Chicago Film Office takes over Outdoor Film Fest, moves to City Hall?with promise of more to come

Rich Moskal wants to blow up your film.

The director of the Chicago Film Office is actively seeking local shorts for next year’s Outdoor Film Festival, where selections will screen before classic features in Grant Park for audiences as big as 40,000.

The Film Office will cover the cost of blowing up selected films and striking a 35mm print courtesy of I-Cubed, which is the filmmaker’s to keep and use after the festival.

“This is a great opportunity not only for filmmakers to showcase their work, but also letting these huge captive audiences know about all the good work being done by people in Chicago,” Moskal said.

The Film Office is taking over the festival this year from its parent agency, the Mayor’s Office of Special Events.

Responsibility for the fest is part of a larger evolution of the Film Office as it moves into a newly built-out space in City Hall.

“We are looking to expand our focus to things like programming, and putting greater emphasis on services to the local independent community,” Moskal said, explaining that details would be forthcoming as initiatives are finalized.

The Film Office is courting Warner Brothers to shoot “Unaccompanied Minors”?adapted from a “This American Life” story set at O’Hare?here next March. Moskal said three more Hollywood productions are considering spring shoots here, but it was too early to announce.

The Film Office is resurrecting the shorts component of the Outdoor Film Festival after a hiatus this year that Moskal said was due to “budget constraints and a lack of submissions”?hence the newly aggressive push for entries this time around.