The Extraordinary Partnership of Barack Obama and Angela Merkel

As the devastation unfolds in Ukraine, political activist and author Claudia Clark delivers a potent reminder of the importance of alliances between countries and world leaders in her extensively researched, compelling new book, Dear Barack: The Extraordinary Partnership of Barack Obama and Angela Merkel.  Informative, entertaining and timely—with a chapter devoted specifically to Russia and Vladimir … Continue reading “The Extraordinary Partnership of Barack Obama and Angela Merkel”

Netflix releases Our Great National Parks limited series with Barack Obama

Netflix releases an epic five-part series narrated by President Barack Obama that invites viewers to celebrate and discover the power of our planet’s greatest national parks and wild spaces. From the executive producer of Blue Planet II comes OUR GREAT NATIONAL PARKS, a breathtaking five-part series executive produced and narrated by President Barack Obama – who ​​protected … Continue reading “Netflix releases Our Great National Parks limited series with Barack Obama”

Barack and Michelle here for ground-breaking of Obama Presidential Center

Former President Barack Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama will be in Chicago this week to attend the groundbreaking festivities for the Obama Presidential Center taking place on place on Monday, September 27 and Tuesday, September 28. The City of Chicago has begun its pre-construction work in the Jackson Park neighborhood on Chicago’s South … Continue reading “Barack and Michelle here for ground-breaking of Obama Presidential Center”

Barack Obama surprises Chicago high school students

Barack Obama surprised Chicago Public Schools high school students during a virtual assembly when he dropped in to announce that all CPS high school students will receive free access to digital copies of ‘A Promised Land’ President Obama’s riveting, deeply personal account of history in the making during his time in office. All CPS high school … Continue reading “Barack Obama surprises Chicago high school students”

Barack to be first guest on ‘The Michelle Obama Podcast’

In the July 29th premiere episode of ‘The Michelle Obama Podcast’ the former first lady and her husband will hold an intimate conversation about life after eight years in the White House. Last summer, President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama’s production company, Higher Ground, announced a partnership with Spotify to produce podcasts exclusive to the platform. The first project in the ongoing … Continue reading “Barack to be first guest on ‘The Michelle Obama Podcast’”

Netflix to release Michelle Obama doc ‘Becoming’

Becoming. If you enjoyed the intimacy of former first lady, Michelle Obama’s autobiography, then good news. Netflix has announced the documentary portrait of Michelle Obama titled Becoming will premiere next week. The film, described as “an intimate look into the life of former first lady Michelle Obama” chronicles her 34-city book tour in 2018-2019 for … Continue reading “Netflix to release Michelle Obama doc ‘Becoming’”

Michelle Obama’s ‘Becoming’ wins Spoken Word Grammy

Former First Lady, native South-Side Chicagoan, and all-around modern-day Renaissance Woman Michelle Obama won the Grammy for Best Spoken Word for her 2018 memoir, Becoming, at the 62nd annual Grammy Awards yesterday. Scoring a stellar 4.6-out-of-5 on Goodreads (369,210 ratings), Becoming is described as, “a work of deep reflection and mesmerizing storytelling” that chronicles the … Continue reading “Michelle Obama’s ‘Becoming’ wins Spoken Word Grammy”

The Obama’s Netflix deal is great news for viewers

“President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama have entered into a multi-year agreement to produce films and series for Netflix” Twitter, 9:00 AM – 21 May 2018 According to the statement above, which was posted on Netflix’ Twitter account today, President and First Lady Obama will soon be in show business. Although the Tweet described the … Continue reading “The Obama’s Netflix deal is great news for viewers”

The Mill, Burrell, Cow Lamp, Obamas, Wakanda news

Live action director and VFX supervisor Ergin Kuke joins The Mill+ Chicago Ergin Kuke will soon begin working his LA-honed, box office savvy as Creative Director for The Mill+ Chicago, according to a press release issued today.     Kuke has notched an expansive variety of experience since relocating to the States from his native … Continue reading “The Mill, Burrell, Cow Lamp, Obamas, Wakanda news”

Obamas’ romance to be portrayed in 2015 Chicago film

It’s too soon to announce new movie and TV projects for 2015, although one feature that’s supposed to shoot here has popped up, which tourism agency Choose Chicago can be assured will boost visitors when it’s released next year.

Obama, then an idealistic first-year Harvard Law student, took a summer job as an associate at law firm Sidley Austin where he fell for lawyer Michelle Robinson, his younger boss.

Obama rally a big boon to local film suppliers

The 500 camera crews of all sizes from all over the world that converged on Tuesday night in Grant Park for the Obama rally gave the film community a much needed huge financial boost.

“Every shooter, truck, generator, light and camera in Chicago was on the scene,” said Adam Marton of AM Films.

Chicago-connected films and filmmakers head for Sundance; “Obama in Africa” gets local premiere

CHEVY CHASE hosts an evening at Sundance for the world premiere of Phil Ranstrom’s doc, “Electrified: The Story of the Maxwell St. Urban Blues” Jan 25 at Harry O’s in Park City.

Narrated by Chicago native Joe Mantegna, “Electrified” tells how Maxwell Street’s neighborhood led to the hard driving sound of the urban blues and ultimately to rock ?n’ roll.

Ranstrom’s companion film, “Cheat You Fair,” documents the last days of Maxwell Street market. Ranstrom began both projects in 1994 shortly before the Maxwell Street market was demolished.

Siskel cans MPG’s “Obama in Africa” premiere fearing it might be construed as campaigning

MPG’s doc “Senator Obama Goes to Africa” won’t have its world premiere and only public showing at the Gene Siskel Center as announced.

The Siskel Center cancelled the scheduled Jan. 19 and Jan. 22 screenings, saying that showing it could jeopardize the Center’s status with the IRS as a non-profit institution.

Pressure was brought by the legal department of the Art Institute, the Center’s parent institution.

“The IRS could interpret the film as a lobbying effort for the Obama campaign,” Barbara Scharres, the Center’s programming director.

Before “Citizen Kate” posts piece about its Obama butter head, it’s scooped by the national media

When one of her butter ideas melted before she had a chance to spread it around, “Citizen Kate” webisode creator/producer Carey Lundin wasn’t as mad as she was chagrined.

Lundin was scooped by the national media on her very own story. She actually originated the idea of the Barack Obama butter sculpture meant for taping and posting on her site.

“Citizen Kate,” portrayed by actress Kate Soglin, follows presidential candidates on the campaign trail to determine who would make the best president.

