Social issues newspaper makes presence known with an entries call for first short doc festival

The Chicago Reporter will commemorate its 35th year of exploring Chicago’s race and poverty disparities with its first-ever short documentary film competition and festival named in honor of John A. McDermott, the publication’s founder.

“This is our way of celebrating our 35th anniversary without the sort of standard rubber chicken dinner,” said marketing director Venita Griffin.

Griffin hatched her plan to show how film can be a vehicle for social change while she continues to drum up ways to re-energize current subscribers and engage a younger, different audience.

The bimonthly Reporter’s first full color issue, which premiered in March/April, is a stride in that direction.

“The festival will help people see the Reporter in a new way and also help align the cultural and journalism worlds,” said Griffin.

Deadline is Aug. 16 for docs under 15 minutes that examine Chicago area social issues through a race and/or poverty lens. Entry fees start at a low $10.