Gene Siskel Center and Midwest Film Festival partner on MFF 2021 season

The Gene Siskel Film Center will partner with the Midwest Film Festival (MFF) as the host venue for the MFF 2021 film lineup. The partnership, which was set to roll out in early 2020 but delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic, will kick off Saturday, October 2, at 6pm, with a celebratory event and screening ofthe … Continue reading “Gene Siskel Center and Midwest Film Festival partner on MFF 2021 season”

Running the festival circuit with Midwest Film Festival

Join The Midwest Film Festival exclusively on Facebook Live on Tuesday, February 9th from 6 PM – 7 PM CST for a panel conversation led by industry pros. They’ll share their vast knowledge and experience in running the festival circuit and the success they’ve had. All attendees who register via Eventbrite will automatically be entered to win … Continue reading “Running the festival circuit with Midwest Film Festival”

Two weeklong Best of the Midwest Film Festival Awards

The Midwest Film Festival will be hosting the Best of the Midwest Film Festival Awards for the 2020 season through January 14th. The event will include access to streaming of their 2020 program as well as a live virtual awards show and raffle event on January 14th from 7 – 9PM CST. The festival will … Continue reading “Two weeklong Best of the Midwest Film Festival Awards”

Midwest Film Festival resumes with a night at the drive-in

Come and enjoy an amazing line-up for Female Filmmaker Night. The ChiTown Drive-in opens at 7:00pm and the screening begins at 8:15pm, followed by a Q&A with the filmmakers. In partnership with Chi Town Movies and The Gene Siskel Film Center, the Midwest Film Festival announces that they are resuming their 2020 season programming with … Continue reading “Midwest Film Festival resumes with a night at the drive-in”

“Osso Bucco” star Mike Starr to appear at Midwest Indie FilmFestival screening

River West Films premieres their romantic-mob-comedy “Osso Bucco” at the Midwest Independent Film Festival on Feb. 5, followed by a theatrical self-release beginning Feb. 8 at the Wilmette Theatre.

“We’re trying to create a pedigree, or a compelling argument for why the film will succeed,” said Gary Taylor, who wrote the script, and directed with Fred Blurton. They’re producing with Douglas Weidner.

Midwest Independent Film Festival?formerly CCC? to launch true HD projection at Landmark May 3

When Chicago Community Cinema re-launches May 3 as the Midwest Independent Film Festival at Landmark’s Century Centre, it will be one of the first fests between the coasts to offer true HD projection.

New sponsor Resolution Digital Studios?The Show Department’s HD facility which officially opens its doors this April?is supplying Digital Light Processing (DLP) HD projection equipment.

Longtime CCC sponsor Fletcher Chicago is providing a DVC-Pro HD playback deck.

Chicago International Film Festival announces full lineup of 57th edition

The Chicago International Film Festival announced the full lineup of its 57th edition, running October 13 – 24, 2021. This year’s Festival expands across the City, with screenings at AMC River East 21, Music Box Theatre, Gene Siskel Film Center, drive-in screenings at ChiTown Movies in Pilsen, and neighborhood pop-up screenings at Bronzeville’s historic Parkway … Continue reading “Chicago International Film Festival announces full lineup of 57th edition”

Chicago filmmaker Kamelya Alexan screens doc at MFF

Chicago Producer/Director Kamelya Alexan is no stranger to the film festival world. Having an award winning short, Before the Fall screened around the world, filmmaking never stops. Her current project Changing the Disciple will be screening at the Midwest Film Festival ( MFF ) this Thursday, May 27th. Changing the Disciple is a documentary short … Continue reading “Chicago filmmaker Kamelya Alexan screens doc at MFF”

37th Chicago Latino Film Audience Choice Award wins

The 37th Chicago Latino Film Festival announces the winners and runners-up for the Audience Choice Awards. The Audience Choice Award for Best Feature went to The Heist of the Century, Argentinian director Ariel Winograd’s heist comedy about the most famous and audacious bank robbery in Argentina’s history starring Guillermo Francella (The Secret in Their Eyes) … Continue reading “37th Chicago Latino Film Audience Choice Award wins”

Chicago Latino Film Fest adds Riera’s film Rita Moreno

The 37th Chicago Latino Film Festival, presented by Corona Extra, announced today its Centerpiece presentation of Mariem Pérez Riera’s Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided to Go for It at ChiTown Movies Drive-In, 2343 S. Throop St. on Monday, April 12. The gates open at 6:00 pm with the film scheduled to start at 7:30 pm. A virtual screening of this no holds … Continue reading “Chicago Latino Film Fest adds Riera’s film Rita Moreno”

Kartemquin Films appoints three new board members

Kartemquin Films announced the addition of three esteemed new members to the organization’s board, including Abby Kang Davis, Patrice Perkins and Shirley Yang. The three additions join the board ahead of the Chicago documentary production non profit’s April board meeting. Kartemquin’s board is now comprised of 16 members, led by Chair Pamela Sherrod Anderson. “I am delighted to welcome these three dynamic women to … Continue reading “Kartemquin Films appoints three new board members”

MFF presents Music Video/Music in Film Night

On November 16th, Midwest Film Festival will be hosting an event that will be showcasing selected works focused on music and its impact in film as well as how films and videos can be built around music. The evening will showcase the talents of various filmmakers as well as musicians.  From social justice to choreographed … Continue reading “MFF presents Music Video/Music in Film Night”

Midwest Film Fest announces drive-in events

The Midwest Film Festival is delighted to announce three upcoming events to round out the 2020 season, all taking place at Chi-Town Movies Drive-In, located in Pilsen. Based on the sold-out success last month of Female Filmmakers Shorts Night, Erica Duffy, Executive Director, and the MFF Board, want to charge ahead with screenings, to fulfill … Continue reading “Midwest Film Fest announces drive-in events”

Reeling LGBTQ+ International Film Festival lineup

Reeling will celebrate its 38th anniversary this fall with a new virtual edition of the second-oldest LGBTQ+ film festival in the world. Showing 30 features, 54 shorts across eight shorts programs from 21 countries, Reeling will offer home viewers access to new films not currently available on commercial streaming platforms. Over the course of 11 days – … Continue reading “Reeling LGBTQ+ International Film Festival lineup”

Filmscape 2020 goes online with virtual exhibitor booths

Filmscape 2020 goes virtual August 29 & 30. Exhibitors get a virtual booth on a dedicated page on the Filmscape website. Every year, Filmscape Chicago, an educational nonprofit focused on skill building for technicians and artists in the Chicago film and television industry, holds an annual event which hosts high-profile vendors, educational workshops, panels, and … Continue reading “Filmscape 2020 goes online with virtual exhibitor booths”

Chicago-Made doc screens at Gene Siskel Film Center

The Gene Siskel Film Center will host virtual screenings of the new locally-produced documentary “Seasons of Change on Henry’s Farm” beginning Friday, August 14. Set on an idyllic family farm in Central Illinois, “Seasons of Change on Henry’s Farm” (USA, 83 minutes) follows organic farmer Henry Brockman as he grapples with the future of farming … Continue reading “Chicago-Made doc screens at Gene Siskel Film Center”

Reeling: Chicago LGBTQ+ Int’l Film Festival goes virtual

The 38th edition of Reeling: The Chicago LGBTQ+ International Film Festival will be held as an online virtual event. Festival Dates: September 24 – October 4, 2020 Chicago Filmmakers, the presenting organization of Reeling, made the decision to go virtual amid the uncertainty surrounding the reopening of cinemas and an increase in cases of COVID-19 … Continue reading “Reeling: Chicago LGBTQ+ Int’l Film Festival goes virtual”

Tessa Films adds director Tony Franklin

Los Angeles based national multi award winning director, Tony Franklin, who has caught the attention of brands like BMW, IBM, WIRED, Purina, Pizza Hut, Gatorade, Prudential and many more has joined Tessa Film’s talented roster of directors. Director Tony Franklin, whose distinctly warm and human approach to storytelling has made him a sought-after talent by … Continue reading “Tessa Films adds director Tony Franklin”

Round two of the Indie Film Town Hall was held Thursday

Round Two of the Indie Film Town Hall was held on Thursday, May 28th. The Town Hall meetings bring together Chicago’s independent film and media-making community during these difficult times. In a series of lunchtime meetings over Zoom, members of Chicago’s indie film and media organizations will discuss the challenges that face our industries and … Continue reading “Round two of the Indie Film Town Hall was held Thursday”

REEL WOMEN: Independent Filmmaker, Grace Pisula

Editor’s Note: They are leaders. They are inspirational. They are mentors. They are visionaries. They are, quite frankly, badasses. They are our 2020 Reel Women During Women’s History Month, you will be able to meet these incredible personalities in Advertising, Entertainment, Media and Production. Get ready. Grace is a Polish-American filmmaker native to the Northwest … Continue reading “REEL WOMEN: Independent Filmmaker, Grace Pisula”

Sundance picks 12 Filmmakers for Screenwriters Intensive

Twelve screenwriters have been selected to participate in Sundance Institute’s eighth annual Screenwriters Intensive in Los Angeles, to take place March 4-5, 2020. One of the students selected is Chicagoan, Jason Park. The Intensive, a two-day workshop for select emerging writers and writer/directors from underrepresented communities, focuses on the development of first fiction features. Fellows … Continue reading “Sundance picks 12 Filmmakers for Screenwriters Intensive”

Jewish Film Fest to screen six classics on opening night

In a gesture of mischievous generosity, the JCC Chicago Jewish Film Festival is offering movie lovers a choice of six different films to see on opening night. ET, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Funny Girl, Keeping Up with the Steins, Stand By me, and When Harry Met Sally will energize the launch of the organization’s seventh … Continue reading “Jewish Film Fest to screen six classics on opening night”

JCC Chicago Jewish Film Festival unveils 2020 lineup

The JCC Chicago Jewish Film Festival proudly announces its film selections for the 2020 festival, running February 28 through March 15. This year’s lineup features 52 films at seven venues across the city and suburbs: Cinemark Theater in Evanston, CMX CineBistro and CMX Market at Old Orchard in Skokie, CMX Arlington Heights, the Illinois Holocaust … Continue reading “JCC Chicago Jewish Film Festival unveils 2020 lineup”