MPG to document Obama’s African odyssey

MEDIA PROCESS GROUP partners Bob Hercules and Keith Walker will produce a documentary on the African travels of Sen. Barack Obama beginning Aug. 18.

To raise awareness of African issues, Sen. Obama will visit South Africa, Kenya, the Sudan and Congo and tour the Darfur region, site of tribal genocide.

Political consultant David Axelrod is co-producer. Hercules directs, Walker is DP, Rich Pooler handles audio. The independent production likely will air on PBS when completed.

REEL WOMEN: Rebecca Considine of SpeedPro Chicago Loop

Editor’s Note: They are leaders. They are inspirational. They are mentors. They are visionaries. They are, quite frankly, badasses. They are our 2022 REEL WOMEN. During Women’s History Month, you will be able to meet these incredible personalities in Advertising, Entertainment, Media and Production. Women like Rebecca Considine are making “Herstory.” Alongside her partner Eric Lazar, … Continue reading “REEL WOMEN: Rebecca Considine of SpeedPro Chicago Loop”

Showtime and Ritz Carlton transform Presidential suites to First Lady suites

Showtime and The Ritz-Carlton, announced a first-of-its-kind collaboration, reimagining the iconic concept of presidential suites in celebration of the new Showtime anthology drama series THE FIRST LADY.  Beginning in April, select Ritz-Carlton properties will feature presidential suites reimagined as The First Lady Suites, offering members of Marriott’s award-winning travel program, Marriott Bonvoy, as well as the … Continue reading “Showtime and Ritz Carlton transform Presidential suites to First Lady suites”

REEL WOMEN: ATKPLN’s Larissa Berringer

Editor’s Note: They are leaders. They are inspirational. They are mentors. They are visionaries. They are, quite frankly, badasses. They are our 2022 REEL WOMEN. During Women’s History Month, you will be able to meet these incredible personalities in Advertising, Entertainment, Media and Production. Get ready, because women like Larissa Berringer are making “Herstory.” When Larissa … Continue reading “REEL WOMEN: ATKPLN’s Larissa Berringer”

Our Top 10 Valentine’s Day Chicago films

Valentine’s day is just around the corner and with the global pandemic, many couples are choosing to stream movies at home “and chill”. There are many romantic movies filmed in the windy city and we’ve taken the time to compile a list of the top ten best romantic films set in Chicago that you can … Continue reading “Our Top 10 Valentine’s Day Chicago films”

Celebrity moms star in The Second City PSA ‘Get Vaccinated’

The Second City joined celebrity moms in a new public service announcement that encourages parents and their children ages five through adulthood to get vaccinated now, particularly as omicron cases are on the rise. The PSA was produced and created by The Second City and sponsored by Made to Save, in partnership with YourMomCares and the #WeCanDoThis COVID-19 vaccine … Continue reading “Celebrity moms star in The Second City PSA ‘Get Vaccinated’”

Auction to offer Film, TV, Theater, Politics and Sports memorabilia

On November 19, Hindman Auction will present Seeing Stars: Property from the Collection of Bill Zwecker, the former longtime entertainment and celebrity journalist. The award-winning Chicago journalist’s collection of 172 lots captures historical moments, and includes memorabilia from a wide range of genres, including film, television, theater, politics, sports and other pop culture categories. Iconic names … Continue reading “Auction to offer Film, TV, Theater, Politics and Sports memorabilia”

Nine time Emmy award winner Allison Payne has passed at age 57

Nine time Emmy award winner Allison Payne, the former anchor at WGN, passed away earlier this month at age 57, her former employer announced over the weekend. Payne was with WGN-TV in Chicago for 21 years, covering everything from politics to sports. According to WGN, she traveled to Kenya for a story on former President … Continue reading “Nine time Emmy award winner Allison Payne has passed at age 57”

Music and more, summer events reopen across Chicago

“Open Culture” signals the reopening of summer events in Chicago’s diverse and legendary cultural scene with music, dance, public art, markets, and more at Millennium Park and venues citywide. Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot, the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE), Choose Chicago, and Chicago’s cultural community announced “Open Culture” — the next phase … Continue reading “Music and more, summer events reopen across Chicago”

Orbitz reaffirms commitment to LGBTQ+ travel

Twenty years after launching the first LGBTQ print ad encouraging travelers to “see the world on your terms,” travel site Orbitz is debuting a new national ad campaign and call to action for LGBTQIA+ travelers as the travel industry readies for a comeback.  The campaign, titled “Travel As You Are,” invites all people to travel on their own terms, not the ones society … Continue reading “Orbitz reaffirms commitment to LGBTQ+ travel”

WTTW launches The Great Chicago Quiz Show

Calling all Chicago trivia nerds! In The Great Chicago Quiz Show, a new, fast-paced weekly series premiering on Friday, March 26 at 8:00 pm on all WTTW platforms, Geoffrey Baer puts socially-distanced contestants from across Chicago and the suburbs — and viewers at home — to the test as they contemplate all things Chicago.  The contestants are as fun … Continue reading “WTTW launches The Great Chicago Quiz Show”

RBL Spotlight: producer, Storm Smith

Editor’s Note: “The Reel Black List” is our annual spotlight of brothers and sisters in the worlds of advertising, film, TV, music, radio and media who are making a difference through their contributions and creativity on a daily basis. During the month of February, you will be able to celebrate wonderful human beings, like Storm Smith with … Continue reading “RBL Spotlight: producer, Storm Smith”

McDonald’s will give $100 in your name to RMHC

McDonald’s is launching a new social challenge that will have everyone feeling the love this holiday season — especially the families who rely on Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC®) when their child becomes critically ill or injured.  For more than four decades, RMHC has supported families with sick and injured children by providing vital resources and helping them stay together during treatment. In an average year, RMHC raises millions thanks … Continue reading “McDonald’s will give $100 in your name to RMHC”

Joe Biden wins! “It’s time for America to unite”

History was made this morning and it’s fitting that the city where liberty was born sealed the deal. CNN, the New York Times, NBC, The Washington Post have projected Democratic nominee Joe Biden, Jr. as the 46th President of the United States. Biden, 77, will be the oldest president to occupy the White House. He will turn … Continue reading “Joe Biden wins! “It’s time for America to unite””

‘City So Real’ Chicago’s problems are America’s problems

Molly Given, of the Philly Metro interviews Chicago filmmaker Steve James about his latest film, ‘City so Real‘ Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Steve James’ (Hoop Dreams, America to Me) fascinating and complex portrait of contemporary Chicago delivers a deep, multifaceted look into the soul of a quintessentially American city, set against the backdrop of its history-making … Continue reading “‘City So Real’ Chicago’s problems are America’s problems”

