Annual Blue Whiskey Film Festival opens this weekend

Molto Bella (2021)

The 11th Annual Blue Whiskey Independent Film Festival (BWiFF) returns this weekend with nightly screenings of the festival’s 2021 official selection films running July 24-30 at Chicago Filmmakers (1326 W. Hollywood Avenue, Chicago).

Blue Whiskey will present over 30 films with character-driven stories from around the globe during the in-person event, including seven outstanding indie films made by local Illinois filmmakers. 

Each night of the 2021 festival includes a unique collection of short films and is headlined by one of seven feature-length independent films. Blue Whiskey opens on Saturday, July 24 at 7pm with Director Timothy Hall’s feature drama Landlocked about a man who reunites with his estranged, transgender father, played by Chicago-based actress Delia Kropp in her feature film debut. A spooky British thriller Ribblehead headlines a horror-themed program on Thursday, July 29 at 7pm. In Ribblehead, a horror novelist draws inspiration from a strange locale in Yorkshire, England for his next book, but as he learns more about the site’s dark history, he begins to have nightmarish experiences and confuse reality from fantasy. 

Blue Whiskey
Director Timothy Hall’s feature drama Landlocked

A pair of Chicago filmmakers Travis Chandler and Daniel Greenstone, who also teach history and documentary film at the Francis W. Parker School on Chicago’s north side, will screen their feature documentary Far Out West at the festival on Wednesday, July 28 at 7pm. Chandler and Greenstone interviewed former members of California’s Kerista Commune who share their experiences from the utopian community that offered communal living, multiple sexual partners, and even a highly successful Apple computer sales business.

Blue Whiskey will screen a diverse selection of 27 short films during the week-long event. Among the selected short films is King Jaquell Martin and Deante Gray’s topical and personal film A War on Friendly Grounds (screening July 27 @ 7pm), based on the true story of a black US Armed Forces veteran who was assaulted by a police officer in 2005 after returning home from serving overseas. 

Illinois-made short films featured in the 2021 festival include Kyle Anne Grendys’ documentary short Fraser Syndrome & Me (screening July 27 @ 7pm) and screenwriter Isais Perez’s narrative short, The Audition (screening July 28 @ 7pm). Grendys, a filmmaker from Gurnee, IL is the 75th person to be born with a recessive gene disorder called Fraser Syndrome. In her film, she documents her first time meeting and interviewing other individuals who share her rare condition. Perez’s The Audition, follows an aspiring Latino actor through a series of Chicago casting calls as he struggles to get a callback, revealing the bias and stereotypes that Latinos face in film and television.  

The complete festival schedule includes films from across the country and the globe with foreign language selections this year from India, Taiwan, Lebanon, and more.

For tickets, event information and a complete schedule of the Blue Whiskey Independent Film Festival, visit Nightly sessions run from 7:00pm – 10:30pm at Chicago Filmmakers, 1326 W. Hollywood Avenue in Chicago. General admission tickets are $15 and provide entry to all films in the session.

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