June screening schedule has something for everyone

FILMMAKERS AND FILM BUFFS will have no problem finding a festival, screening series or premiere offerings to their varied tastes this month.

SHOCK THEATRE’S new monthly series from the second Golden Age of Horror, the late ‘50s and early ‘60s, starts running the first Friday of every month, June 3, through December, at the new Wicker Park Arts Center. 

Although most of these films are available on DVD, says programmer Michael J. Phillips, “Shock Theatre’s goal is to present these films, on 16mm, as they were intended to be seen: late at night, on actual film, surrounded by fellow horror and film fans, in a church basement. 

The Wicker Park Art Center at 2215 W. North is located in a former Lutheran church built by Norwegian immigrants and also houses Cimmfest, art exhibits, workshops and lectures.

THE 18TH UNDERGROUND FILM FESTIVAL kicks off June 2-9, partnering with IFP/Chicago, at the Gene Siskel Film Center.  

The opening night film is the debut feature by Chicago filmmaker Jerzy Rose, Some Girls Never Learn. Rose, winner of CUFF’s 2009 award for best narrative, will be present for Q& A.

AT THE PORTAGE THEATRE, vampire horror film Jezebeth has a red carpet opening June 5 and Juan Frausto’s hip hop vampire comedy, Get Pony Boy, has its theatrical premiere June 8.

PHUNNY BUSINESS: A BLACK COMEDY about Chicago’s All Jokes Aside South Side comedy club, directed by Chicago native John Davies, former Ch. 11 producer/director, and co-producer Reid Brody, is part of the Siskel Film Center’s Indie Comedy and Twix Presents Just for Laughs Chicago, June 14-30.  

The presentation includes the winning films in the biennial Christopher Wetzel Award for Independent Film Comedy, June 16.  Actress-comedian Nora Dunn, who served as a guest juror and the winning filmmakers will be present. Click here for schedules.

THE 7TH ANNUAL HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH Traveling Film Festival, June 12-18 at Facets Cinematheque, screens powerful docs and features are about people and events in Chile, Nepal, India and Pakistan, Israel, Lebanon, Russia, Palestine and – closing night – the war zones of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.  For more information, click here.  

ALSO AT FACETS, June 19-25, The 7th Annual Chicago African Disapora Film Festival, an eclectic mixture of 11 Black Independent Films from around the world, presenting the global Black experience through a range of subjects and artistic approaches.

FILMS ON IMPORTANT SOCIAL ISSUES are exhibited in advance of their broadcast on PBS’Independent Lens, presented by the ITVS Chicago Community Cinema in partnership with the Chicago Cultural Center.  

The June 18 screening is Two Spirits, about the hate murder of a 16-year Navajo boy who was also a boy.   

OPENING NIGHT June 23 of the 23rd Onion City Experimental Film/Video Festival, takes place at the Siskel Film Center, through June 26.  Presented by Chicago Filmmakers, other venues are the Nightingale and Chicago Filmmakers. 

While Ed Koziarski is in Japan producing a documentary, send your Indie Focus news of films in pre-to-postproduction, current shoots, premieres, DVD releases and more to Ruth@reelchicago.com.