Hugo Awards honorees are Kartemquin for
TV production and L.A.’s Smuggler for spots

KARTEMQUIN FILMS, the granddaddy of social commentary docs (including “Hoop Dreams”) is the 2008 Hugo Awards honoree for Commitment to Excellence in TV Productions, and L.A.-based Smuggler is the Commitment to Excellence in TV Commercials honoree.

Six-year-old Smuggler, co-owned by Brian Carmody and Patrick Milling Smith, is known for ground breaking spot campaigns and music videos for major advertisers (Nike, Dell, BMW) and winner of many awards.

The Hugo Awards take place May 1 at the Claudia Cassidy Theatre at the Cultural Center.

FILMMAKER DREW TURNER has launched the Chicago Film Producers Alliance (CFPA), a website support and resource sharing group.

“Our aim is to help independent producers through the process of completing their films and obtaining distribution, earning a profit or competing in contests and film contests,” he says.

“Anyone with a role in film production (e.g., directors, actors, screenwriters, crew) and an interest in producing may join the group,” says Turner.

Join in at

AWWW, IPA’S PARTY to honor the co-sponsors of Illinois film tax incentives has been postponed due to scheduling problems.

BUSINESS SEEM SLOW? Quite possibly, as production historically slows down before April 15 tax time. And it doesn’t help that this is an election year (which now seems like a century of campaigning). Biz should brighten around May 1 or sooner, stock market notwithstanding.

DO INCENTIVES WORK? Wisconsin happily says ‘you betcha!’ Nancy Osterhaus, mayor of little Columbus, Wisc., where “Public Enemies” shot for a week, says economic impact on her town was around $350,000.

Mayor Daley or other local politicals might want to cue from Lt. Gov. Lawton. She took time out to visit the set and director Michael Mann, UM grad and Chicago native.

RON BRINKMANN, co-creator of Shake! advanced digital compositing software, speaks at Flashpoint’s Industry Workshop April 18 at 9:30 a.m. The Workshop, open to interested industryites, is designed to involve high school and community college counselors, teachers and students in advancing digital arts technology.

Previous Workshops with the top pros in their field have drawn more than 100 guests. To attend phone Lindsay Drucker at 312-332-0707.

ZACUTO RENTALS wants you to know that it now offers the Big Red Camera, along with other tapeless formats — the Sony EX-1, the Panasonic HPX2000 and HPX3000. Letus35 Extreme DOF packages are available for the Panasonic HVX200, Sony EX-1 and other HD cameras.

COLLABORATIVE SPLIT PILLOW’S 2006 comedy, “soulMaid,” has been released by L.A-based Ariztical Entertainment to national retailers and online at Netflix, TLA Video and others.

THE FIELD MUSEUM hosts the 32nd annual Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour for the first time, April 23 in the museum’s James Simpson Theatre.

The international competition features the world’s best footage on mountain subjects, ranging in length from seven to 55-minutes. After the festival wraps in Canada, a selection of its best films go on tour to prestige venues like the Field Museum.

PRODUCTION STARTS APRIL 29 on “The Informant” in Decatur, which is interesting inasmuch as the government went after the agri-business giant with a price fixing accusation.

Directed by Steven Soderbergh, the big-budget movie is based on Kurt Eichenwald’s best seller of a few years back. Matt Damon plays ADM VP Mark Whiteacre, the true life informant. It also films in L.A.

FORMER CHICAGOANS John Flores, Brett Rosenberg and Kat Tuohy have started on the road to Hollywood fame and fortune with the acceptance of their first feature in the Riverside (California) International Film Festival.

Nice going for “Tale of a Suicidal Narcoleptic,” shot at various Chicago bars and clubs on a tiny $10K budget and produced by their J Normal Productions. Only actress Liz Larsen-Silva of their group has remained in Chicago.