Erica Duffy describes her Midwest Film Fest vision

For the past 15 years, the Midwest Independent Film Festival has been showcasing Midwest filmmakers at monthly screenings known as “First Tuesdays.” Over the past two years, MIFF leadership, board members, and volunteers have weathered personnel changes, programming challenges, and attendance ebbs and flows. Now, the Fest is embarking on a major transformation, led by … Continue reading “Erica Duffy describes her Midwest Film Fest vision”

Four Midwest indies premiering on Tubi

‘Thieves Quartet,’ ‘Quarter Life Crisis,’ ‘Clarence Elkins,’ and ‘Rendezvous in Chicago’ light up the largest ad-supported VOD service on earth A quartet of films made in and around Chicago will premiere this month on Tubi, the world’s largest ad-supported video-on-demand service. Distributed by Cow Lamp Films, the only indie distributor in the Midwest, the work … Continue reading “Four Midwest indies premiering on Tubi”

Cow Lamp acquires a pair of Jack Newell films

Indie distributor scores ‘Open Tables’ and ‘Close Quarters’ by Second City’s Harold Ramis School Program Director Cow Lamp Films — the Midwest’s first and only full-service, independent film and television distributor — has acquired two movies by romantic comedy legend Jack C. Newell. In Newell’s signature style, both of the stories use food and humor … Continue reading “Cow Lamp acquires a pair of Jack Newell films”

ChiFilmFest announces 2019 audience winners

‘Just Mercy,’ ‘And Then We Danced,’ ‘Ready for War’ take top honors at 55th Chicago International Film Festival   The Chicago International Film Festival today announced the winners of the Festival Audience Awards, presented by Xfinity. Voted by Festival-goers, the Audience Award for Best Feature goes to Just Mercy by director Destin Daniel Cretton. The … Continue reading “ChiFilmFest announces 2019 audience winners”

Winners announced for Heartland Film Fest

The Heartland International Film Festival announced the filmmaker award winners for the film festival’s 28th edition during an Awards Brunch on Saturday, October 19. The Grand Prize for Best Narrative Feature (and a cash prize of $15,000) went to Bora Kim’s House of Hummingbird, with one of the film’s stars, Seung-Yun Lee on hand to … Continue reading “Winners announced for Heartland Film Fest”

‘Three Hours’ wins ChiFilmFest’s $20K Pitch

Aemilia Scott, Holli McGinley film follows a single mother living on the edge of Chicago’s Humboldt Park The 55th Chicago International Film Festival has announced the winner of The Pitch at the 5th edition of Industry Days: Three Hours, directed by Aemilia Scott and produced by Holli McGinley. The film follows a single mother living … Continue reading “‘Three Hours’ wins ChiFilmFest’s $20K Pitch”

ChiFilmFest announces slate for “The Pitch”

Five film projects to compete for $20,000 awards package of in-kind goods and services   The 55th Chicago International Film Festival announced a slate of five narrative feature film projects in active development that will be pitched in front of a live audience and a panel of distinguished industry judges during the Festival’s Industry Days … Continue reading “ChiFilmFest announces slate for “The Pitch””

Midwest Indie’s 2019 Female Filmmakers Night

The Midwest Independent Film Festival’s venerable tradition takes place tomorrow night at Landmark Century Cinema The Midwest Independent Film Festival will present Female Filmmakers Night for the October installment of its monthly First Tuesday event tomorrow, October 1, from 6-9:30 p.m. at Landmark Century Cinema. Dating back more than a decade, Female Filmmakers Night is … Continue reading “Midwest Indie’s 2019 Female Filmmakers Night”

ChiFilmFest unveils Industry Days agenda

Master Classes with Oscar and Sundance winners are just a few of the events scheduled for October 17-20 program     The 55th Chicago International Film Festival announced today the program for Industry Days (October 17-20, 2019) with an impressive list of guest speakers to inspire and illuminate the film and entertainment community.   A … Continue reading “ChiFilmFest unveils Industry Days agenda”

ChiFilmFest unveils Gala & Special Presentations programs

“Knives Out” starring Daniel Craig among first round of films announced for 55th run, October 16-27 Mimi Plauché, Artistic Director of the Chicago International Film Festival, today announced titles selected for the Galas and Special Presentations programs for the 55th edition of the Festival. Offering movie lovers a first look at the year’s most highly … Continue reading “ChiFilmFest unveils Gala & Special Presentations programs”

‘Bleed American’ captures youth in the Midwest

Indy director Tre Manchester brings authentic regional flavor to a universal reality Bleed American is a coming-of-age tale that puts separate socioeconomic classes into a common frame. Inspired by director Tre Manchester’s memories of growing up in Northwest Indiana, it brings Midwestern flavor to a universal reality. “In my hometown, upper class kids would throw … Continue reading “‘Bleed American’ captures youth in the Midwest”

The 10th annual Chicago South Asian Film Festival

Weekend-long cultural event opens September 19 with a red-carpet screening of “The Last Color” at Spertus Institute An amazing lineup of films surrounding South Asian culture will be screened at the Chicago South Asian Film Festival (CSAFF). Celebrating 10 years, CSAFF is the largest film festival of its kind in the Midwest, taking place from … Continue reading “The 10th annual Chicago South Asian Film Festival”

The 2019 Black Harvest Film Festival

The Gene Siskel Film Center’s 25th annual celebration of African Americans and the African diaspora August 3-29 The Gene Siskel Film Center celebrates the stories, dreams, history, and legacy of African Americans and the African diaspora in the 25th edition of the annual Black Harvest Film Festival. In addition to 50-plus film screenings, there will … Continue reading “The 2019 Black Harvest Film Festival”

Midwest Sci-Fi and Futurism Night

MIFF explores not-too-far-away realities, social issues, and the intersection of sci-fi and horror on June 4 at Landmark The Midwest Independent Film Festival presents Midwest Sci-Fi and Futurism Night as part of its monthly First Tuesdays screening series on June 4, 2019. The evening’s program includes short films depicting not-too-far-away realities, social issues explored through … Continue reading “Midwest Sci-Fi and Futurism Night”

2019 Chicago Underground Film Festival

CUFF opens June 5 with ‘Empty Metal’ and closes June 9 with “Dollhouse: the eradication of female subjectivity from American popular culture’ The Chicago Underground Film Festival has built a reputation for innovative, exciting, and provocative cinema since it was founded in 1993. Known as “the world’s longest-running” celebration of its kind, CUFF will expand … Continue reading “2019 Chicago Underground Film Festival”

The Chicago Independent Film and TV Festival

CIFTV’s four-day program offers a diverse, relevant, and entertaining weekend showcase The 2nd annual Chicago Independent Film and TV Festival will return to Columbia College April 4-7. Founded on a mission to supply Chicago with “a quality international independent film festival,” the four-day event promises a diverse, relevant, and entertaining showcase of documentaries, television concepts, … Continue reading “The Chicago Independent Film and TV Festival”

Midwest short film showcase, spring edition

The program will include more than a dozen locally-produced films and filmmakers followed by a party The Midwest Independent Film Festival presents the Spring edition of Midwest Shorts Night featuring short films by Midwestern filmmakers and films about Midwestern stories. The screening will take place on Tuesday, March 5. “Screening short films is such a … Continue reading “Midwest short film showcase, spring edition”

2019 Best of the Midwest Awards

“The film festival is about bringing people together and supporting all of the members of the filmmaking community.” MIFF Executive Director Amy Guth The Midwest Independent Film Festival’s annual Best of the Midwest Awards inspired a swanky good time last night at The Promontory in Hyde Park. Complementing a candlelit vibe with cocktail dresses, sport … Continue reading “2019 Best of the Midwest Awards”

Best of the Midwest Awards relocate to The Promontory

The Midwest Independent Film Festival’s annual event makes a move for a jazzy Hyde Park venue (Chicago — 19 December 2018)    The Midwest Independent Film Festival has announced an expanded Best of the Midwest Awards gala this year to be held at The Promontory Chicago. On Thursday, January 17th, the event will celebrate the finest … Continue reading “Best of the Midwest Awards relocate to The Promontory”

‘Olympia’ at Chicago Comedy Film Festival

“Olympia” received rave reviews at the Chicago Int’l Film Fest and is the latest from Chicago’s growing film community (Chicago, IL — 23 October 2018) Right off of a successful three-screening run at the 54th Chicago International Film Festival, Cow Lamp Films announce the film Olympia to screen for college audiences at the upcoming Chicago … Continue reading “‘Olympia’ at Chicago Comedy Film Festival”

The 2018 Chicago/Midwest Emmy Awards

The 60th annual celebration of the standard bearers for excellence in the television broadcasting industry   The 2018 Chicago/Midwest Emmy Ceremony will be held on Saturday, November 10, 2018 at the Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile, Chicago Ballroom, 540 N. Michigan.       The Nominees Outstanding Achievement for News Programming – Evening Newscast: Larger … Continue reading “The 2018 Chicago/Midwest Emmy Awards”

‘Art of Motivation’ at Chicago Comedy Film Festival

New web series features narcissistic characters who go about “undermining each other” with a kind of egotistical finesse that’s a joy to watch Open floor plans, clashing personalities, and corporate insincerity get a hilarious sendup in the first episode of Art of Motivation, a new web series created by John Cuneo. Described as “an episodic … Continue reading “‘Art of Motivation’ at Chicago Comedy Film Festival”

Festivault brings a world of films to remote screens

New technology aims to offer thousands of films that might otherwise disappear after screening at regional festivals Chicago film entrepreneurs Saj Adibs and Hamzah Jamjoom are bringing film festivals to viewers around the world through a new web application called Festivault. Festivault allows users to screen select film festival programs on individual laptops, tablets, and … Continue reading “Festivault brings a world of films to remote screens”

Midwest Indie Fest reveals Ad Community Shorts lineup

Working with a jury of pros from the likes of Quriosity, The Mill, and The Onion, MIFF and AICP present the popular program Nov. 6 (Chicago — 22 October 2018) The Midwest Independent Film Festival, in partnership with AICP Midwest, has announced the program lineup for the 2018 Advertising Community Shorts Night, an annual event … Continue reading “Midwest Indie Fest reveals Ad Community Shorts lineup”

