Work in Progress: the concept, the talent, and plans for Season 2

Showtime’s brilliant series Work in Progress is back for a second season. The hit series revolves around the life of a 45-year-old self-identified fat, queer dyke, Abby (Abby McEnany) as she encounters death, doubt, suicide and depression while becoming an altogether likable heroine.   Abby McEnany, creator, writer, and star of series is a fixture in … Continue reading “Work in Progress: the concept, the talent, and plans for Season 2”

Work in Progress Comedy Showcase at Navy Pier

When it comes to comedy, Chicago is no second city—we take center stage. Celebrate our city’s local talent with a comedy showcase featuring sets from up-and-coming voices curated by improv mainstay Abby McEnany, whose hit Showtime series Work in Progress is set and filmed in Chicago. To kick off the show’s second season, join CHF at Navy … Continue reading “Work in Progress Comedy Showcase at Navy Pier”

‘Work in Progress’ in Chicago filming Season 2

Reel Chicago spotted the Work in Progress crew hard at work filming on location in Chicago’s Old Irving Park. The Showtime comedy series, created by Abby McEnany and Tim Mason is a Chicago series currently filming 10 episodes for Season 2. McEnany plays lead-character Abby, “a 45-year-old self-identified fat, queer dyke.” Rolling through situations based … Continue reading “‘Work in Progress’ in Chicago filming Season 2”

Showtime renews ‘Work in Progress’ for second season

Last month, Reel Chicago reported that Abby McEnany and Tim Mason’s new Showtime comedy series Work in Progress has inspired “an impending cultural sensation.” Now it appears that viewing audiences agree, as multiple outlets are reporting that the network has renewed the show for a second season. Boasting a perfect 100% score on the Rotten … Continue reading “Showtime renews ‘Work in Progress’ for second season”

Tessa Films’ “Work In Progress” to screen at Sundance

Chicago-made pilot is one of four “highly original series-kickoff episodes” that will be featured during the festival’s Indie Episodic Program Tessa Films’ Work In Progress is scheduled to screen during the Indie Episodic Program at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival. A series pilot directed by Tim Mason and starring Abby McEnany, the plot follows the … Continue reading “Tessa Films’ “Work In Progress” to screen at Sundance”

Film and TV workers now eligible for vaccine

The City of Chicago officially entered phase 1c of the vaccine rollout on Monday, March 29th meaning all essential workers and adults with underlying medical conditions are eligible for COVID-19 vaccines. Film and TV workers are classified as Group 1C for vaccine. The City has announced that two new mass vaccination sites will open in … Continue reading “Film and TV workers now eligible for vaccine”

Workers serve McDonald’s Sexual Harassment lawsuit

The golden arches are getting more and more tainted these days. A former McDonald’s employee, – who says a male co-worker at a Michigan restaurant routinely grabbed her breasts, buttocks and propositioned her for sex — is included in a class action lawsuit that accuses McDonald’s of fostering a “culture of sexual harassment.” According to … Continue reading “Workers serve McDonald’s Sexual Harassment lawsuit”

Progressive PACs target NRA friendly politicians

This is where advertising makes a positive impact on lives. Inspired by the critically-acclaimed and award-winning film, Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing Missouri, Progressive Turnout Project, a Democratic political action committee, launched a OOH campaign demanding stricter gun control laws and specifically called out House Speaker Paul Ryan for not proposing legislation. According to their … Continue reading “Progressive PACs target NRA friendly politicians”

Burnett and P&G inspire girls in new Always work

Earlier this week, I reported on a great girls’ STEM movement Leo Burnett Chicago is doing with ComEd. Today, we see Burnett’s genuine commitment to girls in work for Always.

Three years ago, the agency and Procter & Gamble’s Always brand launched #LikeAGirl to critical acclaim. By educating millions about puberty and their cycle, the brand helped girls feel confident and inspired to reach for their goals.

The campaign makes a welcome return in a 1:20 video, this time tackling the fear of failure girls tend to experience during puberty.

Keeping up with Chicago filmmakers working in LA

A group of six ambitious Chicago transplants now working in LA gathered for more shop talk over breakfast at Kitchen 24 in West Hollywood last week.

They were screenwriters Dante Bacani and Ron Maede; standup comedian/producer Lindsey Luck; agency-turned-TV and comedy writer Parde Bridgett and actress and newly published children’s book author, Kelli McNeil and myself, a screenwriter and former agency creative.

Second City classes to aid improvisers with film work

Classes starting June 23 at the Second City Training Center will include a new program on TV, film and digital to give improv actors a place to hone their on-screen skills in Chicago.

“That’s the need that we see and I think that it’s long overdue,” Jack C. Newell, who heads the program, told DNAinfo. 

Chicagoans’ work glows in Notre Dame’s BCS spot

Jeremy Pinckert’s Explore Media of South Bend assembled a team with many Chicago players to produce the University of Notre Dame’s 30-second “institutional message” that airs during the college football game of the year.

The world will be watching ESPN Monday night when Notre Dame’s Fighting Irish face Alabama’s Crimson Tide in the BCS title game in Miami to decide the country’s number one college football team.

Split Pillow has three films in progress

Among the three films Split Pillow has in the works are a feature that starts shooting in May, and a documentary in progress that will finish shooting this year.

In the meantime, the collaborative will premiere “Chicago 360:Play,” the fourth installment of its “Chicago 360” documentary, May 20 at the Music Box Theatre at 7 p.m.

“We work only with Chicago talent and subjects, and we want to be a presence in the community rather than a fly-by-night production company,” says executive producer Dennis Belogorsky.

