Lending receives $1.1 mm PBS grant to complete doc

Documentarian Tod Lending

OSCAR-NOMINATED FILMMAKER Tod Lending’s documentary, All the Difference, five years in the making, has received a $1.1 million grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting for its production, post, promotion and community engagement.

Emmy-winning PBS series, POV, will air All the Difference in the fall of 2015.

It follows two young black men from Chicago’s South Side as they graduate high school, go through four years of college and then make their way into the work world. Lending, the producer, director, cinematographer, has eight months more of production and eight months of editing.

Wes Moore, the author of the NYT bestseller, The Other Wes Moore, is co-executive producer.  He will travel with the film, addressing the myriad of issues concerning young black men as the doc is aired nationally, screened in communities across the country and disseminated on digital platforms. 

DIRECTOR JOSH MACNEAL and his sister, writer Cy Weisman, are developing the crime drama Urbs in Horto, about a drug dealer’s niece, a conflicted cop, and a cross-dressing assassin thrown together to bring down a drug ring. 

“We wanted to take a character who was not likable in normal circumstances and throw them into a tragic one,” MacNeal says.  “Will the audience still see them as unlikeable or would the character’s new plight weigh heavier?” 

Their latest film The 4th Meeting, about a new widow who joins a survivor’s guilt support group, screenws Aug. 14 in the Gene Siskel Film Center’s Black Harvest Film Festival

ROBIN PETERS of Champaign-based Dreamscape Cinema has wrapped production on his first action film, Lowlifes, about a band of juvenile delinquents trying to foil a terrorist plot.  With BooBoo Stewart (Twilight: Eclipse, X-Men: Days of Future Past), Giselle Bonilla, Julian Alcaraz, Quinton Aaron, and Kyle Massey.

CURTIS AND COREY GILBERT, the brothers behind p3 mediaworks, are in pre-production on the web series Convergence, which tells the intertwining stories of a Venezuelan oil executive whose son has been kidnapped, and a security agent for a U.S. oil company.  p3 is also in production on the second season of Frank T. Ziede’s action web series, Black.

JOSH HOPE of Olive Entertainment is in post-production on the dark comedy feature The Life and Death of an Unhappily Married ManTommy Beardmore (Shameless) stars as a man who learns his wife has been unfaithful, and hits the road to revisit his past.

THE CHICAGO CINEMA SOCIETY hosts an Aug. 16 preview screening of Toy Masters, director Roger Lay Jr. and producer Corey Landis’s documentary about the He-Man and the Masters of the Universe 80s toy and entertainment juggernaut.  At Chicago Filmmakers, 5243 N. Clark, 8 p.m.

THE EQUUS FILM FESTIVAL, Aug. 16-17 is a highlight of the 2nd Festival of the Horse and Drum being held at the Kane County Fairgrounds in St. Charles. 

Forty-four films exclusively about horses, including one in 3D and one narrated by Kevin Costner, are from mainly US producers but also some from France. 

Ten “Best” prizes Audiences will Dozens of films about horses are entered and audiences will select their favorite horse film. 

Send news of your latest indie project to Ed Koziarski, edmkoz@gmail.com