Chicago Int’l Film Fest releases Industry Days schedule

Headliners include Oscar-­winning director Steve McQueen, Emmy-­nominated writer Bashir Salahuddin, and award-­winning producers Albert Berger and Bob Teitel (Chicago — 26 September 2018) The complete program of Industry Days (Oct. 11­14) at the 54th Chicago International Film Festival was announced today with an impressive list of guest speakers to inspire and illuminate the Midwest film … Continue reading “Chicago Int’l Film Fest releases Industry Days schedule”

“Hesburgh” to premiere at Midwest Indie Film Fest

Midwest Independent Film Festival announces Midwest premiere of Hesburgh documentary, about University of Notre Dame President and civil rights leader Fr. Theodore Hesburgh CHICAGO — The Midwest Independent Film Festival will host the Midwest premiere of Hesburgh, a feature-length documentary film from award-winning filmmakers Patrick Creadon and Christine O’Malley, which examines the challenges and triumphs … Continue reading ““Hesburgh” to premiere at Midwest Indie Film Fest”

Cow Lamp Films’ “Skeletons in the Closet” at Horrorama

The “hilarious” and “terrifying” anthology series starring The Widow and her dead husband, Charlie screens at the Davis Theater on September 7 (Chicago — 17 August 2018) Cow Lamp Films announce the World Premiere of its newly acquired indie horror comedy feature film Skeletons in the Closet by Chicago Directors Tony Wash and B.A. Lewandowski. … Continue reading “Cow Lamp Films’ “Skeletons in the Closet” at Horrorama”

MIFF presents first-ever juried Female Filmmaker Night

“When we’re talking about issues of gender equality and representation, I think it’s an everybody problem.” Executive Director, Amy Guth For the first time in its history, the Midwest Independent Film Festival will screen a juried selection of work during the annual Female Filmmakers Night celebration, which takes place Tuesday August 7th at Landmark Century … Continue reading “MIFF presents first-ever juried Female Filmmaker Night”

Black Harvest Film Festival at the Siskel Center

The Midwest’s largest and longest-running Black film festival presents a combined total of over 60 narrative features, documentaries, and shorts     The 24th annual Black Harvest Film Festival opens on Saturday, August 4 when filmmakers and VIPs gather to celebrate the presentation of the Deloris Jordan Award for Excellence in Community Leadership and shorts … Continue reading “Black Harvest Film Festival at the Siskel Center”

Cow Lamp Films acquires “Welcome to Unity”

Midwest indie film distributor Cow Lamp Films presents the award-winning, instant classic that Sports Illustrated called, “touching and hilarious”   Imagine how crazy things may get when you put seven international exchange students, including two kids from Muslim backgrounds, into a Christian home in Unity, Oregon — a small rural American town. Literally filmed by … Continue reading “Cow Lamp Films acquires “Welcome to Unity””

Swanbergs and Steve James on Kutza, CIFF, and Chi film

Indie-film legends Steve James, Kris and Joe Swanberg discuss the Chicago film fest and Michael Kutza’s retirement.   Surrounded by the glitz of the Chicago International Film Festival (CIFF)’s Summer Gala at the Loews Chicago Hotel on July 14, it only makes sense that three of Chicago’s greatest independent filmmakers gravitated towards each other. Reel … Continue reading “Swanbergs and Steve James on Kutza, CIFF, and Chi film”

Midwest Indie Film Fest names Amy Guth Exec Director

Chicago media personality and executive Amy Guth joins organization dedicated to creative community-building for Midwestern filmmakers   (Chicago — 2 July 2018) The Midwest Independent Film Festival (MIFF) — the year-round film festival dedicated to celebrating and strengthening the Midwest filmmaking community — today named Amy Guth as Executive Director. Guth is a WGN-AM 720 … Continue reading “Midwest Indie Film Fest names Amy Guth Exec Director”

Cow Lamp Films acquires “The View From Tall”

The Chicago-based national indie distributor signs Caitlin Parrish and Erica Weiss’s intimate coming-of-age comedy-drama   (Chicago — 16 My 2018) Cow Lamp Films announced today that they have acquired all rights in North America to Caitlin Parrish and Erica Weiss’s The View From Tall. Written and directed by Parrish and Weiss (CBS TV’s upcoming The … Continue reading “Cow Lamp Films acquires “The View From Tall””

Millennium Park Summer Film Series

Beginning June 5th, the Millennium Park Summer Film series will enhance the Tuesday night screenings that have become one of Chicago’s most beloved outdoor traditions. According to a press release issued by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE), the movies will be “programmed in collaboration with a local independent film festival … Continue reading “Millennium Park Summer Film Series”

Chicago Critics Film Festival highlights, lineup

OPENING — Fast Color With Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Jordan Horowitz in attendance   CLOSING — Eighth Grade With filmmaker Bo Burnham in attendance     (Chicago, IL) The Chicago Film Critics Association (CFCA), the Chicago-area print, online and broadcast critics group that celebrates the art of film and film criticism, ​today announces the complete lineup, … Continue reading “Chicago Critics Film Festival highlights, lineup”

Cow Lamp Films shares insight at Chicago Indie Film Fest

Cow Lamp Films will continue to earn its keep as the Midwest’s only distributor of independent films on Saturday afternoon at the Chicago Independent Film (+TV) Festival (CIFF). Director of Acquisitions Josh da Silva will join a 4 p.m. panel discussion about distribution at the New 400 Movie Theaters in Rogers Park, where a majority … Continue reading “Cow Lamp Films shares insight at Chicago Indie Film Fest”

Chicago Underground Film Festival 2018 lineup

CUFF adds second screening of “Industrial Accident,” the opening night film about Wax Trax! Records that sold out hours after going on sale After selling out the initioal opening night screening in less than an hour, the 25th annual Chicago Underground Film Festival has added a special encore presentation of INDUSTRIAL ACCIDENT: The Story of … Continue reading “Chicago Underground Film Festival 2018 lineup”

Siskel Center grants celebrate Black Harvest Film Fest

Gene Siskel Film Center introduces first-ever production grants to commission new short work in celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Black Harvest Film Festival Short film projects will premiere on Opening Night of the 25th Anniversary Black Harvest Film Festival in August 2019 (Chicago — 24 April 2018) The Gene Siskel Film Center is … Continue reading “Siskel Center grants celebrate Black Harvest Film Fest”

Chicago Underground Film Fest offers a taste of 2018

Opening night Julia Nash’s Industrial Accident: The Story of Wax Trax! Records Chicago premiere   Closing night Lori Felker’s Future Language: The Dimensions of VON LMO Chicago premiere   [Editor Note: The “Industrial Accident” screening sold out shortly after this story was published, but CUFF organizers are working to schedule another. Stay tuned to Reel … Continue reading “Chicago Underground Film Fest offers a taste of 2018”

Pitching with IL Film Office Director Christine Dudley

Christine Dudley rarely goes to the movies. That may seem odd for the Director of the Illinois Film Office, but she’s dedicated to a job that begins before most of the scenes are even shot and ends, like, never. So what does she do?     When Dudley’s not pitching Hollywood studios, she’s reading the … Continue reading “Pitching with IL Film Office Director Christine Dudley”

Reel Women: Kamelya Alexan, Filmmaker

Born in Tehran, Iran, Kamelya Alexan moved to Chicago when she was five-years-old, where she was raised. Kamelya has worked on and completed over twenty-five projects including documentaries, shorts, music videos, and feature films such as The Dark Knight, Public Enemies, and The Express.   Her most recent film, Before the Fall, won Best Editing … Continue reading “Reel Women: Kamelya Alexan, Filmmaker”

Midwest Indie Film Fest opens with sickening premiere

No, the new independent film, Cold War, won’t make you sick (unless you can’t catch your breath from laughing), but the actors in it sure are — as in catching the nasty “Raccoon Flu.” The romantic comedy, which will make its Chicago premiere and open the 2018 season for Midwest Indie is coming off a … Continue reading “Midwest Indie Film Fest opens with sickening premiere”

How to fight sexism in the film industry

About one month ago, I wrote an editorial in response to the Weinstein scandal. I wrote about my personal experiences working in the film industry — and those of my peers — and discussed how those experiences are symptomatic of a culture wherein abusers like Weinstein have been allowed to thrive. This story is intended … Continue reading “How to fight sexism in the film industry”

Best of the Midwest Awards, VML, Huge Detroit news

Today, The Midwest Independent Film Festival announced their nominees for The Best of the Midwest Awards Celebration, which recognizes the premier films and filmmakers featured throughout the 2017 season at the Midwest Independent Film Festival.           The BMA nominees Best Music Video:    HOT SHIT, directed by Andre Muir for Towkio    LSD, … Continue reading “Best of the Midwest Awards, VML, Huge Detroit news”

MIFF’s Nov. 15 Ad Shorts Night to premiere 12 films

The 7th annual Ad Community Shorts Night at the Midwest Independent Film Festival will screen Tuesday, Nov. 15 instead of its regular First Tuesday Nov. 1 date, deemed as being too close to Nov. 8 election night. They are:

Hell,” John Malkovich reads Plato’s “Allegory of the Cave” while illustrations depicting humans’ worst atrocities animate edited, graphics by Ryan Gilbert and sound design by Brian Leitner.

Nominations announced for Chicago/Midwest Emmy awards

The 2016 Chicago/Midwest regional Emmy nominations were announced this week simultaneously in Chicago and Milwaukee this week – more than 200 recognitions in 41 categories of broadcast programming.

Winners will be announced at the 58th annual Emmy Awards ceremony Dec. 3 at the Chicago Marriott Downtown, 540 N. Michigan.

Highland Park-based Bitter Jester Creative garnered six Crafts Achievement Off-Air category nods; October Productions scored three. On the broadcast side, Fox overwhelmed with a record 27 nominations.

MIFF to screen work of 14 fabulous Female Filmmakers

Filmmaker / editor Gail Gilbert’s short film, thriller “Democracy in the Driver’s Seat,” will be one of 14 women-made shorts showcasing at the Midwest Independent Film Festival’s annual Female Filmmakers Night, Tuesday, Aug. 2.