While Fulton Market is deep into branded content videos, it has a feature and doc in the works

Fulton Street Media celebrates its first anniversary this month by producing an informative web video for CB2, Crate & Barrell’s modern-chic sister company, and wrapping up one of the two films in progress.

The video was written and directed by Fulton Market’s award-winning partner/creative director Scott Smith, who also directed the two films.

Produced in conjuction withpopular design blog Apartment Therapy.com, CB2 designers tell how to mix vintage with contemporary furnishings, to help further CB2’s position as a forward-thinking design source.

Jay Riggs’ goal is to sign Editors Guild members but he finds progress is slower than he had hoped

Staunch union organizer/field representative Jay Riggs of the Motion Pictures Editors Guild 700 wants to “regenerate the local editorial scene” by signing many new editors to the ranks of the Guild’s 6,000 members.

Despite the fact that Riggs for almost two years has been working in an industry with more than a dozen strong unions, results have been elusive.

The Los Angeles guild, naturally, has the lion’s share of members with 5,000; New York has 1,000 members.

“Chicago is quite a bit behind those two markets,” he admits.

Luchtman’s feature documentary follows artists’ struggle to regain affordable work/live space

Repeatedly displaced by rising costs in communities they’ve helped popularize, Wicker Park artists, led by the Near NorthWest Arts Council, took a stand.

After years of development, they settled on a permanent site on Western Avenue, converting an ancient warehouse into affordable artists’ space. Then the flooding started.

In her in-progress documentary “Art House,” Kelly Luchtman follows NNWAC’s Acme Artists’ Community from its utopian early days through its ongoing troubles.

Film industry gives state senators progress report on diversity hiring/tax credit bill at heated hearing

The film industry was bent on recommending improvements to the Illinois Film Production Tax incentive, while legislators focused hard on the progress of diversity hiring as central to a revised incentive bill during a lengthy three-hour hearing.

Around 75 supporters heard 17 persons testify before a panel of six state senators April 29 at the Thompson Center.

Heading the panel was Sen. Martin Sandoval, who was hearing about film industry issues for the first time. Sandoval is chairman of the senate’s Dept.

Three Chicago musicals chosen for ASCAP/
Disney Workshops here from 100 applicants

Three musicals written by Chicagoans?two with California collaborators?were chosen by the prestigious ASCAP Foundation/Disney Theatrical Productions Musical Theatre Workshop.

Their musicals will be presented during a five-day workshop in April at the Chicago Cultural Center.

The three original works-in-progress chosen from nearly 100 applicants are:

“Ebenezer: Return of the Scrooge” by Dramatist Guild member Keith Huff, book and lyrics, and music and lyrics by Adryan Russ of Glendale, Calif.

Voiceover Harlan Hogan back in theatre; Burnett’s Ira Antelis musical showcases in major workshop

Voiceover superstar Harlan Hogan has returned to the legitimate theatre for the first time in more than 25 years. Looking very dapper and trim in a well-fitted double-breasted suit, Hogan plays Edvard Lunt, a famous novelist and a bridegroom, in “Impossible Marriage,” a comedy by Beth Henley.

Nothing goes according to plan in this Southern Gothic comedy, set in a splendid garden (kudos to scenic designer Joey Wade).

But Hogan does get the much-younger-girl before the final curtain, even if her wedding gown includes giant, iridescent butterfly wings.

House music impresario makes feature debut with vampire girl-gang thriller

Handheld Films is breaking from principal photography on its $500,000 sci-fi thriller “Lost Girls” to shop the work in progress at the American Film Market held in L.A. this month.

“Lost Girls” is the feature debut for writer-director Alexander “Rocky” Alcarese, former owner of the local house music label DJ International. Alcarese raised the financing from private investors with producers Antonio Gelini and Tom “Silky” Sullivan and E.P. M.L. Lynch.

REEL WOMEN: Lisa Masseur, EP/Founder Tessa Films

Editor’s Note: They are leaders. They are inspirational. They are mentors. They are visionaries. They are, quite frankly, badasses. They are our 2021 REEL WOMEN. During Women’s History Month, you will be able to meet these incredible personalities in Advertising, Entertainment, Media and Production. Get ready, they are making “Herstory.” Production sage with an eye for … Continue reading “REEL WOMEN: Lisa Masseur, EP/Founder Tessa Films”

RBL Spotlight: actor, comedian, filmmaker Tyler Davis

Editor’s Note: “The Reel Black List” is our annual spotlight of brothers and sisters in the worlds of advertising, film, TV, music, radio and media who are making a difference through their contributions and creativity on a daily basis. For the month of February, you will be able to celebrate wonderful human beings, like Tyler Davis with … Continue reading “RBL Spotlight: actor, comedian, filmmaker Tyler Davis”

Film Independent Spirit Awards announces nominations

Film Independent announced nominations for the 2021 Film Independent Spirit Awards. Not just another pretty face on the awards circuit, the Spirit Awards are the primary fundraiser for the nonprofit Film Independent’s year-round slate of programs, which cultivate the careers of emerging filmmakers and promote diversity and inclusion in the industry. Film Independent President Josh … Continue reading “Film Independent Spirit Awards announces nominations”

Director Tyler Davis joins Tessa Films

Director Tyler Davis, a wry, funny and multi-talented filmmaker, writer, musician and improv artist, has brought his unique combination of talents to the roster of Tessa Films, the production company launched by Executive Producers Lisa Masseur and Reid Brody. The director’s Tessa career is off to a hot start with his long-form spot for Images … Continue reading “Director Tyler Davis joins Tessa Films”

