HistoryMakers’ Jarrett TV talk to air on national PBS

Valerie Jarrett

AN EVENING WITH VALERIE JARRETT,” a presentation of The HistoryMakers, the massive archive of interviews with notable African American leaders now part of the Library of Congress, airs on WTTW/11 today and tomorrow.

The interview with President Obama’s senior advisor about her rich life and career will air on national PBS in February. The program is dedicated in honor of Gwen Ifill, the late PBS media journalist who had hosted many HistoryMakers’ interviews in Washington, D.C. over the past 10 years.

The Jarrett interview was conducted by veteran journalist Michelle Norris of NPR (“All Things Considered”) and taped at the Art Institute April 9, directed by Steve Rovak.

Harvard Law School graduate Julieanna Richardson is The HistoryMakers’ oral history archives founder and executive director. The HistoryMakers is headquartered in its own building at 1900 S. Michigan.

NEW AT O’CONNOR CASTING: Joan O’Connor and Virginia Anello were promoted to casting directors. O’Connor also heads up the casting company’s Real People Division and Anello leads the expanding Extras Department. Both have been with the company for eight years.

New to OCC’s Extras Division are assistants / session directors Adelina Feldman-Schulz, an actress who’d worked in the hospitality business and Jessica Lyons, an assistant producer / co-host of “America’s Greatest Game Shows.”

OCC Extras is now accepting non-union talent and concentrating on servicing commercials, rather than mainly features and TV series, says veteran casting director David O’Connor. Overall, the company has worked on close to 200 projects so far this year.

ELSEWHERE: Avid Technology promoted Meaghan Ross Head of Channel Marketing, Americas, from Channel Marketing Manager. She’s been with Avid in Chicago for a total of six years … Derek Baker joined Camera Ambassador as Rental Manager, a new position, from Studio Manager at The Onion.

THE TOP THREE WINNERS of the annual Midwest Independent Film Festival (MWFF) “Advertising Shorts Night,” out of 17 finalists, will compete for MWFF’s “Best in the Midwest Awards” Tuesday, Dec. 6 at Rocket Bar & Grill, 22 W. Hubbard St.

First prize went to “Exonerated,” a look into the lives of five people who had spent 23 years in jail for crimes they did not commit. Commercial photographer Andy Goodwin directed, Cutters’ Patrick Duffy edited.

Second place went to satirical “No Other Way to Say It,” produced by Optimus and Hog Butcher, whose EPs were Lisa Masseur and Ron Lazzeretti, respectively. Tim Mason wrote and directed the story about a voiceover session for a fictitious children’s ice brand conducted by two insecure agency producers.

Tied for third place were Chicago-made “Gas,” and Detroit entry “Victor.” “Gas,” about thinking and talking, was written / directed by spot director Steve Delahoyde, produced by Ogilvy’s Sara Martin and stars David Pasquesi and Marc Grapey, Detroit-made “Victor” was directed/edited by Chad Thompson and produced by Detroit production studio Yeah Haus.

BAM recording studio sponsored the annual event.

LONG-AWAITEDBAD SANTA II” is heading for theatrical holiday screenings. In this 4K sequel, deplorable department store Santa Billy Bob Thornton and his crooked, foul-mouthed little helper, Tony Cox, plan to rob a Chicago charity on Christmas Eve. Don’t expect to see them on Michigan Avenue or other locations here, since the dark comedy was shot in Montreal and Phoenix.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING! After posting Monday’s ReelChicago with news you won’t want to miss, we will take a hiatus and return Nov. 28. But don’t let that stop you from sending your news and notes. Email ruth@reelchicago.com or phone 312/274-9980.