Eventful: Special screenings, seminars & festivals

THEATRE TALK SERIES, hosted by the Chicago Film Critics Association (CFCA) and the Music Box Theatre, selected “Cartel Land” for its July 10 screening.  Directed by Matthew Heinman, the story is a harrowing look at two vigilante groups their shared enemy, the Mexican drug cartels.

It won Sundance 2015 Best Director and the Special Grand Jury Prize for Cinematography.

Writer, editor, media relations specialist and movie critic Alejandro Riera will lead the discussion following the screening.

At the Music Box Theatre, 3733 N. Southport.  Starting at 7:20 p.m., tickets are 10.  

Sidebar: The theatre’s new general manager Ryan Oestreich, who joined July 5, was previously with the Denver Film Society.

CHICAGO FILM ARCHIVES on Friday, July 10, presents “No Maps on My Taps,” a 1978 documentary film musically directed by jazz musician and band leader Lionel Hampton.  With rare 1930s Hollywood and Harlem clips, the inside lives of three famous tap dancers of the era. 

Bringing their form into the present will be tap masters Reggier the Hoofer and Bril Barrett of MADD Rhythms, along with Jenai Cutcher West, project director of Chicago Dance History Project.

At Black Cinema House, 7200 S. Kimbark, 7 p.m., free and open to all.

TV WRITING IS THE TOPIC of the Chicago Screenwriters Network meeting Sunday, July 12. Hit TV series writer Neal Howard (“Coach,” “King of Queens”) and filmmaker/writing instructor Ian Streicher, will stress the importance of “Primacy of Character in TV Writing.” Episodic television, they say, “is absolutely driven by character.  To become a successful TV writer you must learn to master the voices and personalities of a multitude of characters.”

At Mrs. Murphy & Sons Irish Bistro, 3905 N. Lincoln. Presentation at 7 p.m. Register here for tickets; $5 in advance, $10 at the door.

A SPECIAL “MINIONS” SCREENING Tuesday, July 14 at the York Theatre in Elmhurst will benefit the Variety Club of Illinois Children’s Charities celebrating its 25th anniversary. 

Admission is $10 per person and includes a Gold Heart Minion (while supplies last). A donation of $5 from each ticket purchased will go to Variety Club of Illinois to help provide specialized equipment for disabled and disadvantaged children.

The 2015 limited-edition pin features the beloved “Minions.” The animated feature, starring the voices of Sandra Bullock, Jon Hamm and Michael Keaton, opens nationally July 10.

THE 6th BLUE WHISKEY Independent Film Festival (BWiFF), named by Moviemaker Magazine as one of the world’s 25 coolest film festivals, runs July 19-26 at the Cutting Hall Performing Arts Center in Palatine and the Star Cinema Grill in Arlington Heights, where opening and closing nights and international film screenings take place.

The festival offers 10 features, 22 shorts and three music videos from around the world, including those from Iran and Bangladesh, typically not screened domestically.

Full festival passes, $80, are available here.

Beyond the summer festival, BWiFF presents a “First Wednesday” Cinema Series of classic movies and new independent films.

Send notice of your events to ruth@reelchicago.com.