FACETS 47th Anniversary Celebration packed with special features

FACETS announces May 2022 programming for their 47th Anniversary Celebration packed with special features.

The program will include a special screening of Steve James’ Life Itself (2014) and three film series championing FACETS’ and the wider Chicago independent film community’s legacy, including Milos’s Picks, Kartemquin Films X Full Spectrum Features, and FACETS Label Presents: Real Chicago.

FACETS’ Executive Director Karen Cardarelli said, “FACETS celebrates its 47th anniversary on May 20, 2022. Even though it’s our anniversary, we wanted to take the month of May to present special screenings and events that not only put a spotlight on FACETS and founder Milos Stehlik’s groundbreaking work over the decades. But also on the films, people, and members of the wider community who keep Chicago independent film truly independent. The FACETS organization is very proud to be a part of Chicago’s extraordinary independent film community.” 

For a special FACETS 47th Anniversary Celebration screening on May 19, 2022 at 7:00 pm, FACETS will present a screening of acclaimed documentarian and FACETS’ 2015 Screen Gems Honoree, Steve James’s Life Itself, a documentary that recounts the inspiring and entertaining life of world-renowned film critic and social commentator Roger Ebert.

Roger Ebert was a long-time friend and champion of FACETS and FACETS’ founder Milos Stehlik. But more importantly, Roger was an inspiration and ally in the uncompromising belief that film has the power to change lives. The screening of Life Itself will be preceded by the invitation-only FACETS 47th Anniversary Celebration Open House. 

MILOS’S PICKS In honor of FACETS’ Founder Milos Stehlik, who passed away in 2019 after a 6-month battle with cancer, and to celebrate his legacy as a tastemaker and ardent champion of independent film in Chicago and beyond, the Milos’s Picks film series will present four of his favorite films on Fridays at 7:00 pm from May 6-27, 2022.  The series starts with Federico Fellini’s 8 ½ (1963), starring one of Milos’s favorite actors Marcello Mastroianni, on Friday, May 6 at 7:00 pm. Followed by Sergei Parajanov’s banned masterpiece The Color of Pomegranates (1969) on Friday, May 13 at 7:00 pm, which Milos and a group of collaborators helped smuggle from Paris to Chicago for its U.S. Premiere at the first Festival of Film and Human Rights co-presented by FACETS and Amnesty International in 1979. Then on May 20 at 7:00 pm, Terrence Malick’The Tree of Life (2011), which Milos defended as a masterpiece of contemporary cinema against detractors as a critic on WBEZ’s Worldview. The series ends with a screening of Dušan Makavejev’s controversial WR: Mysteries of the Organism (1969) on Friday, May 27 at 7:00 pm, a film that Milos introduced to critic Roger Ebert at FACETS’ first retrospective of Makavejev’s work in 1975. 

KARTEMQUIN FILMS X FULL SPECTRUM FEATURES To celebrate the talent, artistry, and progressiveness of independent film production in Chicago, FACETS will present the Kartemquin Films X Full Spectrum Features film series, which pairs a feature length film from Kartemquin Films with a short film from Full Spectrum Features on Saturday and Sunday, May 21-22, 2022, at 5:00 pm.  The first screening in this series presents Bing Liu’s breakthrough Kartemquin Films documentary Minding the Gap (2018) with Lindsey Martin and Julia Fuller’s experimental short film Every Speed (2010) distributed by Full Spectrum Features, two films that approach navigating urban environments in different, impactful ways. Followed by two films that explore political activism, the Kartemquin Films produced documentary Unapologetic (2019), a deep look into the Movement for Black Lives from Chicago filmmaker Ashley O’Shay, and Latham Zearfoss’s Something to Move In (2014), a music manifesto that remixes late 1960s dialogue with modern dance to resuscitate a bygone revolutionary thrust, included in Full Spectrum Feature’s Chicagoland Shorts Vol. 4

Learn more about the Kartemquin Films X Full Spectrum Features series, including full synopses and trailers, here

FACETS DVD LABEL PRESENTS: REAL CHICAGO Focusing on films about Chicago, this series presents four films from the Real Chicago DVD series released on FACETS Label. Throughout the month of May, the films will be presented on loop from open to close on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays in FACETS’ studio in a gallery setting, allowing audiences to wander in and out of the screenings as they please.   

The series opens with Raul Zaritsky and Linda Williams’s Maxwell Street Blues (1981), a documentary that captures the tail end of the last great era of blues on Chicago’s Maxwell Street, screening from May 6-8, 2022. Followed by Water is Wet (1969-1970) on May 13-15, 2022, which includes four short films originally produced as a children’s TV show, directed by the relatively unknown, but pioneering documentary filmmaker Gordon Weisenborn. Screening May 19-22, 2022 will be three shorts included in Tom Palazzolo’s Chicago (1979-2000), which present Palazzolo’s dark musings on Chicago’s urban landscapes. The series ends with Jill Godmilow’s The Popovich Brothers of South Chicago (1978) on May 27-29, a documentary about a small community of steel workers, truck drivers, and teachers on the South Side of Chicago who keep the traditions of their Serbian homeland alive through music.   Admission to this series is free.

MORE FACETS 47TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION PROGRAMS In addition to the special screenings and film series, FACETS 47th Anniversary Celebration will also include:   

  • Film Trivia Night: FACETS 47th Anniversary Edition: On Thursday, May 26 at 7:00 pm, FACETS’ free monthly Film Trivia series hosted by Mike Vanderbilt and Raphael Jose Martinez will continue with special FACETS 47th AnniversaryCelebration categories. 
  • Special Film Trivia Screening: Following Film Trivia on Thursday, May 26 at 9:30 pm will be a screening of Valie Export’s controversial, radical feminist sci-fi film Invisible Adversaries (1976), which FACETS released on DVD. Tickets can be purchased in advance through FACETS’ website starting on April 13, 2022 and are $12 /general admission and $10 /FACETS Members. 
  • FACETS Label 50% off DVD Sale: From May 1-31, 2022, FACETS’ 50% off DVD sale will feature Chicago-based films in the collection, including all the films featured in the FACETS Label Presents: Real Chicago series.

All screenings and events take place at FACETS (1517 W. Fullerton). Tickets can be purchased in advance through FACETS’ website starting on Wednesday April 13, 2022 and are $12 /general admission and $10 /FACETS Members.  

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