Buyers, finalists connect at Aug. 9-10 Indiefest Film/Script Market

Chicago’s first Indie Film & Script Market climaxes in a busy weekend as hundreds of prospective buyers see what gems they can mine from among the 47 festival finalists.

“We’ve invited every production company and every distributor in the world, along with agents, financiers and even investors from the Board of Trade to the market,” said Indiefest organizer Lee Alan, a writer/producer/director of indie features.

The Indie Film & Script Market takes place Aug. 9 and 10, noon to 5 p.m., in the second and third floor meeting rooms above O’Callahan’s at 29 W. Hubbard. It’s open industry members. Fee is $10.

The finalists, producers of five features, three feature-length documentaries and 25 shorts, and writers of 14 screenplays, will be available to prospective buyers at individual tables set up throughout the two floors.

“Filmmakers and writers can market whatever they wish at their tables,” Alan noted. “Most of them will bring their new and future projects, along with the ones included in our festival. We expect they’ll have on hand copies of their films or DVDs, laptops to show their trailers and investment proposals and promotional material.”

Indiefest received 42 film entries from seven countries, 15 of them world premieres, and 800 screenplays, which is an amazingly high number for a first and relatively unknown event. Finalists’ films will replay Friday, Saturday and Sunday and the festival climaxes with a straight- forward awards presentation Sunday night.

Alan and his wife, Jennifer Alan, who own Cyclone Entertainment, began working non-stop on the festival last November. They don’t expect it to be profitable until perhaps the third year of operation.

But their main goal is to help independent filmmakers get their work exposed. Their hope is that Indiefest will become a festival and market staple. “And that can help bring attention to Chicago and help make it a viable independent film center,” Alan said.

So far this year, six indie features have been shot in Chicago since January and perhaps a dozen shorts, according to the Chicago Film Office. In previous years, between 25 and 30 indie films were made here.

Chicagoans with work in the festival include Daniel J. Pico (“Two Days in Limbo”), Dale Spencer (“Contract Killers”), Peter Evan Smith (“The Cigarette”), Jason Weisner (“True Harvest”), David Schmidt (“Grave Invitations”), Christopher R. Plotner (“The Hunt”), Benjamin T. Brammeier (“Saturday”), Aaron Torricelli (“Love Lenore”), and Gary Prusitas (“The Nuclear Family”).

Chicago filmmakers represented about 25% of the total selections.

Admission is $10 for Aug. 10 dual program of awards presentation at 8 p.m. and the film that follows, Aluizio Abranches’ Brazilian revenge tragedy, “The Three Marias,” at the Water Tower Theatre, 175 E. Chestnut.

Indiefest sponsors include the W Hotel, InkTips: the Writers Script Network, Village Entertainment, @94.7 Zone, Cyclone Entertainment, AGDS: Atom Groom Design Studios, the Chicago/ Illinois Film Offices and Events by Erin.

See indiefestchicago.com for a screening schedule, or call 773/665-7600.

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