Chicago at Park City: seven films, one seminar at Sundance and Slamdance 2006 film festivals

At least seven films and one seminar with local ties are playing at the Sundance and Slamdance film festivals that run concurrently in Park City, Utah.

Three of the 16 features in Sundance’s Dramatic Competition are by onetime locals, and one more, Brian Jun’s “Steel City,” was shot in downstate Alton, Ill.

Former Chicagoans Patrick Creadon and Christine O’Malley launch their feature doc “Wordplay” at Sundance. And Justin Hayward plays his short “Divorce Lemonade” there.

Bob Hercules and Cheri Pugh’s doc “Forgiving Dr. Mengele” premieres at Slamdance. Film collective Split Pillow is hosting a seminar at Slamdance on filmmaking between the coasts, and is a sponsor of the fest.

Here’s a rundown of how Chicago represents at Park City this year.

Divorce Lemonade

Justin Hayward’s bleak comedy “Divorce Lemonade” is one of 73 shorts chosen from 4,327 entries to screen at Sundance.

“Divorce Lemonade” depicts a 13-year-old girl (Ashleigh Kennington) covering for her estranged father’s drunken bender amidst a wasteland of prefab suburban construction. With Tim Krueger, Janetta Ratiu and Travis Dow.

At St. Louis native and Southern Illinois University alum, Hayward is a freelance gaffer for spot house Silent Partner Films. He premiered “Divorce Lemonade” at the Chicago International Film Festival, where he picked up a Silver Plaque.

“Divorce Lemonade” is playing before Jeremy Passmore and Hal Haberman’s feature comedy “Special,” about a parking enforcement officer whose antidepressants imbue him with superpowers, in the festival’s Spectrum section.