Independent film production update

“RUNAWAY DIVAS,” Monika Szewerniak and Aleksandra Hodowany’s locally made feature-length modeling industry satire has its world premiere Friday, July 30-Aug. 5 at the Gene Siskel Film Center. Szewerniak and Hodowany will attend the July 30-31 and Aug. 1 screenings along with DP/co-producer Christopher Collins and other cast and crew. Screenings are 8 p.m. July 30, Aug. 3 and 5, 7:30 p.m. July 31, 3:15 p.m. Aug. 1, 6 p.m. Aug. 2, and 6:15 p.m. Aug. 4. See or email Szewerniak at

Ben Dubash of Seventh Plane Productions

SEVENTH PLANE PRODUCTIONS starts the five-to-seven-week production in July in the west suburbs on its debut micro-budget feature, the psychological thriller “The Reaper.” Howard White stars as a reformed sex offender who believes he’s being hunted by a messenger from God. Director/co- producer Dan McGee will shoot on DV. Cast includes writer/co-producer Ben Dubash as the Reaper, and his former Sarantos Acting Studio classmates Jerry Murphy, Rob Baker, and Tim Krueger. Most of the cast and crew worked on Seventh Plane’s recently completed first film, the 35-minute “Path to Paradise,” about an Arab American man dealing with the suicides of his father and brother who were wrongly accused of being terrorists. Email

TWO LOCAL INDIE gangster movies premiered in June at the International Latino Cinemateque at Ice Theaters. “On the Down Low,” Tadeo Garcia’s $10,000 picture from Iconoclast Films, premiered at the International Lesbian and Gay Film Festival here, opened June 4 at Latino Cinemateque, and has screenings booked for New York’s Newfest (sold out), San Francisco’s Frameline Film Festival, and Los Angeles’ Outfest. See Juan Frausto’s $300,000 “Once Upon a Time in the Hood,” produced by Dave Miller of Mindlight Films, premiered at the Latino Film Festival where it won the Audience Favorite award, and opened June 18 at the Latino Cinemateque at 63rd and Western. See