Laura Szymber wins IFO’s “Shortcuts”

When producer Laura Szymber met writer/director Brad DeMarea at a coffee shop a year ago to read the script he wanted to make, she was immediately sold on it. “I felt his writing and vision was right on. I just knew it was going to be a great production.”

Right she was. Szymber’s production of DeMarea’s “An Evening with Emery Long” won the IFO “Shortcuts” contest.

Szymber’s film was one 42 submissions, double that of the IFO’s first “Shortcuts” last year, which the film office designed to showcase the work of Illinois filmmakers.

Made in 2008, the film stars L.A. actor Joel Spence in the title role, and co-stars Chicago actors Danny McCarthy and Sue Gillan. DP Scott Thiele shot scenes throughout Chicago. Kallies was associate producer and editor.

A check for $1,050 and a handsome trophy were presented to Szymber onstage prior to the Illinois(e) Makers program that screened Tuesday night at the Chicago International Film Festival. “An Evening with Emery Long” also won a CIFF Silver Hugo.