The distinguished filmmakers have been at their craft for many years, are producing an impressive body of work and possess a large collection of prestigious international awards.

The entries are:

“Empire” wraps season 2, will resume filming in July

TV UPDATE. “Empire” has wrapped its second season, with elegant scenes filmed at the Drake Hotel that lit up Michigan Ave. the past two days.  Fox TV’s hit series is expected to return to Chicago in July to start filming 18 episodes for season three.  

Sunday’s Film Summit & Expo earns 4 stars all around

In no uncertain terms, Sunday’s Film Summit & Expo was a rousing success – and a somewhat surprising one given the short time frame the organizers had for assembling the parts that made it so successful: the 1,000 professionals attendees, out of 1,500 who registered. The SRO panel discussions.  Dick Wolf’s candid speech.  The crowded roomful of exhibitors.

14 indie made TV shows earn Midwest Emmy nominations

Not as many non-broadcaster-produced shows received 2012 Midwest Chapter Emmy nominations this season as they had in past years.  Still, approximately 14 companies, especially multiple nominees Bitter Jester and HMH Media, had award-worthy spots, docs and craft skills to qualify for an Emmy nod. 

Here are the non-broadcast nominees in nine out of 22 categories of endeavor, with some winning more than one nod for the project.  The producer/host/reporter receives the award.

Big Deahl signs Midwest sales rep Nathan Skillicorn

Master tabletop director/shooter David Deahl may travel the world on assignment, but when it comes to representation, “We wanted someone local,” says executive producer Rosemary Deahl. “Clients like to have that up close and personal connection with the company they give the job to.” 

Michigan doubles film grant cap to $50 million for 2013

Gov. Rick Snyder has upped Michigan’s film grant money to $50 million, from the present $25 million that all but killed what had been one of the biggest US film markets, for the new fiscal year that starts in October. 

The higher cap, which still must be approved by legislators, is considerably less than the film industry and pro-film legislators had been seeking, reports The Detroit Free Press.  

Hopefully State doubles film grant to $50 million cap for 2013

IFO calls for Shortcuts Short Film Contest entries

FOR THE 5TH YEAR, the Illinois Film Office is sponsoring its annual Shortcuts Short Film Contest that is open to Illinoisans 18 years old and older.  Basic requirements: All genres welcome (narrative, doc, live or animated) and no film longer than 15 minutes.  Industry experts will serve as judges. Deadline is Aug. 31. 

Indie film “Dog Jack” a Black History Month release

Filmmaker Edward T. McDougal’s inspiring historical feature, “Dog Jack,” opens theatrically nationwide in celebration of February’s Black History Month — a year after the distributor discovered this gem at a regional film festival. 

The story – narrated by Lou Gossett, Jr. – is about young runaway slave Jed and his dog, who join the Pennsylvania 102nd Volunteers and must face a Confederate Army regiment led by Jed’s former master. 

Ad Community Shorts Night screens 15 films Oct. 1

The 3rd annual Advertising Community Shorts Night Tuesday at the Midwest Independent Film Festival, Tuesday, Oct. 1, presents the work of 15 filmmeisters from ad and marketing agencies, post/production houses, still photographers, Second City and Steppenwolf, from Chicago, Madison and Detroit.

Earlier this month a jury of knowledgeable souls from various aspects of visual media production judged an imaginative collection of entries from one to 16 minutes in length.

Midwest Best Awards and party Dec. 7

Michael Matzdorff’s Door County comedy “Feed the Fish” leads the 47 contenders for the Midwest Independent Film Festival’s annual Best of the Midwest Awards, running for its third year on Dec. 7 at Rockit Bar & Grill.

“Feed the Fish” is nominated in six categories: for best feature, director, screenplay, cinematography, editing, and Green Bay native Tony Shalhoub for best actor.

The BMAs honor the films that screened at MIFF’s monthly first Tuesday events throughout the year.

One film screens at two fests the same time

WHAT ARE THE ODDS of filmmakers actually seeing their short film premiere at two international film festivals, being held the same weeks this month, at two widely separated locations?

Short film producers Kathryn Henderson and Marie Ullrich fly to London Tuesday to see their short, “Faster!” showcase at the ultra prestigious 54th British Film Institute London Film Festival.

At the same time, “Faster!” also screens as one of the 11 choice selections in the Illinois(e)Makers program at the 46th Chicago International Film Festival.

Best of the Midwest awards at Rockit, Dec. 1

Presenters Jon McNaughton and Steve Conrad and nominee Lori Petty are just a few of the high-powered guests expected at the Midwest Independent Film Festival’s annual Best of the Midwest Awards (BMA) Dec. 1 at Rockit Bar & Grill.

“Last year’s BMAs were sold-out and filled to the brim with the top film industry folks in town and we were absolutely elated with the turnout,” says festival director and co-founder Mike McNamara.

“For this year’s festivities, we’ll have more great guests and award presenters that we’ll be announcing as we get closer to the first.”

Producer cashed in her IRA to fund film

“All truth passes through three stages,” Ky Dickens, a producer for commercial MK Films, says in her documentary “Fish Out of Water.” “First it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. And third, it is accepted as being self-evident.”

“Fish Out of Water” screened Sunday as the documentary centerpiece of the 29th Reeling: Chicago Lesbian & Gay International Film Festival.

Dickens interviewed religious figures, scholars and everyday Americans in more than 20 states about shifting religious, social and political views on homosexuality.

Festival a perfect weekend destination

Actor/director Jeff Daniels’ latest feature will have its Midwest premiere at the 11th Annual Waterfront Film Festival June 11-14 in Saugatuck, Mich., where 70-plus films in five venues will screen.

Daniels’ “The Answer Man” is a comedy about the reclusive and misanthropic author of a landmark book that redefined spirituality for a generation, in which he claims to have spoken directly to God.

Who’s the best of the best Midwest films?

Twenty-two of the best Midwestern films from a year’s worth of the Midwest Independent Film Festival will be honored Dec. 2 at a gala awards ceremony ? not at its usual Century Cinema venue – but at the more festive Rockit Bar & Grill.

The 22 films, which played at MWFF throughout 2008, have been nominated in nine categories.

Three films scored the most nominations. Five nominations for director Steve Conrad’s feature, “The Promotion,” with John C.

Actor David Pasquesi’s “Factory” series bows on Spike TV and he’s in a Tom Hanks film in Rome

ACTOR DAVID PASQUESI’S TV SERIES, “Factory,” will bow June 29 on Spike TV, but Pasquesi may not see the premiere episode in Rome, where he’s garnering a nifty credit in the super big-budget “Angels and Demons” from Imagine Entertainment.

It’s based on the Dan Brown novel, actually the prequel to “The DaVinci Code,” and Tom Hanks again portrays symbologist Robert Langdon.

The largely improvised “Factory” is about four guys ?

IFP aiming to form strategic partnership with
15-year old Chicago Underground Film Fest

The Independent Feature Project/Midwest has made no little plans. Foremost among them is the possible acquisition of the 15-year old eclectic Chicago Underground Film Festival, plus expanding the number of screenings, workshops and networking events.

To help achieve these goals, IFP’s board added five new members to increase the board size to 25 members.

“We have branched out and brought in ideas from experts beyond the film world,” says IFP executive director Elizabeth Donius, noting the new members’ expertise includes public relations, development and arts management.

House passes Illinois Film Tax Credit extension, now en route through the Senate for final vote

THE TAX EXTENSION IS ON ITS WAY! The Illinois House voted 107-7 to extend Illinois’ generous 20% tax credits. The bill was introduced to the House by speaker Michael Madigan .

From there, the bill goes to the Senate and wends its way through committes and ultimately to the Senate floor for a vote ? assuming all goes according to plan. It’s difficult to say when to pop corks — everyone’s hoping before the end of the month — so stay tuned.

“Of Boys and Men” filmmakers top IFP Summit,
3 days of panels, pitching and parties Oct.19-21

Fast on the heels of its smashingly successful fund-raising gala comes IFP/Chicago’s 16th annual Midwest Filmmakers Summit the weekend of Oct. 19.

“We’re just recovering from the gala,” good-naturedly moaned IFP executive director Elizabeth Donius who, with development director Colleen O’Neill and staff put on one kick-ass event.

A full house of 300 guests jammed Salvage One Friday, Sept. 28 to party, meet other indie filmmakers, bid on a slew of neat auction items, and leave IFP approximately $20,000 richer to use for programs throughout the year.

Enjoy a super abundance of indie films to screen at 75-plus events now through the end of the year

With the advent of Labor Day, when white shoes are tucked in the back of the closet, and sunlight vanishes all-too-early, a pent-up avalanche of non-theatrical films descends upon Chicago.

There’s something for everyone, as hundreds and hundreds of indie films will screen in more than 75 movie events to date at familiar and new venues, now through December.

Unhappy with distribution deals, Schwaba self-releasing his indie film on 14 Wisconsin screens

Pete Schwaba joins the growing ranks of independent filmmakers choosing self-release over unsatisfactory distribution offers, when he opens his debut feature “The Godfather of Green Bay” in theaters March 24.

Schwaba and his producers Brian and Josh Etting are playing “Godfather” on 14 screens across Wisconsin.

“Just seeing it play in festivals for over a year, we saw how audiences responded,” Schwaba said.

“We saw offers for straight-to-video or a week in New York. We didn’t know if our investors would see a dime.

Aaron Himelstein’s “Sugar Mountain” leads winners at MWFF’s Inaugural Best of the Midwest Awards

Nineteen-year-old actor and filmmaker Aaron Himelstein led the winners at the Midwest Independent Film Festival’s inaugural Best of the Midwest Awards.

Best of the Midwest bestowed Shelle Awards in 12 categories for films made in the Midwest or by Midwest filmmakers, which had screened at the MWFF’s monthly event at Landmark’s Century Centre Cinema.

A Buffalo Grove native who played young Austin Powers in “Goldmember,” Himelstein’s drama “Sugar Mountain” took the Best Picture and Best Drama awards.