A Conversation with Bob Hercules & Keith Walker

Chicago Filmmakers is pleased to announce two new editions of Masterwork: Industry Conversations, a series of virtual interviews with long established and award-winning filmmakers followed by a Q&A session with the audience. On Thursday, October 29 at 6:30PM CST, Chicago filmmaking duo Bob Hercules and Keith Walker from Media Process Group (MPG) will be joining … Continue reading “A Conversation with Bob Hercules & Keith Walker”

Chicago, FCB make voting easier than ever

This week, FCB and the City of Chicago launched an initiative to greatly increase local participation in the upcoming presidential election. FCB, in partnership with the City of Chicago, transformed plywood boards that covered Chicago storefronts during protests into voting booths to encourage voter registrations and participation in this year’s election. People are urged to … Continue reading “Chicago, FCB make voting easier than ever”

Reeling LGBTQ+ International Film Festival lineup

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

Cubs and White Sox read for CPL ‘Live From the Library’

Chicago Public Library announced that the upcoming group of celebrity readers for the popular “Live From the Library” program will celebrate the beginning of Major League Baseball. “Live From the Library” which features a combination of librarians, authors, celebrities, and notable Chicagoans, will highlight notable representatives of the Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Sox organizations, … Continue reading “Cubs and White Sox read for CPL ‘Live From the Library’”

Chicago area celebs join CPL’s “Live From the Library”

Chicago Public Library announced this week’s group of celebrity readers for the Live From the Library program, featuring a combination of librarians, authors, celebrities, and notable Chicagoans, reading stories to children and families daily at 10 a.m. CST. Actor Joe Mantegna (7/13), actress Denise Richards (7/14), and Inside Edition Chief Investigative Reporter Lisa Guerrero (7/15) will be the latest Chicago notables … Continue reading “Chicago area celebs join CPL’s “Live From the Library””

Chicago launches free high-speed internet to CPS students

Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot announced the launch of ‘Chicago Connected’ a groundbreaking program that will provide free high-speed internet service to approximately 100,000 Chicago Public Schools (CPS) students in their households. This first-of-its-kind program will be one of the largest and longest-term efforts in the nation to provide free, high-speed internet over the course of … Continue reading “Chicago launches free high-speed internet to CPS students”

Real Men Cook celebrating black men & families

Real Men Cook – America’s annual Father’s Day charity celebration – will be held virtually on Father’s Day, Sunday, June 21 from 3-6 PM CDT. Now launching its fourth decade, the celebration is presented by the nonprofit, Real Men Charities, Inc. With the recent death of George Floyd and other black men by police or self-appointed vigilantes, it is clear that African-American men are targets and are often portrayed negatively … Continue reading “Real Men Cook celebrating black men & families”

When We All Vote encourages mayors to use their voices

When We All Vote, a national nonpartisan organization, launched Civic Cities, a new initiative that encourages mayors to use their voices, governing authority and convening power to mobilize civic leaders, business leaders and community members to increase voter participation in their communities. The initiative launched with a bipartisan group of 31 founding mayors from across the … Continue reading “When We All Vote encourages mayors to use their voices”

FCB & Mayor Lightfoot launch ‘Live from the Library’

The Obamas and Oprah are among the Chicago celebrities reading children’s books across the Chicago Public Library social channels. Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Chicago Public Library (CPL), one of the largest libraries in the US with over 385 professional librarians, and the CPL Foundation have partnered to host ‘Live from the Library,’ a daily story … Continue reading “FCB & Mayor Lightfoot launch ‘Live from the Library’”

Porchlight’s virtual series ‘Sondheim @ 90 Roundtable’

Porchlight Music Theatre’s 25th Anniversary season continues with a new free virtual series Sondheim @ 90 Roundtable with host Michael Weber, debuting Saturday, April 25 at 7 p.m. CST on Porchlight’s Facebook page, The series, created and hosted by Porchlight Music Theatre Artistic Director Michael Weber, gathers talents from Chicago, Broadway and the world … Continue reading “Porchlight’s virtual series ‘Sondheim @ 90 Roundtable’”

Chicago gets creative with Mayor Lightfoot memes

Lock them up in a room for a while and Chicagoans will get into mischief. Mayor Lori Lightfoot has taken on the serious roll of protecting the citizens of Chicago from the spread of the coronavirus. She’s been driving a firm message for everyone to stay at home and they are poking back. Instagram has … Continue reading “Chicago gets creative with Mayor Lightfoot memes”

Chicago becomes center of basketball universe tonight

In a few short hours, the United Center will become the heart of the basketball universe as hoop fans around the globe witness the thrills of the NBA’s All-Star Saturday Night, airing on TNT at 7 p.m. Chicago time. The program will bring together a legion of NBA stars competing in a trio of events: … Continue reading “Chicago becomes center of basketball universe tonight”

Local 476 appoints Connelly to increase commercial work

I.A.T.S.E. Local 476 is sending VP Joe Connelly on a mission to forge partnerships with advertising agencies and commercial shops throughout the city. A production industry supplier with deep roots, the Chicago Studio Mechanics Union intends to reinforce a foundation it laid nearly a century ago. “This union is built on commercial work,” says Local … Continue reading “Local 476 appoints Connelly to increase commercial work”

Bong Joon Ho scores a win for everyone at the Oscars

America showed the world one of the things that it does best during the 92nd annual Academy Awards on Sunday night. Celebrating film with an internationally-televised, star-studded presentation, the country demonstrated beyond a doubt that the best movies on earth come from nowhere else but the good old US of A. Unless, of course, we’re … Continue reading “Bong Joon Ho scores a win for everyone at the Oscars”

Reel Black List: Troy Pryor, producer, actor, speaker

Troy Pryor is the inaugural honoree for the 2020 Reel Chicago Black List, an annual celebration of African-American creativity published during Black History Month. Troy Osborne Pryor is an award-winning producer, actor, and speaker from Chicago. He is a Chicago Scholars 35 Under 35, Black Enterprise TCX Fellow, and ADColor nominated Innovator of the Year. … Continue reading “Reel Black List: Troy Pryor, producer, actor, speaker”

‘Last Man Fishing’ to launch Chi Film’s ‘Justice January’

