‘Chicago Connection’ shorts screen at Black Harvest Fest


SEVEN CHICAGO-MADE SHORTS, grouped under the title of The Chicago Connection, screen Thursday, Aug. 25 at the Black Harvest International Film Festival. 

One of those shorts is Swimmin’ Lesson, a 9-minut short by African-American studies Professor Shahari Moore of Olive-Harvey College, about a man remembering his life with his wife and son before Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans. 

Professor Sharhari Moore, producer of  "Swimmin' Lessons"

The story caught the eye of Dr. Christine List at Chicago State. who teamed up with Moore to co-direct Swimmin’ Lesson.  They spent two days shooting and several months editing. Moore received assistance with casting, photography and music from fellow faculty members at Olive-Harvey, including Professors Chanell Ruth Harris, Robin Tucker-Hicks, and Joseph Scully. 

Motivated by her success, Moore recently taught a course at the Bill Cosby Screenwriting program at the School of Cinematic Arts at USC.  She is currently working on another short film.

The other six Chicago Connection films are by directors Daniel Willis, C’mon Get Happy and Messiah Equiano, A Test of Faith; producers Barbara Allen, Eric’s Haircut, Hugh Grady and writer/actor/producer Tirf Alexius, Breathing Room; writer/actor/producer Jeremy Collins, Lost Ones.

MARITAL ARTS MASTERS and stuntmen Emmanuel Manzanares and Shawn Bernal of LBP Stunts were leaping for joy — and shock — at having won two top prizes at the recent Action On Film International in Pasadena for their very first short, Yo Soy Un Hombre Loco (I am a Crazy Man). 

Action On winners Emmanuel Manzanares and Shawn BernalOut of four Act One nominations for their tiny-budget film, they won Best Fight Choreography and Best Martial Arts Action Sequence, both in the Short Film category.

The 10-minute film was written and directed by Los Angeles-based Vlad Rimburg, who has either been a star, stuntman, choreographer, director and editor, or all of the above, on more than 15 independent high octane action films.

Hombre Loco may be slight on plot, but it plays heavily on martial arts action as Bernal and Manzanares pull out all the stops to decide which one will emerge as the number one assassin in the world.

Click here to see the two martial arts fighters in action.

WRITER/DIRECTOR ERIK L. WILSON of Sphinx Productions is in post on a horror short, House Call, about strange things that begin to happen to Janice and Steve on the one year anniversary of having met.  When completed next month, House Call will head for the festival circuit.

Starring Aimee Bello, Michigan Shepherd, Janet Gawrys and Brad Egger.

Producers are Sean Miller and Travis Moody; DP, Mike Bove; editor, Emre Cihangir; production design, Kevin Kroes and makeup/effects, Tony Wash.

WRITER/DIRECTOR MICHAEL SMITH of Lost Tree Lanes Productions is  half-way home to his Indiegogo goal of $15,000 for his feature, The Catastrophe,  with $7,265 raised as of this date.  

It’s a dark, surreal comedy/mystery about a cigar salesman who stumbles on what or may not be a murder plot.

Starring Mia Park, Hector Reyes, George Christopher, Duane Sharp, D.J. Collins, Suzy Brack, Marla Seidell, Mouzam Makkar, and Peyton Myrick, a theatrical actor from North Carolina.  DP Justin Cameron has begun principal photography using the Red One. Producer is Clayton Monical.

Smith’s more recent work, the short At Last, Okemah! has played in 10 notable music and film awards and walked away with five top festival prizes.

Ed Koziarski who writes Indie Focus is producing a documentary of his own in Japan. Until he returns, send your indie production news to Ruth@Reelchicago.com.