Lilly Wachowski admits “rage” inspired ‘Matrix’

Like other big budget productions, The Matrix 4, directed by Lana Wachowski, has shut down until the current Coronavirus pandemic has cleared enough for studios to feel safe to go back into production. That day seems like it will come sooner rather than later as sister outlet Reel 360 reports California will reopen for film production this Friday, June 12. … Continue reading “Lilly Wachowski admits “rage” inspired ‘Matrix’”

Lilly Wachowski on why she left Hollywood

Like other big budget productions, The Matrix 4, directed by Lana Wachowski, has shut down until the current Coronavirus pandemic has cleared enough for studios to feel safe to go back into production. The third sequel to 1999’s original blockbuster was co-directed by Wachowski and her sister Lilly. Lilly is not returning to the co-director’s chair … Continue reading “Lilly Wachowski on why she left Hollywood”

Periscope Post & Audio partners with Unlock Audio

Periscope Post & Audio and Unlock Audio have formed a strategic partnership to provide integrated sound and music services for games. The two companies will offer game developers packaged services encompassing music composition, sound design, foley, voice recording, sound editorial, audio implementation and surround sound mixing. Developers will now be able to meet all their audio … Continue reading “Periscope Post & Audio partners with Unlock Audio”

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”

Michael Glover Smith’s ‘Relative’ filming in May

Relative Film LLC announces today the cast of Relative, the fourth feature film from Michael Glover Smith (Rendezvous in Chicago, Mercury in Retrograde), which is scheduled to shoot on the far north side and near-north suburbs of Chicago for two weeks in May. Relative is a comedy/drama about three days in the lives of a … Continue reading “Michael Glover Smith’s ‘Relative’ filming in May”

The biggest stories of 2019

The City of Chicago reigned supreme in 2019. Advertising agencies blended social justice with clever branding. Content creators reinforced Chicago’s reputation for inclusivity. Film studios entertained the nation while helping the local neighborhoods. And a handful of friends said goodbye. Below is a list of Reel Chicago’s top articles for 2019, separated by category and … Continue reading “The biggest stories of 2019”

Tessa Films taps Sydney Thomson as Head of Production

  Highly experienced line producer is well-known in the Chicago community   Tessa Films has named Sydney Thomson, an experienced freelance producer and production supervisor who’s a fixture in the Chicago production community, to the newly-created position of Head of Production. The appointment was announced by Lisa Masseur, Tessa’s EP and Co-Founder. The move marks … Continue reading “Tessa Films taps Sydney Thomson as Head of Production”

Reeling to showcase a load of Chicago-connected films

The annual LGBTQ+ fest will screen work by Lilly Wachowski, Jesús Canchola Sánchez, Michael Cicetti, Wendy Jo Carlton, Laura Madalinski, and more Reeling, Chicago’s LGBTQ+ film festival, will host international, national and local actors and filmmakers at its 37th edition, unspooling September 19-29 at Music Box Theatre, Landmark Theatres’ Century Centre Cinema and Chicago Filmmakers. … Continue reading “Reeling to showcase a load of Chicago-connected films”

SOCIALDEVIANT “iterates to great”

Combining traditional expertise and Millennial wisdom, the Chicago shop is proving that “good guys can win”   In many ways, SOCIALDEVIANT is more of an experiment than an advertising agency. It is a place where clients are invited to fiddle with work in progress, employees are expected to be restless, and beer is brewed onsite. … Continue reading “SOCIALDEVIANT “iterates to great””

2019 Reeling LGBTQ film festival

From ‘Shiny Shrimps’ to ‘Scream Queen,’ the annual Windy City tradition promises to entertain, inspire, amuse, arouse and break a few hearts Reeling, the second-oldest LGBTQ film festival in the world and a beloved Chicago cultural institution for more than 35 years, kicks off fall with an exciting slate of movies that showcases the diversity … Continue reading “2019 Reeling LGBTQ film festival”

Ton-Essa La’Rocque: model, creator, entrepreneur

The multi-faceted Loudbyte co-founder describes her inspiring journey from Ford model to content-rocking entrepreneur After graduating from UMBC, Ton­Essa pursued professional modeling and on-camera commercial work with Ford Models. Through her unique experiences both behind and in­front of the lens, she’s developed a fresh, unique and innovative style. Eight years at the forefront of Loudbyte … Continue reading “Ton-Essa La’Rocque: model, creator, entrepreneur”

DP Carlson’s “Joe Frank: Somewhere Out There”

In many ways, filmmaker DP Carlson has been working on Joe Frank: Somewhere Out There — a 2018 documentary about one of the greatest radio storytellers in the history of American media — since the 1980s. “The Sunday night ritual was to hang out and listen to Joe Frank’s show with my fellow droogies in … Continue reading “DP Carlson’s “Joe Frank: Somewhere Out There””

Just a note to say… “Happy Birthday, Ruthie Lu!”

RuthieLu: Happy umm (39th) bday, my friend! Can’t believe we’re already here?!? You turning (__) just 5 days before I turn 45. I know you want me immediately to check out our Saggi horoscope at AstrologyZone.com to see just what this auspicious month holds for us. From Dec. 9 onward, we’ll “seem happy to be … Continue reading “Just a note to say… “Happy Birthday, Ruthie Lu!””

Siskel’s Black Harvest, Aug. 1-28, best ever at 20

It was 20 years ago that Gene Siskel Film Center director of programming, Barbara Scharres, first launched the Black Harvest Film Festival that continues to be the main theatrical exhibition vehicle for the underserved African American independent film market.

