Indiefest Chicago launches Aug. 1, featuring Midwest’s first film market

The Midwest’s first film market is gearing up for its launch Aug. 8-10, the last three days of Indiefest Chicago, a festival that begins Aug. 1.

“We’re out to promote the ‘Vision Without Compromise’ spirit of the independent filmmaker, and to bring a film festival and market to Chicago that is truly for the independent filmmaker,” said Indiefest organizer Lee Alan.

Indiefest also incorporates the screenwriting competition that Alan has run for 10 years through his Cyclone Entertainment.

“Most of the filmmakers and screenwriters are participating in the market, bringing their new and future projects along with the ones included in our festival,” Alan said. “We’ve had many distributors request passes, and we’re inviting agents, financiers and production companies from all over the world.”

The festival will be held at the Village Water Tower Theater, 175 E. Chestnut. The market will be held on the second and third floors of O’Callaghan’s, 29 W. Hubbard.

The opening night film is “Bachelorman,” by former Chicagoan Rodney Lee Conover, a comedy about a ladies’ man who falls in love and turns to monogamy. “Bachelorman” plays at 9 p.m. Aug. 1, following a shorts program at 6 and an opening ceremony at 8.

The after party the first two nights of Indiefest will be held at Trader Todd’s restaurant to coincide with the launch of co-owner Don Gibbs’ Ogre Beer. Gibbs played the character Ogre in “Revenge of the Nerds.” Indiefest parties will also take place at Narcisse, Pops for Champagne, and Star Bar.

Closing night features Joey Medina’s “El Matador” at 6 p.m. Aug. 10, a comedy about a Mexican American pizza deliveryman who decides to follow his family’s centuries-old tradition of being a matador. The final film of the fest, at 8 p.m., is Aluizio Abranches’ Brazillian revenge tragedy “The Three Marias.”

The fest includes a dozen features and several dozen shorts, most screening more than once. “The reason the festival is so hellishly long is that we want to give filmmakers the opportunity to have their films shown several times, and give audiences several chances to see it,” said marketing director Jennifer Alan.

There?s also an international selection of films, with Chicago filmmakers representing about 25% of the total selections.

Chicagoans with work in the festival include Daniel J. Pico (“Two Days in Limbo”), Dale Spencer (“Contract Killers”), Peter Evan Smith (“The Cigarette”), Jason Weisner (“True Harvest”), David Schmidt (“Grave Invitations”), Christopher R. Plotner (“The Hunt”), Benjamin T. Brammeier (“Saturday”), Aaron Torricelli (“Love Lenore”), and Gary Prusitas (“The Nuclear Family”).

-by Ed M. Koziarski,