Five Chicago features, two Sundance selections in Chicago Underground Film Festival Aug. 18-25

A heavy dose of hard-hitting politics joins the staples of transgressive and experimental cinema at the 12th Annual Chicago Underground Film Festival, which runs Aug. 18-25 in its new home at the Music Box Theatre.

CUFF 12 includes 13 narrative features, nine documentary features, 18 narrative shorts, 29 documentary shorts, 89 experimental shorts, and six animations.

Screenings, Festivals, Events, Etc.

LAUREN FISCHER is hitting her stride as a recognized screenwriter. On Aug. 31 her “Wish I Might”?winner of the 2005 IFP/Chicago-Chicago Scriptworks contest?will have a staged reading by Chicago Scriptworks at the Cultural Center.

“Wish I Might” is the story of two teenaged stepsisters and the one wish that will either bring them together or tear their family apart. It’s also a semi-finalist in the 2005 PAGE International Screenwriting Awards.

A Revolution of the Heart?Oscar Brown, Jr. doc gets Midwest premiere at Black Harvest Aug. 13

Filmmaker donnie l. betts first met Oscar Brown, Jr. at a workshop in Denver when betts was a young actor there.

“He inspired me to be the kind of artist I wanted to be, “an artist who has a social responsibility and a social awareness to do more than entertain but educate as well, and hopefully elevate,” said betts, now a theatre director, screen actor and documentarian.

25 years later, betts has completed the first full-length documentary ever made about the Chicago cultural icon who died May 29.

Events being planned by new Chicago chapter of indie producers group to expand Latinos in film

A dozen Latino filmmakers have set out to make Chicago a better place for their fellow Latinos to make movies.

Juan J. Lopez and his colleagues have launched the Chicago chapter of the National Association of Latino Independent Producers (NALIP).

Founded in 1999 and boasting chapters in 11 cities, NALIP is dedicated to supporting Latinos working throughout the film industry.

Festivals, screenings, events and more

INDIEFEST CHICAGO has extended the submission deadline to May 10 for the Third Annual Indiefest Film Festival & Market, the only film market in Midwest, which runs July 29-Aug. 7. See www.indiefest.org.

“Juvies”

National guests draw big crowds at IFP/Chicago Filmmakers Conference

Donius presided over her first IFP Filmmakers Conference Oct. 21-24, featuring an expanded four-day schedule, a higher-profile roster of national figures and attendees from across the Midwest.

The Conference springboarded off the Chicago International Film Festival, which closed the night the Conference opened, drawing filmmakers who were in town for the fest: Alexander Payne, whose “Sideways” advance screening presaged the Conference, and director Dylan Kidd and star Laura Linney, whose “P.S.” headlined Friday night.

Record number of locally-made films screening at Chicago Film Festival

One of the films was made in India and one of the directors lives in L.A., but with 12 films ? four features and eight shorts ‐ either made in Chicago, by a local director, or both, there’s more “Chicago” in the 40th Annual Chicago International Film Festival than there has been in recent memory.

Here’s a quick guide to all the Chicago films at this year’s CIFF, which runs through Oct. 21. Venue locations are listed at the end.

“THE JOURNEY,” World Premiere

Local attorney Ligy J.

Chicago International Film Fest pulls out all the stops for 40th anniversary celebration

The glitz and glamour of the Chicago International Film Festival (Oct. 7-21) ratchets up to ultra high as it celebrates its 40th anniversary, founded by artistic director Micahel Kutza, marked with more premieres, more star presentations, more special presenations and more parties than ever before.

Out of the 1,500 submissions received, 111 features and 54 shorts from 44 countries will screen. Of these two are world premieres, 13 North American premieres and 22 U.S. premieres.

Opening night (Oct.

Looking for a movie tonight? Catch one of these non-traditional film series

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.

Indiefest Chicago launches Aug. 1, featuring Midwest’s first film market

The Midwest’s first film market is gearing up for its launch Aug. 8-10, the last three days of Indiefest Chicago, a festival that begins Aug. 1.

“We’re out to promote the ‘Vision Without Compromise’ spirit of the independent filmmaker, and to bring a film festival and market to Chicago that is truly for the independent filmmaker,” said Indiefest organizer Lee Alan.

Camera Ambassador announces Builders Grant winner

After months of careful consideration & hundreds of community votes, Camera Ambassador introduces this year’s 2021 Community Builders Grant winner Link Wolfe.  His team’s project Zero Mile Mark is a horror short film about a troubled teen who is forcibly sent to a wilderness retreat program in the woods for “rehabilitation.” We’re incredibly grateful for the opportunity … Continue reading “Camera Ambassador announces Builders Grant winner”

MFF celebrates Homecoming Night virtual showcase

Join the Midwest Film Festival for a special evening celebrating Homecoming Night, a virtual gathering of homegrown Midwestern talent and stories. The evening begins Thursday, May 27, 2021, at 6:00 PM with a pre-screening panel, then a showcase of the works of eight filmmakers, finishing the evening with a filmmakers Q&A. The Midwest Film Festival is the … Continue reading “MFF celebrates Homecoming Night virtual showcase”

Applications now open for the Community Builders Grant

The Community Builders Grant is a short-form film fund and production resources grant sponsored by Camera Ambassador. Their mission is to help build bridges between filmmakers and the community while elevating their production by arming them with the necessary tools to create. This grant supports artists with varying levels of experience, both to recognize accomplished individuals, … Continue reading “Applications now open for the Community Builders Grant”

MFF Union & Indie Passion Projects exciting lineup

Join Midwest Film Festival and The Gene Siskel Film Center on Tuesday, September 29th at 6:00pm at the CHI-Town Movies Drive-In with a brand new themed night to celebrate the passion projects created by Union & Indie Filmmakers.  This night is all about celebrating the short films created not only by indie filmmakers, but also members of … Continue reading “MFF Union & Indie Passion Projects exciting lineup”

Manuela Hung’s ‘Handpan Journey’ premieres at MFF

Reel Chicago goes Behind the Scenes with Manuela Hung on the making of her fascinating documentary, Handpan Journey premiering at Midwest Film Festival’s Female Filmmaker Night. If there was a Chicago award for lifetime achievement, dedication and love for film, Manuela Hung would be a top contender.  She has been an active part of Chicago’s … Continue reading “Manuela Hung’s ‘Handpan Journey’ premieres at MFF”

MFF offers free online Comedy Shorts Program

Just when we needed it the most, the Midwest Film Festival (MFF) is participating in #GivingTuesday by giving viewers access to their Comedy Shorts Program online, free of charge. Originally presented in February as the 2020 season opener program, there are 10 films available to view that touch on a wide variety of topics, all with one goal … Continue reading “MFF offers free online Comedy Shorts Program”

MFF launches 2020 season under new director Duffy

Erica Duffy, a transplant from San Francisco, has been part of the Chicago film community for 6 years and counting. No stranger to film production, she’s the proud owner of Camera Ambassador, a local rental house in Chicago. Camera Ambassador provides resources and services to filmmakers such as workshops and screenings.  The space also hosts … Continue reading “MFF launches 2020 season under new director Duffy”

Behind the scenes with the Chicago IFA’s Angie Gaffney

Angie Gaffney chaperones a lot of dreams in the Windy City. As Executive Director of the Chicago Independent Film Alliance — an organization recently formed by combining the Independent Filmmaker Project with Stage 18 — she helps people achieve their goals, and their goals are to make movies. Or short films. Or pilots. Or web … Continue reading “Behind the scenes with the Chicago IFA’s Angie Gaffney”

Chicago-based Sheridan Road Productions premieres ‘The Road Dance’

The Road Dance, a WWI drama/love story, based on actual events, was developed and produced by Sheridan Road Productions, a Chicago-based development and production company. Attending the world premiere screening of The Road Dance on August 24 at the Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF) are its lead female star Hermione Corfield of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Mission Impossible: Rogue … Continue reading “Chicago-based Sheridan Road Productions premieres ‘The Road Dance’”

CIFF launches Chicago Industry Exchange and CIX:Lab

The Chicago International Film Festival, presented by Cinema/Chicago, announced the formation of the organization’s Chicago Industry Exchange (CIX), the new name for its year-round industry programming, along with the launch of CIX:Lab The CIX:Lab is a year-long creative development lab focusing on 4-5 feature film projects made by diverse voices and underrepresented filmmakers in the region. CIX will build on … Continue reading “CIFF launches Chicago Industry Exchange and CIX:Lab”

Chicago creatives bring home 15 Lions for their city

Chicago creatives are the recipients of 15 Cannes Lions International Festival Awards, including the Titanium Lion – the top creative award in the world for the “Boards of Change” work. In addition to the awarded Cannes Lions, the City of Chicago was recognized at The One Show 2021, receiving one Grand Prix, four gold, four … Continue reading “Chicago creatives bring home 15 Lions for their city”

One at Optimus signs Director George Zwierzynski Jr.

One at Optimus, the production arm of leading production and post house Optimus, today announced George Zwierzynski Jr. has signed on as director. The award-winning director’s work ranges from comedic short films to commercial campaigns for brands including Ace Hardware, Avocados From Mexico, Boost Mobile, Dunkin’, Dyson, Intel, McDonald’s, Pizza Hut, Stella Artois, Totino’s, Truth and … Continue reading “One at Optimus signs Director George Zwierzynski Jr.”