“We identified a cultural need in Chicago, and have been working to serve it ever since the first Black Harvest,” Scharres says.

DDB and Downtown Partners lucky two lottery finalists

And then there were two.  Late Friday afternoon — very late — Illinois Lottery private manager Northstar Lottery Group posted the two finalists still in the running for the Lottery’s advertising account.

Those lucky two are:  DDB/Chicago and Downtown Partners/Chicago. 

The winner will replace Energy BBDO/Chicago, which was dumped soon after Michael Jones returned for a second stint as Lottery superintendent in mid-October of last year.

New! Complete schedule of IFP Doc-U-Mania weekends of info and insight from the experts

Producers Christine O’Malley (“Wordplay”) and Jim Czarnecki, (“Fahrenheit 9/11”), whose controversial new docs were Sundance Grand Jury Prize nominees, are among 12 experts at IFP’s Doc-U-Mania March 29-30 and April 5-6.

O’Malley’s “I.O.U.S.A.” and Czarnecki’s “Stronger, Better, Faster” will be case study workshops with the producers and their docs will be previewed.

Special Doc-U-Mania segments are a pitch session for selected participants and a work-in-progress screening to potential funders or distribution experts.

Chicago Documentary Festival March 30-April 8 features four world premieres by local filmmakers

THE CHICAGO DOCUMENTARY FILM FESTIVAL returns in its biennial incarnation with more than 100 docs screening between March 30 and April 8 at eight venues throughout the city.

One of the highlights is an appearance by former Chicagoan Mike Gray and the showing of his “The Murder of Fred Hampton,” exposing the Black Panther leader’s assassination for Chicago police.

Stephani Estes promoted to EVP, GM Cramer-Krasselt Chicago

Cramer-Krasselt (C-K), the nation’s second-largest independent marketing and communications agency, has promoted Stephani Estes to the position of executive vice president, general manager of the agency’s Chicago headquarters. Estes was promoted to associate general manager in January 2021 and will take over full management duties of the Chicago office from C-K’s President and COO Karen Seamen who will focus on overall agency operations and … Continue reading “Stephani Estes promoted to EVP, GM Cramer-Krasselt Chicago”

Seed’s newest director, Matthew Underwood takes a road less traveled

Partnering closely with brands to create a true connection with the audience, Matthew Underwood creates stories that evoke emotion, rather than forcing it.  “This type of approach to storytelling makes Matthew a perfect fit here in Seed’s growing roster of highly talented directors and brand integration specialists.” says Roy Skillicorn founder of Seed Media Arts. Underwood’s filmmaking career started in … Continue reading “Seed’s newest director, Matthew Underwood takes a road less traveled”

CoinFlip the fastest-growing biz in Chicago moves into the Old Post Office

CoinFlip, the world’s leading cryptocurrency ATM operator and the fastest-growing company in Chicago, today joined Governor JB Pritzker and local leaders to announce a new 44,000 square-foot headquarters located in the Old Post Office downtown. CoinFlip’s new headquarters represent a long-term commitment to the State of Illinois, with the largest lease by a cryptocurrency company … Continue reading “CoinFlip the fastest-growing biz in Chicago moves into the Old Post Office”

Andrea Siqueira and Andrew Lincoln join FCB as Executive Creative Directors

FCB today announced that Andrea Siqueira and Andrew Lincoln (not The Walking Dead’s Andrew Lincoln) have joined the agency as SVPs, Executive Creative Directors (ECDs). As ECDs, Siqueira and Lincoln will report directly to FCB Chicago Chief Creative Officer Andrés Ordóñez. Siqueira will oversee creative work for Kimberly-Clark’s Family Care portfolio including the Cottonelle and … Continue reading “Andrea Siqueira and Andrew Lincoln join FCB as Executive Creative Directors”

McDonald’s & eBay go solar aiming for 100% renewable energy by 2025

McDonald’s Corporation and eBay today announced agreements with Lightsource bp to purchase power from what will be Louisiana’s largest solar project, located 30 miles northwest of Baton Rouge in Pointe Coupee Parish. The 345 megawatt Ventress Solar project will help McDonald’s and eBay meet their sustainability goals and advance their commitment to climate action, while … Continue reading “McDonald’s & eBay go solar aiming for 100% renewable energy by 2025”

FCB: New brand campaign encourages people get out and grab Groupon

Groupon announced the launch of a new global brand campaign today encouraging people to get out and explore the world of experiences around them. “Grab Life by the Groupon” was developed in partnership with FCB and showcases the brand as the destination for affordable local experiences. Since the beginning of 2021, Groupon has made progress expanding its inventory and … Continue reading “FCB: New brand campaign encourages people get out and grab Groupon”

AbelsonTaylor elevates Christopher Mauck to Sr Director

AbelsonTaylor, full-service health and wellness Chicago advertising agency, has promoted Christopher Mauck to senior director of interactive technology. Coordinating closely with other agency departments, Christopher will lead the Interactive Development, Digital Production and QA teams in creating and deploying best-in-class digital projects, application development and quality assurance across all digital accounts. He reports to Stephen … Continue reading “AbelsonTaylor elevates Christopher Mauck to Sr Director”

Guidelines for Illinois Phase 5 full reopening on June 11

Phase 5 will go into effect on June 11 and mark the full reopening of all activities and businesses. Businesses, large-scale events, conventions, amusement parks, and seated-spectator venues will be able to operate at full capacity for the first time since the start of the pandemic. Gov. J.B. Pritzker said this was a defining moment … Continue reading “Guidelines for Illinois Phase 5 full reopening on June 11”

2021 Chicago beach season kicks off this weekend

22 beaches have officially opened for the 2021 season. The return of beach season is another step forward with Open Chicago, Mayor Lightfoot‘s initiative to safely and fully reopen the city. This marks the first time Chicago beaches have opened for public use since September 2, 2019, due to COVID-19 health and safety precautions. The 2021 beach … Continue reading “2021 Chicago beach season kicks off this weekend”

Chicago Med, Chicago Fire, Chicago P.D. how they ended

After a difficult year due to the global pandemic, the One Chicago family should be congratulated for providing their loyal viewers with top notch storytelling, excitement and suspense in this latest season, which culminated in an incredible prime time event.  Spoiler alert! This article contains spoilers for the season finale of Chicago Med, Chicago Fire, … Continue reading “Chicago Med, Chicago Fire, Chicago P.D. how they ended”

Sports fans: Where have they gone?

