Dickens’ feature doc wins Best of Midwest award

Winning director Ky Dickens

KY DICKENS’ FEATURE DOC, Sole Survivor, keeps winning honors and acclaim, the latest being the Best Feature award from the Midwest independent Film Festival, presented in front of a record crowd at The Underground Tuesday night.  Dickens’ award was one in nine categories, winning among 52 films that screened at MWFF in 2013. 

The Best of the Midwest winners are: Music Video: Dream Bigger Dreams, directed by Sandro; Short Film: Paraiso, directed by Nadav Kurtz; Editing: Bill Sebastian and Clinton Noel Williams for QWERTY; Actress: Aemilia Scott, Best If Used By; Cinematography: Ross Riege, The Kings of Summer; Screenplay, Todd Looby, Be Good; Actor: Thomas J. Madden, Be Good and Director: Jordan Vogt-Roberts, The Kings of Summer.

SIXTEEN SEMI-FINALISTS in the Chicago Screenwriters Group’s annual Screenwriting Contest won’t know until early next year to learn who won the top prizes, which include an all-expense paid trip to Hollywood to meet with production honchos.

The contenders are: A Fine Line by Dan Burns; A Little Favor by Russ Meyer;  Borders of the Heart by Ruth L Ratny; Boudekka by Rachael Roache; Cabrini Geen by Jim Courtright;  Days of Vengeance by Peter Groth; Dead Men by T.A. Snyder; Every Town Needs a Russian Tea Room by Anne Steinberg and Nicholas Tolkien;

Eyes for an Eye by Riic Makkoogan; Fit Island by Scott Kirkpatrick; Framed by William Comfort Anderson; Goldfish and Monotaur by Renee Stock; Once Upon a Winter by Anna and Ella Schovanec; The Book of Life by Peter Groth; The Day We Tried to Live by Sergio Padilla and The Soul Transfer Project by Deborah E. Slater and Barbara A. Kneipp.

The Screenwriters Group’s Dec. 8 meeting is “Writer/Director & Producer Industry Access Night,” featuring speakers writer/producer team Corky Arnold and Steve Gellman, who are developing a slate of features with partners in Canada and LA.  

At Roots Pizza, 1924 W. Chicago, 6 p.m.; $15 at the door.  Bring the first 10-15 pages of your screenwriting for future writing consideration.

FACETS’ ANNUAL BLOWOUT SALE Dec. 7 offers a massive selection of DVDs at special low-prices, for the movie lovers on your gift list.  In the lobby of Facets, 1517 W. Fullerton, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  All sales help support Facets Children and Youth Programs.

FILMING OF “BEAR DOWN,” a doc about Chicago Bears’ super fans, is underway by producer/director Joe Martinez.  The doc tells real stories of families and friends that make the team their tie that binds. “‘Bear Down’ will showcase football as a real way to connect with oneself mentally and with others socially,” Martinez says.

PSYCHOLOGICAL THRILLER “STILL” is currently shooting, thanks to having raised $6,921 on Kickstarter, surpassing its $6,000 goal.

Writer/producer Jason Coffman’s microbudget feature is the story of Alice  (Heidi Foland), a young woman afflicted with extremely rare akinetopsia, or “motion blindness.”  She is attacked during a robbery in progress she stumbles into and has to adjust to life with a new kind of perception.

THE MAYNE STAGE in Rogers Park is the venue for David Bradburn’s Fork the Man Holiday Party & Screening party, Dec. 18, 7-10 p.m. where their latest short, “The Night Before the Morning After,” 48Hour Film Race entry and trailers of films in post will be shown.