Film industry shows off at city-held Summit & Expo

The spotlight will beam on the local film industry next month when a city/industry collaboration stages a full day of panels and presentations with major speakers on film topics not usually heard, and an expo of vendors under the Tiffany dome at the Chicago Cultural Center.

The all-day Chicago Film & Media Summit & Expo, Oct. 20, free and open to all, is being billed as a way “to show the film world at large what the Chicago film industry has to offer.” It is also aimed to display the city’s production prowess to international visitors attending the 49th Chicago Independent Film Festival (CIFF).

The Summit & Expo will be the first film industry event held under the aegis of the Chicago Cultural Affairs and Special Events commissioner Michelle Boone since her mayoral appointment in 2011. Film was one of the four arts areas (along with theatre, music and restaurants) the mayor wants to promote and film’s turn to show off fortuitously arrived during CIFF, Oct. 10-24.

Cultural Affairs announced the Summit about six weeks ago and the film community was quick to respond with a Steering Committee comprised of about 20 volunteer members from CIMMfest, Chicago Acting & Film Meetup, Kartemquin Films, the Independent Feature Project and CIFF.

Dave Moore, CIMMfest associate director and a key participant in the current World Music Festival, is contributing his services to sign 50 vendors and help organize 11 panels and presentations, in conjunction with IFP and CIFF. 

Cultural Affairs is going all out for the event by setting up the vendor Expo in the spacious GAR Hall, and opening the adjacent Claudia Cassidy Auditorium for non-stop panels and presentations.

Headliners, so far, include Seattle-based Indieflix CEO and co-founder, Scilla Andreen, Speaking on the opportunities for webseries; Columbia College alum Dan Asma of LA-based Buddha Jones Trailers on “The Art of the Trailer;” New York’s double Oscar-nominee Fernanda Rossi, known as “the documentary doctor” speaking on documentary trailers, about which she wrote a book, and a contingent of famous filmmakers who will be appearing here at CIFF.

To reserve one of those 50 coveted Expo tables, Email Dave Moore before the Sept. 20 deadline.  Vendor participation is free and the tables will go fast.