LAUREN FISCHER is hitting her stride as a recognized screenwriter. On Aug. 31 her “Wish I Might”?winner of the 2005 IFP/Chicago-Chicago Scriptworks contest?will have a staged reading by Chicago Scriptworks at the Cultural Center.
“Wish I Might” is the story of two teenaged stepsisters and the one wish that will either bring them together or tear their family apart. It’s also a semi-finalist in the 2005 PAGE International Screenwriting Awards.
Fischer, a manuscript editing manager for the American Medical Association, was a childhood actor who studied screenwriting at Miami of Ohio. She began writing action/adventure screenplays with her husband but realized she was more interested in telling dramatic stories about female characters.
Reading is a 7 p.m. in the Claudia Cassidy Theatre in the Cultural Center. (FYI: The theatre is fittingly named in honor of Claudia Cassidy, Chicago’s reigning arts critic who greatly influenced the local arts scene.)
HOME MOVIE DAY Aug. 13 at the Cultural Center welcomes your old home movies for screening and for possible inclusion in the important Chicago Film Archives. Inspection from 3-6 p.m., screenings from 8-10 p.m. See www.homemovieday.com.
CHICAGO UNDERGROUND FILM FESTIVAL, Aug. 18-25, showcases works of the “defiantly” indie filmmaker at the Music Box theatre. For schedules see www.cuff.org.
CHIP EBERHART’S HIP HOP FILM, “The UnUsual Suspects,” premieres at a free screening Aug. 19 at 7 p.m. at the Cultural Center, prior to its release this fall on DVD.
The film features Steve “Silk” Hurley, Frankie Knuckles, Larry “Mr. Fingers” Heard, Robert Owens, Lolleatta Holloway, Victor Simonnelli, Maurizio Clemente, Andre Hatchett, Robert Williams, Wayne Williams, Julius “The Mad Thinker”, Cordell Johnson, Alan King, Craig Loftis, Jamie 3:26, K-Joy, Vonzell Alcorn, Joe Smooth, and many more. Eberhart produced, directed and edited.
Additional screenings Aug. 21 and 25 at the Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N. State.
AT CHICAGO FILMMAKERS Aug. 19, “Chicago’s Own: Near and Far,” a program of four locally-made documentaries: “Rivers, Wats and Riots: A Journey Through Southeast Asia” by Ari Sznajder; “Mr. Karaoke in Albania,” by Christin Baker; “A Testament,” by Anilal Sreenivasan, about 100 blocks in Chicago and “Vietamerican,” by Max Gold. At Chicago Filmmakers, 5243 N. Clark.
LANCE CATANIA of X-Ray Productions premieres his debut HD horror feature “Cup of My Blood” in a weeklong engagement at the Gene Siskel Film Center beginning Aug. 19. MTI Home Video of Miami, Fla. is set to release “Cup of My Blood” on DVD Aug. 30.
Writer/director/DP Catania is executive producer with X-Ray partner Gene Cosentino. Noel Olken of Waitergonebad Productions and co-writer Ken Nillson produced. Featuring Janina Gavankar, Roger Anderson, Lance Mulvaney and Allie Smith.
Catania and Olken will attend the Aug. 19 and 25 8:15 p.m. screenings. At the Film Center, 164 N. State St.
TWO NEW SERIES from IFP/Chicago: the CineClub series of French-language films in conjunction with Alliance Francaise, Aug. 24, 7:30 p.m. at 54 W. Chicago — and Short Cuts/Rough Cuts for members’ works in progress, featuring Gary Marks’ doc, “The Fragrance of Orchids,” Aug. 29 Rodan, 1530 N. Milwaukee at 6:00 p.m. See www.ifp.org.
PRODUCER CAROLE DEAN offers new ideas about “The Art of Funding Your Film: Alternative Financing Concepts” at a Sept. 10 seminar at Chicago Filmmakers. Topics covered include where to find donors and investors, what goes into a good proposal and asking for donations from local businesses. Consultation and proposal review included. Fee for the day is $75, $65 for Chicago Filmmaker members. Call 866/689-5150 to sign up.
FLYOVER ZONE SHORT FILM FESTIVAL submission deadline is Sept. 23, 2005 for films of all genres 20 minutes or less. Zone winners will screen Nov. 5 during the IFP/Chicago Midwest Filmmakers Summit. Obtain applications via Chicago@ifp.org, or call 312/235-0161.