Much has been made of the break in professional sports between March 11th, when the Utah Jazz’s Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19 and the sports world began its shutdown, and July 23rd, when the MLB season began. Sports fans were left out in the cold. Or lockdown. The shutdown affected essentially every aspect of … Continue reading “Sports fans: Where have they gone?”

Mayor Lightfoot announces return of Lollapalooza

Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot and Lollapalooza organizers are thrilled to announce that the world class festival will return to Grant Park at full capacity July 29-August 1, 2021.   In accordance with current local public health guidance, full COVID-19 vaccination or negative COVID-19 test results will be required to attend Lollapalooza 2021. For patrons who are not … Continue reading “Mayor Lightfoot announces return of Lollapalooza”

Chicago Auto Show returns to McCormick Place in July

The Chicago Auto Show, a marquee event that draws tourists from around the world, returns to McCormick Place marking the first large convention to take place since the COVID-19 pandemic began. The Chicago Auto Show will be held at McCormick Place from July 15 to 19 and will incorporate several innovative safety features – including … Continue reading “Chicago Auto Show returns to McCormick Place in July”

Mayor Lightfoot announces the launch of Open Chicago

Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot today announced the launch of Open Chicago, the latest initiative to safely and fully reopen the city. Open Chicago’s initial programming will feature activated, re-imagined, and pop-up spaces for Chicago residents to enjoy. These spaces will either build on ongoing Chicago traditions, are expanded from programs that launched last year, or … Continue reading “Mayor Lightfoot announces the launch of Open Chicago”

Chicago Independent Producers Lab selects 5 producers

Full Spectrum Features, the Chicago-based non-profit committed to driving equity into the film industry, announced the five producers selected for its second annual Chicago Independent Producers Lab, a year-long project incubator designed to cultivate Chicago’s vibrant independent film industry. In partnership with the Chicago Film Office’s Independent Film Initiative, the Lab offers one-on-one customized mentorship … Continue reading “Chicago Independent Producers Lab selects 5 producers”

RECAP: Chicago Fire ‘Natural Born Firefighter’

This week’s Chicago Fire, Natural Born Firefighter opens with Casey (Jesse Spencer) finally seeing a doctor while Brett (Kara Kilmer) sits impatiently in the waiting room. He explains to the doctor that he’s having vision issues, and the doctor sends him to get an MRI because it’s possible he’s having “temporal lobe seizures” that could … Continue reading “RECAP: Chicago Fire ‘Natural Born Firefighter’”

How two Chicago guys made a #1 box office hit

Reel Chicago talks with the Chicago writing team Danny Kravitz and Chris Charles about how they managed to take The Marksman to the #1 box office hit. Universal Pictures is releasing the film on digital platforms on April 27 followed by on-demand platforms and Blu-ray/DVD on May 11. In anticipation of the digital release of … Continue reading “How two Chicago guys made a #1 box office hit”

Chicago Park District announces “Arts 77” arts reopening

Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot, DCASE, and the Chicago Park District announced “Arts 77” — a citywide arts recovery and reopening plan for all of Chicago’s 77 community areas, representing an initial investment of over $60 million to support local artists and organizations. Additional updates regarding financial grants and programs to support arts recovery will follow in … Continue reading “Chicago Park District announces “Arts 77” arts reopening”

REVIEW: Family, friendly Thunder Force

Warning: contains spoilers. Last week Netflix released the Chicago-set feature film Thunder Force, starring Academy Award winner Octavia Spencer and Academy Award nominee Melissa McCarthy as well as an extensive cast of recognizable faces. This family friendly, slapstick, “action and adventure comedy” is currently ranked #1 in the U.S. in Netflix’s top ten trending list.  And … Continue reading “REVIEW: Family, friendly Thunder Force”

Soledad O’Brien joins latest PaleyImpact program

The Paley Center for Media announced that Soledad O’Brien will be joining its latest PaleyImpact program, Uncovering Racial Injustice with BET’s Disrupt & Dismantle  During the event, being held as part of Women’s History Month, the award-winning journalist and producer will discuss her powerful new BET documentary series Disrupt & Dismantle with Scott Mills, President, BET. The conversation … Continue reading “Soledad O’Brien joins latest PaleyImpact program”

Illinois launches 14th mass vaccination site. See full list

4,747,845 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Illinois, representing about 30% of residents 16 and up receiving their first dose. And on April 12, vaccines will be available for everyone. Illinois is launching its 14th mass vaccination site in Forest Park. Governor JB Pritzker and local officials announced the Illinois National Guard supported site, which will … Continue reading “Illinois launches 14th mass vaccination site. See full list”

