Party launches Evanston’s Talking Pictures Fest

Komen Foundation CEO Nancy Brinker in “Pink Ribbons, Inc.”

A PRE-FEST PARTY Feb. 23 launches Percolator Films’ 4th annual Talking Pictures Festival from 7-10 p.m. at the Hilton Orrington Hotel’s Indigo Lounge, 1710 Orrington Avenue in Evanston.  Talking Pictures Festival runs March 8-11.

In honor of International Women’s Day, the festival opens with Léa Pool’s timely Canadian documentary Pink Ribbons, Inc., an exposé on the saturated marketing campaigns and administration-heavy budgets of breast cancer advocacy group Susan G. Komen For the Cure. 

The organization was notorious for cutting off aid to Planned Parenthood, then reversing the decision after widespread public outcry; March 8 at 7:30 p.m. 

Local highlights include Xan Aranda’s Andrew Bird: Fever Year, March 9 at 9 p.m. and March 10 at 4:30 p.m., Bob Hercules’s Joffrey: Mavericks of American Dance, March 9 at 8:15 p.m., Kelly Luchtman’s Artists in Residence, about Bucktown’s troubled ACME Artists Community, March 10 at 2:30 p.m., and Shira Piven’s moms-gone-wild comedy Fully Loaded, March 10 at 7:15 p.m. Screenings are at Northwestern and at Evanston Public Library. 

DOWNSTATE MACOMB gets its first film festival when the Cornfed Film Fest debuts April 13-15.  “The 2012 program will be a festival of firsts, featuring first films of all kinds,” the organizers state. 

The lineup is still in the works, but it, too, will feature Fever Year, along with Chase Thompson and Ryan Walker’s Zielinski, about underground Iowa journalist John Zielinski.

STEPPENWOLF COMPANY member Tracy Letts gets a big boost with the attachment of both Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts to August: Osage County, which Letts adapted from his own Tony-winning play. 

John Wells (The Company Men) directs this fall.  Letts also adapted his plays Killer Joe and Bug for the big screen—William Friedkin directed both pictures.

LOCAL CINEMA PERSONALITIES Nelson Carvajal, Amir George and J.B. Mabe hold a free discussion about the redefinition of digital narrative and the transition away from celluloid, Feb. 24 at 7:30 p.m. as part of the ongoing video exhibition “Film Is Dead” at I AM Logan Square, 2644 N. Milwaukee Ave.

TRUTH BE TOLD,” Black World Cinema’s Black History Month celebration continues with Regina Griffin’s doc Brown Babies, about the biracial children of American GIs and German women growing up in post-World War II Germany, Feb. 23 at 7 p.m., and John Berry’s 1974 Harlem drama Claudine, featuring Diahann Carrol and James Earl Jones, Feb. 23 at 6:30.  At Chatham 14, 210 W. 87th St.

THE BEVERLY ARTS CENTER’S 13th Annual Chicago Irish Film Festival plays March 2-7 at 2407 W. 111th St.   The gala opening night features Ed Goodsell’s doc The Road to Moneygall, about the campaign by Barack Obama’s distant cousin Henry Healy to bring the president to Moneygall, County Offaly, home of both men’s ancestors.

CHRISTOPHER E. GRIMES’ documentary A Second Knock at the Door, which he wrote with Jessica King of King is a Fink Productions and produced with Leigh Cavich-Grimes through their 5414 Productions, will be released on DVD March 13 by Cinema Libre. 

It’s about military families dealing with the loss of loved ones to friendly fire.  A Second Knock at the Door won best documentary at the Sycamore and East Lansing film festivals.