WIF discussion: “Bringing Production to Chicago”

WOMEN IN FILM’S well-attended Executive Breakfast March 31 takes on a very broad subject — a panel discussion about “Bringing Production to Chicago.”

That provocative title could mean Hollywood features. Or it also could mean trying to stimulate commercial production, since Dan “Ziggy” Ziguluch, Draftfcb’s production head, is a panelist, along with the IFO’s Betsy Steinberg. Producer and former IFP president Sandy Gordon is the moderator. The Wit Hotel is the venue.

IN OTHER WIF NEWS, current president Melissa Thornley has opted not to run again when her one-year term ends in late April. Thornley, who heads Beast Editorial, regretfully cites the pressures of business negating the time necessary to devote to the organization’s needs.

In five years, WIF/Chicago has grown from a handful of enthusiastic organizers to around 220 dedicated members.

FAMOUS FACES. Actor Andy Garcia will appear in Chicago March 22 to promote his new movie, “City Island,” also starring Julianna Margulies, with Alan Arkin and Emily Mortimer at an invitational screening at AMC River East theatre.

*Our local star, Tim Kazurinsky, who just sold a pilot to BBC-TV, will hold forth on screenwriting at the Chicago Screenwriters Network’s April 11 meeting at the Lincoln Restaurant.

*Oscar winner Mo’Nique’s stand-up comedy tour brings her to Arie Crown theatre May 15.

EMPLOYERS ARE BEING SOUGHT to participate in Columbia College’s 2010 Spring Job Fair, April 8, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., linking them to talented students who are ready to work in internships, part or full-time and freelance positions.

There’s no charge to participate, and to sweeten the deal, the school will give you with a table, continental breakfast and box lunch.

Some of the companies so far include CBS/Ch. 2, Chicago Storm Soccer, Clear Channel Radio, Mesirow Financial, Bank of America, Museum of Science & Industry and Victoria’s Secret. To sign up, see http://www.colum.edu/Students/Career/Student_Employment/EmployerReg.php

BOSTON BLACKIE’S REGULARS may be looking for a new place to chow down a hamburger and a beer. If filing for Chapter 11 weren’t bad enough, the restaurant chain’s two owners and a manager were arrested, accused of a check-kiting scheme that defrauded Charter One and Washington Mutual banks in an effort to keep the restaurant chain for bankruptcy.

ON THE NATIONAL SCENE. At long last, it looks like a SAG and AFTRA merger is drawing closer to being a reality.

SAG’s national board just approved a joint negotiating agreement with AFRTA, with a vote strongly in favor of re-merging for preliminary talks with the AMPTP later this year: 78% to 22%. The joint bargaining agreement is for negotiating agreements for motion picture and dramatic TV contracts.