10 terrific can’t-miss events over the next 3 weeks

LOCAL BANDS LED ZEPPELIN 2 and A Friend Called Fire will keep the Lawyers for the Creative Arts’ Spring Shindy rocking April 26.  The music showcase, fundraiser and mixer to help artists and arts organization obtain pro bono legal assistance. Terrific raffle prizes are part of the evening’s fun.


At 1st  Ward, in Wicker Park, starting at 7 p.m. Order tickets here.

GROUP 312 FILMS, a collective of digital video directors who work collaboratively on short films, on April 26 and 30 will display the best shorts they created last year. Post screening,  directors Kevin B. Chatham, Chris Mann, Richard Syska, Brian Klein, Dave Purdle and Joe Hahn will discuss their creative process

April 26, Chicago Filmmakers, 5243 N. Clark, 8 p.m.; April 30, Columbia College Hokin Hall, 623 S. Wabash, 6:30 p.m.; $8 suggested donation

CIMMFEST  IS BIGGER THAN EVER this year, with 75 bands, 75 films for $75, plus 25 panels at 20 venues along 1.5 miles of Wicker Park, Bucktown, Logan Square and the West Loop that it easy and convenient to attend.  Check out the lineup and ticket purchase here. 


AT KARTEMQUIN’S SPRING SHOWCASE see exclusive previews of 4KTQ works-in-progress, along with never-before-seen-footage from four Kartemquin’s new docs and give feedback directly to the filmmakers in the theatre and post screening reception.

At the Gene Siskel Film Center, 8:30 p.m.; tickets are $11 and include a post-screening filmmaker reception.

A DOZEN OF HOLLYWOOD’S HOTTEST SCREENWRITERS appear at in five panels at DePaul’s 3rd  annual Page One Writers Conference, starting at noon May 3. Topics cover breaking into the industry, multiple roles writers play in the entertainment industry, writing franchises, the business side of screenwriting and writing the Hollywood blockbuster.

One of the best parts of Page One is that it’s free and open to all.  At 14 E. Jackson.  See all the details here.

FACETS SCREEN GEMS BENEFIT May 7 honors Paul Gray, co-owner of the Richard Gray Art Gallery, and wife De, with the Facets Award for their commitments to art, human rights, social justice and politics.


Tribune columnist Rick Kogan emcees at the Arts Club of Chicago.


Proceeds support Facets’ children’s educational programs, including the Chicago International Children’s Film Festival.           


AN IMPORTANT FACTOID from the May 8 Indie Boots Film Festival. 


Possibly for the first time at any festival or screening, entries from women directors outnumber their male counterparts.  The short films of nine women directors will be showcased; men directors, five.(FYI. Female indie directors do okay at Sundance by comprising 23.9% of the entries, but in Hollywood they are a woeful total of 5%.)


Indie Boots is presented by Chicago’s Mudgeonsoul Productions, led by film and theatre director Richard Paro, at Landmark Ceture Centre Cinema, 7:30 p.m., tickets $12.


THE DINNER PARTY,” May 12 at City Winery, is a mix of great food, guests, conversations and performances presented by host Elysabeth Alfano.


Chef Pete of The Gage cooks for percussionist/composer and Wilco drummer Glenn Kotche, radio host Kathy Hart of The Mix’s “The Eric and Kathy Show” and actor Marc GrapeyMischa Zupko, Dominic Johnson, and Winston Choi of The International Beethoven Project are the opening act.

Tickets, $45, may be purchased here.

LEARNING HOW TO THINK MORE CREATIVELY is the topic of Independent Writers of Chicago’s   May 13 meeting, with Gerald “Solutionman” Haman presenting “Writing is a ‘Know’ Brainer: How to Use Your Whole Brain to Think Better, Faster and Smarter.”

Founder of SolutionPeople, developer of the Chicago Thinkubator and adjunct professor of innovation at Northwestern University, Haman reveals the keys to creative, innovative writing, drawing on lessons learned from 20 years of training more than 50,000 brains in 26 countries.

At the Gratz Center, 126 E. Chestnut, room 4G, networking at 5 p.m. Free to members; non members, $15.

SHORT STORY SHOWCASE: LOVE FACETS is Chicago Filmmakers’ showcase of the best short narratives, with the theme of the many facets of love.  Highlights include Ryan Marshall’s “For Worse;” Joi-Noelle Worley’s “Wyatt & Rita;” Sean Duffy’s “Plentiful Fishand Daniel Izul’s “Currents.”

May 17, Chicago Filmmakers, 5243 N. Clark, 8 p.m.; May 21, Columbia College Chicago Hokin Hall, 624 S. Wabash, 6:30 p.m. Suggested $8 donation.

Check in often for updates.  Email notices of your next event to ruth@reelchicago.com