Steve James to receive fest honor; plus indie news

FILMS OF STEVE JAMES, Kartemquin’s esteemed award-winning documentarian, headline the April 3-6 Full Frame Documentary Film Festival  in Durham, N.C.


The festive will screen Seven of James’ acclaimed docs and present him with its Tribute award.


Full Frame’s screenings of his work, says James, “will give me a rare opportunity to reflect on where my career has led me, and maybe make connections between the films that have eluded me before.   And I’m determined to resist the impulse to reedit them again.”


The docs are: “At the Death House Door” (directed with Peter Gilbert), “Hoop Dreams,” and “Hoop Dreams at 20,” celebrating its 20th  anniversary this year, “The Interrupters,”  “A Place Called Pluto,” “Reel Paradise” and “Stevie.”


Some of the subjects of James docs will attend and be present for Q&A: Arthur Agee, Jr., “Hoop Dreams;” Ameena Matthews, “The Interrupters;” Rev. Carroll Pickett, “At the Death House Door” along with many of James’ collaborators from his earlier docs.


FOUR AWARDS went to Grace McPhillips and director Joseph Steiff’s drama”The One,” from the Julien Dubuque International Film Festival. The film garnered two Bests, for Feature and  Best Performance by a Leading Actress to McPhillips; two Awards of Merit for Christian Hins cinematography and Nancy Sellers for Best Performance by a Supporting Actress.   The drama was filmed last summer in Galena.

 McPhillipsand Steiff will lead a workshop, “Story Matters Most: Acting and Directing,” in partnership with Chicago Filmmakers, which is encouraging more collaboration between indie filmmakers and talent.  The all-day April 12 workshop for actors and directors will be focus on Creative Collaboration Techniques used to build story and strengthen character development, the Meisner-based methods used in “The Other One.”

 At Chicago Filmmakers, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Fee, $185 for participants, $100 for audit observers; lunch included.  To sign up, contact Elizabeth Thiess, 773/790-4959. 


DIRECTOR JACK NEWELL’S COMEDY “Close Quarters,” about what’s important in life – passion, loyalty, connection – as seen over the course of winter’s night in a warm Chicago coffee shop, screens at Chicago Filmmakers March 21 and 28, at 7:30 p.m.


Starring Chicago’s great comedy talent: David Pasquesi, Kate Duffy, Tim Kazurinsky, Jet Eveleth, Gregory Hollimon, TJ Jagodowski, Susan Messing, and many more.

FEATURE MUSICAL “THE COCKUPS” directed by Gerard Jamroz and produced by his Mobilewave Films, has wrapped production in Chicago after several months of shooting.  It’s the story of a washed-up indie band that comes together to shoot a video.

A few weeks ago, Jamroz, also an award winning photographer, won the #Chiberia photo contest, sponsored by the North Center Chamber of Commerce.

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