WTTW launches The Great Chicago Quiz Show

Calling all Chicago trivia nerds! In The Great Chicago Quiz Show, a new, fast-paced weekly series premiering on Friday, March 26 at 8:00 pm on all WTTW platforms, Geoffrey Baer puts socially-distanced contestants from across Chicago and the suburbs — and viewers at home — to the test as they contemplate all things Chicago.  The contestants are as fun … Continue reading “WTTW launches The Great Chicago Quiz Show”

Lightfoot announces further easing of Covid regulations

Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot, the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) and the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP) today announced the further easing of COVID-19 regulations for Chicago businesses. Due to sustained progress in all four reopening metrics, effective immediately, indoor capacity at bars, restaurants and other businesses can increase to 50%. … Continue reading “Lightfoot announces further easing of Covid regulations”

Chicago Med, Fire actors in Rain Beau’s End

Rain Beau’s End is an intimate lesbian family-drama situated in the late 1990s, depicting how the labelling of their adopted son affects a progressive lesbian couple’s relationship as they struggle to raise their family in the spotlight. Based on a story by Chicago’s Joe Orlandino and written by Jennifer Cooney, the film tells a motherhood … Continue reading “Chicago Med, Fire actors in Rain Beau’s End”

Ulta Beauty commits to Diversity and Inclusion

Ulta Beauty, the nation’s largest beauty retailer, today shared diversity and inclusion commitments with a keen focus on brand amplification and support, assortment growth, and equitable, welcoming guest and associate experiences. The 2021 commitments reflect an investment of more than $25 million. Additionally, the company announced Tracee Ellis Ross, CEO and founder, PATTERN Beauty, as … Continue reading “Ulta Beauty commits to Diversity and Inclusion”

Pritzker announces commitment to digital equity

Governor JB Pritzker announced a new Digital Equity Package, enlisting state, local, nonprofit and philanthropic support to address gaps in digital access, adoption, and affordability for high-speed internet access. The comprehensive approach is designed to help communities identify and address existing broadband equity gaps, as well as to leverage new and existing sources of funding … Continue reading “Pritzker announces commitment to digital equity”

Opening Night: 26th Annual Black Harvest Film Festival

A Black Harvest Feast, opening night program on Friday, November 6 at 7:30 pm, is hosted by NBC Chicago’s LeeAnn Trotter, our Master of Ceremonies, and features a unique parade of filmmakers in a virtual red carpet to kick off the festivities.  Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot and First Lady Amy Eshlman serve as the honorary … Continue reading “Opening Night: 26th Annual Black Harvest Film Festival”

New campaign for NAR & Havas Chicago

While the National Association of REALTORS ( NAR ) has long advocated for fair housing, the latest campaign, created by Havas Chicago, acknowledges that there is still more work to be done across the real estate industry. The National Association of REALTORS® is re-committing to the fairness fight and encouraging REALTORS, who are members of … Continue reading “New campaign for NAR & Havas Chicago”

BTS: Miller, Lewandowski on new UCM spot

Last Friday, a brave and emotional new spot for the University of Chicago Medicine broke on regional TV. Crafted by independent, digitally driven, creative agency Schafer Condon Carter, the minute-long spot, directed by Sandro Miller, powerfully captures the raw emotions that patients and families feel when confronted with a life-threatening diagnosis. Titled ‘Not Fair,’ the … Continue reading “BTS: Miller, Lewandowski on new UCM spot”

Lightfoot eases Phase Four Guidelines for businesses

Progress in the fight against COVID-19 will allow for expanded indoor capacity, extended operating hours and loosening of other restrictions for businesses beginning October 1st. Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot, the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) and the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP) today announced that Chicago has made sufficient progress in … Continue reading “Lightfoot eases Phase Four Guidelines for businesses”

Emmy Award winning director Jeremy Pinckert

We’ve all seen great composition, lighting and a story from a variety of directors, but there’s one in Chicago who stands out. Jeremy Pinckert, founding member of Explore Production Company, is an award-winning director of commercials and branded content. Time and time again, Jeremy has proven that he has the eye-catching vision for monumental shots … Continue reading “Emmy Award winning director Jeremy Pinckert”

CPD launch support for officers’ mental health & wellness

Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot and the Chicago Police Department (CPD) today marked the completion of the City’s 90-day police reforms with the launch of two new pilot programs that are designed to ensure all CPD officers have the mental health and wellness supports they need. With the launch of the new Officer Support System (OSS), a pilot … Continue reading “CPD launch support for officers’ mental health & wellness”

Jeff McCarter resigns from Free Spirt Media

In an announcement today from the Board of Free Spirit Media, Jeff McCarter has officially step down from his role as the executive director. As reported earlier, McCarter had been placed on leave while “serious allegations” against McCarter were examined and evaluated by the board. Anedra Kerr was appointed as executive director in the interim. … Continue reading “Jeff McCarter resigns from Free Spirt Media”

Gov Pritzker and OKRP launch $5 M awareness campaign

Governor JB Pritzker and OKRP launched a new $5 million awareness campaign today to encourage Illinois residents to wear a face covering every time they’re in public — because it only works if you wear it. Following the data-driven approach that has guided Illinois’ coronavirus response, the campaign uses local information to advertise on broadcast … Continue reading “Gov Pritzker and OKRP launch $5 M awareness campaign”

Chicago reinstates COVID restrictions to combat recent rise

Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot, the Chicago Department of Public Health and the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection announced a re-tightening of COVID-19 restrictions for bars, restaurants, gyms and personal services. Throughout the pandemic, data has guided every move made by the City, and the recent uptick in cases as well as surging COVID-19 … Continue reading “Chicago reinstates COVID restrictions to combat recent rise”

