Fests, screenings, events, awards fill April evenings

Spring brings the first burst of festivals for the year, a variety of film screenings to suit every taste and interest, events where you can learn something relevant to your careers, awards and fund-raisers to make in the fast line more fun.   Check in often as we will update as the month progresses.

APRIL 9:  INDEPENDENT WRITERS OF CHICAGO. members and esteemed professional writers Betsy Storm and Jennifer Lyng Rueff share their considerable knowledge of apps and websites to help enrich a writers’ freelance business.  At the Page Smith Room in the Gratz Center at 126 E. Chestnut; networking 5 p.m., nonmembers, $15.  


SCREENINGS.  Chicago premiere of Atomic Mom, a drama following two mothers, one American, the other Japanese, a Hiroshima survivor each on a different end of atomic warfare during the 1950s’ atomic testing program. At Hokin Hall, Columbia College, 623 S. Wabash, 7:30 p.m. April 20, 7:30 p.m. at Chicago Filmmakers, 5243 N. Clark.

APRIL 11=25: LATINO FILM FESTIVAL opening night gala, “Tribute to Mexico,” at the AMC River East 21 at 6 p.m. and reception follows 8:30 p.m., at River East Arts Center, 435 E. Illinois. 

APRIL 12-24: CFCA FILM FESTIVAL,  the Chicago Film Critics first foray into festival production, spotlights good films from other recent festivals in an effort to expose them to larger audiences.  More than 20 features and shorts will screen, including Chicago native director William Friedkin’s 1977 classic, “The Scorcerer,” and Friedkin will be here for post screening discussion.  At the Muvico Theater in Rosemont. Ticket prices $10 for single screening, $100 weekend pass.

APRIL 13: DYKE DELICIOUS CO-PRESENTATION, by Sharon Zurek and her Black Cat Productions and Reeling: The Chicago Lesbian and Gay International Film Festival, celebrating its 10th anniversary of screenings.  At Chicago Filmmakers, 5243 N. Clark, 7 p.m. social hour, 8 p.m. screening; $8.

APRIL 15: SCREENPLAY READING of “The Other One,” by writer/director Josef Steiff, and performed by Grace McPhillips, who also is producing, Nancy Sellers, Jesse Bob Harper and Cait Bidwell.  Production starts April 20 in Galena.  At Uncommon Ground, 3800 N. Clark, 6:30 p.m. arrival, cash bar, 7 p.m. reading, 8:30 p.m. Mysteriam musical performance. $5 cover.

APRIL 17: CHICAGO FILMMAKERS SCREENING presented by Chicago Filmmakers, features 11 short film highlights from the New York-based “Best of the Rural Route Film Festival 2012-2013,” a variety of genres, regions and perspectives about small town life throughout the world.  At Hokin Hall, Columbia College, 623 S. Wabash, 7:30 p.m.  April 20 at Chicago Filmmakers, 5243 7:30 p.m.

APRIL 18-21: CIMMFEST 5 screens a boatload of films with music at their center – over 100 from 20-plus countries, and tributes to blaxploition pioneer Melvin Van Peebles and the Rolling Stones – at venues in Wicker Park and Logan Square.  Playing a bigger role is the live music component, including live film scoring, concerts by doc film subjects and more.  Kickoff April 18 at the Music Box with a Rolling Stones tribute.  


presented by DePaul’s Cinema and Interactive Media, is a day of panels features a dozen of the best and hottest award-winning/nominated screenwriters in seven panels on TV, movies, and games, starting at 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.  All this talent and knowledge is FREE!  At DePaul, 14 E. Jackson Blvd.

APRIL 22: “AN EVENING OF MUSIC, LAUGHS AND MORE,” to benefit SAG-AFTRA’s Kaufherr Members Resource Center so integral a part of the unions’ headquarters at 1 E. Erie.  A variety of great local singers, comedians and SAG-AFTRA’s own Singers and Radio Players.  At the Mayne Stage, 1328 W. Morse Ave.; members, $40; $50 general public.

APRIL 22: DePAUL 2013 AWARDS FOR EXCELLENCE IN THE ARTS will honor actress S. Epatha Merkerson (“Lincoln,” “Law & Order”), Paul Miller, Broadway and special event lighting designer, Dexter Bullard, director and head of graduate acting, the Theatre School and the corporate Excellence in the Arts to Allstate Insurance.  At the Four Seasons, 120 E. Delaware; 5:30 p.m. cocktails, 7:30 p.m. dinner and awards presentation. Click here for tickets.

APRIL 23: FULCRUM POINT NEW MUSIC PROJECT – a 100 musician ensemble performs a live Oscar-winning score to the screening of “Altered States,” the 1980 sci-fi classic, celebrating the 75th birthday of modern master composer John Coigliano, who will participate in a post-concert discussion. At the Harris Theatre, 205 E. Randolph, 7:30 p.m.  Click here for tickets.

APRIL 24: CHICAGO FILMMAKERS SCREENING, We Are Winning, Don’t Forget: Short works by Jean-Gabriel Périot,” a compilation of nine of the French filmmaker’s short films.  Périot will here in person for post screening Q&A.  At Hokin Hall, Columbia College, 623 S. Wabash, 7:30 p.m.  April 27 at Chicago Filmmakers, 5243 N. Clark, 7:30 p.m.

Send a notice of your organization or company’s screening to ruth@reelchicago.com.