Independent Production Roundup

USAMA ALSHAIBI won the Tribeca Film Festival’s All Access Creative Promise Award for Documentary Feature for his in-progress doc “Nice Bombs,” a chronicle of Alshaibi’s return with his father to their native Iraq under U.S. occupation.

The award carries a $10,000 grant. Alshaibi is in post on “Nice Bombs” and aims to complete it by this fall. Alshaibi’s wife Kristie Alshaibi of Artvamp is producing with Ben Berkowitz and Ben Redgrave of Benzfilm Group. Studs Terkel is executive producer. See

Irina Bj?rklund

IRINIA BJ?RKLUND has signed to star in Filip Rymsza’s HD drama “Dustclouds,” set to shoot this summer from m31 Films. Bj?rklund won a Shooting Star Award at the 2004 Berlin Film Festival, a Finnish best actress academy award in 2002 for her role in “Me and Morrison,” a festival director’s award for best actress at MethodFest 2001 for her role in “The Restless,” and a nomination for Finnish best actress in 1999 for “Ambush.”

Bj?rklund stars with Wesley Walker, Jane Alderman, John Lordan, Dale Rivera and Timothy Jon in Rymsza’s followup to last year’s DV “Sandcastles.” Rymsza is producing with Misty Tosh of fatcake productions, Pawel Smietanka of Digital Lab in Warsaw, and David Zavaleta. Crew includes DP Piotr Grawender, production supervisor Lisa Colangelo of fatcake, costume designer Laura Darner, and sound mixer Tom Beach. See

DAVE MILLER of Mindlight Films is producing Justen Naughton’s debut feature “Riff Raff,” a comedy about lifeguards at North Avenue Beach shooting this July and August. Miller produced Jaime Mariscal’s “Welcome Back to the Barrio,” Juan Frausto’s “Once Upon a Time in the Hood,” Adrian Fulle’s “Finding Preet,” “Love 101” and “Three Days,” and Jeff Myers’ “The Ride.” “Riff Raff” executive producer is John Otterbacher. See

JASON R. DAVIS, organizer of the Chicago Horror Film Festival, shoots his debut feature, the revenge thriller “Lost,” starting June 2. Exteriors will shoot over weekends in June and July, then interiors “that will be filled with all the blood and gore and violence” this winter. “The film is about how we create our own monsters to battle the real monsters out there,” Davis said. “I want ?Lost’ to be one of those films that you remember and think about and continues to disturb you long after you’ve seen the film.” See

JAMES W. BOINSKI has wrapped production on his DV gangster feature “Legit,” made through Kitchen Productions. Boinski wrote the script with producers John Stemberg and Richard Strimer. Reach Stemberg at

GRIFFIN MARKS has released the DVD of his debut feature comedy “Beer Muscles.” Starring Bill Booker, Matthew McGuire, Marks, producer Carmen Jesse and executive producer Bo Wetzel. DP/editor, Bradley R. Davidson. “Beer Muscles” has screened at the Atlanta Comicon, Bare Bones Film Festival, B-Movie Theater Festival and the Backwoods Film Festival. See

JONATHAN COHON of Hornbill Films is in post on “Bowser Makes a Movie,” a DV feature sendup of the gay adult film industry, the first in a series of “Adventures of Bowser” comedies. Starring Nick Lewis, Kevin Viol, Matt Pletcher and Michael Miro. See

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