This January, Chicago Filmmakers is pleased to present the Chicago premieres of three documentaries that explore current social and political issues around environmental justice, immigration justice, and reproductive justice in a program called Justice January. The films selected for the series — Last Man Fishing, Undeterred, and Our Bodies Our Doctors — reveal personal stories … Continue reading “‘Last Man Fishing’ to launch Chi Film’s ‘Justice January’”

WTTW explores impact of gun violence in ‘Firsthand’

Documentary series, reported Stories, expert talks, and community engagement launches Tuesday, November 12, at The number of victims of Chicago’s gun violence may fluctuate, but the psychological trauma in many neighborhoods is constant. How do wounded communities heal? In a new multi-platform initiative titled, Firsthand: Gun Violence, WTTW explores the personal, firsthand perspectives of … Continue reading “WTTW explores impact of gun violence in ‘Firsthand’”

Interview with OTV founder Dr. Aymar Jean Christian

Open Television author and creator is helping to bring marginalized creators and content into the spotlight of American culture   Over the last four years, Dr. Aymar Jean Christian has inspired a community of artists and intellectuals to disrupt one of the greatest institutions in America. With analytical expertise, online manipulation, shrewd outreach, and boundless … Continue reading “Interview with OTV founder Dr. Aymar Jean Christian”

Kartemquin benefit to honor Julia Reichert

Empowering Truth Benefit Luncheon will also feature exclusive preview of Steve James’ newest project Kartemquin Films, the award-winning Chicago-based documentary not-for-profit behind films such as Hoop Dreams and Minding the Gap, announced today it will honor documentary legend and three-time Academy Award nominee Julia Reichert at the organization’s 2019 Empowering Truth Benefit Luncheon on October … Continue reading “Kartemquin benefit to honor Julia Reichert”

A sneak peek at Billy Dec’s ‘Food. Roots. Philippines.’

Chicago’s award-winning restaurateur and media personality films a quest for family and food in Southeast Asia Billy Dec’s Food. Roots. Philippines. explores an ancient recipe for success on the other side of the world. Currently in post-production, the PBS project is a journey into the country, culture, and cuisine of his ancestors. The Southeast Asian … Continue reading “A sneak peek at Billy Dec’s ‘Food. Roots. Philippines.’”

NEXT/NOW expands business development team

Jared Stabiner, Cameron King join the growing Chicago-based experiential tech and interactive agency Award winning experiential technology agency NEXT/NOW — known for creating original AR/VR, Touch, Gesture, Motion Tracking, and Projection mapping content and software — has recently added agency veterans Jared Stabiner and Cameron King to continue to expand their growing national initiatives.   … Continue reading “NEXT/NOW expands business development team”

Doc10 screens the year’s best at the Davis Theater

Fourth annual fest of the best opens with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez doc, “Knock Down The House” The 4th annual Doc10 Film Festival’s 2019 lineup is an entertaining variety of undeniable relevance taking place April 11-14 at The Davis Theater (4614 N. Lincoln Ave.) The program opens with Rachel Lears’ critically acclaimed Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez documentary, Knock Down … Continue reading “Doc10 screens the year’s best at the Davis Theater”

Reel Black List: La Donna Tittle, Renaissance Woman

Acting on Showtime’s hit series “The Chi” is just one of the versatile artist’s many career success stories Native Chicagoan La Donna Tittle is an accomplished actor, model, radio personality and CEO / producer / host of Cookin’ Wit’ Tittle … Bon Appetite, Let’s Eat, a spirited show about food and drink on CAN TV … Continue reading “Reel Black List: La Donna Tittle, Renaissance Woman”

President George H.W. Bush passes at 94

The country’s 41st President passed away Friday night, just seven months after wife Barbara Bush. CAVU. According to CNN reporter Jamie Gangel, this was the code word that the Bush family used to let each other know that their patriarch and 41st President of the United States, George Herbert Walker Bush had finally passed away. … Continue reading “President George H.W. Bush passes at 94”

Chicagoans fondly remember Elizabeth Brackett

Through decades of award-winning work, the Windy City journalist created a legacy of good will, sharp reporting, and strong friendships   (Chicago — 19 June 2018) Journalist and Chicago Tonight host Elizabeth Brackett, who passed away Sunday afternoon, earned respect and affection throughout her career. A graduate of New Trier High School and Indiana University, … Continue reading “Chicagoans fondly remember Elizabeth Brackett”

‘Black-ish’ star joins Netflix South Side hip-hop movie

Deadline is reporting that Black-ish star Anthony Anderson has come aboard to star in Netflix’s Beats, a coming-of-age drama set in Chicago’s South Side hip-hop scene. The pic, from Global Road Entertainment and 51 Minds Entertainment, just began filming with The New Edition Story director Chris Robinson helming Miles Orion Feldsott’s original script. A 2019 … Continue reading “‘Black-ish’ star joins Netflix South Side hip-hop movie”

Reel Women: Jenny Lumpkin, Agent and Producer

Jenny Lumpkin is the international Artist Agent and Senior Producer for Quriosity Productions. Politely referred to as “Q #2”, she is armed with a BFA in both graphic design and creative writing from the Kansas City Art Institute. Besides offering an intimate understanding of the art of visual communication in advertising and entertainment, Jenny is … Continue reading “Reel Women: Jenny Lumpkin, Agent and Producer”

Reel Women: Elise Jaffe, Executive Producer

Elise Jaffe is the “spokes teeth” and Executive Producer of Big Teeth Productions, which she co-owns with her husband Gregg. She’s also known as “Little Miss Bossy Pants,” a title that appeared on her business card BEFORE Tina Fey’s Bossy Pants was published! Elise’s career began in Children’s Television at Reading Rainbow and Blue’s Clues. … Continue reading “Reel Women: Elise Jaffe, Executive Producer”

Reel Women: Laura Roeper, Assistant Prop Master

After earning a degree in advertising art design, Laura Roeper found her way into photography as a prop stylist, then as a studio manager. She eventually gained years of experience as an in-house art producer in the advertising industry before launching an extensive freelance career working with photographers as well as agencies.   Seeking more … Continue reading “Reel Women: Laura Roeper, Assistant Prop Master”

Reel Women: Carey Lundin, Filmmaker

Carey Lundin is a multi award-winning director, writer and producer specializing in comedic digital series, media for progressive candidates, and documentaries. Lundin recently directed and co-wrote The WORST Travel Show, a five-episode comedy / travel series for the newly launched Facebook Watch and WatchMojo.   Her digital series, Citizen Kate, The Outsiders’ View of Inside … Continue reading “Reel Women: Carey Lundin, Filmmaker”

