Robert Townsend leads the professionals who
will launch IFP’s first fund-raising Gala Sept. 28

DIRECTOR ROBERT TOWNSEND will be among the esteemed group of industry professionals celebrating IFP’s first Independent Film Gala, Sept. 28 at Salvage One. All proceeds will go to expand IFP’s services and programs.

They include the Production Fund of $100,000 in in-kind services, the annual Midwest Filmmakers Summit coming up Oct. 19-21, mentorship programs, the Flyover Zone Film Festival and more.

Tickets are $100 ($150) for two and membership is a low $80 a year. See chi.ifp.org for details.

THE ELEMENT 79 FILM FESTIVAL comprising a delightful variety of three-minute films made by agency staffers takes place Sept. 7 at the Gene Siskel Film Center. Winners will be announced by head creative Dennis Ryan after the screening.

A SUPER SUMMER of film production “was the likes of which we haven’t seen in quite some time,” notes CFO director Rich Moskal, what with “Batman,” “The Express, “Meet the Browns,” “Merry Gentlemen” among others shooting here.

“It was truly back-to-back-to-back production, and we’re looking forward to a decent fall we know about and some pretty good potential,” Moskal adds.

Some of that “potential” could come from “a couple of projects” from Dreamworks.

KICKING OFF the fall feature filming schedule Sept. 6 is “The Cache,” starring Sean Bean as another bad guy in this $5 million “revenge thriller about a man who involuntarily brings a couple of kids into his unlawful operations.” Steve Anderson directs.

The pilot for “Family Practice” follows. The hourlong Lifetime series about a Chicago law firm is one of a slate of 10 pilots headed for networks and cable from Sony Pictures Television.

DOWN IN THE HEARTLAND, the 6th Annual Route 66 Film Festival takes place in Springfield’s Hoagland Center for the Arts, Sept. 15-16, with assorted offerings from filmmakers mainly in non-notable film production centers, excepting Chicago and a smattering from California.

Statewide winners: The best comedy, Brandon Clayton (“Zombie Moxie”) of Taylorville; best documentary, Ryan Claypool/Austin Smythe (“Whistle While You Work”) of Marshall; best sequel, Greg Brookens (“Son of Roni”) of Chicago; best student film, Jamal Easely (“The Last Stain”) also Chicago and best of fest ? John Mossman (Jell-Ohh Lady”) of LaGrange. For a full schedule, see commerce.state.il.us/dceo/bureaus/film.

CREATIVE EDITOR CARRIE SHANAHAN formerly with Optimus and Edit Sweet, joined Minneapolis-based Crash & Sue’s editorial/finishing house. Shanahan’s arrival coincides with the company’s new system upgrades and facility remodeling.

WINNER OF THE PITCH for the White Sox account will be announced after Labor Day. The three finalists waiting to hear if they hit the home runs are Energy BBDO, Euro RSCG and Y&R.

WOMAN POWER will glow at a panel of three recent Ad Women of the Year at Petterino’s Sept. 19. Who better to share their experiences on the path to ad industry leadership than Fay Ferguson, co-CEO of Burrell/Chicago; Yvonne Furth, who retired Aug. 31 as president/COO of Rivet, and Marlena Peleo-Lazar, chief creative officer, McDonald’s. USA Today’s ad director Anne O’Malley will moderate.

ADMAN PAUL BROUMAN, who left DDB last year with the departure of account JC Penney on which he was GCD, has started an agency called Sponge in the West Loop.

The “staff” is a lengthy list of freelance consultants who help a client when launching or reviving a brand. Brouman spent most of his career at DDB.

NOBODY KNEW because the producers kept it very hush-hush, but a prototype of the highly touted, revolutionary new HD Red Camera was utilized on “Wanted” with reportedly excellent results.

The first Red shipped Aug. 31 and delivery of the nine Reds that Fletcher Chicago ordered are expected in late September. — although, says Tom Fletcher, “We haven’t been able to see and touch a working model yet to see if it will live up to its reputation.” (Everyone, however, is confident that it will.)

Expect to hear about an October AICP seminar and screening on the Red, and overall education on the latest in HD, that Fletcher is organizing for ad agencies.

Meantime, Fletcher prepped Sony’s high-end, cinema style F23 camera that filmmakers like for the upcoming “The Cache.” Hollywood’s Bob Primes is DP, and the Chicago crew includes Peter Kuttner, AC, Alex Riordan, sound, Mike Shearon. the digital imaging tech and Kevin Boyd video assist.

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