2020 in Review: Reel Chicago’s Biggest Stories

What a year, huh? 2020, which felt like a decade, will undoubtedly go down in history as one of the worst years ever. And who will argue? Certainly not the staff at Reel Chicago. This year, COVID forced productions to shut down. Then start back up. Then shut back down. Then start back up. It … Continue reading “2020 in Review: Reel Chicago’s Biggest Stories”

Zoë Iltsopoulos Borys named VP/GM Panavision Chicago

Panavision has named Zoë Iltsopoulos Borys to lead the company’s Chicago office as Vice President and General Manager. Borys will ensure Panavision’s customers continue to receive the highest level of service and support throughout the commercial, television, and feature sectors, and will be supported by Chicago Operations Manager Stan Glapa. Sharon Walker Retires Borys’ appointment … Continue reading “Zoë Iltsopoulos Borys named VP/GM Panavision Chicago”

‘Doll Eyes’ come to life for Chicago director Piñeiro

Felix Piñeiro has signed on to direct ​Doll Eyes​ written by award-winning screenwriter Amir Mohabbat. The horror film follows a developmentally disabled man who protects his sister from an abuser with “unique, desired eyes.” Piñeiro is a two-time DCASE Grant recipient and Finalist for the 2018 Chicago Filmmaker in Residence Award. His latest project is … Continue reading “‘Doll Eyes’ come to life for Chicago director Piñeiro”

‘City So Real’ Chicago’s problems are America’s problems

Molly Given, of the Philly Metro interviews Chicago filmmaker Steve James about his latest film, ‘City so Real‘ Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Steve James’ (Hoop Dreams, America to Me) fascinating and complex portrait of contemporary Chicago delivers a deep, multifaceted look into the soul of a quintessentially American city, set against the backdrop of its history-making … Continue reading “‘City So Real’ Chicago’s problems are America’s problems”

Camera Ambassador Grant winner Raju faces challenges

This past summer, director and writer Sean Sankalp Raju won the Camera Ambassador Community Builders Grant for his project A Nickname. The autobiographical short film tells the story of how the filmmaker received the moniker, Sean, as an Indian American child. In an economy where funding an independent film is especially difficult, Raju was ecstatic … Continue reading “Camera Ambassador Grant winner Raju faces challenges”

Interview: CIFF Senior Programmer Anthony Kaufman

Today is the beginning of the 56th Chicago International Film Festival. Unlike other years, the prestigious festival is a bit different than the ones we have experienced in the past. With an ongoing pandemic and COVID on the rise in Illinois, the fest is combining streaming on-demand and appointment screenings and an in-person drive-in theatre … Continue reading “Interview: CIFF Senior Programmer Anthony Kaufman”

Athletes For Care announces golf tournament

Athletes For Care has announced their inaugural charity golf tournament in support of Lost Boyz, Inc., a Chicago-based community youth sports organization.  A charity event has been organized that provides immediate support to the Lost Boyz winter sports program. A4C’s first-ever Golf Tournament will be held on September 22nd at the Bolingbrook Golf Club in … Continue reading “Athletes For Care announces golf tournament”

City of Chicago awards $2m in CityArts Program grants

Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot and the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) announced the recipients of the 2020 CityArts Program grants. This year, the CityArts Program is awarding general operating grants between $2,000 to $30,000 – and special project grants ranging from $2,500 to $56,200 – to 191 nonprofit organizations for a total … Continue reading “City of Chicago awards $2m in CityArts Program grants”

National Geographic acquires Kartemquinn’s City so Real

National Geographic announced the acquisition of CITY SO REAL, an official Indie Episodic selection at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival, set to premiere on the network this fall. From twice Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Steve James (America to Me, Hoop Dreams) and his longtime producing partner Zak Piper (Life Itself, The Interrupters) the fascinating and complex … Continue reading “National Geographic acquires Kartemquinn’s City so Real”

Q & A with SAG-AFTRA Chicago’s Kathy Byrne

Kathy Byrne provides a wealth of information for Chicago productions.  Currently the SAG-AFTRA Chicago Local Director of TV/Theatrical, she was a Project Coordinator for the Mayor’s Office of Special Events in the Film Office.   Byrne has been the Director of TV/Theatrical for SAG-AFTRA Chicago since May, 2010.  In addition to running the TV/Theatrical Department, … Continue reading “Q & A with SAG-AFTRA Chicago’s Kathy Byrne”

Zoom Interview: with David and Joan of O’Connor Casting

There are two sides to every camera story: those behind it creating movie magic, and the talented performers in front.  What many may not consider are the people who bridge the gap between the two worlds; one of these departments being Casting.  One company that’s been adjusting during these turbulent times is O’Connor Casting, run … Continue reading “Zoom Interview: with David and Joan of O’Connor Casting”

REEL WOMEN: Colette Gabriel, GM of Keslow Camera

Editor’s Note: They are leaders. They are inspirational. They are mentors. They are visionaries. They are, quite frankly, badasses. They are our 2020 Reel Women During Women’s History Month, you will be able to meet these incredible personalities in Advertising, Entertainment, Media and Production. Get ready. Colette Gabriel is the General Manager of Keslow Camera … Continue reading “REEL WOMEN: Colette Gabriel, GM of Keslow Camera”

At Cinespace and beyond. Who’s working today.

Over the past week it’s safe to say that the Illinois film community is doing their best to ensure that their employees are safe during this unfortunate time. In light of worldwide health concerns about the impact from the COVID-19 virus, many have postponed production until further notice. Starting Monday, Cinespace will close the secondary … Continue reading “At Cinespace and beyond. Who’s working today.”

‘Breaking Bad’ producer Stewart Lyons at DePaul

Breaking Bad producer Stewart Lyons will be among the TV and film creators appearing at DePaul University’s School of Cinematic Arts Visiting Artists Series this winter. The award-winning guest, who also produces Better Call Saul, will take part in the VAS’ series of feature screenings and onstage discussions with leading talent in the entertainment industry … Continue reading “‘Breaking Bad’ producer Stewart Lyons at DePaul”

‘The Dawn’ sends shivers from Minnesota to California

Executive Producers Chris Charles and John W. Bosher have expanded their Midwestern canon with the award-winning paranormal psycho-thriller The Dawn, which was released in select theaters, digital, and on-demand throughout North America on January 10, 2020. Filmed in Minnesota and California, The Dawn follows a young woman in post-World War I America who is sent … Continue reading “‘The Dawn’ sends shivers from Minnesota to California”

Erica Duffy is MIFF’s new executive director

The Midwest Independent Film Festival, which has been in somewhat of an identity makeover since Mike McNamara stepped down from the role of executive director in 2017, is placing its bets on Camera Ambassador’s managing partner Erica Duffy to right the ship. The nonprofit organization has been a staple of Chicago’s independent film community since … Continue reading “Erica Duffy is MIFF’s new executive director”

Kwielford, Guth step down from MIFF leadership

Midwest Independent Film Festival’s President and Executive Director announce their resignations on Saturday-morning Facebook posts Midwest Independent Film Festival President Mike Kwielford and Executive Director Amy Guth have stepped down from their leadership roles with the organization. They announced their departures in separate Facebook posts on Saturday morning. Finding time to focus on other film- … Continue reading “Kwielford, Guth step down from MIFF leadership”

Advertising Community Shorts night lineup

Midwest Independent Film Festival’s popular annual industry tradition tomorrow night at Landmark Century The advertising and independent filmmaking communities converge for an inspiring night of short films as First Tuesdays with The Midwest Independent Film Festival hosts its tenth annual Advertising Community Shorts Night on Tuesday, November 5th. The evening will open at 6 p.m. … Continue reading “Advertising Community Shorts night lineup”

Black Harvest Feast coming to South Shore

Sisters in Cinema presents free screening and talk-back with Chicago filmmakers, South Shore Cultural Center, October 17 Sisters in Cinema will host The Black Harvest Feast, a film screening in collaboration with the Gene Siskel Film Center and the Chicago Park District’s Re:Center Program at the South Shore Cultural Center on October 17, 2019 at … Continue reading “Black Harvest Feast coming to South Shore”

Nanfu Wang named keynote for DVID graduation

Award-winning filmmaker will help celebrate grads of the doc program organized by Kartemquin and the Community Film Workshop Kartemquin Films and the Community Film Workshop of Chicago are thrilled to announce award-winning filmmaker Nanfu Wang (One Child Nation, Hooligan Sparrow) will provide the keynote speech at the 2019 Diverse Voices in Docs (DVID) graduation on … Continue reading “Nanfu Wang named keynote for DVID graduation”

IFP throws first annual fundraiser at Lagunitas

Event auction prizes include lunch with IFO Director Peter Hawley, CFO Director Kwame Amoaku, and Cinespace Chicago President Alex Pissios IFP Chicago’s new associate board is proud to announce that their first annual fundraiser will be hosted by Lagunitas at the Lagunitas brewery facility near Cinespace Studios at 2607 W 17th St. on September 30, … Continue reading “IFP throws first annual fundraiser at Lagunitas”

MIFF presents ‘All Creatures Here Below’

A young couple’s impulsive crime sets off a series of events leading to dire consequences from LA to Kansas City The Midwest Independent Film Festival is proud to present thriller All Creatures Here Below, directed by Collin Schiffli, for September’s #FirstTuesdays screening event. The film is the story of Gensan (David Dastmalchian) and Ruby (Karen … Continue reading “MIFF presents ‘All Creatures Here Below’”

Stop Us Before We Disrupt Again

Chicago Film Society unveils lineup for Season 24, “dedicated to exhibiting neglected works of cinema in their original medium” The streets of Chicago are clogged with scooters in a cutthroat competition for marketshare, behemoth commercial landlord The We Company (nee WeWork) has positioned itself as a tech company in anticipation of its IPO, and Disney … Continue reading “Stop Us Before We Disrupt Again”

‘R.A.W. TUBA’ wins Best Short at Black Harvest

Documentary about Richard Antoine White’s inspiring life earns the Richard and Ellen Sandor Family Black Harvest Film Festival Prize R.A.W. TUBA was awarded Best Short film at the 25th Annual Black Harvest Film Festival on Saturday afternoon. Directed by David Larson and Darren Durlach, the inspiring documentary tells the story of Richard Antoine White, aka … Continue reading “‘R.A.W. TUBA’ wins Best Short at Black Harvest”

Chicago Asian Pop-Up Cinema announces season 9

This year’s lineup of musicals, thrillers, dramas, comedies, and awards dazzle the Windy City September 10 through October 10, 2019 Non-profit pan-Asian film organization Sophia’s Choice today announces Asian Pop-Up Cinema – Season Nine, is the film series that cultivates American interest and understanding of Asian culture through movie storytelling while making Chicago a destination … Continue reading “Chicago Asian Pop-Up Cinema announces season 9”

Late summer media wrap

IL Film Tax Credit “Avengers: Endgame” Metallica “Skippers” “Solstice” SG + Partners in the news   Film Tax Credit extended til 2026 Governor JB Pritzker signed a bill extending the revenue-generating Illinois Film Tax credit until 2026. Officially known as Illinois Senate Bill 1981, the “Film Production Services Tax Credit Act of 2008” offers a … Continue reading “Late summer media wrap”

MIFF, ReelAbilites partner for August First Tuesday

The Midwest Independent Film Festival presents ‘When Billy Broke his Head… and Other Tales of Wonder’ Tuesday August 6 at Landmark The Midwest Independent Film Festival is proud to partner with ReelAbilities Chicago to present the 25th anniversary screening of When Billy Broke His Head… And Other Tales of Wonder, on August 6, 2019. The … Continue reading “MIFF, ReelAbilites partner for August First Tuesday”

‘HOOPS’ explores a world of emotional geography

A filmmaking collective deconstructs traditional narratives with a diverse mini-series of cross-cultural shorts A group of 17 emerging Midwestern filmmakers explore friendship, loss, community, and displacement in an upcoming anthological mini-series of cross-cultural shorts called HOOPS. Produced by Kelechi Agwuncha, the stories follow separate but interwoven narratives that “meditate on how these ideas evolve with … Continue reading “‘HOOPS’ explores a world of emotional geography”

A sneak peek at Billy Dec’s ‘Food. Roots. Philippines.’

