CIMMfest 5: more music, movies, performances, venues

An Evening with Van Dyke Parks opens CIMMfest 5

The Chicago International Movies and Music Festival brings twice the programming at twice the venues when it returns for its fifth year April 18-21 being held at the newly rechristened Constellation (formerly the Viaduct Theater), 3111 N. Western.

“The connections between movies and music have never been stronger, more innovative and impressive,” says Cloudbirds singer Josh Chicoine, founding director along with Ilko Davidov of BulletProof Film.  And that’s what makes CIMMfest so unique and special.  We’re lucky again this year to be able to make this happen for Chicago.”

CIMMfest is loaded with movie/music, tributes to Melvin Van Peebles and The Rolling Stones 50th anniversary this year, conferences, expanded program of live music performances.

CIMMfest inaugurates its BAADASSSS lifetime achievement award with honoree and blaxploitation pioneer Melvin Van Peebles, who turns 80 this year.

Melvin Van Peebles receives a lifetime achievement awardHe’ll do a Q&A with a “special guest,” he’ll perform with his funk band Laxative, and screen his films Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song, La Permission (The Story of a Three-Day Pass), and Don’t Play Us Cheap. Included is the Joe Angio’s bio doc on Peebles, How to Eat Your Watermelon in White Company (and Enjoy It).

“It sets the bar for all future Baadassss Award winners,” Chicoine says.

CIMMfest opens with “An Evening with Van Dyke Parks, featuring a live performance by the singer-songwriter (who cowrote Smile! with Brian Wilson), and a conversation between him and his son Richard Parks, who will screen a series of short films about his father’s life and music. 

Richard Parks won CIMMfest’s 2012 best documentary short award for Music Man Murray. 

Keynote speaker Martin Atkins headlines a conference co-hosted with the Engineers and Recording Society of Chicago, themed “Who Needs the Music Industry Anyway.”

Atkins played with Nine Inch Nails, Ministry, and Public Image Ltd, founded Invisible Records, and wrote the books Tour:Smart, Band:Smart, and Welcome to the Music Industry, You’re Fucked.

“I imagine Martin will have plenty to say about the pros and cons, ins, outs, and other manner of how everything has changed and remained the same for folks trying to make music, and films, for a living,” Chicoine says.

CIMMpathy for The Stones is a celebration of 50 years of the Rolling Stones, a three-night retrospective at the Music Box Theater, with a massive retrospective of Stones documentaries.

They include: Sympathy for the Devil, Ladies and Gentlemen: The Rolling Stones, Stones in Exile, The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus, Get Yer Ya-Yas Out, The Rolling Stones: Charlie is My Darling, Some Girls Live in Texas 78, I Got the Blues in Austin, and Muddy Waters and The Rolling Stones at the Checkerboard Lounge, Chicago 1981.

CIMMfest’s expanded program of live music performances includes the Funky Meters, Greyboy Allstars, JC Brooks & the Uptown Sound, Lydia Loveless, Rabid Rabbit, Summer Girlfriends, and 30- plus more acts.

“This is significant in that we were able to include many of the venues that have popped up over the last few years, like the Burlington, Cole’s Bar, and Township,” Chicoine says. 

“We will always be situated in Wicker Park, but with the Logan Theater and so many other venues along Milwaukee Avenue, we’ve been able to connect with Logan Square and the growth that’s going on there as well.  This points to a longer-term vision for the festival and our growth plans for the next several years.” 

Contact Ed Koziarski at