Reel Women: Ericka Mauldin — MBA

Ericka L. Mauldin, nicknamed “Media Maven,” is an Accomplished, American, Television Producer and the Owner of EDIT TALENT GROUP and Chicks That Pitch. In additon, the Visionary behind Black Girl Media Magic and Black Industry Makers. Ericka received a BFA in Electronic Media from the University of Cincinnati and an MBA from Xavier Cincinnati and … Continue reading “Reel Women: Ericka Mauldin — MBA”

Reel Women: Sheila R. Brown — Media Entrepreneur

Sheila R. Brown is a Chicago native who is Executive Director of the CineCares Foundation at Cinespace Chicago Film Studios. Sheila developed a desire for professional success early in life. She obtained her first job at age 15. Seven years later, Sheila began her career in broadcast television where she was fortunate enough to work … Continue reading “Reel Women: Sheila R. Brown — Media Entrepreneur”

The Reel Black List: Jonathan Desir, Executive Producer

Jonathan Desir is an Executive Producer at Optimus. He has been involved in post production for over a decade and is president of the board for Free Spirit Media as well. Jon achieved his B.A. in Psychology and minored in Business and Communication at Eastern Michigan University. Aside from studying, he was also involved with … Continue reading “The Reel Black List: Jonathan Desir, Executive Producer”

The Reel Black List: Qadree Holmes, Visionary EP

Qadree Holmes has successfully risen from intern to production assistant to producer and, finally, to the Founder / Executive Producer of Quriosity Productions. While line producing, he recognized a significant shift in the market — clients and agencies were seeking integrated creative talent options to represent the different social channels now available. Conversely, they did … Continue reading “The Reel Black List: Qadree Holmes, Visionary EP”

The Reel Black List: Ytasha Womack, creative powerhouse

Ytasha L. Womack is an award-winning producer, director, author, and innovator. She is author of the critically acclaimed books Afrofuturism: The World of Black Sci Fi & Fantasy Culture, Rayla 2212, Post Black: How a New Generation is Redefining African American Identity; and co-edited Beats Rhymes and Life: What We Love and Hate About Hip … Continue reading “The Reel Black List: Ytasha Womack, creative powerhouse”

The Reel Black List: Jim Glover, Creative Director/Writer

Jim Glover has worked for general market and black agencies and his work has always been on the cutting edge, which many believe is why he has won so many accolades in the biz. Jim has had commercials on the Super Bowl, introduced McDonald’s breakfast to America, and convinced conservative Dockers that their khakis were … Continue reading “The Reel Black List: Jim Glover, Creative Director/Writer”

Orbitz, SG+, Luci Creative, “Cartoon Pres” in the news

Orbitz names Havas AOR Havas Chicago announced Tuesday that its culture-based approach was among the factors helping the Chicago shop earn agency of record status for Orbitz. Havas Chicago has created award-winning, culturally relevant campaigns for its deep roster of iconic American brands including Coca-Cola, Craftsman, Hefty, Reynolds, Ragu, and Sears. The decision follows a … Continue reading “Orbitz, SG+, Luci Creative, “Cartoon Pres” in the news”

The 49th Annual NAACP Image Awards

Last night, the non-televised portion of The 49th Annual NAACP Image Awards took place here in Pasadena. The celebration of outstanding work by African Americans in film, TV, music, and literature inspired the likes of Mary J. Blige (Mudbound), Morgan Freeman, Kumail Nanjiani (The Big Sick), and Kareem Abdul Jabbar to attend. While ten winners … Continue reading “The 49th Annual NAACP Image Awards”

Digitas, Indianapolis Art, Box Office, SNL in the news

DigitasLBI, AOR for Maytag, has produced a humorous new thirty second spot called Delivery that supports Maytag’s tagline, “What’s Inside Matters.” Directed by Martin Granger from Moxie Pictures, the spot follows the Maytag Man as he (and clones) stands in for a variety of appliances as they leave the factory and are delivered to various … Continue reading “Digitas, Indianapolis Art, Box Office, SNL in the news”

Radha Mitchell toplines “The World Without You”

Chicago-based SB Productions announces Radha Mitchell (Silent Hill, London has Fallen), last seen in the faith-based film, The Shack, alongside Sam Worthington and Octavia Spencer, will star and executive produce, The World Without You, based on Joshua Henkin’s best-selling novel of the same name.

The film represents the directorial debut of established actor Damon Shalit, who was the writer and producer of African Gothic and A-List.

Director Wolfe back at Optimus after White House gig

One at Optimus director Duncan Wolfe is packing up his Washington, D.C. apartment after a 14-month gig at the Obama White House and will head for Los Angeles as his base for the next phase of his filmmaking/social media career.

“And I’m looking forward to the positive effect of sunshine,” adds the St. Louis native about his move to LA.

HistoryMakers’ Jarrett TV talk to air on national PBS

AN EVENING WITH VALERIE JARRETT,” a presentation of The HistoryMakers, the massive archive of interviews with notable African American leaders now part of the Library of Congress, airs on WTTW/11 today and tomorrow.

The interview with President Obama’s senior advisor about her rich life and career will air on national PBS in February. The program is dedicated in honor of Gwen Ifill, the late PBS media journalist who had hosted many HistoryMakers’ interviews in Washington, D.C. over the past 10 years.

Ch. 11 to air Superbowl winning “’85 Bears” doc 9/7

Thirty years ago last January, the 1985 Chicago Bears coach Mike Ditka was carried off the New Orleans Superdome turf after the Bears demolished the New England Patriots, 46-10, in Super Bowl XX on Jan. 26, 1986.

Now a feature-length doc brings that memorable victory back to life. “’85 Bears: The Greatest Team in Pro Football History” will premiere in for Chicago audiences Wednesday, Sept. 7 on WTTW/11 at 8 p.m.

Sundance selects two Chicago films for screening

Chicago earns its close-up at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival, with premieres of the feature “Southside with You,” about Michelle and Barack Obama’s first date and Media Process Group’s documentary on Maya Angelou, screening during the Jan. 21-31 festival in Park City Utah. 

Cinespace builds 4 new stages; 2 films set up offices

Cinespace continues to expand its stage capacity, with four new sound stages now under construction that boost the total number of stages to 21.

“We took one big space that we had, not really a sound stage, and are in the process of constructing two stages, each 25,000-sq. ft. and two that are each 18,000-sq. ft.,” says Cinespace president Alex Pissios.

