Sundance parties welcome Chicagoans

CHICAGOANS AT SUNDANCE expected this weekend at Park City, Utah include Fox TV’s Robin Robinson and Ch. 7’s Sylvia Perez, providing TV coverage of the festivities; Julee White, NBC director of strategic sales and marketing; RDS’ Megan Ross; Kevin Farley, brother of the late Chris; the IFO’s Betsy Steinberg and Todd Lizak, Mesirow Financial’s Les Coney and Christina and Mike McGrath of Lexis McGrath.

Denis John Healy, CEO of Turtle Wax, is the host of Saturday night’s Open House at Stein Erickson Lodge. Brenda Sexton organized the party on behalf of Columbia College, where college president Dr. Warrick Carter and Dr. Winston, VP/institutional advancement will greet guests.

On Monday, the Midwest Independent Film Festival’s “Monday at Main Street,” welcomes guests at Butch’s Chop House on said Main St. from 2-4 p.m. Hosts are MWFF’s Mike McNamara, and producers and Exposurama contest directors Scott Prestin and James Pietrowiak

Making their Sundance appearance as MWFF party sponsors are Flashpoint Academy, the Illinois Production Alliance and Daufenbach Camera.

DRAFTFCB HIRED ROB FARBER from New York as executive producer for the Miller Lite account, reporting to Dan “Ziggy” Zigulich, director of creative production. Farber was recently owner/executive director of Rogue Productions and produced for JWT, Ogilvy, Grey, and Strawberry Frog.

Farber produced the multi-award winning “Knicks Fans Know” campaign directed by noted Knicks’ fan Spike Lee. In 2000, he won best debut director and best children’s film honors at the New York international Film & Video Festival for his short, “The Pirates of Central Park.”

WIFC’S HUGE KICKOFF PARTY Jan. 28 expects around 250 guests at The Underground, where it will entice new and renewed WIFC membership with $3,000 worth of raffle prizes, an open bar and appetizers. Everyone is welcome. See Screenings & Events for details.

JANET LOCKWOOD, Michigan Film Commissioner,travels to Grand Rapids Jan. 25 as the guest speaker of The Mix, the monthly get-together hosted by the West Michigan Film Office (WMFO).

Undoubtedly Lockwood will talk about the state’s unprecedented $223 million revenue in 2009 from 50 projects filmed in the state. The Mix takes place at Brann’s Steakhouse.

AMERICAN FAMILY INSURANCE’S first campaign from new agency Ogilvy & Mather is currently running. The $39 million account was shifted from Element 79 without a review. O&M started 2009 by losing Oscar Mayer but rallied to win the $88 million account of CDW, the Vernon Hills-based computer parts reseller.