Chicago’s award-winning restaurateur and media personality films a quest for family and food in Southeast Asia Billy Dec’s Food. Roots. Philippines. explores an ancient recipe for success on the other side of the world. Currently in post-production, the PBS project is a journey into the country, culture, and cuisine of his ancestors. The Southeast Asian … Continue reading “A sneak peek at Billy Dec’s ‘Food. Roots. Philippines.’”

Cow Lamp signs ‘Rendezvous’ for distribution

Michael Glover Smith’s award-winning “love letter” to the Windy City will begin streaming online in October Cow Lamp Films has acquired the rights to Rendezvous in Chicago. According to a press release issued today, the company will make the locally-produced romantic comedy available for online viewing in October, when Rendezvous’ summer festival run concludes. Rendezvous … Continue reading “Cow Lamp signs ‘Rendezvous’ for distribution”

Chicago-made ‘Musician’ wins big at Vero Beach

Mark Schimmel’s musical fantasy drama enhances Florida film fest with the sounds of Chicago Filmmaker Mark Schimmel felt that he and co-producer Normann Pokorny had created something very special after they premiered The Musician at the Midwest Independent Film Festival’s annual Midwest Shorts program in March. Last week, it won the Grand Jury Award at … Continue reading “Chicago-made ‘Musician’ wins big at Vero Beach”

Cinema/Chicago’s Summer Screenings Program

Films from around the world screen for free at the Chicago Cultural Center every Wednesday through October 2 Cinema/Chicago’s annual free Summer Screenings Program goes from the blossom of young romance and swimsuit sunbathing to the mythology of mermaids and the search for alien life. With 17 feature films and one short screening at the … Continue reading “Cinema/Chicago’s Summer Screenings Program”

Interview with former IFO Director Christine Dudley

The woman who helped Illinois make hundreds of TV shows and generate $2.5 billion in revenue talks about the ever-changing Midwestern filmscape Christine Dudley joined the Illinois Film Office at the exact time when the Illinois Film Office needed Christine Dudley. Combining exceptional legislative knowledge with a “modest background in production,” she helped guide the … Continue reading “Interview with former IFO Director Christine Dudley”

Cinepocalypse unveils 2019 lineup

The June 13-20 Music Box Theatre fest opens with the World Premiere of Glenn Danzig’s “Verotika” Cinepocalypse, Chicago’s premiere festival for electrifying and provocative genre cinema, returns to the Music Box Theatre June 13th for eight days of features, shorts, events and surprises, including eight fantastic break-out world premieres! We’re proud to announce our new … Continue reading “Cinepocalypse unveils 2019 lineup”

‘Pooh: The Derrick Rose Story’ screens at MIFF

The Midwest Independent Film Festival is proud to present Pooh: The Derrick Rose Story, as part of our First Tuesdays screening series, directed by Scott Diener. Derrick Rose became the youngest MVP in NBA history and a celebrated superstar for the Bulls in his hometown of Chicago. Rose’s gritty style on the court was forged … Continue reading “‘Pooh: The Derrick Rose Story’ screens at MIFF”

Cooney’s “Runner” leaps to distribution on Omeleto

For any artist who wants to make a really good short film on a single-grand budget, this thriller is required viewing Clare Cooney’s award-winning short film, Runner, obtained distribution and is today available on Omeleto — a curated YouTube channel that features groundbreaking short films and has nearly 1.5 million subscribers. Runner is a short … Continue reading “Cooney’s “Runner” leaps to distribution on Omeleto”

Peabody honors ‘Minding the Gap’ and Kartemquin

The feature doc and the Chicago-based production house earn huge accolades from the prestigious organization Bing Liu’s feature documentary Minding the Gap and Chicago production house Kartemquin Films earned major recognition from the Peabody Awards yesterday. Minding the Gap was listed among eight winners in the Documentary category for programs released in 2018. Kartemquin, which … Continue reading “Peabody honors ‘Minding the Gap’ and Kartemquin”

MIFF to host Chicago premiere of ‘Same Boat’

Stealthily filmed nautical thriller makes its Windy City debut at MIFF’s First Tuesday monthly event The Midwest Independent Film Festival presents the Chicago premiere of Same Boat, as part of the festival’s First Tuesdays screening series, directed by Chris Roberti and written by Chris Roberti and Josh Itzkowitz. Same Boat is the story of a … Continue reading “MIFF to host Chicago premiere of ‘Same Boat’”

MIFF holds St. Paddy’s weekend Spring Donation Drive

Donate now for a chance to win Cubs tickets, White Sox tickets, and $100 restaurant gift certificates The Midwest Independent Film Festival has announced a Spring Donation Drive to run the duration of St. Patrick’s Day weekend to help fund operational and programming costs associated with the festival. To help encourage support, each multiple of … Continue reading “MIFF holds St. Paddy’s weekend Spring Donation Drive”

DePauw and DePaul’s “King Rat” on Amazon Prime

“It was either go to grad school or just make a movie right now, and I decided to just make a movie.” Writer / Director Henry Johnston DePauw University and DePaul University alumni teamed up to create King Rat – a feature film that utilized university resources to take a meta look at the graduation … Continue reading “DePauw and DePaul’s “King Rat” on Amazon Prime”

Chicago’s Asian Pop-Up Cinema, March 12 – April 24

Consolidated series presents premieres, partner screenings, special guests and sixteen films, from across the Asian continent Non-profit pan-Asian film organization Sophia’s Choice today announces Asian Pop-Up Cinema – Season Eight, the spring film series presenting sixteen films from across Asia, running March 12 through April 24, 2019. The schedule represents a consolidated schedule, with more … Continue reading “Chicago’s Asian Pop-Up Cinema, March 12 – April 24”

Patrick Creadon signs with Backyard Productions

Award-winning, docu-style storyteller brings “captivating” talent to West Coast shop Culver City, CA-based production company, Backyard Productions, has signed director Patrick Creadon for exclusive U.S. commercial representation. Known for his strong visual approach and unique ability to draw authentic performances out of his subjects, Patrick marries bold and striking visuals with compelling storytelling. Based in … Continue reading “Patrick Creadon signs with Backyard Productions”

Kartemquin announces 2019 Diverse Voices fellows

Chicago doc powerhouse selects eight young filmmakers who will be eligible for up to $20K in in accelerator fund grants The 2019 DVID Fellows (pictured above) Top row, from left to right: Shiraz Ahmed, Aisha Allen, Joua Lee Grande, Milton Guillen | Bottom row, from left to right: Sebastián Pinzón-Silva, Shawn Taylor, Cai Thomas, Christine … Continue reading “Kartemquin announces 2019 Diverse Voices fellows”

Light Modifiers launches new rental division

Experienced film pros offer a storehouse of gear and expertise just four blocks away from Chicago’s Cinespace Studios Light Modifiers Chicago has been providing exceptional and friendly lighting and grip services in the Midwest filmmaking community for over four years. Combining a substantial inventory of gear and professional expertise, the company created an amazing product … Continue reading “Light Modifiers launches new rental division”

Richard Roeper to appear at MIFF nomination event

The Chicago journalist and film critic will join Executive Director Amy Guth to discuss to discuss “The State of Independent Filmmaking” The Midwest Independent Film Festival has announced a new format their annual Best of the Midwest Awards, starting with a live nomination announcement event and screening on Tuesday, December 4th. At the event, nominations … Continue reading “Richard Roeper to appear at MIFF nomination event”

Explore Media adds two new directors

A pair of LA-based pros with wide-ranging commercial and film experience join the busy Chicago shop (Chicago — 24 October 2018) Explore Media, a commercial production company with headquarters in downtown Chicago, has announced the addition of Directors Dinh Thai and Christian Clark to its expanding roster. “We’re very excited to join forces with Dinh … Continue reading “Explore Media adds two new directors”

“Two in the Bush” premieres at MIFF tomorrow night

“This film is for the queer community, the sex worker community, and the polyamorous and non-monogamous communities” Laura Madalinski The Midwest Independent Film Festival will host the Midwest premiere of romantic comedy Two in the Bush: A Love Story as part of the festival’s First Tuesdays screening series. The modern romantic comedy takes a wise … Continue reading ““Two in the Bush” premieres at MIFF tomorrow night”

Director Hans Emanuel sows in with Seed

Emanuel often incorporates contemporary, youthful lifestyles with body movement, dance and rhythm   Director / choreographer Hans Emanuel has rejoined Roy Skillicorn’s production company, Seed Media Arts. Having lived in Europe, Mexico and in the USA, Emanuel wields a cultural polish that few can claim. At the start of his career, he developed a sexy … Continue reading “Director Hans Emanuel sows in with Seed”

Applications open for Kartemquin Diverse Voices in Docs

Kartemquin will award grants ranging from $5-$10K to individual DVID fellows (Chicago — 6 September) — Applications are now open for Diverse Voices in Docs (DVID), a mentorship program for Midwestern documentary makers of color organized by Kartemquin Films and the Community Film Workshop of Chicago. Eight Midwest filmmakers will be selected from those who … Continue reading “Applications open for Kartemquin Diverse Voices in Docs”

