personality and executive
Amy Guth joins organization
dedicated to creative
for Midwestern filmmakers
(Chicago — 2 July 2018) The Midwest Independent Film Festival (MIFF) — the year-round film festival dedicated to celebrating and strengthening the Midwest filmmaking community — today named Amy Guth as Executive Director.
Guth is a WGN-AM 720 talk radio host, and a facilitator for The Op-Ed Project, an organization working to increase the diversity of voice in the public conversation.
“Amy is a force of her own,” says Michael Kwielford, who co-founded MIFF in 2005 with Mike McNamara, who previously served as Executive Director of the festival. “She’s got so much experience on so many levels: filmmaker, journalist, radio host. It’s been such a thrill watching her work.”
McNamara is equally enthusiastic. “Amy is the perfect person to take the reins of the festival,” he said. “She is such an outstanding leader and community builder, she will take the fest to new heights.”
Guth joins MIFF after various roles with Chicago Tribune, including General Manager and Publisher of RedEye/Metromix. Prior to the Tribune, she founded Pilcrow Lit Fest, a successful independent press publishing festival.
“One key focus for me will be creative community building, and supporting and showcasing the diversity of filmmakers in Chicago and across the Midwest,” says Guth, who is currently working on a documentary film project about online harassment.
Among the ways the new Executive Director intends to do that is by “connecting deeply with other fests in the Midwest,” including some that “are not necessarily film festivals.”
“That’s kind of step one,” she explains, “having conversations that show how different fimmakers are connected in the creative community.”
Guth has hosted and moderated several of the festival’s popular “First Tuesday” events over the years, helping her develop a strong appreciation for MIFF’s culture as well as its “deep roots” in the Windy City.
“We have set a standard where beginners are welcome, and they’re going to get some help and mentorship,” she says. “I also love that players of every level share their expertise. It makes us all feel a little better about the time we’ve had to gaff-tape smelling together and keep going.”
Guth, who called Texas home before arriving in Chicago in 2001, is not only a fan of the “amazing” local talent, but also the city itself.
“I had always wanted to be here,” she says. “The minute I stepped in this town, I loved it. We get to work here, it’s unpretentious, and we help each other. I cannot get enough of it.”
Guth begins the new role ahead of the next two Festival events: a free screening of “High Fidelity” on July 3 at 6:30 p.m. at Millennium Park, in collaboration with the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) as part of the Millennium Park Summer Film Series, and the annual Female Filmmakers Night on August 7 at the Landmark Century Centre Cinema, hosted by the Midwest Film Festival and Canon, which includes a Grand Jury Prize.
Kwielford will continue working behind the scenes on the festival’s board, which incudes Lawrence Daufenbach. Jeannette Kravitz, Neil Cocsis, Mia Wicklund, Melissa Thornley, and Will Meyers.
McNamara has been busy promoting The Replacement, a sci-fi thriller in which he plays multiple roles that premiered at last year’s Chicago International Film Festival and recently won Best Short Film at the Sci-Fi London International Film Festival.
About the Midwest Independent Film Festival
The Midwest Independent Film Festival is the nation’s only film festival solely dedicated to the Midwest filmmaker, presenting audiences with regionally produced independent cinema every first Tuesday of the month at Landmark Century Centre Cinema, 2828 North Clark in Chicago.