TV stars in Alaniz’ “Mindy” indie to attend preview

“Seinfeld’s” Soup Nazi and “Parks and Recreation’s” Jerry Gergich will be among the cast at a reception during the Chicago Gala Screening of the romantic comedy feature, “Mind Over Mindy,” written and directed by award-winning Robert Alaniz of Sole Productions

 The Gala Screening takes place Saturday, Sept. 19 at the historic Patio Theatre in Portage Park. The evening starts with the 7 p.m. cast reception; screening at 8 p.m. followed by a cast and crew discussion.

Executive producer Tom Rovak, best known as a premier colorist and post supervisor, is hoping many film professionals will attend the screening and give their honest appraisal of “Mindy,” his first feature film involvement. 

Rovak shouldn’t worry, though, since “Mindy,” produced with a $850,000 budget by local pros, is Alaniz’ seventh feature since 2003. It meshes the comedy of his two festival winning films, with the otherworldly fantasy of his four earlier films.

“Mind Over Mindy” is the story of Tom, who had a traumatic breakup in 1989 with Mindy, his first love and fiancée. Since then, he has managed to sabotage every subsequent marriage opportunity that’s come along.

Now in his 40s and verging yet another disastrous engagement, Tom agrees to see a therapist, hoping to save this relationship. However, complications arise when young Mindy materializes from his thoughts and into the present time.

Steve Parks and Catherin McCafferty as Tom and Mindy

Tom is played by theatrical and commercial actor Steve Parks; recent Loyola grad Catherine McCafferty, whom Rovak calls “our found diamond,” is teenaged Mindy and versatile Ann Hagerman is Tom’s fiancée Tina.

LA-based Larry Thomas plays Tom’s schizophrenic therapist. Chicago native Jim O’Heir is the manager of the car dealership where Tom works. O’Heir and Alaniz had worked together in local improv comedy venues back in the day “and Jim came here especially for the part,” says Rovak.

They shot during summer of 2014, with a cast of 38 and crew of 15-30, on 11 locations in southwest suburban Frankfort, where Rovak and Alaniz coincidentally discovered they were neighbors who lived just four blocks apart.

Editing, by Christina Stumpf and Alaniz, and Rovak, of course, handled the finishing.

A distribution deal is in the works, Rovak says.

At 6008 W. Irving Park. Tickets, $12 in advance, $15 at the door, may be purchased here.

Watch the trailer here.