Gov Pritzker announces $300k to support broadband

State of Illinois announces $300,000 public private investment to support community-driven broadband plans.New Illinois Connected Communities program will foster community engagement and planning for broadband access, adoption, and utilization across Illinois. The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) Office of Broadband today announced the first recipients of the Illinois Connected Communities grant program, created to … Continue reading “Gov Pritzker announces $300k to support broadband”

Chicago launches free high-speed internet to CPS students

Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot announced the launch of ‘Chicago Connected’ a groundbreaking program that will provide free high-speed internet service to approximately 100,000 Chicago Public Schools (CPS) students in their households. This first-of-its-kind program will be one of the largest and longest-term efforts in the nation to provide free, high-speed internet over the course of … Continue reading “Chicago launches free high-speed internet to CPS students”

Mayor Lightfoot announces Chicago’s 4th of July events

Fourth of July signature events include a virtual House music festival, a virtual “Independence Day Salute” concert event, and at-home Salsa dance parties across Chicago.  Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot and the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) today announced the City’s signature Fourth of July holiday events including a virtual House music festival, a virtual … Continue reading “Mayor Lightfoot announces Chicago’s 4th of July events”

Mayor Lightfoot says Chicago ready to move to phase four

Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot and the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) today announced that Chicago is on track to transition to phase four of the “Protecting Chicago” framework on Friday, June 26, alongside the rest of Illinois. The guidelines are aligned with the State-issued guidelines, with additional specificity included for Chicago’s context, which has … Continue reading “Mayor Lightfoot says Chicago ready to move to phase four”

Director, Mat Fuller joins Seed’s award winning roster

Seed adds Emmy nominated VFX artist, Mat Fuller, to their award-winning directorial roster. Fuller has worked as an on-set Visual Effects Supervisor, a live-action Director, and a Creative Director.   Following the model Seed established in 2011, each director on the roster has his or her own production company that does direct-to-client work. Mat owns Dark Matter FX. It will continue … Continue reading “Director, Mat Fuller joins Seed’s award winning roster”

Mayor Lightfoot releases guidelines for phase 3 reopening

Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot, in partnership with the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH), industry leaders, labor leaders, and public officials from around Chicago, today released industry-specific guidelines for businesses, employees, and customers to follow as the city prepares to begin safely reopening in early June. Industry-specific guidelines include details such as how businesses can … Continue reading “Mayor Lightfoot releases guidelines for phase 3 reopening”

UPDATED: Ruby Rose leaves ‘Batwoman’

Um…. well… This is Bat Sh*t crazy! Deadline is reporting that Ruby Rose, the star of the CW’s drama series Batwoman, is leaving the Warner Bros. TV/Berlanti Prods. drama after one season. The series, which shoots exteriors in Chicago, has been renewed for a second season, will continue with the title role getting recast. “I have made the … Continue reading “UPDATED: Ruby Rose leaves ‘Batwoman’”

Full Spectrum Features supports diversity in Indie Films

Asian Americans know that having talent and skills in the entertainment industry is [not nearly] half the battle. Every film needs financing; whether it’s raised through private investors or loving family members and crowdfunding, movies are expensive.  Therefore, a huge part of the industry isn’t the actors on set, or the gear they use, but the … Continue reading “Full Spectrum Features supports diversity in Indie Films”

Behind the Mask campaign, staying at home isn’t safe

 UN Women USA Chicago Chapter presents their latest campaign BEHIND THE MASK, which shows the horrible reality millions of women face during lockdown.  The rising toll on violence against women and girls during the recent COVID-19 pandemic is alarming. Globally, 243 million women and girls aged 15-49 have been subjected to sexual and/or physical violence … Continue reading “Behind the Mask campaign, staying at home isn’t safe”

Burnett’s Wingstop OOH campaign is very human

Leo Burnett and Wingstop have taken a new approach to OOH ads with limited-edition streetwear. That’s right the billboards are people and it’s a pretty dope campaign. According to Wingstop’s CMO, Christina Clarke, fans are the best in the QSR category. So, Burnett helped give them the chance to really show how much they love … Continue reading “Burnett’s Wingstop OOH campaign is very human”

Meet the brains behind Mind Exchange Music

As productions across the globe come to a halt during the COVID-19 pandemic, most filmmakers have found themselves with a lot of time on their hands. Some have turned to sourdough bread baking and Tiger King, while others have decided to revisit back-burnered personal projects. Around the country, temporarily shelved footage has been brought to … Continue reading “Meet the brains behind Mind Exchange Music”

Behind the Scenes: ‘The Rise of Skywalker’ DP, Dan Mindel

Behind the Scenes: Honoring the visual tradition of the first eight films, Dan Mindel, ASC, BSC, SASC reteams with Panavision to conclude the Star Wars saga with Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker In February 2019, director J.J. Abrams called “Cut!” for the last time during principal photography of the ninth chapter of the long-running Star Wars saga. Star Wars: … Continue reading “Behind the Scenes: ‘The Rise of Skywalker’ DP, Dan Mindel”

The Chicago Advertising Federation goes remote

In an email sent today by the Chicago Advertising Federation Executive VP, Richard Roche announced that effective immediately in order to help curtail the spread of COVID-19 their office will be working remotely. In a detailed outline, he stressed their concerns for the health and wellbeing of their staff, members, event attendees and industry partners. … Continue reading “The Chicago Advertising Federation goes remote”

BMO & FCB championing financial confidence for women

In a new campaign from FCB Canada, Bank of Montreal (BMO) is taking a public stand to promote women’s financial empowerment. In celebration of International Women’s Day, the campaign sheds light on stereotypes and terms like “gold digger” and “trophy wife” that, over time, can erode a woman’s financial confidence. This initiative raises awareness of … Continue reading “BMO & FCB championing financial confidence for women”

