From movie critics to TV stars

TWO OF THE MOST IMPORTANT NAMES in movie criticism — the Chicago Tribune’s Michael Phillips, and the New York Times’ A.O. Scott — have been teamed in what should be the best iteration yet of “At the Movies,” since Siskel and Ebert introduced the first TV movie review show on Ch. 11 in 1975.

The new syndicated show will start airing Sept. 7, over Ch. 7 and the ABC Network. “We are thrilled that A.O. Scott and Michael Phillips will be lending their well-respected and influential voices to At the Movies,” Brian Frons, president of daytime for the Disney-ABC Television Group, said in a statement.

“They are regarded by millions of people as authorities in film criticism and will take the series back to its roots of one-on-one film debate that was established when the show first began with Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel.”

The previous “Movies” stars Ben Lyons of E! Television and Ben Mankiewicz of Turner Classic Movies, were taped at a Ch. 7 Chicago studio and presumably the new show also will be taped there.

LOCAL SCREENWRITERS are saddened by the death last week of screenwriter and author Blake Snyder, 52, of cardiac arrest. “He was an active supporter of Chicago talent,” says Chicago Screenwriters Network officer Linda Frothingham. “He spoke and held workshops at several Chicago events over the last few years.”

CSN plans on holding a memorial for Mr. Blake in the near future, Frothingham notes.

ACTRESS NORA DUNN, a Second City alum, will be Women in Film’s national honoree at its annual Focus Awards. This year, the event will transition from a luncheon tribute to an evening cocktail affair, Oct. 20 at the Mart Plaza Hotel.

Local honorees are Janice Arthur, pioneering camera operator, Steadicam maven, instructor and mentor and Donna La Pietra, award-winning filmmaker and civic booster.

KARTEMQUIN HIRED as its new communications director and office manager Tim Horsburgh, whose excellent stories you read regularly in the Reel. He was chosen from among around 100 candidates for the plum job.

ZACUTO FILMS upcoming “FilmFellas” 10-webisode series will highlight avant-garde wedding filmmaking and cinematic storytelling. Among the discussions: The changing model of wedding videography and the emergence of wedding filmmaking with full-scale productions, camera movement, special effects, scripted concept films, same day edits and more.

Steve Weiss, Zacuto co-owner and “FilmFellas” director, started his visual media career in 1981 shooting wedding videos. He will lead the round table discussion with six professional wedding shooters.

DRAFTFCB PROMOTED JASON MITTON to the newly created position of director of digital production, from manager of the agency’s Interactive Development team. He reports to Dan Zigulich, EVP/director of creative production and Chris Miller, SVP/group management director of digital.

PRODUCERS MISTY TOSH AND LISA COLANGELO are holding a raffle for a great cause — 4th World Love, the non-profit organization they founded to promote community development in distant lands, like the one they started in a the small volcanic island of Indonesia two years ago.

In fact, the two adventurers are currently sailing in the South Pacific looking looking for the for the next remote village to benefit from 4th World Love contributions.

Raffle tickets are $100 each for a chance to enjoy a fabulous eight-day, all-expense paid Ultimate Baja Escape. (Think winter. Would you rather be in Chicago or in Mexico?)

Donations and events like the raffle are the sole source of revenue for 4th World Love humanitarian activities. “A recent contest raised a tidy little pot of money that helped fund the brand new Community Development Center in Indonesia,” says Tosh.

You can read all about their work in impoverished countries, and how to buy raffle tickets at