Familiar movie characters attached to producer Scott Prestin’s upcoming Chicago crime-thriller

WILLIAM FORSYTE leads a slate of familiar and sometimes sinister character actors in producer-director Scott Prestin’s crime thriller, “The Chicago Blues,” slated to shoot in late summer by Prestin’s company, American Stonehenge.

Forsythe (“Halloween”) will be joined by Vincent Pastore (“The Sopranos”), Daniel Baldwin (“Mulholland Falls”), Jon Gries (“Napoleon Dynamite”), Fred (The Hammer) Williamson and Farrah Forke (TV’s “Wings”).

The story follows a syndicate enforcer on his journey to become the unlikely would-be rescuer of a kidnapped girl. Budget is estimated at $2-$3 million.

John Pizzo wrote the screenplay; producers are Michael Chinn, Craig James Pietrowiak and Bob Prisco.

GRAPHICS DESIGN SHOP LIFT added animator/visual effects designer Curt Cooper, from The Burback Brothers, Chicago, where he worked on commercials for the he studied design at the Savannah College of Art international market. A UI architecture grad, and Design. Cooper is also a fine artist.

THE PILOT OF “AMERICAN HAUNTS” takes place against the backdrop of Old Town Tatu, the site of numerous accounts of paranormal activity, such as objects moving on their own, disembodied voices and other strange happenings.

That’s not surprising, since the tattoo parlor was once a funeral parlor for 120 years.

Executive producer Greg McAleer and co-producer/director Joe Caballero host a private screening of the pilot March 29 at 720 N. Wells, an evening preceeding and ending with cocktails and networking.

THE GORGEOUS NEW TRUMP HOTEL’S Grand Salon will be the site of IPA’s April 18 celebration of the passage of the Film Tax Credit.

The Trump organization is generously hosting the event in recognition of the local film industry and joined the IPA.

The celebration will honor legislative sponsors: Rep. Skip Saviano and Rep. Ken Dunkin and Sen. Rickey Hendon.

Saviano has a close connection to the film industry. His father, the late Pat Saviano, was a partner in a production company and an acclaimed producer.

PRODUCTION ON “THE INFORMANT” is scheduled to start April 29 in Decatur, at ADM’s plant, which is interesting inasmuch as the government went after the agri-business giant with a price fixing accusation.

Directed by Steven Soderbergh, the big-budget movie is based on Kurt Eichenwald’s best seller of a few years back. Matt Damon plays ADM VP Mark Whiteacre, the true life informant.

MOVER AND SHAKER LOIS WEISBERG, Chicago’s Commissioner of Cultural Affairs, will receive a well-deserves Leadership Award for Excellence in the Arts from the Theatre School at DePaul at its 20th annual awards ceremony April 22 at the Four Seasons Hotel.

Under Weisberg’s leadership over the past 19 years, the department’s innovation in cultural programming has become a national model for municipal support of the arts.

DIRECTOR JIM SIKORA’S “The Earl” will premiere for a full week, April 4-10, at the Gene Siskel Film Center. Described as “Fight Club” meets the Three Stooges,” the film is an adaptation of Brett Neveu’s cult one-act play. Sikora will be in attendance for discussion at all screenings.

DePAUL’S VIDEO GAME DESIGNER -in resident is Eugene Jarvis, president of Raw Thrills, a Skokie-based video game company. He’ll help students with projects and says he hopes to launch a mega-game that big video game companies can develop over time.

INDIE FILM “FORMOSA BETRAYED” has set up shop in Fletcher Chicago’s $30,000 newly renovated and enlarged production offices. The story is based on actual events of the early 1980s; a small-town detective is assigned to investigate the murder of a respected professor.

Making his feature directorial debut of Adam Kane, a cinematographer with a list of movie and TV show credits an arm long. Screenwriter/producer is David Allen Cluck, who’d been first AD on Ron Lazzeretti’s “The Merry Gentlemen” last year.

HASKELL WEXLER’S documentary is a blatantly honest view of the world of filmmaking. “Who Needs Sleep” shows film crews working 15 to 18 hours days and revisits the death of camera assistant Brent Hershman, who fell asleep while driving home after a 19 hour work day.