Fugitive director Andy Davis returns to Chicago

Director Andrew Davis

The Fugitive director Andy Davis returns to Chicago for the 45th Anniversary of his first movie, Stony Island an American musical drama about the cities R&B music and culture scene on the south side in 1978.

The film was made before South Sider Davis went to L.A. and earned his considerable reputation by directing Oscar-nominated The Fugitive, Collateral Damage, Holes, Chain Reaction and 23 other features.

There will be a special screening at The Gene Siskel Film Center on November 17, the day the film was originally released in 1978, followed by a Q&A with Director Andy Davis and Richard Davis moderated by Chicago Tribune/WLS reporter Rick Kogan.

Friday, November 17 at 8:00pm
Gene Siskel Film Center 
164 N. State Street

Davis, who grew up in Chicago and became an award-winning director, returns to the city to celebrate the digital release of his first movie, Stony Island, which is based on a true story about growing up on the south side of the city. Andy Davis co-wrote and directed the film starring his younger brother Richie, who remained the only white kid on the block and united with kids on the street by playing music together and forming an R&B band. 

Andy Davis

Stony Island tells the story of two struggling jazz musicians who buck the odds in their attempt to form a band and take it on the road. Richie Bloom, the only white kid on the block, as he forms an R&B band with his best friend, Kevin. With the help of their mentor, aging sax legend Gene Barge, they pull together a funky supergroup. Despite few resources and heavy losses this resilient group of dedicated musicians, armed only with wit, sleight of hand and outrageous Chicago bravado must come together to finally make their smash debut.

The neighborhood of Stony Island is unique with the University of Chicago on one side and to the south this “bastion” of rhythm and blues. Chicago, and Stony Island, have its own unique rhythm with a vast array of musical greats that came out of the city: Benny Goodman, Bo Diddley, Buddy Guy, Chaka Kahn, Chess Records, Curtis Mayfield, Gene Krupa, Herbie Hancock, Junior Wells, Koko Taylor, Lou Rawls, Maurice White (Earth, Wind & Fire), Mavis Staples, Muddy Waters, Nat King Cole, Quincy Jones, Ramsey Lewis.

This drama starring Richard Davis, Gene Barge, Rae Dawn Chong, Susanna Hoffs and Dennis Franz will also be available to rent or own on all cable, satellite, and digital platforms including Apple TV on November 17,  through Freestyle Digital Media, The digital film distribution division of Byron Allen’s Allen Media Group.

Cast & Crew attending

  • Andrew Davis (Director, writer, producer of STONY ISLAND; also Directed The Fugitive, Holes, Under Siege)
  • Richie Davis (lead actor and Andy’s younger brother, in The Guardian, Under Siege and Holes; local musician in popular band Chicago Catz)
  • Jonah Zeigler – Deputy Commissioner, Chicago Film Office, Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events
  • Bill Vergos, Head of Digital Distribution, Freestyle Digital Media, a Byron Allen Company
  • Windy Barnes– (singer in film) local performer in Jazz, R&B, 
  • Mike James – actor in movie/community activist/photographer
  • Obert Davis – (artist, composer, educator) Chicago Jazz Philharmonic
  • Mike Barcarella – actor (also in While You Were Sleeping, The Relic)
  • Rick Kogan– The Chicago Tribune/WLS radio
  • Luca Koumelis – crew member (worked on script for Avatar and Jurassic World) –  — and special guests, including Pemon Rami, the first African-American film casting director in Chicago (Blues Brothers, Cooley High)

ALSO READ: 30 years of suspense and thrills: celebrating The Fugitive