Daniel Nearing is CFO’s first Filmmaker-in-Residence

Daniel Nearing

Chicago filmmaker Daniel Nearing of 9/23 Films, was named the first Filmmaker-in-Residence at the Chicago Film Office’s first-of-a-kind Independent Film Initiative (IFI).

The initiative, says Mark Kelly, the new commissioner of the Chicago Dept. of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) “is designed to attract, retain, promote and provide career-enhancing opportunities for local film industry professionals and media makers.”

The program also aims to make grow Chicago as an independent film center where all manner of films and series are not only produced here but are made by Chicagoans.

As the Filmmaker-in-Residence, Nearing will spend the ensuing year producing his feature, “Sister Carrie,” with an estimated budget of $200,000. This is his third film in a trilogy that he began in 2009, to be completed in 2017.

Nearing describes his “Sister Carrie” as an epic love story that that begins in Chicago and ends in Paris in 1909. The adaptation is a hybrid narrative drawn from early feminist novels: Theodore Dreiser’s landmark 1900 Chicago novel “Sister Carrie,” Alexander Dumas’ “La Dame aux Camélias,” and Abbé Prévost’s “Manon Lescaut.”

Nearing says women will be included in the key roles of cinematographer, line producer, co-editor and story consultant. The first film in Nearing’s trilogy was 2009’s festival award-winning “Chicago Heights,” based on Sherwood Anderson’s “Winesburg, Ohio” and named to Roger Ebert’s List of Best Art Films of 2010.

The second film was his 2015 “Hogtown,” which looks at the emergence of a multi-cultural America through the lens of Chicago and called by Reader as the best film about Chicago in 2015 and the best film made in the city in 2014.

Filmmaker-in-Residence, a year-long commitment, provides a $10,000 cash grant, plus a package of industry discounts on equipment rentals and permits, meeting space and other incentives to assist in the completion of an original work.

Nearing also will receive assistance from an advisory team of established industry professionals and will pay it forward by mentoring five production apprentices, emerging filmmakers, through a paid training program that gives them hands-on experience and strategic career development.

He currently coordinates an MFA program in Independent Filmmaking at Governors State University. He is a 2015-16 Fellow of the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation and 2016 Fellow of the MacDowell Colony.