Thornley directs The Imperial Sound’s ‘A Man Like You’

Commanding vocals and Tower of Power-style horns make an audiovisual sensation that jumps with nearly four minutes of soulful good times Melissa Thornley tapped into some of the best things about Chicago’s film industry and music scene while directing and producing the video for The Imperial Sound’s “A Man Like You.” Besides mixing the group’s … Continue reading “Thornley directs The Imperial Sound’s ‘A Man Like You’”

Asian Pop-Up Cinema returns to Chicago September 12

Features seventeen films from across the Asian continents, presents premieres including Japanese zombie comedy “One Cut of the Dead” as Closing Night — tickets on sale now (Chicago — 13 August 2018) — Non-profit pan-Asian film organization Sophia’s Choice today announces Asian Pop-Up Cinema – Season Seven, the fall film series presenting seventeen films from … Continue reading “Asian Pop-Up Cinema returns to Chicago September 12”

Digital Media Fund awards $100k to Chicago artists

Voqal Fund and Chicago Filmmakers’ Chicago Digital Media Production Fund presents a Showcase of Groundbreaking Projects from 2018 (Chicago — 8 August 2018) Voqal Fund and Chicago Filmmakers are pleased to announce the nine new grantees receiving funding from the 2018 Chicago Digital Media Production Fund. In 2018, the Production Fund awarded a total of … Continue reading “Digital Media Fund awards $100k to Chicago artists”

Windy City Horrorama call for entries

Submissions for the international April 26-28 Windy City Horrorama are being accepted via Film Freeway   The second annual Windy City Horrorama will bring the horror to Lincoln Square’s Davis Theater once again next Spring on April 26th – April 28th​, 2019.​ Horrorama is in search of the scariest and most fun work in the … Continue reading “Windy City Horrorama call for entries”

“Louder Than Words” is a testament to Deaf Culture

“It kind of makes sense,” says Filmmaker Saj Adibs. “We would want deaf children to hear, but for deaf parents, it’s normal to be deaf.”   Filmmaker Saj Adibs was nearly moved to tears by the story of a deaf couple he met on a project for his company New Slate Films in 2008. “They … Continue reading ““Louder Than Words” is a testament to Deaf Culture”

IFP welcomes new Exec Director Gregory Collins

Raised in Kenya with over fifteen years in the film industry, Collins brings extensive experience and international perspective to organization’s future   (Chicago — 26 June 2018) IFP Chicago, a non-profit that supports filmmakers at every stage of production and presents the annual Chicago Underground Film Festival, today announces a new phase of leadership as … Continue reading “IFP welcomes new Exec Director Gregory Collins”

Cinepocalypse fest from June 21 – 28 at Music Box

A cornucopia of classic genre screenings, premieres, and events to take place at Chicago’s iconic Music Box Theatre.     From June 21st through June 28th, a cornucopia of genre screenings and events will take place at the Music Box Theatre for its second annual Cinepocalypse. The film festival grinds together a gory cocktail of … Continue reading “Cinepocalypse fest from June 21 – 28 at Music Box”

“Battle on the Breakwall” thrills Ready Freddy crowd

Battle on the Breakwall transforms rock-paper-scissors into a hilarious throwdown of gestures, personality, and style   (Chicago — 8 June 2018) Playing to a packed house in The Den Theater, the short film Battle on the Breakwall delighted the audience at the Ready Freddy Film Festival with the lighthearted and surprising humor that has come … Continue reading ““Battle on the Breakwall” thrills Ready Freddy crowd”

Reel Women: Jenny Lumpkin, Agent and Producer

Jenny Lumpkin is the international Artist Agent and Senior Producer for Quriosity Productions. Politely referred to as “Q #2”, she is armed with a BFA in both graphic design and creative writing from the Kansas City Art Institute. Besides offering an intimate understanding of the art of visual communication in advertising and entertainment, Jenny is … Continue reading “Reel Women: Jenny Lumpkin, Agent and Producer”

Thrush joins STORY for exclusive ad representation

(Chicago — 1 May 2018) Director Laurence Thrush has joined STORY for exclusive representation for advertising work in the United States. Thrush brings high regard for his naturalistic storytelling and cinematic style, which he has applied to commercials for diverse international and national brands, including ESPN, HP, Amstel Light, McDonald’s, Mastercard and Honda. Among his … Continue reading “Thrush joins STORY for exclusive ad representation”

“Geek Lounge” leads comedy lineup at May’s MIFF

Larry Ziegelman’s funny poke at geek culture will be one of several short films and web series screening at the May 1st Midwest Independent Film Festival 2018 Comedy Shorts Night. The evening begins with a panel discussion about crowdfunding. According to acting MIFF director Mike Kwielford, a handful of filmmakers will get real about what … Continue reading ““Geek Lounge” leads comedy lineup at May’s MIFF”

Mel Routhier promoted to ECD of DDB Chicago, more

Earlier this week, DDB announced the promotion of popular Mel Routhier to Executive Creative Director from her previous position of Group Creative Director. Routhier and fellow ECD Colin Selikow will both report to DDB Chicago CCO John Maxham. With her promotion to ECD, Routhier will continue overseeing the creative for State Farm, one of the … Continue reading “Mel Routhier promoted to ECD of DDB Chicago, more”

Kartemquin’s Oscar-nom’d docs headline MIFF

The Midwest Independent Film Festival announced that April’s First Tuesday will be a celebration of sorts for Chicago’s own Kartemquin Films with a special double feature showcasing both of their 2018 Academy Award Nominated films on April 3! Screening will be Abacus: Small Enough to Jail and Edith and Eddie. Helmed by acclaimed director Steve … Continue reading “Kartemquin’s Oscar-nom’d docs headline MIFF”

Reel Women: Marina Killion, Audio Engineer

Marina Killion is an accomplished audio engineer based in Chicago. She has been at Optimus for nine years, where she is currently Senior Audio Engineer. She does everything from sound design, dialog editing, Foley, ADR, to final mix. Marina has a background in classical music performance, studying Sound Recording Technology at DePaul University. She has … Continue reading “Reel Women: Marina Killion, Audio Engineer”

Karabas, “Real Prayers,” “Make Out Party,” and more

RSA Films promotes Chris Karabas to executive producer Before the promotion, Chris Karabas was the Midwest representative for RSA Films. In his new role, Karabas is expected to utilize RSA Films’ resources to branch out into multiplatform storytelling – especially social media. Previously, Karabas worked for Shafer Antelis Music in the early 90s, was a … Continue reading “Karabas, “Real Prayers,” “Make Out Party,” and more”

Don’t “Think Twice”: watch this short

Chicago filmmaker Eliaz Rodriguez drove to the suburbs, locked himself in a Motel 6, and wrote a hilarious, violent, and relationship-driven script for a short film called Think Twice. Since then, the film has claimed twelve awards and enjoyed a 50-festival run, including a screening at Cannes.   Think Twice begins when Tess (Tamara Chambers) … Continue reading “Don’t “Think Twice”: watch this short”

In response to #metoo, MIFF teams with LiftUPLift

Led by acting Director Mike Kwielford, The Midwest Independent Film Festival (“MIFF”) has teamed up with nonprofit LiftUPLift Worldwide in order to create a safer, more inclusive and harassment-free environment for all its participants. LiftUPlift Worldwide is an Illinois-based 501(c)3 nonprofit organization whose mission is to end sexual violence by promoting awareness and prevention. Founded … Continue reading “In response to #metoo, MIFF teams with LiftUPLift”

“A Tragedy,” “Blow Job” highlight MIFF shorts program

It’s a new month, and that means we are only days away from they Midwest Independent Film Festival’s monthly First Tuesday screening. Hosted by the nation’s only film festival solely dedicated to the Midwest filmmakers, the event provides audiences with regionally produced independent cinema.     Led by the world premiere of A Tragedy, the … Continue reading ““A Tragedy,” “Blow Job” highlight MIFF shorts program”

The Reel Black List: Qadree Holmes, Visionary EP

Qadree Holmes has successfully risen from intern to production assistant to producer and, finally, to the Founder / Executive Producer of Quriosity Productions. While line producing, he recognized a significant shift in the market — clients and agencies were seeking integrated creative talent options to represent the different social channels now available. Conversely, they did … Continue reading “The Reel Black List: Qadree Holmes, Visionary EP”

Yearlong spike in business fuels expansion at The Colonie

The Colonie has promoted and hired several employees to accommodate a surge in broadcast and social media work that began in 2017, according to a press release issued today. “There’s been an increase in commercial and social media projects, as well as integrated broadcast and online campaigns,” explains Mary Caddy, Executive Producer and Partner. “The … Continue reading “Yearlong spike in business fuels expansion at The Colonie”

Barry Burdiak leaves DDB for Epsilon, other recent moves

Barry Burdiak leaves DDB for Epsilon Barry Burdiak, a nearly 30-year veteran of DDB Chicago, has left the agency to lead data-driven Epsilon Chicago as Senior Vice President, Executive Creative Director. He’ll focus on new business efforts for new and existing clients. A mutiple Cannes Lion winner and Emmy nominee, he will report to a … Continue reading “Barry Burdiak leaves DDB for Epsilon, other recent moves”

The Reel Black List: Harold Dennis, Actor

Harold Dennis is an American actor with twenty years in the business and over one hundred and fifty film credits. Dennis enjoys playing complex characters with a myriad of conflicts and realizes how fortunate he is to do it. Here are five films you can watch right now on YouTube: Hellraiser: What’s Your Pleasure, The … Continue reading “The Reel Black List: Harold Dennis, Actor”

Review of “I, Tonya”

Just nominated for three Academy Awards this morning (Best Actress, Best Supporting Actress and Best Editing) I, Tonya is not made to satisfy anyone hoping to find an ironclad explanation for the events surrounding the 1994 attack on Nancy Kerrigan. The film opens with the following disclaimer: “Based on irony-free, wildly contradictory, and totally true … Continue reading “Review of “I, Tonya””