DP Lisa Weigand at MWFF’s Female Filmmakers Tuesday

Series DP Lisa Wiegand

Fittingly, Lisa Wiegand, a rare female DP currently working here on NBC/Universal’s “Chicago Fire,” leads the Producers Panel that will precede Tuesday night’s Midwest Independent Film Festival Female Filmmakers’ night of short films.

Since 1994, Michigan native Wiegand has been DP on many TV series, including “American Idol,” “Necessary Roughness,” “Detroit 1-8-7,” “Dollhouse,” and many dramatic and comedy shorts.

The Female Filmmaker lineup of eight films offers a documentary, “Life Lessons,” directed by Peabody Award winning filmmaker Maria Finitzo and produced by Leigh Jones; three Chicago premieres, three festival premieres and one film, Fawzia Mirza’s previously distributed “The Queen of My Dreams.”

The Chicago premieres.  “Best if Used By,” written and directed by Columbia College grad, writer/comedian Aemilia Scott, Audience Award Winner at the AFI Silverdocs Film Festival and an official selected of the Seattle International Film Festival.

“Sparkle,” co-directed by Oscar nominee and Dayton filmmaker Julia Reichert and “Modern Love,” a comedic short from Minnesota filmmaker Heather Shepherd.

Festival premieres. “The Christmas Tree,” written and directed by Angel Kristi Williams.  An animated comedy, “The Other Side,” from Columbia College filmmakers Rachael Russakoff and Beth Zwolski.  A music video, “Waiting for Godot,” produced and performed by Chicago native Janina Gavankar.

At Landmark’s Century Centre Cinema, 2828 N. Clark; doors open at 6 p.m.; Producers Panel, 6:30 in the theatre; screening at 7:30 and post screening reception at Avenue Tavern.

Side dish: To illustrate how rare a DP Lisa Wiegard is, consider these celluloid ceiling stats.  Women comprised 18% of all directors, executive producers, producers, writers, cinematographers and editors in the 250 top grossing films of 2012. 

Of these, female cinematographers accounted for 2% and women directors were 9%, 1% higher than in 1998.