Reeling Film Festival, founded by Brenda Webb of Chicago Filmmakers and now in its 32nd year, opens Sept. 18 at the Music Box and runs through Sept. 25. About 100 films will screen at the Landmark Century Center Cinema and Chicago Filmmakers, with the Music Box hosting opening night.
Of the 250international submissions, four have Chicago connections.
Todd Lillethun’s short Safe Word, will have its Chicago premiere Sept. 20 at 1:15 p.m. in the “Love is a Monster” program. Lillethun is a former Chicago Filmmakers program director.
Safe Word is “a comedic thriller about a gay couple who try to spice up their relationship through role play, and find themselves in real peril when fantasy and reality start to blur.” Benjamin Sprunger, Kevin Cox, and Sam Button-Harrison star. It’s been selected for 19 festivals in 2014.
Director Malachi Leopold’s feature doc, Alex & Ali, is about how rhe 1979 Islamic Revolution tore apart a man in the U.S. Peace Corps and the Iranian Muslim man he loved. Separated for 35 years, they reunite, with a shocking aftermath.
The debut directorial doc of Chicagoan David Au, now living in LA, Eat with Me, offers a fresh take on life, love and food in the heart of Los Angeles.
A feature doc focusing on Wheaton College, “Queers in the Kingdom,” by Markie Hancock, follows an LGBTQ alumni and allies from Wheaton College as they decide to make themselves visible on the very campus that would condemn them.
Purchased tickets here.
PRODUCER/DIRECTOR PAUL JOHN of production studio Midnight Cinema, begins production Sept. 14 on the crime drama feature School for Gods. It’s the story of a street gang leader who uses gambling winnings to buy into the drug trade and winds up entangled with organized crime and corrupt police. With Nick Van Brunt, Brian Haggerty, Kristin Anderson, and George Hambach.
John, who wrote the screenplay, is producing with Midnight Cinema partners producer Joyce Lynn, DP Carlos Serran, and editor Bob Zegler. Midnight Cinema has made videos for rappers Twista, Riff Raff, Fredo Santana, and Lil Durk.
THE MAYA ANGELOU DOC, The People’s Poet, co-directed by Bob Hercules and Rita Coburn Whack, will be featured in IFP’s Independent Film Week Spotlight on Documentaries, which starts Sept. 15 in New York. The first feature-length documentary about Angelou, who died in May, The People’s Poet will premiere on PBS’s American Masters in 2016.
Hercules, of Media Process Group, and Coburn Whack of Thirteen Productions and a former producer for Oprah Radio and Chicago Public Radio, co-produced with funder ITVS. Hercules’s MPG business partner Keith Walker is DP.
AT THE 5th ANNUAL SOUTH ASIAN FILM FESTIVAL, Sept. 18-21, actor Vijay Bhargave stars as a recent widower from India who moves in with his daughter and granddaughter in Give Into the Night. It screens Sept. 20 at 1 p.m. at Showplace Icon, 150 W. Roosevelt Road.
Bhargava is the father of filmmaker Prashant Bhargava, who successfully self-distributed his 2012 indie dramaPatang.
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