Independent Production Roundup

RICARDO ISLAS of Alpha Studios has two features in local fests this April. His 2003 16mm bilingual thriller “Para Matar a un Asesino/To Kill a Killer” will show in the Chicago International Latino Film Festival.

Financed by star Salom?n Carmona, the film was shot simultaneously in Spanish and English to maximize market potential in Latin America and the U.S.

Also starring Jorge Reynoso, Hugo Stiglitz, and Lyndsey Jim?nez. Diana Romero produced. Joe Passarelli shot.

Islas’ 2004 lesbian vampire thriller “Night Fangs” plays in the 5th Chicago Horror Film Festival, at the Three Penny Cinema, 2424 N. Lincoln, April 3 at 12:30 a.m. (that’s Saturday night after midnight). “Night Fangs” stars Leslie Frank, Cyn Dulay, Ruby Gonzalez, and Islas. Islas is an editor at Ch. 20. The Horror Fest runs March 31-April 3. See www.alphaflicks.com or www.chicagohorrorfest.com.

CHRIS NICHOLS is in production on his documentary “From Suzy Wong to Miss Saigon,” exploring the images of Asians in American Cinema, aimed for completion by October. Email chris@daimonweb.com.

ERIC BATTERSBY starts production this June on the DV feature “Fool’s Gold,” loosely based on his own experience growing up in Maywood as one of the few white students in a mostly-black high school. Battersby shot part of a feature under the same title in 1998, ran out of money, undertook major rewrites, and elected to start from scratch. Battersby and a few investors are financing through his Hollywood 27 productions. See www.hollywood27.com.

AUSTRIA MORRISON shoots her 90’s teen rock drama “Garageband” in Joliet from June through August. This is Morrison’s third summer shooting the self-financed picture after false starts and financial troubles the first two years. She adapted the script from her own novel “$19.94.” See www.garagebandfilm.com.

THOMAS PEYTON’S doc “Gift Dogs” will screen in the second annual Artivist Film Festival in Hollywood April 19-24. Artivist is dedicated to addressing human rights and environmental issues through film, visual art and music. See www.artivistfilmfestival.org.

Rusty Nails

RUSTY NAILS, organizer of the Movieside Film Festival, screens his doc short “The Ramones and I” in the South by Southwest Film Festival, running March 11-19 in Austin, Texas. The pic, which won best doc at the IFP Flyover Zone Film Festival, details the personal signifigance of the punk godfathers for Nails growing up. See www.neweyefilms.com.

Michael Lerman on the set of Kevin Smith’s “Jersey Girl”

MICHAEL LERMAN, 1st AD of Marc Forster’s “Stranger Than Fiction,” hosts an AD workshop with IFP/Chicago, Wednesday, March 30 at 6:30 p.m. at the Columbia College 3rd Floor Screening Room, 1104 S. Wabash. $10, free for IFP members and Columbia students. See www.ifp.org. Production on “Stranger Than Fiction” starts here in mid-April with Dustin Hoffman, Emma Thompson, Maggie Gyllenhaall and Will Farrell.

John Borowski

JOHN BOROWSKI’S doc “H.H. Holmes: America’s First Serial Killer” screens at 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 30 at Indian Prairie Library, 401 Plainfield Rd., Darien, in conjunction with the DuPage County’s “Big Read” series, which is focusing on Erik Larsen’s book about Holmes, “Devil in the White City.” See www.hhholmesthefilm.com or www.thebigread.org.

“Sheriff”

DAN KRAUS’ doc “Sheriff” enjoyed a weeklong run this March at New York’s Two Boots Pioneer Theatre. “Sheriff” recounts the adventures of Brunswick County, North Carolina’s top lawman. It’s Krause’s followup to his debut feature doc “Jefftowne,” a stereotype-busting portrayal of a hard-drinking, pornography-loving, shoplifting man with Down’s Syndrome. “Sheriff’s” festival run has included Chicago Documentary, Cinequest, Seattle First Person, Austin, and Indie Memphis. See www.sheriffmovie.com.

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