Nov. 26 screening at new Southside Hub of Production

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Scene from “Letter from Cairo”

A TRIO OF SHORT FILMS about the Middle East and Middle East views of America will screen Saturday, Nov. 26 at the quite new Southside Hub of Production cultural center in Hyde Park.  SHoP is located in the historic  Fenn House, a 16-room Victorian mansion across the street from the University of Chicago campus.

The films, adding up to 100 minutes of viewing time, were produced and directed by award-winning theatre and film director Dr. Pamela Nice of St. Paul.

“Letter from Cairo” was filmed shortly after the 9/11 attacks; “Dreaming of Morocco” is a portrait of 18-30 year old Moroccans and “Desert in the Coffee House” asks Minnesotans what they know and think about the Middle East and America’s role in it.

Screening is free, but donations to support the filmmaker and SHoP will be appreciated.  At 5638 S. Woodlawn, 6 p.m.

“PORTRAIT OF A FILMMAKER,” the acclaimed experimental short made from unedited 16mm and 35mm footage that location manager Mark Mamalakis shot years ago as a film student, will screen at the Minneapolis Underground Film Festival Dec. 3. 

“Portrait” is in the Circulating Film Library of the Museum of Modern Art in New York and has been screened in several festivals throughout the US as well as the Cine Pobre Festival in Cuba, the Jazz in Cinema Festival in Montreal, and the Montreal Underground Film Festival.

The music is by the late great jazz trumpeter, Booker Little, and sax player Eric Dolphy.

A 16mm film that Mamalakis made in 1982, “The Art of Haiti,” was recently digitized through the contribution of the  Smithsonian Institution Haitian Recovery so the film could be used for research during their restoration of Cathedral St. Trinite murals that were destroyed during the earthquake Haiti.

“The Art of Haiti” is also in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York.  Mamalakis says he would like to return to Haiti to shot a follow-up film on the restoration.

“Portrait” has won five awards, including Best Experimental Short at the Chicago International Film Festival, Best of Festival at the Berkeley Film Festival, and Best Experimental Short at the IFP Flyover Zone Festival, 2003.  

DIRECTOR XAN ARANDA’S “ANDREW BIRD: FEVER YEAR” doc about singer/songwriter/musician Andrew Bird packed houses at the recent St. Louis International Film Festival and at Lincoln Center as part of the New York Film Festival, and already us fir premieres in California, Seattle and Toronto for early in 2012.

The doc was a coproduction between producer/director Aranda and Kartemquin Films: concert photography by Peter Gilbert, concert editor Angelo Valencia; doc cinematography, Aaron Wickenden, edited by Liz Kaar, recorded by Tom Herbers.

SCREENPLAY OPENINGS are being sought by the Chicago Screenwriters Group’s for its January Actor’s Reading. “It’s a great way to get a feel for your opening,” says CSG president screenwriter Colin Costello.  

Submit your first five pages to Christina Wollerman at Christina@chicagoscreenwriters.org. Deadline is Dec. 7.

News of your latest indie film project, screenings, awards and more is always welcome.  Send a detailed Email Ruth@reelchicago.com.

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