Roundup of Indie Production, Screenings

JOHN MALKOVICH stars in the indie production “Drunkboat” that shoots May 23-June 25. Writer/director is Chicago native and theatre director Bob Meyer who, like his old friend Malkovich from early, early Steppenwolf days, makes his home in France.

The story, based on Meyer’s life in Chicago, is about a teen boy conspiring with his uncle (Malkovich), who likes the sauce a lot and hence the title, to buy a boat.

Bob Hudgins is back in the saddle as locations manager (and loving it, he says), Christina Varotsis is production manager, Larry Lundy art director, Margaret Thomas production coordinator. Offices are at 770 N. Halsted.

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DAN CONSIGLIO starts production June 18 on his feature “Alleyball,” a comedy about a group of young men staring down the specter of maturity. Consiglio wrote the script with co-star Johnny Ray Meeks.

“Alleyball” also stars Ty Burrell (“Dawn of the Dead”), Larry Joe Campbell (“According to Jim”), Keegan-Michael Key (“MadTV”), Danny McCarthy (“The Amityville Horror”), and Joel Spence (“The District”). DP is James Schwartz. Producers Saltburn are raising the $100,000 budget through Alleyball LLC. See

MAURICIO RUBENSTEIN, DP for John Sayles’ “Casa de los Babys,” conducts an advanced cinematography workshop, Saturday, April 30 at 2 p.m. at Columbia College, 1104 S. Wabash, Room 317. Free for IFP members. Space is limited? RSVP to 312/235-0161 or

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Aaron Himelstein

AARON HIMELSTEIN, (“Austin Powers in Goldmember”) headlines the May 3 inaugural Midwest Independent Film Festival, formerly Chicago Community Cinema. The 18-year- old Buffalo Grove native screens his “Sugar Mountain,” which won best short at Method Fest.

Morroco Vaughn of Eightball Films shows his video for “Higher” from Do or Die featuring Kanye West. D.P. Carlson presents the John Landis video from his doc “Chicago Filmmakers on the Chicago River.” Ai Lene Chor screens her short “Mindy,” which won awards at the Chicago International and Flyover Zone fests. And George Eckart shows his flash animated short “The Clan.”

The Midwest Indie is Tuesday, May 3 at 6 p.m., screenings at 7:30 p.m. at Landmark’s Century Centre, 2828 N. Clark. Followed by reception at Monsoon, 2813 N. Broadway. See

Roger Schatz and Shuli Eshel

SHULI ESHEL and ROGER SCHATZ screen their 2003 documentary “Maxwell Street: A Living Memory,” exploring the contributions of Jewish immigrants to the growth of the open-air market that was the birthplace of electric blues. Screening is Saturday, May 7 at 7:30 p.m. at Temple Judea Mizpah, 8610 Niles Center Road, Skokie, 7 p.m. Featuring live Klezmer music, vendors and Flukie’s hot dogs. See

CHRIS STROMPOLOS, ERIC ZALA and JAYSON LAMB’S “Raiders of the Lost Ark: The Adaptation” has its Chicago premiere May 13 in a benefit for the Chicago International Film Festival’s Chicago Future Filmmakers Festival. They began “The Adaptation,” a shot-by-shot VHS remake or Steven Spielberg’s “Raiders,” as teenagers in Mississippi in 1982 and completed the film seven years later.

“The Adaptation” has ridden a wave of publicity recently, including a Vanity Fair feature last year. Producer Scott Rudin (“Closer”) has optioned the story behind “Raiders,” to be adapted by Daniel Clowes (“Ghost World”). Friday, May 13 at 8:30 p.m. at Columbia College, 1104 S. Wabash, 8th Floor. Strompolos and Zala will attend. $20, students $10. The festival begins at 4 p.m. See futurefilmmakers/2005festival.html.

JOSH HOPE shot an HD demo for his feature script, the dark romantic drama “Library,” downtown in mid- April. “?Library’ is the story of a man running away from the mistakes of the past who seeks refuge in a library filled with oddball co-workers,” Hope said. His screenplay “Falling For Gwen” was optioned by Boston film finance group APS International. He’s ADing Back Burner Films’ caper comedy “Say Hello to Clive for Me.” “Library” stars Tim Sommerville and Katherine Hope. DP is Graz Barattini. Email

“MAHALIA!” The life and times of the world’s greatest gospel singer is being developed as a $10 million theatrical film by a group of local investors. Screenplay was researched and written by Ruth L Ratny; coproducers are John Robinson and Jim White. Email

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Eric Zala, (from left) Chris Strompolos and Jayson Lamb