CIMM reboots to deliver year-round movies + music

"Desolation Center"

“Desolation Center”

Legendary Chicago fest
kicks off year-round
agenda with the May 29
premiere of Manu Delago’s
“Parasol Peak”
followed by a live
gig at Martyr’s

After spending a decade as an annual film and music festival, Chicago International Movies + Music (CIMM) is transitioning to operate year round throughout the city.

The upgrade begins with the Chicago premiere of Parasol Peak and an accompanying musical performance at Martyr’s on May 29. It continues with a free outdoor screening of The Color of Pomegranates at Comfort Station and a trio of selections at the Chicago Underground Film Festival (CUFF) in early June.

Then it becomes an ongoing series of events hosted in partnership with select cultural institutions, artists, and venues.

The plan reflects CIMM’s commitment to celebrating “the inseparable connection between music and movies through exclusive events, premiere film screenings, concerts, and conferences,” according to a press release.

“Over the last ten years, CIMMfest has brought thousands of films, artists, filmmakers, musicians, and their passionate fans, to theaters, galleries, clubs, and concert halls in Chicago’s most vibrant neighborhoods,” says Co-Founder and Executive Director Josh Chicoine. “We are ecstatic about the new direction for the organization as we launch into the next ten years with programming throughout the year.”

Chicoine hatched the original CIMMfest idea with filmmaker Ilko Davidov over drinks at the Green Eye Lounge in 2008. Over the ensuing decade, the pair worked with a legion of volunteers to grow the annual event into Northern version of Austin’s SXSW.

Eventually, the annual weekend-long sensation offered a head-explodingly grand assortment of concerts, films, seminars, and parties. Now, Chicoine says that it will be part of a much larger agenda.

“CIMMfest will become but one of the distinct programming verticals underneath CIMM as we produce stand alone events, partner presentations, micro-festivals, and unique collaborations,” he explains. “The support we have seen through these many years has been tremendous and as we move into our next decade, we are focused on serving the extensive community of music and movie lovers, our partners, and the city at large.”

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Chicago Premiere: Parasol Peak
The Chicago premiere of Parasol Peak will launch CIMM’s new mission. The award-winning film by renowned Austrian percussionist and ‘hang drum’ specialist Manu Delago features an ensemble of musicians on a mountaineering expedition in The Alps. Along the way, they perform new compositions in different locations and varying altitudes.

Manu, a Grammy-nominated producer and band member who has been playing and performing with Bjork for the last seven years, will perform his first-ever live show in Chicago after the screening.



Beats, the Bauhaus, and the Birth of Abstract Film will open the evening. The survey of short films from the 1920s, features a soundtrack composed and performed live by Chicago electric violist and DJ Dominic Johnson, the regular viola player for Drunk History.

Co-founder and Artistic Director for the New Millennium Orchestra of Chicago from 2005-15, Johnson has also performed with Brian Wilson, Stevie Wonder, and DJ Spooky. The multimedia piece was last performed at the Kennedy Center in DC.

Outdoor screening: The Color of Pomegranates
CIMM partners with Comfort Film to present an alfresco screening of The Color of Pomegrantes at Comfort Station (2579 N Milwaukee Ave) on June 4. According to CIMM, the film is “a super-stylized, surreal biography of Armenian troubadour Sayat Nova, whose life is depicted through non-narrative amalgamations of poetic images.”



CIMM at the Chicago Underground Film Festival
CIMM will screen a trio of films at 26th annual Chicago Underground Film Festival, which takes place June 5-9 in theaters on Chicago’s West Side. The CIMM screenings will roll at the Logan Theater, 2646 N Milwaukee Ave. For tickets and additional information about the Chicago Underground Film Festival, click here.

JUNE 6, 8:45 PM
A BRIGHT LIGHT — KAREN AND THE PROCESS Texas-born folk singer Karen Dalton blazed a folk and blues trail by playing live in the New York scene of the 60s and releasing two albums for Capitol Records: “It’s So Hard to Tell Who’s Going to Love You Best” (1969) and “In My Own Time” (1971). Then she withdrew to a remote Colorado cabin and swore off a life as a professional musician. This beautifully idiosyncratic film sees a band of collaborators tracking traces of Dalton around the country —uncovering a complex, layered history of a reclusive artist who died of complications related to AIDS in 1993, at the age of 55. For tickets, click here. (Northwest Film Forum)

JUNE 7, 8:45 PM
WHERE DOES A BODY END? An intimate portrait of the band SWANS, from their roots as a brutal, confrontational post-punk band that emerged from the same 1980s-era NYC that gave us Sonic Youth and Madonna through their ill-fated bid at mainstream success in the 90s indie-rock goldrush, through breakups and chaos (on and offstage) to their odds-defying current status as one of the most accomplished and ambitious bands in the world, one whose concerts are more like ecstatic rituals than nostalgic trips back through their most popular songs. For tickets, click here.

JUNE 8, 8:45 PM
DESOLATION CENTER The untold story of a series of Reagan-era anarchic punk rock desert happenings that still reverberate throughout our culture, Desolation Center transported punk and industrial music fans in rented school buses into the far reaches of the Mojave Desert for now-legendary performances. The feature documentary about these guerilla events features performances by Sonic Youth, Meat Puppets, Minutemen, Einstürzende Neubauten, Survival Research Laboratories, Redd Kross, Saccharine Trust, Savage Republic, and Swans. For tickets, click here.


About Manu Delago
Manu Delago has been working and writing music with Bjork for the last seven years and in the the USA to collaborate with Bjork for her current (sold-out) residency commissioned shows at the newly opened Shed cultural center in NYC. Manu is also a Grammy nominated producer and band member and longtime collaborator with Anoushka Shankar, as well as The Cinematic Orchestra (Ninja Tune), composer Ólafur Arnalds, and electronic outfit Shpongle. He was also a featured soloist for the London Symphony Orchestra. Millions have witnessed his ‘hang drum’ playing on YouTube making him quite likely the most well-known hang drum player in the world.

About Dominic Johnson
Dominic Johnson was the co-founder and Artistic Director for the New Millennium Orchestra of Chicago from 2005-15. He has performed with Brian Wilson, Stevie Wonder, DJ Spooky, and Belle and Sebastian. Recently Johnson completed 21 episodes as a member of the music team at Comedy Central’s Drunk History. He has played Mozart and Berg in the Vienna Konzerthaus, rocked the Hammerstein Ballroom opening for PJ Harvey, and played electric viola for various Chicago Symphony Orchestra events. He regularly DJs, performs on viola and violin in a variety of settings.

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