notes

MOVERS & SHAKERS. Editor Adam Soboscienski moves over from a nine-year stint at Red Car, bringing the editing team to seven. His credits include Coors Light, test market spots for new low carb Coors Edge, Cub Cadet tractors, United Airlines, Vidal Sassoon…

Evie Silvers’ new company, Silvers Reps, signed award-winning DP/producer and HD specialist Rick Thompson of Indianapolis-based Richmarc Productions for Chicago representation. Call 312/498-0636 or Email esilvers@aol.com

REELSCREEN: News & Notes – 09/13/04

LOOKING GOOD. SPI-tv Media Group produced a 20-minute video for the Anti-Aging and Cosmetic Institute of Chicago that plays throughout its West Loop facility on video kiosks and monitors. The video budget was around $15,000 and took a little over two months to complete, said cameraman/editor Rogelio Gazga, partner with Jim Demas in SPI-tv.

Marty Peterson was the on-camera host. Andres Lombana handled the Steadi-Cam; graphics artist Ryan Duff created the 3D animation explaining certain surgical procedures from breast augmentation to chemical skin peels.

REELSCREEN: News & Notes – 11/11/03

BURRELL NAMES BROADCAST HEAD. Burrell promoted Debbie Amsden to director of broadcast production, a position vacant since Sharon Kimbrough left the company earlier this year. “With production getting busier, we needed someone in that position,” said creative chief Mike Faems. Amsden leads a department of five producers and an associate producer.

YOUMANS SHOOTS IN EUROPE.

Networking in Chicago, part two

by Joan Tortorici Ruppert

Benefit for IFP grant winner to raise additional funds

IFP/Chicago 2003 Production Fund winner Karen Friedberg holds a benefit for her film, “King of the Tango,” to raise additional finishing funds not covered by the IFP’s $85,000 in-kind grant.

The benefit takes place March 22 at I-Space and Schneider Galleries, 230 W. Superior, 5:30-8:30 p.m.

Friedberg plans to shoot “Tango” in June 20-25. “At this point I’m producing the film,” said Friedberg, who is in the midst of pulling together key crew.

Could ‘Super Sucker’ usurp Super Bowl Sunday?

Not everyone is a football freak glued to his TV set on Super Bowl Sunday, reasoned independent filmmaker Jeff Daniels and his managing partner, Bob Brown, of Purple Rose Films. So why not capitalize on Midwesterners who would rather get out of the house and take in a good movie.

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