Real life experiences of former Chicago politicos are basis for $500,000 film by MDM Productions

Former 37th Ward Ald. Percy Giles returns to the public eye after a prison stint with “Mel Bay,” an independent feature on which he’s executive producer with writer and former precinct captain Donald Temple, now a city electrician.

Giles was sentenced in 2000 to 39 months in prison for various corruption charges in the federal Operation Silver Shovel investigation.

Temple based the script on his family’s experience running the West Side Mel Bay grocery store and getting drawn into the neighborhood political fray.

“Mel-Bay” producer Kristina Bell

“This is a film that breaks a lot of barriers and exposes the political agenda that goes on in the wards and precincts of Chicago,” said producer Kristina Bell of Reel Soul, Inc.

“It’s very true-to-life and based off some of the things Donald and Percy went through,” she continued.

Bell, Temple and Giles are raising “Mel Bay’s” projected $500,000 budget from private investors through their MDM Productions. They plan to shoot on HD this summer. Temple is one possible candidate to direct. DP is Chicago Emmy-winning Ch. 5 producer Khallid Shabazz.

“We’ve generated interest from some top name actors in Hollywood and here in Chicago,” Bell said.

Temple and Giles approached Bell to produce “Mel Bay” after they saw two films she produced that screened at last year’s Black Harvest Film Festival: Eldrige Valentino and Elliott Porter’s feature “Player in Training,” and Kirby Ashley’s short “Blast On.”

Simmons Lathan Media Group supplied finishing funds and signed on to rep “Player in Training” in 2003 through Russell Simmons’ New Def Filmmakers program. York Entertainment released the relationship comedy nationally on DVD Feb. 15.

Bell’s next collaboration with Valentino and Porter, last year’s drama “Caged,” has its official premiere at the New York International Independent Film and Video Festival, which runs April 28 to May 8.

Reach MDM Productions at 773/252-8722.