‘The Last Dance:’ Jordan, Rodman and Electra

3+ When the Chicago Bulls acquired Dennis Rodman from the San Antonio Spurs for 7-foot center Will Purdue before the 1995 season, it transformed the frontcourt of an already uber-talented Michael Jordan squad into something akin to basketball’s version of The Beatles. Games on the road were as if the Harlem Globetrotters, Ringling Bros., Cirque … Continue reading “‘The Last Dance:’ Jordan, Rodman and Electra”

The Last Dance: Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls

4+ ESPN’s Michael Jordan Chicago Bulls documentary “The Last Dance” will debut on April 19 at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN. The 10-part documentary series takes an in-depth look at the the Chicago Bulls‘ dynasty through the lens of the final championship season in 1997-98. The Bulls allowed an NBA Entertainment crew to follow the team around for that … Continue reading “The Last Dance: Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls”

Mott Hupfel takes ‘The Last Shift’ to Sundance

3+ Mott Hupfel is a cinematographer known for his work on The Savages, The American Astronaut, The Cobbler, and You. When researching the Sony VENICE for an upcoming project, he discovered the camera’s Sensor Extension System, also known as Rialto. Recently, he talked to Albelcine about his latest project, The Last Shift which premiered at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival … Continue reading “Mott Hupfel takes ‘The Last Shift’ to Sundance”

Sundance picks 12 Filmmakers for Screenwriters Intensive

3+ 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. … Continue reading “Sundance picks 12 Filmmakers for Screenwriters Intensive”

Elastic Arts premieres “spiritual vision, brutalist flesh”

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

American Film Market sees significant attendance rise

3+ The American Film Market 2017, which opened its doors last Wednesday and just ended November 8 in Santa Monica, has reportedly seen a significant surge in participants this year with 445 exhibiting companies attending, an 18% increase over 2016. Notable growth comes from around the world, including South Korea (+13), Italy (+9), Romania (+9) … Continue reading “American Film Market sees significant attendance rise”

Last call for FCB and AB InBev Lime-A-Rita account

FCB will not be serving up anymore Lime-a-rita campaigns for client AB INBev, as the brewing giant launched a review Friday for its brand.

On June 22, Adweek broke the news that the brewer had issued an RFP.

A spokesman was quoted as saying, “We are proud of the work that was created from our collaboration with FCB Chicago and Lime-A-Rita, which has produced a number of memorable ads since 2015. As the brand evolves, we continually look to refresh our perspective and evaluate our agency structure.”

Cutters editor Lippert debuts film at Dances with Films

On Sunday June 4, Cutters Editor Michael Lippert, debuted his new short film, Miriam is Going to Mars, at the prestigious film festival, Dances With Films.

The short, running time 15:30, is a lovely character study about a woman, Miriam, who suffers from Schizophrenia and attempts to escape her psychiatric ward by applying to the first manned trip to Mars.

I had a chance to sit down with Michael at the Chinese Theater’s Film Lounge and talk about his film, which stars Ann Stoneville, Chandra Michaels and Nathaniel Buescher.

Sundance to showcase “Trophy,” Chicago-funded doc

SCREENING AT SUNDANCE (Jan, 19-29) will be the 28-minute doc, “Trophy,” that was funded by the Chicago equity firm of CMP Invest / Impact, that invests in documentaries that are aimed at helping to bring about social change.

“Trophy,” from filmmakers Shaul Schwartz and Christina Clusiau, investigates controversial, multi-billion dollar big game industry and the complex consequences of imposing economic value on animals.

Kartemquin rewards staffers with a week at Sundance

Among the attendees at the Sundance Film Festival, the mother of all independent film festivals, Jan. 16-26 in Park City, Utah will be 10 lucky Kartemquin staffers.  Their hard work last year is being rewarded by an all-expense-paid, 5 day trip to Sundance.

“We’ll have some fun before the busiest year in our 48 year history kicks in,” reports Tim Horsburgh, Kartemquin director of communications and programs. Horsburgh, however, won’t have much time for that promised fun, as he will be handling details for the screening of two Kartemquin docs, starting Sunday, Jan. 19.

Looby’s short ‘Lollywood’ doc screens at Slamdance

TODD LOOBY’S short documentary Lollywood, about a teenage filmmaker and war orphan at Liberia Mission, Inc. screens Jan. 20 and 23 in the Slamdance Film Festival.

Looby’s narrative short Son of None, shot during the same trip to Liberia Mission, won a special jury award at Slamdance 2011.

Looby’s wife Monica Desmond is executive director of Franciscan Works, the parent organization of Liberia Mission.

PBS date of 11/11/11 for Kartemquin/MPG dance doc

After four years in the making, A Good Man, the feature-length documentary about choreographer Bill T. Jones’ creation of a dance-theatre piece about the life of Abraham Lincoln, will air on Veterans Day, Nov. 11 (11/11/11) as part of the PBS Fall Arts “Festival” series.

A Good Man represents the Chicago arts scene in the PBS series.

The production began in 2007 as a co-production between Kartemquin’s Gordon Quinn and Media Process Group’s Bob Hercules. They were also the co-directors.

“Last Rites of Joe May” in Tribeca’s exalted circle

STEPPENWOLF’S FEATURE, “The Last Rites of Joe May, was selected among a record 5,624 films for screening at the 10th annual Tribeca Film Festival in New York. It will compete with 11 other features for The Founders Award.

Joe Maggio wrote and directed what’s called “the classic urban drama,” and the ensemble cast includes Dennis Farina, Jamie Allman, Ian Barford, Meridith Droeger, Chelcie Ross and Gary Cole. It was shot entirely in Chicago last winter and finished in New York.  

Swanberg lands his first Sundance premiere

Chicago indie film star Joe Swanberg should have a sense of satisfaction about his latest feature, “Uncle Kent,” since it is the first and only one of his six films to premiere at Sundance, in its Spotlight section. The festival runs Jan. 20-30.

Ironically, Sundance rejected two of Swanberg’s earlier films although five of his films in a row opened at South by Southwest.

Nevertheless, “Uncle Kent,” will be Swanberg’s fourth IFC Films’ release; air dates will be announced later this month.

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.

Ron Lazzeretti’s “Merry Gentlemen” premieres at Sundance; also Terry Kinney’s directorial debut

One fully local feature made in Chicago and one with ties to Chicago are in the non-competitive Premieres section of the Sundance Film Festival, Jan. 17-27, still the top launching pad for American independent film.

“The Merry Gentlemen,” Michael Keaton’s directorial bow, was shot entirely in Chicago in March and April, with a local writer, producers, and financing.

Also in Sundance is Steppenwolf company member Terry Kinney’s feature directorial debut for Plum Pictures, “Diminished Capacity,” produced by former Steppenwolf Films head Tim Evans.