One film screens at two fests the same time

WHAT ARE THE ODDS of filmmakers actually seeing their short film premiere at two international film festivals, being held the same weeks this month, at two widely separated locations?

Short film producers Kathryn Henderson and Marie Ullrich fly to London Tuesday to see their short, “Faster!” showcase at the ultra prestigious 54th British Film Institute London Film Festival.

At the same time, “Faster!” also screens as one of the 11 choice selections in the Illinois(e)Makers program at the 46th Chicago International Film Festival. How cool is that?

Henderson, known in the commercial visual media world as RDS’ pleasant client services rep and Ullrich, an MFA candidate at Columba College, are avid bicyclists who met two years ago at an IFP holiday. “We both thought, hmm, you look familiar,” says Henderson. “Marie had written a feature about a female bike messenger and said, ?I’m a director and I’m looking for a producer,’ and that’s how we started our film.”

“Faster!” is about a feisty bike messenger who is bottoming out on her job and her life. It’s based on a feature film Ullrich wrote that was a finalist at Sundance Filmmakers Labs and at some point Henderson and Ullrich will produce as an indie feature.

SOME CELEBS OF NOTE appearing at CIFF this week: Appearing Oct. 12 at the Reel Women event is powerhouse producer Paula Wagner, a top studio exec, Tom Cruise’s former producing partner and now heading of her own Chestnut Ridge company.

Oct. 13, the special Centerpiece guest is director Danny Boyle (“Slumdog Millionaire”) accompanying his new “127 Hours” film. Oct 15, a Joint Red Carpet for director Guillermo Del Toro and indie hero, director/actor Ed Burns. Oct. 18, it’s David Schwimmer and his movie, “Trust,” which was shot in Detroit.

A LITTLE ACTRESS already exhibiting big talent was booked by her agent, Big Mouth Talent, for a featured role in Adam Sandler’s Happy Madison production of “Jack and Jill.” Eight-year old Elodie Tougne will play the daughter of Sandler and Katie Holmes. The story is about Sandler’s twin sister, also played by Sandler, who comes for Thanksgiving and doesn’t leave. Director is Dennis Dugan.

The booking was handled by Amie Richardson, who joined Kelly McLaughlin’s Big Mouth a year ago to head a children’s department, a position she had at Grossman & Jack.

In another recent kids booking, Richardson set 10-year old Trevor Fahnstrom in “LOL,” as the son of Demi Moore and brother of Miley Cyrus, filmed in Detroit.

McLaughlin, who worked for Big Mouth since 1999 and became sole owner in 2007, presents 120 adults, of which she estimates 95% are exclusive, and has about the same number of child actors, she says.

THE RIF AXE IS FALLING on Michigan Ave agencies. We hear Draftfcb downsided 4% of its total staff.

DAUFENBACH CAMERA, specializing in 3D rigs, the Red camera and DSLR, is now located in expanded space at 320 N. Damen, suite D201. Owner Lawrence Daufenbach says a 3D launch party is being planned at the new quarters.

BTW: Daufenbach is the Midwest’s first rental house to carry the Element Technica Quasar 3D rig, which was used in producer/director Kevin Cooper’s S-3D family comedy, “Shakey,” now in postproduction.

CALLED GAME CHANGERS in the field of journalism, Bill Kurtis and Walter Jacobson are the recipients of the 8th annual Columbia College Impact Award to Chicagoans who have made outstanding contributions to the arts, entertainment and media industries. The award will be presented Nov. 9.

Since Kurtis has a lot of action going on, his Kurtis Productions is being effectively managed by his partner, Donna LaPietra, coupled with the production know-how of producer Scott Jacobs. They are busily producing video content for such major events as the Oct. 12 Chicago Community Trust 95th anniversary celebration at the Harris Theater.

WHILE THERE WAS TALK that director Christopher Nolan’s “Batman 3” might shoot in Chicago, alas, it’s another loss for the city as the Bat head for New Orleans next April for a 2012 release.

To date, Chicago’s entertainment production scoreboard is two features — Ron Howard’s “Cheating Hearts” this summer and the recently departed “Transformers 3” — plus three pilots last winter of which one, Fox TV’s “Ride Along,” was greenlighted for a series about Chicago cops that actually was shot in Chicago!

While up-and-coming director Lynn Shelton will direct “Then We Came to the End” for Focus Features, the question again is: Will the story about copywriters at a Chicago ad agency when the 2001 dot.com bubble burst be shot where the story is set?

Nonetheless, the Reel hears an actual locally produced TV series will shoot here, along with a couple of fairly good-sized budget indie features in 2011.

WELCOME PAMELA MAREN as ReelChicago’s advertising account manager, a timely move since our new Reel 2.0 is scheduled to launch ( finally ) in early January. Pamela had been a sales mainstay at my Original Screen Magazine back in the day.

“The Reel continues in Ruth’s endeavor to contribute to the vitality of the community by keeping the spotlight on the work and the people behind it,” says Pamela, for which we thank her. “I’m pleased to rejoin Ruth and hope to bring renewed energy to the business we love.”

Pamela Maren can be reached by phone at 773/391-3957, or Email,

COMMENTS