Here it is! Your weekend lineup of Lake FX film events

This is it! Lake FX and CIMMfest’s schedule of 16 specially organized events exclusively pertaining to different aspects of film, presented by 72 of Chicago’s expert, acclaimed and informative professionals.

The film track will climax Saturday with the keynote speech by Wally Pfister, a home town guy, who is also an Oscar-winning cinematographer and lately a director, too.

Venues are the Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N. State for all but three events, and those three will be held at the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 W. Washington.  The first panel kicks off at 10:30 a.m., followed by those at noon, 1:30 and 3 p.m.

They are free and open to all! 


10:30 A.M. Emerging Camera Technologies: Cinematographers Talk Cameras, Chicago Cultural Center, Garland Room

Representatives from the city’s top camera houses demo the latest camera technology and formats.

Speakers: John Otterbacher IFP/Chicago (moderator); Megan Donnelly, AbelCine; Jonah Rubash, Magnanimous Media; Collette Gabriel and Rick Allen, Keslow Camera.  Program created by IFP/Chicago.

10:30 A.M. State of the City: Independent Filmmaking in Chicago Discussion of  case studies that explore the growth, triumphs and challenges of independent filmmaking.

Speakers: Brian Hieggelke, New City (moderator); Stephen Cone, Filmmaker: The Wise Kids; Carmen Marron, Filmmaker: Go For It!; Christopher Nolen, Filmmaker: 72 Hours

 NOON Making The Pitch: Good Pitch Chicago

 Good Pitch unites documentary filmmakers with foundations, NGOs, campaigners, philanthropists, policy makers, brands and media around leading social and environmental issues to forge coalitions and campaigns that are good for all partners, films and society.

Speakers: Susanne Suffredin, Filmmaker: @home (moderator); Justine Nagan, Kartemquin Films; Rebecca Parrish, Filmmaker: Radical Grace; Steve Cohen, Chicago Media Project; Erin Sorenson, Third Stage Consulting

NOON Impact Strategies for Filmmakers  Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N State St

 A social issue producers panel on how to engage audiences through advocating policy, raising awareness and inspiring to change daily routines, from saving the climate to altering dietary routines NS impact measurement and best practices from the field.

Speakers: Beckie Stocchetti, Kartemquin Films (moderator); Erin Sorenson, Third Stage Consulting; Naomi Walker, ITVS; Anton Seals, Seals360group

NOON From Internet to Network: Web Series Production

 This seminar is for educational purposes only and will not secure or provide opportunity for employment in the field or representation by an agent.

Speakers: Paul Flescner, IFP/Chicago (moderator); Jason Mojica, VICE News; Matt Abramson, “Teachers;” Julie Keck and Jessica King, “King is a Fink”

Web series creators discuss how they have managed to cultivate large audiences and how traditional and cable networks have started to take notice. Created by IFP/Chicago.

1:30 P.M.  Case Study: Revenge of The Mekons

The documentary Revenge of the Mekons chronicles the unlikely story of radical British art students who formed a group in the first blast of punk in 1977. A case study of independent film distribution with the film’s director, distributor and band co-founder. 

Speakers: Andy Markowitz, (moderator); Jon Langford, The Mekons; Joe Angio, Director; Brian Andreotti, Music Box Films

1:30 P.M.  Fiscal Sponsorship for Filmmakers

Co-presented by IFP/Chicago and Chicago Filmmakers, the panel will cover topics such as how to find a fiscal sponsor, what to expect from them, what the right questions are to ask in choosing a fiscal sponsor, and more. 

Speakers: Brenda Webb, Chicago Filmmakers (moderator); Ines Sommer, Percolator Films; Suzanne Niemoth, Kartemquin Films; Tom Kinasz, Holland & Knight; Tony Ruzicka, Ruzicka & Associates; Charles Adler, co-founder, Kickstarter 

3 P.M. For Actors and Filmmakers: Working with Talent Agencies, Chicago Cultural Center, Garland Room  As an actor, what are you looking for when trying to secure a talent agent?  Once you find that agent, what are the expectations of both parties to form a successful working relationship?  As a filmmaker, how can you work with talent agencies to find the best actors for your film?  This panel provides the answers.

