May 10 fundraiser for ‘ChiTown’ basketball doc

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Nick Budabin, ‘ChiTown’ doc producer/director

A FUNDRAISER FOR CHITOWN, a documentary-in-progress from New York-based reality TV show director/producer Nick Budabin (Cake Boss, Kathy Griffin), who started shooting when he spent time here in 2011 producing “Season 25: Oprah Behind the Scenes,” will be held Thursday, May 10 at The Joynt, 650 N. Dearborn, from 6-9 p.m. 

ChiTown documents the history of Chicago basketball through the lives of several high school players and coaches from South and West Side schools, culminating in 2011’s inaugural Chicago United Hoops Classic, which pitted the best of the West and South Siders against each other. 

Budabin explains the Hoops Classic playoff game benefited an organization called “Purpose Over Pain,” to help parents of children lost to gun violence. 

Now Budabin is seeking $75,000 through Kick Starter, where $10,000 has been raised thus far, and from individual donations to finance filming additional footage and for post.  Film clips, film stars and production team in attendance.  No cover charge, appetizers, open bar until 9:30 but party will continue. 

TRACY BAIM’S SCROOGE & MARLEY has begun production and will shoot throughout the city, especially in Andersonville and Wrigleyville, through mid-May.  The modern-day variation on Charles Dickens’ classic A Christmas Carol is told from a gay sensibility, with comedy and music.

The indie production from the producer of Hannah Free stars David Pevsner as Scrooge and Tim Kazurinsky as Marley, who head a cast of more than 30 and including Bruce Vilanch and Rusty Schwimmer. 

THE 19TH ANNUAL CHICAGO UNDERGROUND FILM FESTIVAL (CUFF) kicks off May 31 at 8 p.m. with the Midwest premiere of The Fourth Dimension wherein Vice Media’s Eddie Moretti and Harmony Korine bring together a trio of international directors to explore “the fourth dimension,” each expressing his own vision and interpretation to the concept.  

Presented by the IFP Chicago, CUFF runs May 31-June 7 at the Gene Siskel Film Center, with provocative “underground” and experimental features, documentaries and short films.

AUDITIONS MAY 12 will be held for Cyn Dulay and Robert Parsons’ Stormynight LLC production company’s urban drama TV pilot Donna Ray, in association with Various Artists Productions. Production runs weekends June 2-12. Dulay is also costarring with Bai Ling in Milwaukee filmmaker Ross Bigley’s Chinese-American western short Yellow Hill, produced by Ling and set to shoot in South Dakota in May.

While Ed Koziarski is in Japan working on his documentary Uncommon Terrain, send your indie cinema news to Ruth@reelchicago.com.

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