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”
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”
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”
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”
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.
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.
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 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”
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”
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 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”
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”
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 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 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”
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”
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”
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 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”
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”
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”
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”
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”
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”
‘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”
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”
‘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”
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”
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”
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””
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”
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”
“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”
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”
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 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”
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”
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”
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”
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”
“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”
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” 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 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”
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”
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”
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”
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”
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”
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”
“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”
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”
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””
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”
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”
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””
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”
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 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”
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”
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”
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”
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”
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”
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”
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”
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”
At Ad Age’s July 19 Small Agency of the Year Awards in Nashville, Chicago-based The Escape Pod won Gold in “The Midwest Small Agency category.”
The independent agency recently added Chervon’s Skil and Skilsaw brands to its roster, which also includes South Eastern Grocers and a2 milk.
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.
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.
Film producer Reid Brody’s comedy, “Who Gets the Dog?” is being released today, Sept. 13 on iTunes, worldwide digital platforms, Video on Demand and DVD by Samuel Goldwyn Films.
The feature premiered in Chicago last Tuesday at the Midwest Independent Film Festival to an enthusiastic audience that filled all of the Music Box theatre’s 750 seats.
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:
Here’s your first look at the some of the first of 50 panels and workshops that will be presented at CIMMcon, April 16-17, the Midwest’s premiere Film, Music and Tech Conference.
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.
While the number of women directors of major studio films has dropped to all-time low of 4.6% in 2014, it’s encouraging that various studies show that larger numbers of female directors of indie cinema are holding their own.
A BIG WEEKEND OF EVENTS is here, with more to come throughout this busy October. The IFP Filmmakers Conference is back after too long an absence, this Friday and Saturday, offering something for everyone, with 40 programs and 14 speakers, at Film Row Theatre, 1104 S. Wabash.
NEWLY INVIGORATED IFP/CHICAGO has announced its ever-popular and helpful two-day Filmmakers Conference, Friday and Saturday, Oct. 10-11, offering screenings, panels, case studies, notable panels and guest speakers, at Columbia College’s Film Row Cinema.
KY DICKENS’ FEATURE DOC, Sole Survivor, keeps winning honors and acclaim, the latest being the Best Feature award from the Midwest independent Film Festival, presented in front of a record crowd at The Underground Tuesday night. Dickens’ award was one in nine categories, winning among 52 films that screened at MWFF in 2013.
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.
“Law and Order’s” Dick Wolf, who’s here filming two NBC TV shows will be the keynote speaker at Sunday’s Chicago Film and Media Summit & Expo at the Cultural Center at 5 p.m. But be forewarned – his speech is open for registrants only so sign up to attend now.
For the first time in its 15 years, Michigan’s popular Waterfront Film Festival, June 13-16 will be held in a place other than the popular Saugatuck resort town where it originated. Holding it in the larger city of South Haven will put the destination a half hour closer to Chicago and Kalamazoo fans.
Chicago has a large nationally acclaimed talent community, with 6,000 members of SAG AFTRA alone and yet, with the exception of film festivals and Chicago’s own Midwest Independent, there’s no focal place where a local actor’s performance can gain recognition.
It turns out that Chicago’s Jack O’Donnell and Michigan’s Hopwood DePree had the same idea at the same time. Both were mulling how they could move their respective production companies into the entertainment arena when they met through a mutual business associate in Los Angeles.
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.
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.”
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
WOMEN IN FILM CHICAGO’S new screening series, “Emerging Talent: Females in Focus,” launches March 19 with films by Mary Kay Cook, Grace McPhillips and Anna Jung. A cocktail reception follows the screenings. It’s 6-9 p.m. at the Claudia Cassidy Theatre, Chicago Cultural Center, 77 E. Washington St. It’s free; RSVP encouraged.
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.
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.
SHORT FILM PRODUCERS are invited to attend a special AFTRA/SAG Breakfast Workshop “Demystifying SAG Low Budget Contracts,” dealing with how you can afford to hire professional union actors for your projects, on Wednesday, Oct. 12.
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.
THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER sure got it wrong when it published its July 27 inaugural list of 25 top film schools in the world and egregiously omitting Columbia College –- one of the oldest film schools with largest film enrollment in the country.
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.
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.
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.”
“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.
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.
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 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 ?
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.
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.
BRIAN JUN’S dramatic feature “Steel City” was named Best of the Midwest at the Midwest Independent Film Festival last week at Century Centre Cinema before an SRO house.
BRIAN JUN’S dramatic feature “Steel City” was named Best of the Midwest at the Midwest Independent Film Festival last week at Century Centre Cinema before an SRO house.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Aspiring filmmaker Adriana Rivera has some basic questions that the Reel is happy to answer, and hopes it also helps you.
Rivera : I’d love to know what’s filming in Chicago.
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.