“Geek Lounge” leads comedy lineup at May’s MIFF

Larry Ziegelman's "Geek Lounge"

Larry Ziegelman’s “Geek Lounge”

Larry Ziegelman’s funny poke at geek culture will be one of several short films and web series screening at the May 1st Midwest Independent Film Festival 2018 Comedy Shorts Night.

The evening begins with a panel discussion about crowdfunding. According to acting MIFF director Mike Kwielford, a handful of filmmakers will get real about what works, what doesn’t, and what creators should know before they enter the hellish world of crowdfunding.

Julie Keck, a filmmaker who also heads up Seed & Spark’s Education and Outreach program, will lead the discussion. Ziegelman, Michael Glover Smith, and Harrell and Iam Sharabash will be among the participants.

Afterwards, audiences can settle in for a night of comedy.

Geek Lounge, the 10-episode series, which Ziegelman directed in 2016 and 2017, dramatizes the interaction of six friends who hang out in a bar that caters to lifelong Trekkies, obsessive Harry Potter fans, meticulous comic book historians and everything else that belongs within the provenance of nerdism. Here is a taste of what audiences can expect Tuesday:



“It’s been so long since my last screening there (Little Man of Steel) — at least 4 years,” Ziegelman told Reel Chicago. He added, “I love screening at the Midwest Indie Film Festival. They always have a great crowd, the films look and sound amazing, and they know how to make filmmakers feel special.”

Tuesday night’s screening will also feature the festival premiere of Gumbo and Street Rat, director Ned Baker’s tale of bored home invaders. Here is a quick peek, and at 10-seconds long, we do mean a quick peek:



The lineup also includes a special sneak peek of Code-switched, Karan Sunil’s sit-com about five South Asian millennials trying to make it in Chicago.



Audiences should get a kick out of Sea-Tectives from Indiana animator Christopher Dobbs, Jr. The animated filmd is a ten and a half minute animated shor about a duo of detectives crustaceans who grapple with most difficult case of their career whilst also dealing with the effects of their rising stardom within their city.



Seeds, by Deja Harrell and C. J. Thomas offers a hilarious take on female friendships and early adulthood.



There is also the world premiere of The Big Slip, a spoof on the film noir detective story shot on Super 8 film, by Eliaz Rodriguez, whose other short film Silica will be playing at Cannes next month.

Kwielford told Reel Chicago he is very excited about the night and that Chicago is a great city to find humor, “In a city like Chicago, you better take comedy seriously. We’re presenting work from really exciting emerging voices, as well as some festival favorites. As a whole, comedy shorts night really proves that the talent here is unparalleled.”

Other films on the program include: Other People’s Children from Brad Riddell and Anna Maria Hozian, F*ck Yes from Jessica King, Locker Room Talk by Penny Penniston and Pizza Night from Aaron Frank. Here is the trailer to King’s very funny web series.



Nicole Bernardi-Reis

The evening was co-programmed with Nicole Bernardi-Reis, a filmmaker who most recently served as IFP Chicago’s Executive Director. Nicole has produced and programmed film festivals, conferences and screenwriting competitions nationally, including the Chicago Underground Film Festival (CUFF), now in its 25th year. The monthly event all takes place at Landmark’s Century Centre Cinema, 2828 N. Clark Street at 6 PM. Tickets can be purchased ahead of time here.

Contact Colin Costello at colin@reelchicago.com or follow him on Twitter @colincostello10.