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Music documentarian Lauri Feldman has seen her career take a substantial turn with “The Innocent,” her feature doc about exonerated death row inmates that has its world premiere April 3 in the third annual Chicago International Documentary Festival.
“It was a really big change to work on such a meaningful project,” said Feldman.
Chuck Olin never expected to win an Emmy for his “Marc Chagall in Chicago” documentary. “He was thrilled when he won,” said his longtime friend Tom Weinberg. “Later he laughed and said for a year no one called him for work.”
Chuck Olin, 68, died Jan. 20 at his Stinson Beach, Calif. home of amyloidosis, a rare bone marrow disease. A memorial service will be held on Sunday, Feb. 6, at 1:30 p.m. in the Grand Salon, the Park Hyatt, 800 N. Michigan for the multi-honored filmmaker.
Steve James’ new documentary “Reel Paradise” has its world premiere in the 21st Sundance Film Festival, which runs Jan. 20-30 in Park City, Utah.
“Reel Paradise” will premiere in Sundance’s Special Screenings section, “a selection of special films that are shown out of competition, and which significantly expand the range of subjects presented at the Festival,” according to festival publicity materials.
Two local feature docs head up an expanded presence for documentaries at the 13th Annual IFP/ Chicago Filmmakers Conference that begins Thursday, Oct. 21.
“The heightened presence of documentaries is a reflection of the larger community,” said IFP/Chicago executive director Elizabeth Donius. “There’s a lot of really wonderful documentary work going on in Chicago and the Midwest, and we’ll show some of the work that’s been done in the past year.”
A Utah professor developing a robotic brain and the sponsor of an annual artificial intelligence contest are two of Ken Gumbs’ first interviews for his feature documentary “It’s Called the Future.”
Before he’s through he plans to interview the world’s first cyborg, and a theologian who specializes in the spiritual dimensions of robotics.
Gumbs is out to open up the debate on the practical and moral possibilities of artificial intelligence, whose implications for the coming century he believes are as great as nuclear technology was for the last one.
A new independent feature, “PS,” starring Laura Linney and written and directed by Dylan Kidd, kicks off the Oct. 21-24 IFP/Chicago Independent Filmmakers Conference at the School of the Art Institute.
“PS” is a romantic story about a divorced woman in her late 30s who gets to live her fairy tale when she is reunited with a high school sweetheart who had died previously and was reincarnated as a young cutie. Gabriel Byrne, Marcia Gay Harden and Paul Rudd also star.
Linney and Kidd will be present for a Q&A session following the screening.
This is the second in a two-part survey of local documentarians, who they are, their background and credits. Ranging from national leaders like Kartemquin, Towers and Kurtis Productions, to small to mid-size companies, they capture public imagination and affect social change by telling true stories.
Drawing on a rich tradition of bluntness and iconoclasm, Chicago is home to a wealth of documentarians, from TV powerhouses like Towers and Kurtis Productions to national theatrical and TV leaders Kartemquin to a range of small to mid-size companies capturing public imagination and affecting social change by telling true stories. This is the first in a two-part survey of the local docmaking scene. Part two, covering companies M-Z, in our next issue.
Chicago boasts one of the biggest and most vibrant independent film scenes in America, in terms of both production and outlets. To prove the point, Chicago is experiencing a boom in non-traditional screening series.
In addition to a growing roster of annual film festivals, established and fledgling organizations host screenings scattered around the city at theatres, nightclubs and other venues.
Joe Pytka departed from his signature grunge look to deck himself out in a tux, his long blondish-gray flowing around his shoulders, to accept a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Hugos at Park West March 11.
Pytka, the Pittsburgh director who made good in Hollywood and the undisputed master of 30-second storytelling, has directed 5,000 commercials, many of them for long-time clients DDB and Leo Burnett, which were represented by top creatives Bob Scarpelli and Cheryl Berman, respectively.
COMMA’S CHRISTMAS PACKAGES. Comma’s Larry Pecorella and Bryan Rheude scored Hallmark’s Christmas spots based on Tschaikovski’s Dance of the Reed Flutes for Burnett creatives Tim Pontarelli and David Harner and producer Bob Harley. And for the second year in a row scored JC Penney’s holiday image spot. Asides: Composer Dave Hutten moved to Comma’s Santa Monica office full-time. Their studio, incidentally, was featured in November’s Interior Design Magazine.
ALL FOR A GOOD CAUSE. Luminair’s George Elder was in L.A.