“Gilmore Girls” actor screens short at MWFF; his feature from Jeff-winning play could shoot here

“Gilmore Girls” regular and CollaborAction Theatre co-founder John Cabrera returned to Chicago for the local premiere of his short film, “The Man Who Invented the Moon,” at the Midwest Independent Film Festival.

ReelChicago talked with Cabrera about acting in Chicago theatre and on TV, directing, and plans for a feature film based on CollaborAction’s production of “Refuge,” a Jeff Citation winner.

ReelChicago: Tell us about “The Man Who Invented the Moon.”
Cabrera: Stylistically it’s in the spirit of films like Hal Ashby’s ‘Being There’ or more recently a film like ‘Rushmore.’ A quirky, introspective comedy, with characters like Abraham Lincoln and Santa Claus.

ReelChicago: What are your goals for the project?
Cabrera: The main goal is to make more films with this filmmaking team. The lead of the film, Sean Gunn, and the writer, Lee Kirk, are my closest friends from college; we attended DePaul University. This project has been brewing inside us since the mid-’90s when we first started dreaming up projects together, mostly for the Theatre.

Lee has a few feature scripts that we’re trying to move forward, and Sean is working with Lee on a film adaptation of the book “The Kid” by syndicated sex advice columnist Dan Savage (“Savage Love”).

ReelChicago: How did you get out to Hollywood?
Cabrera: I graduated school in 1997 and most of my closest friends, including Sean and Lee, moved out there within a year or two. I decided to stay in Chicago for a variety of reasons. A part of me just wanted to see if I could find my place in the world of theatre.

ReelChicago: You were pretty active during those post-school years.
That’s when I met Anthony Moseley and was brought into a tiny group of artists who called themselves CollaborAction and helped found the CollaborAction that Chicago knows today, including the annual Sketchbook festival and the company’s overall multi-arts mission.

Ironically, it must have been CollaborAction, Anthony, and all the mixed media we were dreaming up that ultimately moved me in the direction of Hollywood. I came out to Los Angeles in 2000 to visit and decided that this is where I wanted to be for a while.