TheHistorymakers archives now in Library of Congress

The Library of Congress is now the repository of Chicago-based TheHistoryMakers, founder/executive director Julieanna Richardson’s invaluable video archive of thousands of hours of interviews documenting the history, culture, struggles and achievements of African Americans.
“The collection i

Ex-agency ECD Moore to direct for Dictionary Films

CUTTERS’ DICTIONARY FILMS division this week added Jon Moore, a former agency ECD/art director to its current directorial roster of six.  He was with Leo Burnett for more than 20 years before  joining mcgarrybowen, with Ned Crosley, as its first creative team when the agency opened here in 2009.

“Production was my favorite part of working on the agency side,” Moore says. “I thought, why not make the leap and put my art direction skills, literally in motion.”

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.

TV outlets going the max for Hawks parade coverage

Some 2 million fans watched the Hawks’ celebration in 2010, and at least that many are expected for the Blackhawks’ victory parade and rally Friday — likely one of the biggest celebrations in the city’s history.

Over-the-air and cable outlets will pull out all the stops with personnel and equipment in covering the Hawks’ caravan of open-air vehicles from the United Center to Hutchinson Field in Grant Park starting at 10:15 a.m.

Lottery/DP spot wins major lottery industry award

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

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

60 docmakers lead 20 panels, screenings in 3-day event

Last February, Columbia College associate professor Dan Rybicky brought together a core group of like-minded documentarians from at the school and industry professionals with the goal of “inspiring a deeper exploration into and the appreciation for the ways we collectively craft truth in stories,” he says. 

“We all were enthusiastic about wanting to start conversations, examine the myriad of ways documentaries were being created, the approaches taken to issues, and how they were taught on campus,” he says. 

“Chicago Fire” top guns guests at sold out MWFF Dec. 4

“CHICAGO FIRE” EXECS – show co-creator/EP Michael Brandt and EP/director Joe Chappelle – will present the top awards to the winners of the Best of Midwest Awards Tuesday, Dec. 4 – an event that is totally sold out! Two other special guests are “Chicago Fire” star Lauren German and “Liberal Arts” producer Claude Dal Farra.

Foundation’s new senior producer from New York

NEW TO FOUNDATION CONTENT is senior producer Tamara Bridges Rothschild who just joined Monday, Oct. 8 after a five year stint in New York as a freelance producer.  Rothschild and her husband, Michel Rothschild, moved to Chicago earlier this year when Michel joined Draftfcb as SVP/group CD, director of multicultural.

Art Institute uses web to promote Lichtenstein show

The BIG art event in Chicago this summer is a major retrospective of the work of pop artist Roy Lichtenstein.  The exhibition has just opened at the Art Institute of Chicago and runs through Sept. 3.

A major — some might call it a blockbuster — art show in this modern era calls for a major web presence to enhance the experience for  Lichtenstein aficionados who have already seen the show or plan on seeing it, as well as those who may not be so familiar with the artist and his work.

REEL Ruth talks at WIF meeting 5/22; other 5/22-23 events

WOMEN IN FILM has invited me to be their guest speaker Tuesday, May 22 at its Annual Membership Meeting when it convenes at the Rock Bottom Brewery (where for many years we held SchmoozaRama, the film industry’s first networking party) at 6 p.m. 

All are welcome to attend, to join and to re-up their current membership.  Guests will hear nominees and returning board members present a brief overview of their committees and goals for the coming year.

Numbers don’t lie: JCP turnaround attempt a fiasco

Well that didn’t take long.  The current push to turn around and reinvent J.C. Penney is fast proving to be one whopper of a fiasco.  JCP, as it’s now referred to, released its first quarter financial results this week.

The numbers were bad on two fronts:  The company lost $163 million in the quarter.  But more troubling, sales also plunged to $3.2 billion from $3.9 billion in the same quarter a year ago.

New Smithe spot plays off the upcoming NATO summit

Nobody puts more mirth into their marketing initiatives than the trio of Smithe brothers — Tim, Mark and Walter — who preside over the well-known local furniture store chain Walter E. Smithe.

The chain is so familiar to so many because for years the company has made a point of producing any number of wacky TV commercials — many of which cleverly tie in with iconic Chicago institutions (such as the Chicago Cubs and Chicago Blackhawks) or pointedly spoof important local events.

Cameras roll on three TV projects here next week

BUSINESS HEATS UP NEXT WEEK when cameras start rolling for two pilots and a TV series. Both Dick Wolf’s “Chicago Fire” for NBC Universal and the second season of the Starz series “Boss” swings into action on the same day, Thursday, March 15. Both are headquartered at Cinespace. 

Party launches Evanston’s Talking Pictures Fest

A PRE-FEST PARTY Feb. 23 launches Percolator Films’ 4th annual Talking Pictures Festival from 7-10 p.m. at the Hilton Orrington Hotel’s Indigo Lounge, 1710 Orrington Avenue in Evanston.  Talking Pictures Festival runs March 8-11.

In honor of International Women’s Day, the festival opens with Léa Pool’s timely Canadian documentary Pink Ribbons, Inc., an exposé on the saturated marketing campaigns and administration-heavy budgets of breast cancer advocacy group Susan G. Komen For the Cure. 

Oddball hosts don’t yet mesh on new CBS morning show

What is it about CBS and round tables?  When it comes to conceptualizing talk shows, somebody there must be hooked big time on seating people in a circle. 

On Wednesday, that thought sprang to mind as we were watching  “CBS This Morning,” the CBS network’s latest stab at getting a morning show right.  For years CBS has been a perennial third-place finisher behind NBC and ABC in the network morning show competition.

Zacuto Films, Punch Films, Orbark are non-broadcast Emmy winners

A GUESSTIMATED 135 INDIVIDUALS went home with golden Emmy statuettes last Sunday, Nov. 6, at the 53rd annual Emmy Awards, the winners in more than 60 broadcast categories.  About 30 of those categories were non-news, a la documentaries, PSAs, cultural and other programming.  Out of these categories and sub-categories, we could only discern three shows that were not produced as a broadcasting entity.

Mode Project/GoGo Air fly high with TV/web package

To announce first-time in-flight WiFi connectivity on three airlines and selected flights on five others, Itasca-based GoGo Air, the world’s leader and only such provider, rolled out its first multiple national broadcast and internet campaign.

L.A.-based Think Tank Media shot the “up in the air” campaign in L.A. and Chicago’s full-service Mode Project provided creative editorial, motion design, color correction and audio mix supervision.

