“A Tragedy,” “Blow Job” highlight MIFF shorts program

Robert Hemlich's "Blow Job"

Robert Hemlich’s “Blow Job”

It’s a new month, and that means we are only days away from they Midwest Independent Film Festival’s monthly First Tuesday screening.

Hosted by the nation’s only film festival solely dedicated to the Midwest filmmakers, the event provides audiences with regionally produced independent cinema.

Led by the world premiere of A Tragedy, the Timothy Simons and Dave Pasquesi (Veep) vehicle, and the short animated film Blow Job from director/animator Robert Hemlich, this month’s exciting program, according to acting Executive Director, Mike Kwielford is a veritable buffet of short films carefully culled together by the programming committee.

The fest’s audience can also look forward to the Chicago premiere of Runner. Clare Cooney’s directorial debut. The short is about a girl who goes for a simple job and witnesses something she can’t run away from.



A TRAGEDY (WORLD PREMIERE). David and Timothy can’t sell each other out fast enough. Starring Timothy Simons (VEEP, EASY), David Pasquesi (VEEP, GROUNDHOG DAY), and Tracy Letts (LADY BIRD, HOMELAND). Directed by Timothy Simons.

RUNNER (CHICAGO PREMIERE). A girl goes for a jog and witnesses something she can’t run away from. RUNNER is the directorial debut of Clare Cooney, who also wrote and stars in the film alongside Will Allan (Chicago Justice) and Travis A. Knight (Henry Gamble’s Birthday Party).

LIGHT (FESTIVAL PREMIERE). A woman’s search for emotional peace leads her on an unexpected journey. Starring Marina Squerciati (CHICAGO PD) and Amy Morton (CHICAGO PD), directed by Patricia Frontain.

OFF BOOK (CHICAGO PREMIERE). Natalie and Steve meet for a first date at a Chicago cafe, but their date takes an unexpected turn when Steve has an unusual request. Written by and starring Mindy Fay Parks and directed by Robert Bruce Carter.

NEW NEIGHBORS. A 2017 Sundance Official Selection, New Neighbors is a story about a mother who moves to a new neighborhood with her two sons and and takes a resourceful approach to keep them safe in a world with so many killings and assaults on Black lives. Director E.G. Bailey brings a clever and unique approach to the BLM dialogue.

TEN MORE. A concert pianist (David Pasquesi) receives a startling omen as he struggles to recover from a traumatic brain injury. Directed by Brad Riddell (writer: AMERICAN PIE: BAND CAMP; ROAD TRIP II).

GLENDALE (music video). A portrait of Detroit and the passion its people share. Directed by Sean Wehrli.

BLOW JOB. An inflatable tube man vies for the attention of his lady love through the art of erotic dancing. From director Robert Hemlich.

FALLEN FEATHER (documentary). Pro climber Sam Elias returns to his home state of Michigan to reveal the harsh conditions and virgin routes found in this unlikely ice climbing destination. Directed by Aaron Peterson.

TOO EVIL (animated). The bumbling Demon King realizes his creepy daughter may just be too evil for her own good. Directed by Conlon Taaffe.

BURST INTO NORTHERN MICHIGAN II (experimental). Immerse yourself in a fast-paced adventure through the northern parts of Michigan. Directed by Chris Zuker.

THE AMAZING NECKBEARD (stop motion animation). A comic book nerd discovers what it truly means to be a hero in this stop-motion animated short. Directed, animated and edited by Aaron Legg.

The festivities take place at Landmark’s Century Centre Cinema on Tuesday, March 6th, with festivities beginning with a pre-reception at 6 p.m followed by a producer’s panel at 6:30. You can purchase tickets here.

Contact Colin Costello at colin@reelchicago.com or follow him on Twitter @colincostello10.