Director Scott Smith wins IFO’s Shortcuts film contest

MULTI AWARD WINNING DIRECTOR SCOTT SMITH won the Illinois Film Office’s 4th annual Shortcuts short film contest with his 12-minute short, “A Certain Breed,” an humorous improv look at a pair of overzealous volunteers at an animal shelter.  \

Former Second City mainstage actors Emily Wilson and Brad Morris are the stars, who also appear in Smith’s earlier “Special Needs” short.  Rhea Bozzacci edited. 

Smith, who also directs commercials, is a partner with producer John Fromstein in Fulton Street Films.  His cash prize is $650 collected from the entry fees of Shortcuts’ 26 submissions, and a spot in the Chicago International Film Festival’s Short Films program.

Smith and Fromstein have produced over a dozen shorts and prize winning doc, “Bucky,” about the U of I mascot, and Smith says he’s in development on a couple of features, writing a screenplay, “Death Take Two,” based on novelist Kevin Guilfoile’s short story and rewriting a feature, “Ink, which takes place in the ever-evolving newspaper industry.

LOTS OF PRODUCTION ACTIVITY on city locations during coming week, according to information provided by the Chicago Film Office’s new deputy director Betsy Grace, most recently a location coordinator on “Transformers 3,” and other reliable sources.

Cap Gun (The Whitehouse) shoots for Nikon; Chelsea Pictures will shoot 3 days for Walmart; Darklight Pictures here two days for Rush Medical; 59 Films (not a Lottery spot) one day on location; Crate & Barrel and Anonymous Content shoots in Milwaukee for Western Union.

CINESPACE IS THE VENUE for an Oct. 18 fundraising reception honoring 28th ward Ald. Jason Ervin, who is a major supporter of the local film industry, publicly declaring that the studio will be a big job creator. 

Mayor Emanuel is the event’s honorary chairman and co-chairs are Democratic Committeeman Ed H. Smith, state senator Annazette Collins (5th district) and state representative Karen Yarbrough (7th).  Time is 6 to 8 p.m.  Donations accepted.  For further information call 773/234-1834.

STARZ NEW SERIES, “Boss,” which was pleasantly and surprisingly renewed before the show airs on Oct. 21, will continue to occupy a floor of one of the Cinespace stages for Season 2 of the series. 

Sets used for the interior of the canceled “Playboy Club,” were not struck after the series finished the sixth (and last) episode.  T’is rumored that a “Playboy Club” series to a cable outlet is possible and if so, the producers can pick up where the show left off without missing a beat.

LEGENDARY COMEDIAN BOB NEWHART, the pride of Oak Park, and star of two unforgettable sitcoms (“The Bob Newhart Show” and “will be inducted in the Illinois Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame in a private ceremony on Oct. 21. 

As Time Out’s Rob Feder put it, “He’ll join a pantheon that includes Jack Benny, Dave Garroway, Orson Welles, Paul Harvey, Mike Wallace, Siskel & Ebert, Bill Kurtis, Dick Biondi, and the group’s most recent inductee, Oprah Winfrey, among others.”

On Saturday, Oct. 22, Newhart appears in a one man show at the Chicago Theatre. 

OCTOBER IS BREAST CANCER AWARENESS MONTH and Audio Production Group has joined the fight to fund a cure for breast cancer by donating a percentage of every session to the Susan G. Komen Foundation. 

As a woman-owned business, says producer Mindy Verson (partner with producer David Kaplan), “We feel it’s important to tackle issues woman face head-on and with a proactive attitude.  This will be the first of an ongoing campaign to donate to women’s causes.”

BLOOD DONORS for SAG/AFTRA’s 4th annual Blood Drive Oct. 17, from 1-7 p.m. will not go unrewarded.  They will walk out with a new headshot by photographer Lila Stromer.  And flu shots are also available to union members, AEA, family and friends, from 2-6 p.m. at the Kaufherr Center, 1 E. Erie.  Phone 312/573-8081 or Email

What’s going on in your world?  New hires? New space? New promotion? New business?  Let our readers know by sending an Email to