“Anything’s Possible” as Lottery wins Batchy Award

THE LATEST AWARD for the Illinois Lottery was the top “Batchy Award” bestowed upon its multi-faceted “Anything’s Possible” campaign by NASPL (North American Assn. of State and Provincial Lotteries) in the Corporate/Beneficiary category. It competed with submissions from 40 other US and Canadian lotteries.

It’s the third time in 12 months that Lottery pros throughout the US singled out Illinois’ Lottery promotions as the best in the biz.

Coincidentally, the Batch Award was created 26 years ago by Lottery director Michael Jones as a fitting way to recognize and promote the best in Lottery advertising. It’s named after Ralph Batch, the Illinois Lottery’s first chief executive.

Lottery campaigns are created by ad agency Downtown Partners/Chicago and digital partner Critical Mass.

KEY CODE MEDIA, the LA-based technology company that launched a Chicago branch here last June, signed a lease on 6,000 sq. ft. of space in a building in Schaumburg, reports regional sales VP Brian Plante.

“We’re shooting for a February move-in. The space will have a large demo area and a tech demo lab. Once we’re up and running, we will hold weekly events for customers,” he says.

BUSY WEEKS AHEAD.  Coming to town next week are bicoastal companies Trio Films for a Wal-Mart spot and Pretty Bird for an Infinity car commercial … Showtime’s comedy “Shameless,” starring William H. Macy, will spend the week of Nov. 20 here for its quarterly B unit shoot. 

DEVELOPING GREAT CHARACTERS for screenplays is the topic of the Nov. 3 Screenwriters Network, with Christine Sneed, who teaches creative writing for NU’s graduate writing program, a published short story writer and poet, and an Illinois Arts Council Fellowship recipient.  At Roots, 1924 W. Chicago, 6 p.m.

CIFF ENDS, BUT THE ADVENTURES of founder/artistic director Michael Kutza are never-ending.  He takes off next week for China where he will be guest speaker at the Cinema Academy of Beijing Nov. 5, thanks to the government of China and Columbia College, Chicago.

“I’ll be speaking of the things I love the most – Chicago,” he says. “I’ve never been to Beijing and am really excited about the whole adventure.” Needless to say, Kutza has traveled far and wide on festival business during his nearly 50 YEARS of Chicago International Film Festival leadership. 

IN TOKYO, Cutters’ editor Ryan McGuire won the Grand Prix and the Craft Award for Best Editing from the All Japan Radio & Television Commercial Consideration for W+ K Nike Japan’s “The Pledge” spot. The presentation ceremony is Japan’s biggest ad award show and dedicated to elevating the quality of commercials and also honor the industry’s social and cultural contributions. 

AWARD WINNING DIRECTOR KY DICKENS’ doc, “Sole Survivor,” screens at Midwest Independent Film Festival, a joint presentation with Women in Film, Nov. 5 at the Landmark Century Cinema.  The doc is about the four survivors of an otherwise fatal plane crash.  CNN recently acquired it for worldwide distribution. Dickens is a 2013 WIF Focus Awardee. Pre-show cocktail reception, 6 p.m., screening 7:30.

MONEY RAISED from the Halloween Gala at the historic Essanay Studios of Charlie Chaplin-era silent film fame was $20,000, reports Gary Keller, VP/Essanay Centers.  It goes towards the estimated $125,000-$250,000 cost of restoring the building’s terra cotta façade to its original beauty.

That Essanay had existed from 1907-1917 had been unknown to Shawn Guthrie, grants coordinator of the Academy of TV Arts & Sciences, who toured the studio with IFO’s Raul Esparza. Guthrie agreed it was the most appropriate venue anywhere to hold the “100 Years of Charlie Chaplin” celebration in 2014.  The celebration also will be held simultaneously in LA and New York.

GETTY IMAGES and the Chicago Advertising Federation pull the curtain back on content marketing, with a Nov. 8 panel discussion at the Museum of Broadcast Communications.  Following a presentation by Getty Images’ creative planning manager, Pam Grossman, panelists will share insights on how to better serve clients’ changing needs. Click here for details and to register.

“THE INTERRUPTERS’” STEVE JAMES joins author Robert K. Elder in a discussion of “Le Joli Mai,” one of “The Best Film You’ve Never Seen” noted in Elder’s book of critically savaged films that 35 directors loved. “Some of the best films ever made are lamentably all but unknown,” as Elder proves in his book. Screening and discussion Saturday, Nov. 9 at the Gene Siskel Center, 7:30 p.m.

REEL MICHIGAN: Warner Bros.’ DC Entertainment Super Hero “Batman vs. Superman,” directed and co-written by Zack Snyder, settled into Raleigh Studios in Pontiac and will start filming next February in Detroit and around the state. It stars Henry Cavill, Ben Affleck, Amy Adams, Laurence Fishburne and Diane Lane.

The untitled feature was awarded $35 million on $131 million of produced in-state expenditures. It is expected to hire the equivalent of 426 jobs and 6,000 man/days of extra work and use approximately 500 local vendors, according to the Michigan Film Office.