Speakers: Kathy Byrne, SAG-AFTRA (moderator); Michelle Hayes, Gill Hayes Talent Agency; Troy Pryor, SAG-AFTRA Actor, Filmmaker; Brett Sechrist, Naked Voices Talent Agency; Brandon Paul Eells, SAG-AFTRA Actor


10:30 A.M. Introduction to the Film Industry, Chicago Cultural Center, Exhibit Hall

Kwame AmokauProfessionals from across the film industry give the inside scoop on breaking in to the business, the diverse paths that led them there and how you too could have the best job in the world in this program created by IFP/Chicago.

Speakers: Carrie Holt de Lama, IFP/Chicago (moderator); Kwame Amokau, “Chicago Fire;” Jorge Reyes Ortiz “Empire;” Megan Spatz, Unexpected; Adri Siriwatt, 23 Blast; Zee Gustafson, Zee Artistry

 10:30 A.M. Music on Film

Award-winning filmmakers and music historians Robert Gordon and John Anderson talk about chronicling the legendary careers of Muddy Waters, Johnny Cash, Big Star, Brian Wilson, Badfinger and others.

Speakers: Robert Gordon, Can’t Be Satisfied; John Anderson, Sam Lay in Bluesland

10: 30 A.M. European Funding Models for Independent Film Financing

 Public film funding in the European Union may change once the transatlantic free trade agreement (TTIP) take effect – and with it comes opportunities for U.S. filmmakers.

Speakers: Anna Westerståhl Stenport, European Union Center at UIUC (moderator); Prof. Bruce Sheridan, Columbia College Chicago; Jens Kiefer, Hamburg Film Funding Office; Zbigniew Banas, Loyola University 

NOON Making of an “Empire”  Ta'Rhonda Jones

Fox TV’s breakout hit “Empire” is one of the fastest growing dramas of the 21st century. Get the behind-the-scenes scoop about the making “Empire,” television’s highest-rated and most talked about show.

Speakers: Kristen Kaza, No Small Plans Productions (moderator); Jennifer Salim, Costume Buyer; Marcus Davis, Head Barber; David Leonard, Assistant Locations Manager; Ta’Rhonda Jones, Actor (Porsha Taylor)

NOON Leslie Ann Jones; Sound Recording & Sccoring for Film and Video Games  

Leslie Ann Jones, Director of Music Recording and Scoring at Skywalker Sound, will discuss her career, share her expertise on orchestral recording for film and her latest experiences working on video game sound tracks. Program created by CIMMfest.

 1:30 P.M.  Science on Screen

Covering both documentary film and narrative drama, the workshop examines how filmmakers can be inspired by real scientific research.  In turn, working scientists can collaborate with artists to ensure their science is represented responsibly on screen.

Speakers: Anthony Kaufman, Chicago International Film Festival (moderator): Kyle Patrick Alvarez, Filmmaker: The Stanford Prison Experiments; Bruce Sheridan, Columbia College Chicago; Peggy Mason, University of Chicago; Clayton Brown and Monica Ross, Filmmakers: The Atom Smashers

1:30 P.M.  Up From the Underground

Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E Washington StLocal artists discuss how they’ve made the trek from 20 year the Chicago Underground Film Festival to Sundance, Rotterdam, the Academy Awards and the importance of finding a filmmaking community and developing and diversifying an audience. Created by IFP/Chicago.

Speakers: Ignatiy Vishnevetsky, Film Critic, and essayist (moderator); Lori Felker, Filmmaker: Future Language, The Dimensions of Von LMO; Jerzy Rose, Filmmaker: Crimes Against Humanity; Jennifer Reeder, Filmmaker: A Million Miles Away; Debra Stratman, Filmmaker: O’er the Land

3 P.M. Film Keynote Address by Wally Pfister, Cinematographer/Director, Chicago Cultural Center, Claudia Cassidy Theatre

 A four time nominee,Wally Pfister won his 2010 Oscar for Best Cinematography for Christopher Nolan’s “Inception.” His made his directorial debut with“Transcendence” in 2014. The native Chicagoan will discuss working here on “The Dark Knight” and “Batman Begins” and other achievements during his remarkable career.