Lake County Film Festival complete lineup through Nov 16

Ivan Bordas’ drama CABARETE

The 10th Annual Lake County Film Festival (LCFF) has announced the full and complete lineup and details for this year’s 10th Anniversary edition of the film festival, taking place November 5-16.

An ambitious program of 23 features and 96 short films will be presented in a virtual/in-person hybrid highlighted by a special double feature presentation at The Gorton Community Center in Lake Forest of Jack C. Newell’s MONUMENTS and Joshua Y. Tsui’s INSERT COIN. Newell’s MONUMENTS will serve as the popular film festival’s Opening Night selection preceded by a program of local short films, while Alexander Jeffrey’s MOLTO BELLA will be the Closing Night selection this year.

The virtual presentations, powered by Seed&Spark, will be available to residents of Illinois and Wisconsin, potentially offering many film fans in those states their first opportunities to see LCFF’s films and filmmakers (via remote Q&As) for the first time. In addition, the film festival will host a 24/7 chat room to add even more opportunity for audience members to interact with their filmmakers.

Lake County Film Festival Director Nat Dykeman said, “Like many film festivals we have taken the challenges presented to us by restrictions and limitations brought about by the pandemic to actually broaden our scope, extend ourselves and use this moment as a chance to introduce our films and filmmakers – as well as the personality of LCFF to audience in two states. It’s an opportunity to create a bigger tent of film fans, who just might come to Lake County next year to enjoy the show we put on in person.”

Jack C. Newell’s drama MONUMENTS will both be the Lake County Film Festival’s Opening Night selection on Wednesday, November 5, as well as being part of LCFF’s special double feature presentation in the John and Nancy Hughes Theater at Gorton Community Center at Gorton Community Center (400 E. Illinois Rd) on Saturday, November 14. MONUMENTS follows a man, who at the urging of her deceased wife’s ghost, steals her ashes and her family’s pickup truck to travel across the country to scatter her ashes at the Field Museum. Jack C. Newell is a multi-alumni from the LCFF’s previous festivals, who has been consistently putting out films over the last decade, including the cooking documentary 42 GRAMS, and the award-winning drama, OPEN TABLES. 

Jack C. Newell’s MONUMENTS

The other half of the special double feature presentation at Gorton Community Center will be Joshua Tsui’s documentary INSERT COIN. The film chronicles the rise, fall, and eventual bankruptcy of Chicago-based Midway Games. “Midway Games pioneered the technology of motion capture in games, and went on to publish some of the most influential and successful games of all time, including NBA Jam, Mortal Kombat, Terminator 2, and my personal favorite, Smash TV,” said Festival Director Dykeman. 

The Closing Night screening on Monday, November 16, Alexander Jeffery’s MOLTO BELLA is an intimate narrative film with the natural dialogue of the BEFORE series, and the digetic music of ONCE. The film follows American musician Josie Day (played by IRL musician Andrea von Kampen), who is in Sicily looking for inspiration for the follow up to her first hit record. When she meets a poet there, their chemistry sparks collaboration, and they challenge each other to express their thorniest struggles. 


Additional feature film highlights are led by the World Premiere of the animated, science-fiction, retro-rock opera DEATH OF A ROCKSTAR. Written, directed, animated, and performed by musician Röckët Stähr, who spent thirteen years creating the film, almost completely by himself. DEATH OF A ROCKSTAR is a fun, rock ‘n’ roll trip created by a true auteur. Chelsea Christer’s award-winning BLEEDING AUDIO focuses on San Francisco pop punk band The Matches. The film recently won Audience Awards at both Dances With Films and San Francisco DocFest. Ivan Bordas’ drama CABARETE is about a young man who wants to compete in kite-surfing, and Chris Hansen’s SEVEN SHORT FILMS ABOUT (OUR) MARRIAGE is a festival favorite that follows the life of an interracial marriage between an aspiring filmmaker and a dancer that is made up of seven vignettes that chronicles the better and worse. 

A wide variety of topics, subjects, and issues can be found on the documentary side, includeing; Matthew Salleh’s WE DON’T DESERVE DOGS, which looks at the distinctive bonds that we form with dogs via a handful of heartfelt and unconventional portraits of people with their dogs stories around the world; Zach Marion’s WHERE SHE LIES, a fascinating true-crime film about a woman who suspects her newborn baby was stolen from her and incorrectly declared deceased years ago; and Carolina Monnerat and Theodore Collatos’ QUEEN OF LAPA, which captures the larger-than-life actress, cabaret performer, activist, and proud sex professional since the age of eleven, Luana Muniz – arguably one of Brazil’s most recognizable transgender personalities – on screen.

Theodore Collatos’ QUEEN OF LAPA


Films with local connections include Marc Menet and Scott Prestin’s JOHN WAYNE GACY: DEFENDING A MONSTER about the man who became John Wayne Gacy’s defense attorney; Ines Sommer’s SEASONS OF CHANGE ON HENRY’S FARM, about a man reaching a crossroads regarding the future of his farm, which is located downstate; and Chicago native Vince Clemente’s fun look at palindrome creators in THE PALINDROMISTS.

The Lake County Film Festival has been noted for its short film programming, and this year’s edition will feature it largest and most ambitious lineup (91 selections) yet, that have been curated and carefully (and sometimes whimsically) and put together in 21 separate programs – all running no more than 45 minutes in length. With programs titled “#BLM,” “Action! Shorts!,” “Always Punch Nazis,” “The Fourth Wall,” “Guns, Guns, Guns,” “Modern Romance,” “OMG!WTF!,” “Shutterbugs,” “The Souls of Black Folks,” and “The Woman’s Work,” themes will touch on all genres and sometimes very specific subjects and ideas.

Many of the short films also feature recognizable actors, such as Patton Oswalt (THE PRIEST), Alia Shawkat (ALINA), Beth Grant (LA SIRENA, FAITH), Martin Starr (MILFORD), Henry Rollins (MONEYBAG HEAD), Jeremy Sisto (WICHITA), Kerris Dorey from Ray Donovan (SILVERTONE), and Jason R. Moore from Marvel’s The Punisher (HONOR AMONG THIEVES).

For information on purchasing passes, tickets, and additional details on the Lake County Film festival, please go to:

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