Festivals, Screenings, Events, Etc.

CHICAGO FILMMAKERS’ Onion City Experimental Film and Video Festival June 16-18 opens with a program featuring a who’s who of avant-garde heavyweights:

Michelangelo Antonioni’s “Michelangelo Eye to Eye,” Michael Snow’s “Sshtoorrty,” Jonas Mekas’ “Williamsburg, Brooklyn,” Kenneth Anger’s “Mouse Heaven,” Ernie Gehr’s “Precarious Garden,” Peter Kubelka’s “Poerty and Truth,” and Ken Jacobs’ “Mountaineer Spinning.”

At 8 p.m. June 16 at the Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N. State. Onion City continues through June 19, with more than 60 shorts.See www.chicagofilmmakers.org.

ACTOR PETER REIGERT returns to Chicago June 17-18 when his feature, “King of the Corner,” plays at the Renaissance Place Theatre in Highland Park. Reigert will be at both screenings for Q&A. He was in Chicago last winter for a special Kodak-sponsored screening of his film.

Reigert co-wrote the screenplay with Gerald Shapiro, based on Shapiros book of short stories, Bad Jews and Other Stories. It features Reigert, Isabella Rossellini as his wife, Eli Wallach as his ailing father, Ashley Johnson as the daughter growing up too fast, Beverly D’Angelo as Leo’s old flame, Jake Hoffman as his prot?g? and Eric Bogosian as an unorthodox rabbi.

New York-based Reigert has been seguing into indie filmmaking since 2000 with his short, By Courier, which earned an Oscar nomination. See www.kingofthecornerfilm.

JAMES FOTOPOULOS, the prolific local experimentalist, premieres his 41-minute video “Spine Face” in the Onion City fest, Friday, June 17 at 9 p.m. at Chicago Filmmakers, 5243 N. Clark. See www.jamesfotopoulos.com.

STEPHEN SIMON, veteran Hollywood producer (“Somewhere in Time,” “Smokey and the Bandit,” “What Dreams May Come”), and co-founder of the Spiritual Cinema Circle, offers a weekend of workshops and films, June 24-26.

Friday, June 24: A mini festival of spiritual short films, suggested donation $20. Saturday, June 25, 10-5: A workshop intensive with Stephen Simon; $200 per person; Sunday June 26, 2 and 5 p.m.: Simon and Rev. Ed Tinley explore movies that guide us through spiritual challenges, $20.

At Unity in Chicago, 1925 W. Theme, free parking. Phone, 773/973-0007. Proceeds benefit Unity in Chicago and the Chicago Insitute of Spiritual Entertainment.

“The Fourth”

DANA OLSEN on June 25 hosts the presentation and screening of the 2005 Christopher Wetzel Award for Independent Film Comedy.

Screening will be first place winner Scott Rice’s domestic generational sendup “The Adventures of Mad Matt”; second place winner Jared and Justin Varava’s sports farce “The Fourth”; and honorable mention winners, Any Slater’s “Piano” parody “The Ball” and an excerpt from Philip Zlotorynski’s feature-length Sundance satire “My Big Fat Independent Movie.”

A Northwestern University alum and former “Laverne and Shirley” staff writer, Olsen penned the film adaptations of cartoon series “Inspector Gadget” and “George of the Jungle.”

At the Film Center, 164 N. State. Screening at 6 p.m., followed by a reception. The Wetzel Award was instituted by the Film Center with the support of Wetzel’s family to honor the memory of the late filmmaker.

The Film Center screens many of the award entries, including the full-length “Independent Movie,” throughout the month in its Indie Comedy series. See www.siskelfilmcenter.org.

THE 48 HOUR FILM PROJECT filmmaking competition in Chicago takes place over the July 8 weekend when teams produce a seven-minute movie from scratch.

On July 8, teams draw their genre from a hat and receive a character, prop, and word that must appear in the film. On Sunday, July 10, teams drop off their masterpieces. Finished work will be shown a few days later on Landmark Century Cinema’s big screen.

Teams will compete against each other to represent Chicago at the 48 Hour Film Project’s Annual Awards Ceremony and to win the “Best of 2005” prize.

Register online at www.48hourfilm.com. Click on “Cities 2005” and then the “Chicago” tab.

MARK MAMALAKIS’ experimental short film, “Portrait of a Filmmaker,” screens July 8 and 12 at the Cinema of Jazz Film Festival in Toronto. Mamalakis’ edited 8mm and 16mm footage he shot years ago while in film school to create self “Portrait.” It screened at the Festival International de Cine Pobre in Gibara, Cuba in April.

“Portrait” has won five awards, including Best Experimental Short at the Chicago International Film Festival, 2003, Best of Festival at the Berkeley Film Festival, 2000, and Best Experimental Short at the IFP Flyover Zone Festival, 2003. Mark Mamalakis’ phone is 312/315-2181.

Bix Pix’ “Red Planet Blues”

CHICAGO SHORT COMEDY FESTIVAL, July 28 screens 37 comedy shorts by Chicago filmmakers. Among them are a trailer for “Cop Story,” by and starring playwright/actor Tracy Letts and actor David Pasquesi; the animated short, “Red Planet Blues” by Bix Pix Entertainment; talks by writer/actor/director Jim Zulevic and filmmaker D.P. Carlson, both followed by their films. Shows at 7:30 and 9:30 p.m.; admission, $10 per show. At the Music Box, 3733 N. Southport. See www.witsendshorts.com.

REELTIME INDEPENDENT FILM & VIDEO FORUM of Evanston seeks mainly documentaries for monthly screenings, but also occasionally programs features, shorts and animation. Send a VHS preview tape or DVD, bio and any relevant film information (or a press kit) to REELTIME, c/o Evanston Public Library, 1703 Orrington, Evanston, IL 60201; see www.reeltimeevanston.org.

INTERCOM, the International Communications Film & Video Competition, is accepting entries for its 2005 competition in the categories of corporate sponsored and industrial films; educational videos; business communications and interactiveproductions. INTERCOM winners will be part of the Chicago International Film Festival, Oct. 6-20 and awards ceremonies. Download forms at www.Chicagofilmfestival.org.