THE REEL THING: News & Notes

CIFF’S CHICAGO AWARD deservedly went to “Street Thief: A Filmed Record,” winning over 12 other Chicago made films. Malik Bader of the Bader Brothers directed, and edited by Outsider’s Nadav Kurtz.

“Thief” competed against 12 other Chicago made films, including 10 entries in the “Home Grown” category. Catch it Oct. 18 at River East 21.

P.R. ACE JOHN DIGLES, an IPA mover and shaker from the get-go, was hired by XanGo, LLC, leader in the mangosteen supplement category, as SVP/sales and marketing. He was formerly SVP/Midwest sales manager of the MWW Group. His first assignment: producing a feature doc on XanGo’s worldwide philanthropic work.

Although he’s now headquartered in Salt Lake City, Digles vows he will produce his movie-in-development, “Angels,” in Chicago. A few years ago his Traveller Jones Productions produced “Design,” which had a good run on IFC cable.

BICOASTAL MJZ was in Chicago over the weekend for Allstate/Leo Burnett to film one of the most daring car stunts since, well, “The Hunter,” with Steve McQueen.

The spot recreates the famous scene in “The Hunter” of a car plunging off Marina City into the river below.

FYI: The Allstate/Leo Burnett alliance is one of the most enduring in ad history. They celebrate 75 years of togetherness this year.

MORE MJZ ACTION HERE through mid-November as it gears up for a three-week Sears/Y&R Christmas campaign that starts Oct. 16. Valerie Bulinski is scouting the big all-locations package.

JOAN LUNDEN, long time host of “Good Morning, America,” will be seen “Up Close” Oct. 19 at Columbia College, 1306 S. Michigan. See

EA ? ENTERTAINMENT ARTS, the world’s biggest software game publisher, holds an invitation-only Grand Opening Oct. 25 to show off its new and busy Chicago studio at 215 W. Ohio.

DG SYSTEMS’ FORMER BUILDING at 112 W. Hubbard is up for sale or lease now that long-time occupant DG Systems/Fine Channel moved to smaller space at 200 W. Monroe. The building’s four floors are completely wired to handle the latest technology.

FORMER S2 COLORIST TOM ROVAK and John Vapensky’s new color correction shop, Highly Defined, lifted off with a package of McDonald’s/Leo Burnett spots, edited by Avenue. It’s located at Film & Tape Works.

THE NOV. 6 JEFF AWARDS CEREMONY promises to be a “blockbuster evening,” says ceremony director Michael Weber, “with performances from all the play, music and revue productions. The Merle Reskin Theatre is the venue.

POSTPRODUCTION FOR “THE STRIP,” an indie feature from executive producer Jay Khan and writer/director Jameel Khan, is being handled by Resolution Digital Studios. Neal Gold edits and Bryen Hensley provides sound design.

DIRECTOR/DP JOHN WASSEL was the Midwest/Chicago’s only single-nominated director for the TV show, “Upscale TV Chicago,” on Fox/UPM. He is also the show’s production executive and DP.

Wassel is also placement coordinator and Instructor at The Illinois Center for Broadcasting, where he shares his years of L.A. and local professional experience with ICB students and graduates.

ANHEUSER-BUSCH tapped Robert Lachky as its first chief creative officer in charge of all agency relationships and creative output. He has been an A-B ad executive. The brewery spends $600 million annually on advertising.