3 talented female filmmakers topline new WIF series

Grace McPhillips and Calliope Porter in Fitting

WOMEN IN FILM CHICAGO’S new screening series, “Emerging Talent: Females in Focus,” launches March 19 with films by Mary Kay Cook, Grace McPhillips and Anna Jung. A cocktail reception follows the screenings.  It’s 6-9 p.m. at the Claudia Cassidy Theatre, Chicago Cultural Center, 77 E. Washington St.  It’s free; RSVP encouraged.  

Cook, advisory council president of the Midwest Independent Film Festival, through her Potenza Productions produced Wednesday’s Child, a surreal drama about a girl “who discovers her entire existence has been a series of experiments for books written by her parents.” 

Sterling Rock Productions owner McPhillips produced, co-wrote and co-stars in Fitting, about estranged friends reuniting in a bridal fitting room. 

Silent Rebel creative director Jung directed the documentary Off Into Space, about Mike Pantazis and his widely heralded 1995 leap from the stands of Soldier Field.

Bobbie O'Connor, Suzy Brack, Richard Pryor, Jr., and Kathleen LawlorA COMEDY WEB SERIES3 Squares” is being produced by Kathleen Lawlor, Suzy Brack, and Bobbie O’Conner of 3 Squares LLC.  They star as a trio of friends experiencing the tribulations and hijinks of working as an actor in Chicago. 

Featuring Richard Pryor, Jr., DP Ron Larson, Jr., Tonia L. Carrier, Joe Farina, Ben Nicholson, Mike Pusateri, Gary Malinowski, and Janet B. Milstein.  Lawlor and O’Connor are writing the series.

CONSUMING SPIRITS, School of the Art Institute professor Chris Sullivan’s 16mm semi-autobiographical cut-out and hand-drawn animated feature was chosen from among nearly 6,000 submissions to premiere in the Tribeca Film Festival, April 18-29.  Fifteen years in the making, “The piece chronicles four lives that are connected through social service, intervention and foster care,” Sullivan writes.

'Consuming Sprits'Loyola University professor Elizabeth Coffman and Columbia College professor Ted Hardin’s documentary Veins in the Gulf, about wetland loss, oil and gas extraction and the Cajun communities of the Louisiana bayou, screens March 15 at 7 p.m. at FitzGerald’s, 6615 W. Roosevelt Road in Berwyn. 

The screening precedes a performance by Tab Benoit, a Cajun musician featured in the film and organizer of Voice of the Wetlands.  The screening is free; the performance is $20.

IFP PRODUCERS ALL DAY SERIES “Shoot Your Movie, Engage your Audience,” Saturday, March 19, 10 a.m.-1 p.m., starts with a Canon 5D, 7D and D60 workshop at ProGear Rental, 1740 W. Carroll.  The Camera Workshop offers an overview with Canon’s Ed Meyers, hands-on demos and discussions about data management rigging, lighting, lenses, audio and renting a full production package — everything you need to know to shoot your movie or become better informed about these new cameras and gear.

Sponsored by Canon, Fletcher Chicago, ProGear Rental, Barbizon Lighting and IFP Chicago.  To register, Emamail Christy@chicago@ifp.org.

MARCH 15 IS THE DEADLINE for the 19th Chicago Underground Film Festival to to be held May 31-June 7 at the Gene Siskel Film Festival.