17 Non-broadcasting entries vie for 2011 Emmy Awards

Come November’s 2011 Emmy Awards ceremonies, a very large number of broadcasting persons and entities among scores of contenders, will take home a coveted Emmy statuette as winners in 27 Outstanding Achievement categories.

Of those 27 categories, 15 will honor achievements in programming, commercials and crafts produced by 17 local and regional production companies other than broadcasters, as shown below. 

Michigan webathon fights bill to kill $25 million cap

Michigan film workers will rally Sunday, April 17, for a non-stop, 15 hour webathon to raise money to fund a TV spot campaign, in an effort to influence the legislature to maintain Michigan’s film tax incentives. 

The “Film Credits Work Webathon” was triggered by Republicans on a House subcommittee’s approval of a bill Wednesday to eliminate Gov. Rick Snyder ’s proposed $25 million incentives cap and thus bury any possibility of a continuing Michigan film industry.

Tax incentive’s sun rises again for 2011

Filmmakers seeking investors can offer them a federal tax credit that’s sprung back to life: Section 181, which permits a healthy 100% deduction for the cost of films, television shows, documentaries and other genres.

President Obama signed Section 181 into law effective through Dec. 31, 2011. The bill had been allowed to sunset on Dec. 31, 2009.

The Section 181 incentive was originally designed to thwart runaway film and television production, which took effect in October, 2004 as part of the American Jobs Creation Act.

Show Department stages big local events

Even as it works through Chapter 11 restructuring, the Show Department, Inc. and its subsidiaries, Resolution Digital Studios and The Screen Works, recent staged two high-powered benefit events.

One was for Chicago Community Trust’s 95th Anniversary Gala Oct. 12 at the Harris Theatre for Kurtis Productions and producer Scott Jacobs; the other for President Obama’s recent rally in Madison, Wisconsin.

COO Jeff Facklis says Show Department has done small projects with Kurtis over the years, but “this was our first major show with them.

MPG’s 25 years revisited at Siskel Center

BOB HERCULES AND KEITH WALKER’S Media Process Group celebrate their 25th anniversary with a retrospective screening of excerpts from six of their documentaries starting with 1989’s “Baseball’s Heirlooms” (1989) at the Gene Siskel Center Oct. 21.

Other films are “The Democratic Promise: Saul Alinsky and His Legacy ” (1999), “Forgiving Dr. Mengele” (2006), “Senator Obama Goes to Africa” (2007), “Radical Disciple: The Story of Father Pfleger” (2009).

Also screening is MPG’s in-progress “A Good Man,” Bob Hercules’s collaboration with Gordon Quinn, about choreographer Bill T.

Close to a done deal for Detroit movie studio

It looks like the 385,000-sq. ft. Michigan Motion Picture Studios — the former GM Pontiac plant — is finally coming to life. County officials have stated the sale for the property has closed and financing is nearly complete.

A 185,000-square-foot addition is planned for the facility, and studio heads are looking to hire as many local contractors as possible, according to the Oakland Herald.

County officials have put their own backing behind the project. The Oakland County Economic Development Corp. is in the process of selling $28 million in bonds to support the studio.

Doc about rapper Twista shoots here in June

New York-based Vladar Company is coming to Chicago this June to shoot a 90-minute documentary about Chicago rapper Twista.

“I am looking forward to shooting in Chicago and telling the story about Twista, a great American artist,” director Vlad Yudin says. “We will reveal the rich music culture and tradition that Chicago has to offer the world.”

EMI Music Label Services is slated to release “Twista” in November as a companion to the rapper’s next album. “They’re targeting for TV and VOD,” says Vladar Company producer Edwin Mejia.

?Ridealong’ ends lengthy L.A. drought

A quartet of happy campers returned from three days in L.A. talking to studio execs with big smiles on their faces and signed with collective relief, as it looks like Chicago’s dire draught of film activity may be ending.

Local 476’s Mark Hogan, the Teamsters’ John Coley Sr. and John Coley Jr., and the IFO’s Betsy Steinberg brought back news of possible studio productions.

Fox Television has given a greenlight to the Shawn Ryan pilot, an hourlong cop drama, “Ridealong,” a potential Fox series that could be shot in its entirety here.

Quinn campaign targets younger voters

Gov. Pat Quinn’s gubernatorial campaign attempts to mitigate the reduced impact of traditional advertising with “Quinn Stories,” a weekly series of two-minute webisodes designed to reach voters who might otherwise be overlooked by conventional campaign strategies.

“Quinn Stories,” produced by director Barry Poltermann’s About Face Media, began in November and will continue through the Feb. 2 gubernatorial primary.

The Dec.

Father Pfleger doc premieres at Black Harvest

Firebrand South Side pastor Rev. Michael Pfleger is the latest documentary subject for Bob Hercules of Media Process Group, whose prior films tell the stories of then-Senator Barack Obama, community organizing pioneer Saul Alinsky, and controversial Holocaust survivor Eva Kor.

Hercules’ “Radical Disciple: The Story of Father Pfleger” premieres Aug. 28 among the two documentaries, four features and eight shorts in the Gene Siskel Film Center’s 15th Annual Black Harvest International Festival of Film and Video, running Aug. 7-Sept. 3.

Following Rev.

Lifetime Achievement Award for Harold Ramis

DIRECTOR HAROLD RAMIS receives the “Just for Laughs” Lifetime Achievement Award at the red carpet screening of Columbia Pictures’ “Year One” at the Music Box, June 16.

The special screening is the kickoff for the TBS Presents A Very Funny Festival: Just for Laughs Chicago and is being showcased locally before its June 19 national release.

Steven Saltz takes his online celeb show to TV

Veteran actor Steven Saltz has taken his online celebrity interview show to a late night TV show concept ? a half-hour of interviews and performances by local and visiting talent.

“The Chicago Actor Show” pilot was taped at RDI studios with veteran actor Frank Vincent and comedienne Lynne Koplitz, and the house band led by Daryl Stuermer, guitarist for Phil Collins and Genesis.

The show is a natural evolution from Saltz’ having interviewed celebrities on his website for several years.

Wiggle Puppy’s footage in Inaugural video

A week before the Presidential Inauguration, “U2 3D” producer Peter Shapiro surprised Sara Yule with a call asking her company, Wiggle Puppy Productions, to provide Chicago footage of the video that would play before the massive all-star Inaugural Concert at the Lincoln Memorial.

“We dropped everything we were doing to be a part of this, to be a part of history,” Yule said.

Mutual friends had recommended Wiggle Puppy to Shapiro. In turn, Yule recommended shooters in other cities to Shapiro. Washington, D.C.

