IFP board gives Lynn Steadman interim executive director status, at least through end of the year

Lynn Steadman has a busy two months ahead of her. The newly named interim executive director of the Independent Feature Project/Chicago is working on two big, important and almost back-to-back annual events.

Steadman has been named the provisional successor to Elizabeth Donius, who resigned in early August after four solid years of building one of Chicago’s oldest film organizations.

“I will try to become more involved in the community,” said Steadman, who had been with IFP as assistant executive director since March, 2007. “I want to maintain and build on the relationships Elizabeth started and represent the IFP as best as possible.”

Her first time up at bat will be the 2nd annual Independent Film Gala fund-raiser Sept. 19 at Primitive, where money raised is earmarked for helpful new programs to independent filmmakers.

Last year’s event played host to 500 guests and with Harold Ramis billed as honorary gala chairman, the expectation is an even bigger turnout this year.

A considerably bigger — the 15th Annual Chicago Underground Film Festival, which the IFP acquired earlier this year — follows a month later, Oct. 29-Nov. 2, at the Viaduct Theatre.

All CUFF and Summit events will take place at the Viaduct Theatre, except for the Halloween screening of Curtis Harrington’s “Night Tide,” which screens at the Gene Siskel Film Center.

Steadman estimates that CUFF’s attendance this year should be around 5,000 over the five days, and the excitement it generates could help boost the Summit’s flagging turnout over the past few years, as well as pulling membership above its present 375 count.

A native of Kalamazoo, Steadman attended the University of Michigan, majoring in modern American history and film studies, and this past May she earned an MA in arts management from Columbia College.

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