Truly Indie signs first Chicago feature

Writer/director Jameel Khan’s “The Strip,” the $1.2 million independent comedy starring Dave Foley that shot here in 2006, is the first Chicago film to sign with Truly Indie, an innovative self-distribution program mainly through Landmark Theaters, owned by Mark Cuban and Todd Wagner.

“The Strip” will open theatrically in 10-cities beginning Dec. 4, including the local Landmark Century Cinema theater in Lakeview.

Truly Indie provides a platform release at Landmark Theatres, the country’s biggest art house chain, and sometimes other venues, in exchange for a fee. The filmmakers retain all the box office, set their own ticket prices, and can sell tickets on their own.

If the film averages at least $10-$15,000 per screen in its opening week, it’ll have the option to extend its run beyond that week.

“I hope we can do well enough in the first week to expand and stay in theaters, so more people will have a chance to hear about it and see the movie,” says Khan.

Foley (“Kids in the Hall”) leads an ensemble cast playing a band of immature electronics salespeople facing one of their ranks’ impending nuptials.

It stars Chelcie Ross (“Mad Men”), Rodney Scott, Billy Aaron Brown, Federico Dordei, Jenny Wade, Cory Christmas, and Noreen DeWolf.

Khan, 29, was a business student at the University of Indiana when he interned on the Virginia Madsen indie drama “Art Works” in 2001. “It was the most awful job in the world,” Khan says, “and I couldn’t get enough of it.”

He went for a second degree in film at Columbia College in 2003, taking classes at Second City and putting on improv shows at The Cornservatory.

“The Strip” started as a sketch Khan wrote for Second City classmate Corey Christmas that became part of a successful Cornservatory show.