Chicago filmmaker Michael Smith premieres fourth feature at Siskel Center

The School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s Gene Siskel Film Center will co-present the world theatrical premiere of Chicago filmmaker Michael Smith’s fourth feature film, Relative.

Screenings will be held at the Film Center on Friday, June 10 at 7pm; Wednesday, June 15 at 8pm and Thursday, June 16 at 8:15pm. Each screening will be followed by a Q&A with writer/director Smith and select cast & crew. 

Produced by Newcity/Chicago Film Project, this Chicago-made dramedy stars Wendy Robie (Twin Peaks) and Steppenwolf Ensemble legend Francis Guinan as the parents of a family at a crossroads. How will the Frank family handle separations, new romances, and empty-nesting following the college graduation of Benji, played by The Walking Dead’s Cameron Scott Roberts, the youngest member of their clan? Time, love, family reunions and online proclivities test all of the characters in this ensemble film. Also starring Clare Cooney, Melissa DuPrey (“Grey’s Anatomy”), Keith D. Gallagher, Emily Lape and Elizabeth Stam. Written and directed by Michael Glover Smith (Mercury in Retrograde).


ALSO READ: Matt Damon to receive Gene Siskel Renaissance Award at special event


Relative asks what it means to be a parent, a child, a brother, a sister,” said director Smith. “While my previous three films deal with romantic relationships between characters in their 20s and 30s, RELATIVE primarily examines parent-child relationships and sibling bonds across three generations of the same family. I strived to stretch myself as a writer/director by creating characters of diverse ages and tried to mine each of their lives for emotional and psychological truth. Thanks to the best ensemble cast with whom I have ever had the pleasure of working, I believe the end result shows, in a manner that I hope is universal and timeless, both the difficulties and the rewards that come with being a relative.”

Relative had its World Premiere at the 2022 Gasparilla International Film Festival (where Cameron Scott Roberts won the Grand Jury Award for Best Performance), and has screened at the 2022 editions of the Julien Dubuque International Film Festival, the Midwest Film Festival and the Fort Myers Film Festival.

Relative will also screen at the Music Box Theatre on Wednesday, June 8 at 7pm, followed by a Q&A with writer/director Smith and select cast & crew. 

Tickets are $12 for General admission and $6 for members. On Friday, June 10, VIP Tickets are also available, for $20. VIP tickets include reserved seating, ticket to the movie and post-film VIP afterparty at the Film Center, with one complimentary beverage.

For more information and tickets to the Film Center screenings, click here


Sign Up: Stay on top of the latest film, TV, advertising, entertainment and production news! Sign up for our free elert here.


COMMENTS