MIFF displays indie “Bests” at annual awards night

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INDIE FEATURE “ANIMALS” was the big Best of the Midwest Awards Tuesday night, hosted by Midwest International Film Festival, winning for Best Feature, Best Director, Collin Schiffli and Best Actor, David Dastmalchian.

Fellow winners were Best Screenplay, Bill Boehler, “Apartment Guy;” Best Actress, Katie Oellerich, “The Cold and the Quiet;” Best Editing, Craig Lewandowski, “Adventures in the Sin Bin;” Best Cinematography, Pete Biagi, “Best Ambulance” and Best Short, director Seth Henrickson’s “The Scumbag Barbers of Rotterdam.” 

JAN. 10 AD AWARDS DEADLINE: Chicago Ad Federation’s 2015 Chicago American Advertising Awards Chicago-only categories include media innovation, branded content and consumer engagement.  Category winners go on to the “Do You Measure Up?” reception March 11 at the Museum of Broadcast Communications when it’s assumed top prizes will be awarded. 

SCC PRESIDENT DAVID SELBY, winner of the 2014 Silver Medal Award, will be honored at a Jan. 22 luncheon at the Montgomery Club, 500 W. Superior (a Gibson’s restaurant, so you know the food will be hearty and good) starting at 11:30 a.m.  Tickets are $110 per person for members, $135 for non-members and may be purchased here.

MAKING HIS 15th TRIP TO EUROPE, Picture Show partner Matt Leonard is shooting historic and meaningful Catholic cathedrals, monuments and stories throughout London for Skokie-based Word on Fire Catholic Ministries after filming earlier in Italy and France.  Scenes will be used in the Catholicism series on WTTW/11 and on Word on Fire’s extensive website. Leonard, who is directing and editing, is accompanied by DP John Cummings.  They left Dec. 1 and will return in 10 days.

FACETS KICKSTARTER CAMPAIGN raised $54,851, exceeding its $50,000 goal, to expand its new Facets Kids movie streaming app. will expand the Facets Kids catalog to include 1,000 films and bring access to 1,000 new subscribers.  Facets also will donate the app to 1,000 schools and libraries and allow for the development of additional functionality and features.  Money well spent.


ARU TEAMED WITH HOOTENNANY for its first annual Comedy Night, to see the long-running improv show of “TJ and David” (TJ Jadodowski and David Pasquesi) that they present every Wednesday night at 733 Theatre Building on Belmont. 

The idea behind Comedy Night, says ARU’s Don Arbuckle, was to have an event specifically to bring together for young newcomers to the visual media industry. 

“’TJ and David’ has been running for 10 years and the amazing part is that each and every show is different,” says ARU’s Don Arbuckle.  “It’s fabulous, just the two of them completely improvised on the spot, for an hour.”

AT LAST COUNT, the Reel’s AICP Show photo coverage registered more than 44,000 clicks! More event photo coverage to come this month.  Send your event notices – and news – to ruth@reelchicago.com.  FYI: Reel Chicago will post through Dec. 19, except for breaking news, and return Jan. 5 for another year of chronicling the industry.

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