“Bucky Badger” wins Wisconsin Festival award

THE AUDIENCE AWARD for the best documentary went to Fulton Market Films’ “Being Bucky,” at the recent Wisconsin Film Festival in Madison, one of only films so honored out of the festival’s 199 entries.

Award-winning Scott Smith, who grew up in Madison, directed the 80-minute doc about the seven students who play “Bucky Badger,” the University of Wisconsin/Madison mascot during the 2007-2008 school year.

“Bucky” plays in Marcus Theatres in Madison, where it won three stars from critic Duane Dudek of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, and in Green Bay and Milwaukee.

Fulton Market’s John Fromstein was executive producer and DP. and it won the audience award at the Wisconsin Film Festival for Best Documentary.

DIGITAL SHOP VERVELIFE, which provides digital music experiences for brand marketers, beefed up the brand side with the hire of promotion pro Colleen Fahey as chief strategy officer.

Previously, Fahey had been creative director at Star Farm Productions, where she launched the global animated kids’ property, “Edgar and Ellen,” on the net and “learned the power of fans and online community,” she says.

CHICAGO-MADE “THE MERRY GENTLEMEN” rolls merrily along on the festival circuit — Minneapolis-St. Paul, April 16-30, Palm Beach, April 25, Newport, April 26, Seattle May 22 and June 15 — and receives theatrical distribution May 1 at theatres in Chicago, Evanston and Bourbonnais.

The 2007 indie film, written by Ron Lazzeretti, a Draftfcb creative executive and former production company, marked actor Michael Keaton’s directorial debut. He also stars.

STATE OF PRODUCTION. The NBC pilot “State of Romance,” which wrapped a nine-day all-location shoot last week, has a good chance of being greenlighted for series production here, sources say.

Billed as a modern-day “Pride and Prejudice,” “Romance” revolves around the relationship between Mike ( Steve Howey ) and Emily ( Lindsey Broad ) who meet on a plane. Cast includes Zoe Lister-Jones, Grace Rex and Stephen Rannazzisi.

A 15TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION for RPM founders Steve Platcow and Mark Melin, CEO and president, respectively,

The full-service agency started out of a small loft in April, 1994 and now boasts nearly $50 million in billings, 90-plus employees and a roster of 30 clients, including Harrah’s, the Daily Herald, Redhawk and Seminole Casinos.

ACTORS EQUITY purchased its own headquarters ? a 22,000-sq. ft. building at 557 W. Randolph for $2 million. After it’s renovated, Equity will occupy about half the space and offer office rentals for the other half.

CH. 5’S VETERAN ANCHOR WARNER SAUNDERS will be honored by the Museum of Broadcast Communications at a salute May 16 at the Fairmont Hotel’s Imperial Ballroom. Featured speaker is Herb Kent of V105, an MBC Radio Hall of Fame honoree.

A SECOND HUGO AWARD for Commitment to Excellence goes to the Illinois Film Office for its work over the past 34 years. The annual Hugo awards ceremony takes place April 22 at the Cultural Center. A Commitment to Excellence Award in TV will be presented to Backyard Productions.