‘Olympia’ at Chicago Comedy Film Festival

McKenzie Chinn in "Olympia"
McKenzie Chinn in “Olympia”

Reel Chicago interview with McKenzie Chinn

Right off of a successful three-screening run at the 54th Chicago International Film Festival, Cow Lamp Films announce the film Olympia to screen for college audiences at the upcoming Chicago Comedy Film Festival at Columbia College, November 9th-11th.

Cow Lamp Films’ acquisition director Josh da Silva and Olympia’s Director Gregory Dixon are both alums of the festival and will attend the screening and industry events. The feature will be the closing film on Sunday, November 11th at 3:00pm, 1104 S. Wabash Ave, Theater 3, Room 310.

Reel Chicago Interview with McKenzie Chinn

Chicago Comedy Film Festival’s mission is to support comedy as a vital and influential art form and will showcase 44 short films made in Chicago and around the world. The festival is partially supported by a CityArts Grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events. Tickets are $12.00. For more information, visit: www.chicagocomedyfilmfestival.com

Olympia received rave reviews at the 54th Chicago International Film Festival and is the latest from Chicago’s growing film community. The film speaks to the 2008 college grads who have huge student loan debt yet make life choices differently than previous generations. When do they stop living for others and start living for themselves?

Olympia is a coming-of-adulthood drama about Olympia Welles (McKenzie Chinn) a young woman whose career as an artist has stalled before even taking off, her peers are starting careers that threaten to take them far away, and her mother is sick in the hospital. When her boyfriend Felix (Charles Gardner) asks her to move to California with him as he starts his own career, Olympia, on the cusp of thirty, has to decide if she’s going to change along with the world around her, or get left behind.

McKenzie Chinn and Gregory Dixon met as Grad students at DePaul University in Acting and Film and brought together a unique production crew who graduated from the university’s school of Cinema. The cast also includes some of the best the city has to offer on stage, television and film with backgrounds at Second City, Steppenwolf Theater, Goodman Theater, and numerous television credits.

About Gregory Dixon
Gregory Dixon is an award-winning Chicago filmmaker and MFA graduate of DePaul University. His MFA thesis and debut feature is Olympia. His web series Couch Surferz, featuring Alex Moffat (SNL) and TJ Jagodowski (Get Hard), and short film Me vs The Tooth Fairy, are currently streaming on Amazon Prime. In 2011, Dixon was awarded the top prize at the Reel Ideas Studios international student documentary competition at the Cannes International Film Festival. Originally born in Upstate New York, Dixon has also studied at the New York Film Academy and Niagara University.

About McKenzie Chinn
McKenzie Chinn is an actor, filmmaker, educator, and poet based in Chicago. She is the writer, producer, and lead actor of the feature film Olympia with The Line Films/30 Pictures. She appeared in independent film and on television, including work with up and coming director Sam Bailey (Brown Girls), and a guest star appearance on NBC’s Chicago Med. She worked with Victory Gardens, Steppenwolf, and Goodman Theatres, as well as The Second City in Chicago, and Woolly Mammoth and The Studio Theatre in Washington, DC. An accomplished poet, her work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, Best New Poets, and Best of the Net. She is part of Growing Concerns Poetry Collective with hip-hop artist Mykele Deville and musician Jeff Austin. The collective released its inaugural album, WE HERE: Thank you for Noticing, in 2017, and published its first book of poems Five Fifths through Candor Arts in 2018. You can learn more about her work at mckenziechinn.com.

About Charles Gardner
Charles Gardner is a classically trained actor and SAG/AFTRA member whose career spans theatre, television, film, advertising (print and on-camera) and voice-over work. Charles was named one of the top ten actors to watch by Chicago Tribune’s chief theater critic Chris Jones. He performed at many of Chicago’s professional theaters such as the Goodman Theatre, Steppenwolf, Redmoon and Lookingglass. Additional theatre credits include Macbeth and Othello’s Furies (Suitcase Shakespeare). His film credits include: Lucky Undies, Last Day, Interlude and Withering. His recent voice-over, print and TV advertising work includes: The Walt Disney Company, McDonald’s, AT&T, Western Union and Ford Motor Company.

About Cow Lamp Films
Cow Lamp Films is the Midwest’s first and only full-service independent film and television distributor that provides the full-service distribution opportunities to independent filmmakers that are difficult to access without the support of large studios. https://www.cowlampfilms.com/