Grant’s sing-along feature is based on crime noir

Indie filmmaker Julian Grant

The Reel welcomes back longtime contributing editor Ed Koziarski after six months in post earthquake Japan producing a documentary.  (See Uncanny Terrain below.) 

INDY FILMMAKER JULIAN GRANT is scheduled to wrap his micro-budget musical feature, F*CKLOAD OF SCOTCH TAPE, Dec. 23, and put it on the 2012 festival circuit, plus release via VOD and immediate download access to Cinema 2.0 enthusiasts.

Based on the crime noir stories of writer Jedediah Ayres (Crimefactory Volume 2),  FLOST is the story of heat seeking missile Benji and his attempt at redemption after participating in a kidnapping caper.

“It’s basically Fight Club meets My Fair Lady, says Grant, who wrote and directed.  Executive producer is Julie Grant and producer is Carla Englof.

Inspired by the works of Dennis Potter (Pennies from Heaven, The Singing Detective) Grant transposed the material with musical collaborator Kevin Quain and added a “sing-along” aspect to the drama.

Starring Graham Jenkins, Louie Lawless, Hannah Phelps, Holland Noel and Brian Shaw.

TALKING PICTURES FILM FESTIVAL directors Ines Sommer and Kathy Berger of Percolator Films premiere their documentary Beneath the Blindfold, about torture survivors now living under asylum in Chicago and other US cities, in the Gene Siskel Film Center’s “Stranger Than Fiction” doc festival. 

The film follows a Liberian child soldier, a Guatemalan doctor, and a former U.S. contractor in Iraq, “allowing viewers to witness the long-term impact that torture has had on them individually, their families, and their communities,” the filmmakers write. 

Beneath the Blindfold screens Jan. 13 at 8:15 p.m. and Jan. 19 at 8 p.m. at the Film Center, 164 N. State St.  See

CHRIS HEFNER is in preproduction on The Poisoner, the followup to his 2010 debut feature The Pink Hotel.  Meredith Miller stars as a woman who agrees to marry a man (R.K. Shuquem) and slowly poison him to death.  With Sean DeSantis as The Devil.  Daniel Knox is composer.  

Hefner is searching for a studio space in which to shoot.

Sam GiancanaNICK CELOZZI of Oak Brook- and L.A.-based Le Monde Productions, screened Momo: The Sam Giancana Story, his documentary about his great uncle, for investors on Dec. 4. 

The film features interviews with Giancana’s daughters and organized crime scholars, and purports to offer previously undisclosed facts about Giancana, who ran the Chicago Outfit from 1957-1966.

Celozzi is writing and producing with director Dimitri Logothetis.  He’s developing a feature film and TV miniseries based on the same material.

CNGM PICTURES is in preproduction on I Made America, about founding fathers kidnapped from their time to serve as props in the 2012 election. 

The transmedia project traces “the Founding Fathers’ search for jobs, their struggles to find love, and their big dreams in a new era.” Marc Muszynski is creator and executive producer.

Scene from Uncanny TerrainCOMPOSER TATSU AOKI has joined the production of Uncanny Terrain, the documentary I’m making with Junko Kajino about organic farmers facing Japan’s nuclear crisis. 

A bassist who combines jazz with Japanese folk and classical traditions, Aoki leads the Miyumi Project, Tsukasa Taiko Legacy, and the Chicago Asian American Jazz Festival.  He teaches film at the School of the Art Institute.

We filmed Uncanny Terrain in Fukushima from May through October, and will return to Japan in March to cover the first anniversary of the earthquake, tsunami and power plant meltdown.  See

Send your indie cinema news to