Paralympic sprinter Katy Sullivan stars in short film

Sprint medalist Katy Sullivan

PARALYMPIC SPRINTER AND ACTRESS Katy Sullivan co-stars with Chicago veteran character actor Ron Dean in non-profit Blue Damen Pictures’ short film, Recalculating, directed by L.A.-based Gywdhar Gebien and written by Chicagoan Jan Schumacher-Kaschner.

The story is about how a runner resumes her life after losing  her legs in a car accident and her father’s emotional journey, with the help of a unique GPS device, to reunite with her.

Although born without legs from above the knee, Sullivan competed at the 2012 London Paralympic Games as a sprinter in the 100m dash, placing sixth in the world.  She ranked as the second fastest bi-lateral amputee, and set a new American record.

Gabien says that after she saw Sullivan perform at the Goodman, and learned about her running, “We decided to incorporate that into the story.  It added a whole new level of meaning to the struggle of coming to terms with such a devastating injury.”

Recalculating, shot in the Elgin area last May, is in postproduction. Non-profit, five year old Blue Damen has produced three award-winning shorts and a recent feature.  Ron Dean can be seen in a recurring role in NBC’s “Chicago Fire.”

DARRYL ROBERTS continues his documentary series on the dark side of beauty standards in media with America the Beautiful 3, “dealing with the sexualization of our youth.” 

His interview subjects include 14-year-old Julia Bluhm, whose petition against retouched images of girls in 17 magazine garnered international attention, and Gigi Durham, author of The Lolita Effect.

Roberts plans a theatrical and university tour of ATB 3 next year, when he’ll also release the DVD of America the Beautiful 2: The Thin Commandments. 

He has conducted a highly successful self-release of the first two installments, touring with the films to hundreds of venues.

DAN SMOLLA’S FEATURE COMEDY The Night-Like Daydreams of Wolfgang Deedle in January and February in Wheaton. Writer/producer/composer Smolla says the film is about

 “Wolfgang Deedle, deeply steeped in Jungian concepts such as projection and guided meditation techniques, who is catapulted by his obsession for a woman into an intense journey of self-inquiry.”

Smolla, songwriter and lead guitarist of the rock band Into the Real, also made the short I Am Almost Always Wrong.

'Scrappers'DIRECTOR MATT MILLER and the comedy collective The Katydids teamed up to create the web series Teachers, about “the small and often wildly inappropriate conversations teachers have with each other in the course of their workday.” 

Miller wrote the 12 currently running episodes with the Katydids, who also star: Caitlin Barlow, Katy Colloton, Cate Freedman, Kate Lambert, Katie O’Brien, and Katie Thomas. PJ Fishwick is producer.

THE DOC SCRAPPERS, from Brian Ashby, Ben Kolan and Courtney Prokopas, which Roger Ebert named as one of the best documentaries of 2010 when it played at the Chicago Underground Film Festival, is now available on iTunes and Amazon Instant via Cinetic Rights Management’s FilmBuff. 

The doc follows two metal scavengers weathering the 2008 financial collapse and immigration crackdowns.  Kolak is in post-production on the hybrid feature MayDays, a teen love story set against the backdrop of last May’s anti-NATO protests.

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