With more chances for interaction with national industry insiders and a strong selection of local filmmakers, IFP/Chicago continues to bolster its centerpiece program with the 15th Annual Midwest Filmmakers Summit.
“Last year we had a record-breaking number of attendees, with over a thousand people over the course of the weekend,” said IFP/Chicago managing director Molly Hansen.
New to the Summit is Straight Pitch, a chance for passholders who register by Oct. 25 to hold private, five-minute meetings with producer Bob Teitel of State Street Films, producer’s rep Dana O’Keefe of Cinetic Media, and agent Kevin Iwashina of Creative Artists Agency,
“So many people that work from Chicago spend so much time going back and forth pitching in L.A.,” Hansen said. “Making those connections is invaluable for all levels of filmmakers here.”
Hansen took over the reins of the Summit when executive director Elizabeth Donius went on maternity leave Sept. 12 and gave birth to month early to a daughter on Sept. 15. She is running the Summit with support from two temporary staffers, Summit coordinator Amy Rising and PR coordinator Ben Berkowitz, and 30 volunteers.
A Cleveland native, Hansen moved to New York after graduating from Columbia College with a film degree. In New York she worked in production on commercials and TV series including “Law and Order: Criminal Intent,” where she became an assistant to Vincent D’Onofrio and Kathryn Erbe.
Hansen worked for several seasons at New York’s IFP Market, where she met Donius. “Elizabeth had such energy and enthusiasm for IFP/Chicago, I knew she was someone to keep in contact with,” Hansen said.