IFO’s Sexton’s Studio City
remarks shock IFP audience

IFO Director Brenda Sexton

John Crededio may sue the state of Illinois over the remarks its representative, IFO director Brenda Sexton, made at the recent IFP Filmmakers Conference.

A shocked audience, fellow government employee panelists and film commissioners from other states heard the film “czarina” disparage Chicago Studio City owner Crededio at a panel discussion about what government can do for the indie filmmaker.

In response to a question about Studio City’s status, Sexton responded that the state would not do business with Studio City because the owner ? whom she does not personally know ? had a “checkered past” and “criminal associations.”

Sexton ended her allegations with a warning to herself; that she better not say anything more or she could end up with broken kneecaps.

A stunned filmmaker said, “If she’s smearing the CSC like this to the community, what does she say to the people when she’s out in L.A.?” Another filmmaker commented, “What kind of impression does that make on the other state film commissioners who were here? What kind of twisted stories about Chicago will they take back with them?”

Many believe the former commercial real estate broker’s imprudent remarks were motivated by her desire to promote her scheme for the state to acquire a site other than Studio City for soundstages.

It is well known that Sexton is actively pursuing state funds to convert the former steel plant at 95th and Stony Island into soundstages at a cost of $10 million.


  • Looks like film revenues for 2003 will be an estimated $15 million, an all-time historical low. Only “Barber Shop 2” filmed in its entirety here at Studio City.
  • The IFO hosts a May party in L.A. for ex-Chicagoans, wooing them to bring their film projects back to Chicago to film — notwithstanding that most moved to L.A. because they couldn’t find jobs here. The party is based on the decades-old, now-defunct Windy City West party.
  • Expansion of DCEO director Jack Lavin’s office pushed the IFO out of its space of 20 years in the Thompson Center to the outer ring on the third floor. Brenda Sexton, however, retains her present office some distance from the staff.