City’s Apprentice Producers program seeks applicants

EMERGING INDIE AND MEDIAMAKERS have until Sept. 30 to apply for the Chicago Film Office’s Independent Producers Apprenticeship Program, It’s open to all who are interested in pursuing any kind of independent production or starting one’s own film company.

Five selected apprentices will meet five times bi-monthly from November through August at various Chicago film and media organizations. Apprentices also will participate in a two-week paid project on the DCASE Filmmaker-in-Residence program. Job assignments are paid up to $750 a week.

In addition, each Apprentice is given a professional development voucher good for a skill-building workshop or class at an independent film organization in Chicago, including IFP Chicago, Women in Film Chicago, Chicago Filmmakers, Community Film Workshop Chicago, or AICP.

Click here to apply or visit the City of Chicago website for more information.

A SHORT MOCKUMENTARY by writer / producer Melissa Birks, “The True Story of Hammond VanOchre and His Amazing Flying Steampig” is now playing on Vimeo.

The 29-minute short film is about a Victorian-era inventor obsessed with building a flying pig that would soar over the 1898 Chicago World’s Fair eclipsing the wonder of the new Ferris Wheel.

A crew and cast of 10 actors, starring Chase Manikas and Thomas Birks, led by Zernul Shackelford, Jr. , filmed in Chicago and Grand Rapids in the summer and fall of 2014 and was finished in May 2016.

Grand Rapids graphics designer Alicia VanHeulen, provided the visual effects and 3D animation and Grand Rapids modeler Elise Tarsa did the pig’s 3D model design.

Birks is a former journalist who recently launched a screenwriting career. She was one of the first mentees accepted in the International Screenwriters’ Association’s Fast Track Program.

I USED TO LOVE HER,” the new six-part romcom webseries adapted by filmmaker Mark Harris from his 2008 feature of the same name, screens Sept. 29 at the Studio Movie Grill.

Starring Simeon Henderson, Mel Boerson, Tiffany Addison and Tiffany J. Curtis, in a cast of 14. At the Studio Grill, 210 W. 87th St. Buy tickets here.

THE 24TH CHICAGO UNDERGROUND FILM FESTIVAL is accepting submissions for screening May 31-June 4, 2017 at the Logan Theatre, showcasing independent, experimental and documentary films from around the world. Now hosted by IFP / Chicago and DCASE.

Early deadline is Oct. 1, late deadline, Jan. 6, 2016. Entry fees: features, $35, shorts, $30, Enter using CUFF’S online entry form.

SEND YOUR INDIE NEWS to Marla Seidell at or phone her at 818/731-2322.