Busy Simon Casting hires Sayyed as associate

Sanna Sayyed joined Claire Simon Casting

AFTER THREE YEARS with Shirley Hamilton Talent as a TV and film agent, Sanaa Sayyed joined Claire Simon Casting as a casting assistant – where she first worked as an intern practically off the plane from Houston. 

Casting was always her first love, she says, and right now there’s no place busier than Simon, which is casting for TV series “Chicago Fire,” “Chicago PD,” “Betrayal,” “Crisis” and sci-fi feature “Jupiter Ascending.”

Film and theatre agent Morgan Manock assumed Sayyed’s position and Renee Keen replaced Manock.  Keen is new to Shirley Hamilton, coming from Lookingglass Theatre.  She has an MA in theatre from London’s Royal Academy of Drama.

“Our theatrical business has more than doubled in the past year,” notes agency director Lynne Hamilton, informing they cast the lead role -– young adult actor Joey Debettencourt –- in the yearlong national tour of Roundabout Theatre’s “Peter and the Star Catcher.”  A prequel to “Peter Pan,” Debettencourt plays “Boy,” the forever young Peter Pan.

THREE EMMY NOMINATIONS for Kartemquin Films were received from the 34th annual News and Documentary Emmy Awards of NATAS.  Two were for Steve James’ The Interrupters, for “Outstanding Informational Programming: Long Form” and “Outstanding Editing: Documentary and Long Form.”

The third for As Goes Janesville went to Gordon Quinn and Justine Nagan, executive producers; Leslie Simmer, co-writer/editor.

Winners will be announced at an Oct. 1 gala in Lincoln Center, attended by 1,000 persons in the news and production industries.

VAL WARNER GOES NATIONAL, leaping from local ABC’s morning “Windy City Live” to the big time on ABC network’s “The View.”  She makes her first appearance as guest host Tuesday, July 23. Chicago-based actress/author Jenny McCarthy, will be a permanent guest host of the show starting in the fall.

IT’S NEVER TOO EARLY to start production on December/holiday commercials. STORY dispatched director/DP Rob Fischer to shoot a spot for New York Radio City Music Hall’s holiday season shows.  And we hear that Energy BBDO creatives are huddling over strategies for new client Bud Lite’s February 2014 Super Bowl spots. 

AN EPIC EVENING is the name of Daufenbach Camera’s annual event where 250 invited guests are expected. “It’s going to be an evening of networking and fun,” says Meredith Daufenbach, the company’s business manager.  “We’re going to have music by a German band called Alpine Thunder, with lederhosen and accordions, and catering by D’Absolute and beer from local Twisted Hippo Brewery.” Catalyst Lighting donates the lighting.

The camera shop will be open for browsing Daufenbach’s extensive camera inventory during the Epic Evening.  The fun starts at 6 p.m.

A SPECIAL TREAT FOR FILMMAKERS: L.A.-based Steven Bernstein ASC, the writer, producer and director will speak about the origins, making and distribution of Decoding Annie Parker, his feature about the discovery of the BRCA1 gene related to breast cancer (made known by Angelina Jolie) prior to the film’s exclusive showing Thursday, July 25.

The film stars Helen Hunt, Samantha Morton and Aaron Paul. The recent Seattle Film Festival named “Annie Parker” Best in Fest and voted Hunt Best Actress.

Women in Film and Fletcher Camera & Lenses are hosts of Bernstein’s presentation.

At the Muvico theatre, 9701 W. Bryn Mawr, 5:30 p.m.  Screening at 7 p.m. followed by Q&A. The fundraiser benefits FORCE (Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowerment). Buy tickets here.

$5,000 IN RAFFLE PRIZES are offered at ChiCPUG’s Summer Splash Networking Event from AJA, Adobe, Avid, New Blue, G-Teck, Apple and other big names also on July 25 at Goose Island on Clybourne, starting at 6 p.m.

The event includes food, a free drink ticket and a raffle ticket.  Members, $10, non-members, $15 in advance, $20 at the door.  You can register here.

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