Gene Siskel Center and Midwest Film Festival partner on MFF 2021 season

MFF 2021

The Gene Siskel Film Center will partner with the Midwest Film Festival (MFF) as the host venue for the MFF 2021 film lineup.

The partnership, which was set to roll out in early 2020 but delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic, will kick off Saturday, October 2, at 6pm, with a celebratory event and screening ofthe feature-length documentary, THE DILEMMA OF DESIRE, by filmmaker Maria Finitzo.

Produced in partnership with Kartemquin Films, the doc is a timely and radical exploration of gender politics, sexuality, and the long-ignored and vastly misunderstood topic of female desire. With humor and candor in equal measure, THE DILEMMA OF DESIRE follows a quartet of remarkable women whose work in science, academia, industrial design, and art has paved the way for a better understanding of women’s sexual desire, anatomy, and health in an era when women’s rights are once again under fire.

“The Midwest Film Festival is proud to present this film as its very first event hosted at its new venue partner, the Gene Siskel Film Center,” said MFF Executive Director Erica Duffy.

“This is a great opportunity to support and work with the filmmaking community of Chicago,” said Gene Siskel Film Center Executive Director Jean de St. Aubin. “The Film Center is proud to welcome the Midwest Film Festival to its new home.”

MFF 2021

THE DILEMMA OF DESIRE is about a courageous band of queer and straight women, including scientists, sex workers, artists, and designers, dedicated to helping women reclaim their sexuality and promoting the importance of ‘cliteracy.’” (Brian T. Carney, Washington Blade).

Director-producer Maria Finitzo is a three-time Peabody Award-winning filmmaker whose previous films include 5 GIRLS, MAPPING STEM CELL RESEARCH: TERRA INCOGNITA, WITH NO DIRECTION HOME, and IN THE GAME, exploring the challenges of a soccer coach committed to teaching his players – Hispanic girls – about winning in life; and HARD-EARNED, about a young couple, both working minimum wage jobs struggling to make ends meet.

All activities will convene Saturday, October 2 at the Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 S. State Street, Chicago, Illinois.

Pre-reception, 6:00pm:
The evening will consist of a pre-reception starting at 6:00pm, where attendees are invited to network with their fellow filmmakers and peers and visit vendor/sponsor tables with merchandise from the Midwest Film Festival, THE DILEMMA OF DESIRE filmmakers, and other organizations.

Screening + Q&A, 7:00pm:
The doors to the theater will open at 6:30pm, with the screening starting at 7:00pm. After the screening, guests will be able to enjoy an interactive filmmaker Q&A, moderated by Chicago filmmaker and actress, Oriana Oppice. Attendees will have the chance to speak to the film’s director/producer Maria Finitzo, producer Cynthia Kane, producer Diane Quon, and film subjects Jasmine Sims, Yixin (Sunny) Sun, Rebecca Baruc, and Umnia Khan.

After-party, 9:30pm-11:00pm:
Good vibes and conversations will continue at a celebratory after-party from 9:30pm to 11:00pm, where ticket holders can continue to mingle and network with fellow filmmakers and colleagues.

Tickets are $15 for general admission and $7 for Gene Siskel Film Center members. Tickets are available at the Midwest Film Festival website and at the Gene Siskel Film Center website.

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