50 movies and live music mix at April 12-15 CIMMfest

There’s going to be a whole lotta shakin’ goin’ on when movies about punk rockers like The Mekons, Detroit’s MC5 and The Stooges and special appearances by musicians, filmmakers and actors, including Lizzy Caplan, Joe Lo Truglio, Bobby Bare Jr. and Matt Walsh hit Chicago at the Chicago International Music and Movies Festival (CIMMfest).

The fourth annual four-day festival will be held April 12-15 at eight different Wicker Park and Logan Square venues.  The fest’s move from the Cultural Center to local venues is expected to draw an even bigger audience than the 10,000 who attended last year.  

Viewers won’t just watch a strong, eclectic mix of 40 features – plus 40 shorts, docs, concert films, animation  and music videos with music at their center — from all corners of the globe. They can also choose from a head-spinning schedule of live music events.

CIMMfest founders Ilko Davidov and Josh ChicoineCIMMfest is unique as co-directors Josh Chicoine and Ilko Davidov aim to highlight “the crossover of film and song, shedding light on the interconnectedness of all people, around the world, through the lens of music and moving image,” says Chicoine.

“We received submissions from all these places with crazy punk scenes we’d never heard of, like Macedonia, Norway, Chile and Mozambique. These amazing films gave us the theme for this year’s CIMMfest,” Davidov days.  “We’re calling it ‘Punk Around the World.’”

Davidov, who by day runs Bulletproof Film, emigrated here from his native then Communist-controlled Sophia, Bulgaria, seeking political asylum after being arrested many times for just wearing a punk-looking leather jacket.

Our town and its filmmakers are represented by “Ganzfeld” (director Brian Scott); “Parallax Sounds” (director Augusto Contento) about the underground sound from the 1990s post-rock Chicago scene, including Steve Albini, scored and live-performed by Ken Vandermark; “SciFiSol” (director Joseph Lewis) and a work-in-progress preview of the eagerly anticipated doc by former Chicagoan Joe Angio “The Revenge of the Mekons.” 

Festival highlights include:

Lizzy Caplan in "Queens of Country"APRIL 12 Opening Night: Chicago Premiere of “Queens of Country (Directors Ryan Page and Christopher Pomerenke) at Starring Lizzy Caplan (“Mean Girls”), Ron Livingston (“Office Space”), Joe Lo Truglio, and Matt Walsh, founding member of the Upright Citizens Brigade, in a deeply weird plot that leads to kidnappings, time travel, doppelgangers, and Joe Lo Truglio in a dress. 

At Wicker Park Arts Center, 7 p.m.  Lizzy Caplan, Joe Lo Truglio, Matt Walsh, and directors Page and Pomerenke will be present for a post show Q&A.

April 14-15: “Punk Around the World” series: “Pank: The Rise of Punk in Chile” (director Martín Núñez) at the Logan Theater, April 15 at 1 p.m.; “Punk in Africa(directors Deon Maas, Keith Jones) at the Logan on April 15 at 3:15 p.m.; “Punk’s Not Dead” (director Vladimir Blazevski) at The Society for Arts, April 14 at 5 p.m.; and “Sons of Norway” (director Jens Lien) at The Society for Arts on April 15, 5:30 p.m.

April 14: “Louder Than Love: The Grande Ballroom Story” (director Tony D’Annunzio) about the molten epicenter of hard-driving, gritty and raw Detroit music scene in the late 60s, told by artists who forged the indelible Detroit sound: The MC5, The Stooges and more. Logan Theater, 3 p.m. Not to be missed.

April 14: “Always for Pleasure and More: Six Music Films by Les Blank” screens music docs by one of America’s greatest documentarians. Blank will be on hand for all screenings; 5 p.m. at the Logan Theater.

April 14: Exclusive work-in-progress preview of “Parallax Sounds” (director Augusto Contento), about the relationship between Chicago’s dynamic urban landscape and the trailblazing musicians who defined its underground sound from the 1990s into the future, at Wicker Park Arts Center, 5:30 p.m.   

Cast of “Revenge of the Mekons”April 14: “Revenge of the Mekons” (director Joe Angio) The unlikely story of radical British art students who formed a band in the first blast of punk rock in 1977. The Mekons have redefined themselves and their music over the years while staying true to the punk ethos. A rich account of a criminally under-recognized band; 3 p.m., Logan Theater.

April 14: A performance by the raucous gang Sister Spit will be a multi-media explosion of taste-makers, chanteuses, poets and filmmakers. With Michelle Tea (“Valencia,” “Rent Girl”) and Dorothy Allison (“Bastard Out of Carolina”), Mx Justin Vivian Bond. At Wicker Park Arts Center, 8 p.m.

April 15 Closing Night: “Don’t Follow Me (I’m Lost): A Film about Bobby Bare Jr.” (director William Miller). A work-in-progress screening of a documentary featuring Justin Townes Earle and My Morning Jacket, about the iconoclastic American music treasure Bobby Bare Jr.  The Hideout, 7 p.m. Beware: Bobby will be there his own bad self.

Closing night awards at the Hideout will be handed out for Best Feature Documentary, Best Short Documentary, Best Fictional Feature, Best Short Fiction, and Best Music Video.

CIMMFest’s impressive list of judges include filmmakers Allison Anders (“Border Radio,” “Gas Food Lodging”), Keirda Bahruth (“Bob and the Monster”), Warren Cohen (VH1 Rock Docs), Jon Langford (artist/musician The Mekons), Marty Lennartz (WXRT), John McNaughton (“Mad Dog and Glory”), Dave Watson, and Irvine Welsh (author, Trainspotting).

Tickets, $7 to $15, on sale at CIMMfest.org or at venues the day of show.

Carey Lundin directs commercials, documentaries and webisodes. Contact: carey@vivalundinproductions.com.