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.

Spotlight on a new crew payment service

New Spotlight Crew payroll service started off auspiciously last month when it was hired to handle payment for the massive crew covering Barack Obama’s historic speech at Grant Park.

Spotlight Crew, Inc. is the new division of Tim Hale’s 9-year old Spotlight Business Affairs, Inc. the U.S.’ second biggest talent payment and business affairs company with offices in other cities.

Heading the new division is Crew Services director John Kramer, who with his wife, were Hale’s first employees when he started the company in 2000.

How Razorfish stays way out in front

Razorfish, one of the world’s largest interactive marketing and technology companies, has a Chicago office employing 170-plus digital specialists, who work with top brands like Kraft, JC Penney and AT&T.

ReelChicago’s Tim Horsburgh spoke with Razorfish’s Julie Novack, SVP/general manager, about its future plans and how the Chicago visual media industry can stay ahead of the game.

ReelChicago: Razorfish’s new report notes that 76% of consumers welcome advertising on social networks. I’d say this is a big new trend.

The Trib endorses the 30% tax credit

THANKS TO THE TRIBUNE for giving the film industry a huge boost with its recent strong editorial supporting a 30% hike in the filmmakers tax credit.

The critical incentive will be introduced — and hopefully passed — during the legislature’s short, two-week Veto Session.

“If the bill is not renewed, it will expire on Dec. 31 and we will have to wait for January,” says IPA president Lars Ullberg.

Second City goes digital: Partners with L.A.’s MRC to create short online pieces, bowing next month

The Second City is getting into the short film content business online, according to Andrew Alexander, Second City’s executive producer.

“We had been talking about it for at least two years and had been searching around for what we felt would be the right mix of partnership,” he said.

Second City will partner with Los Angeles-based Media Rights Capital (MRC), an independent film/television and digital studio, to create short pieces specifically geared for online distribution.

Second City made the connection with MRC through the Gersh Agency in New York.

“Citizen Kate” gets off the campaign trail to tell her story Tuesday on Ch. 11’s “Chicago Tonight”

“Kate,” one of 78 “reporters” vying for five finalist positions, is the highest rated candidate in the competition, and the only “reporter” who actually has been reporting on presidential candidates ever since Sen. Obama announced his candidacy way back when in January.

Unlike “Kate,” creator Lundin is no novice to the political scene. She has been produced political commercials for many winning candidates for 15 years.

Local features abound in Lake County Film Festival Feb. 28-March 3; focus on indies, fewer venues

The 5th annual Lake County Film Festival continues its steady growth this year to 17 narrative features, 17 documentary features and 100-plus short films.

The festival, Feb. 28 to March 3, is housed this year at the College of Lake County in Grayslake, where festival director Nat Dykeman also runs monthly independent screenings.

“We were able to program so much stuff this year, which is great,” Dykeman said. “I think we’re the second biggest festival in Illinois now in terms of number of screenings.”

Yvonne Furth to retire as Rivet’s top exec, Lor Gold steps up as COO and global director

RIVET PRESIDENT YVONNE FURTH announced she will retire from the agency Aug. 31 after 26 years with Draft/Chicago, Rivet’s parent company.

Lor Gold, also from Draft who formed Rivet with Furth last January, remains as Rivet’s CCO and new position of global managing director.

The 2005 Ad Woman of the Year, and possessor of an arms-length worth of awards, Furth previously was Draft/Chicago president/CEO. She joined Draft in ?81 as assistant account exec and ascended through the ranks to become president/COO in ’02.

Locally staged Cine Tech expo aims to update regional film professionals come September

CHICAGO CINE TECH, a home grown expo for visual media pros set for Sept. 27-29, will focus on new digital technology, its applications and content especially for emerging media.

Among the interesting speakers will be L.A.-based realty TV director and former Chicagoan Rich Kim (“America’s Next Top Model,” “A Simple Life,” “The Real World” ) who’s currently directing a new ABC primetime show called “Fat March.”

Cine Tech will be held at Columbia College’s new and improved eighth floor (walls have been removed to open exhibit space).

Chicago Documentary Festival March 30-April 8 features four world premieres by local filmmakers

THE CHICAGO DOCUMENTARY FILM FESTIVAL returns in its biennial incarnation with more than 100 docs screening between March 30 and April 8 at eight venues throughout the city.

One of the highlights is an appearance by former Chicagoan Mike Gray and the showing of his “The Murder of Fred Hampton,” exposing the Black Panther leader’s assassination for Chicago police.

Bally Total Fitness’ resourceful in-house producer Jorie Landfear promotes good health through film

WHO SHE IS: Jorie Landfear, an in-house commercial producer with Bally Total Fitness since 2005.

Based out of Bally’s Cumberland corporate office near O’Hare, Landfear often travels into the city to film at Bally club locations. She works closely with Bally’s creative director and director of broadcast advertising.

HOW SHE VIEWS HER JOB: By filming commercials for Bally’s, “I’m promoting the importance of health and fitness,” she exudes.

Globetrotters celebrated in TeamWorks’ national PBS doc “The Team that Changed the World”

Everyone knows the unparalleled on-court antics of the Harlem Globetrotters, but few today are aware of the team’s pivotal role in shattering basketball’s color barrier and transforming the sport in America and around the world.

TeamWorks Media pay tribute to the Globetrotters’ legacy with their new hour-long hi-def doc “The Team that Changed the World,” which premieres on PBS stations nationwide Feb. 24, with a local premiere at 8 p.m. on Ch. 11.

Husband-wife filmmaking team on the road making political doc, “Red, White and Blue”

Eric Anderson and Amelia Dellos are out to prove that America isn’t as divided as it’s made out to be.

The husband-wife filmmaking team are poised to embark on a Midwest tour, interviewing everyday people across the political spectrum for their debut documentary “Red, White and Blue.”

“For the past year or so the rhetoric has been so hostile on both sides,” said Anderson, an award-winning screenwriter who runs the Oak Park graphic design firm EBA Creative.

“Hopefully our film will humanize the conversation and get the level of shouting down.”

Chicago’s 200 theaters in full swing

By Jonathan Abarbanel

A warm and cordial welcome to Jonathan Abarbanel, whose regular columns many of you will remember from the Original Screen magazine. The theatre maven extraordinaire will keep ReelChicago readers updated on Chicago’s vibrant theatre scene on a semi-regular basis.

THE NEW SEASON among Chicago’s 200-or-so theater companies is in full swing, with more than 40 theater openings in September and another 40-plus in October.