Reel Chicago’s own Reel Woman, Laura Day

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. She claims her mom named her after Twin Peaks … Continue reading “Reel Chicago’s own Reel Woman, Laura Day”

Reel Chicago’s own Reel Woman, Katharin Mraz

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. Katharin “K” Mraz, is the owner of Ladie K … Continue reading “Reel Chicago’s own Reel Woman, Katharin Mraz”

‘Stand!’ makes US Premiere at Chicago Jewish Film Fest

Canadian playwright Danny Schur’s musical, Strike!, was doing just fine until film director Robert Adetuyi got his hands on it. An up-tempo depiction of a love story that takes place during the 1919 Winnipeg General Strike, the award-winning performance had established itself as a Canadian favorite after premiering in 2005. Now, Strike! has been turned … Continue reading “‘Stand!’ makes US Premiere at Chicago Jewish Film Fest”

BBDO’s ‘Back-to-School’ wins One Screen Short Fest

BBDO New York’s Back-to-School Essentials, created behalf of Sandy Hook Promise, led the way at the eighth annual One Screen Short Film Festival last night, winning three awards including Best-of-Show honors. Short film work from nine countries picked up awards at the The One Club for Creativity event, that celebrates global filmmakers from both the … Continue reading “BBDO’s ‘Back-to-School’ wins One Screen Short Fest”

WTTW debuts “Chicago by ‘L’ with Geoffrey Baer”

Nothing says Chicago like the rumble of an ‘L’ train overhead. Featured in countless movies and television shows, the ‘L’ is recognized worldwide as an iconic part of the city’s landscape and an easy, affordable ticket to explore Chicago’s diverse neighborhoods. Chicago by ‘L’ with Geoffrey Baer, a new documentary and website that will debut … Continue reading “WTTW debuts “Chicago by ‘L’ with Geoffrey Baer””

At Sundance w/Kartemquin’s Steve James & Zak Piper

Reel Chicago correspondent, reporter, and film critic Pamela Powell interviews Kartemquin Films’ Oscar-nominated director Steve James and Emmy Award-winning producer Zak Piper at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. Chicago-based documentarian Steve James presented his newest endeavor, a four-episode mini series City So Real, to the Sundance Film Festival patrons just days ago in the quaint … Continue reading “At Sundance w/Kartemquin’s Steve James & Zak Piper”

Eight indie projects aim to spark change at Sundance

The Sundance Institute, in collaboration with global philanthropic organization Luminate, today announced six new projects supported by the Sundance Institute | Luminate Fund. The Sundance Institute | Luminate Fund provides non-recoupable grants to independent artists working across documentary, narrative, episodic and emerging media whose work display a strong potential for social and cultural impact. Joining … Continue reading “Eight indie projects aim to spark change at Sundance”

WGN America to launch prime-time ‘News Nation’

Nexstar Media Group, Inc. announced today that its wholly-owned cable network, WGN America, which reaches approximately 75 million U.S. TV households, will begin airing a live daily three-hour national newscast called News Nation this summer. News Nation will air in prime-time, from 8 pm ET to 11 pm ET, and will draw on the local … Continue reading “WGN America to launch prime-time ‘News Nation’”

Bryen Hensley becomes part owner of NoiseFloor

2020 has already brought about new and exciting changes at NoiseFloor LTD. For the first time since opening the doors in 2005, the River North sound facility is adding Bryen Hensley as part owner of NoiseFloor effective January 2, 2020. Co-owners Jamie Vanadia and Cory Coken announced the addition of their new partner in a … Continue reading “Bryen Hensley becomes part owner of NoiseFloor”

PRETTYBIRD’s Ali Brown to chair 2020 AICP Show

Matt Miller, AICP President and CEO, announced that Ali Brown, Partner/Executive Producer at PRETTYBIRD, will serve as the Chairperson of the 2020 AICP Show: The Art & Technique of the Commercial. Miller additionally announced that the AICP Show will now accept entries from agencies, marketers, production companies and post production companies globally in all categories. … Continue reading “PRETTYBIRD’s Ali Brown to chair 2020 AICP Show”

SOCIALDEVIANT hires strategic planner Lisa Szkatulski

On the heels of hiring Hart Rusen as its Chief Creative Officer earlier this year, SOCIALDEVIANT is bringing on board ad industry veteran Lisa Szkatulski as Senior Strategic Planner, effective immediately. “Since our founding nearly eight years ago, we have built a ‘maker’ culture. We are committed to creating brand-right and consumer-relevant content– in short, … Continue reading “SOCIALDEVIANT hires strategic planner Lisa Szkatulski”

Mezcla to debut film division at Indie Co-Lab

Chicago hub for “diverse boss women behind the camera” celebrates entry into the industry on October 24 Mezcla Media Collective, a new 501(c)(3) organization in Chicago, is making its formal debut to the film and entertainment industry at An Evening With Mezcla Media Collective, Thursday, October 24, 2019, 6-9:30 p.m. at Indie Co-Lab. Founded in … Continue reading “Mezcla to debut film division at Indie Co-Lab”

Kenneth Tsang accepts lifetime achievement award

“As long as I can stand up and work, I will try to contribute.” Kenneth Tsang Kong Chicago’s Asian Pop-Up Cinema festival honored Chinese-born actor and director Kenneth Tsang Kong with a career achievement award before the premiere of The Attorney during the finale of its 2019 Fall Program on Thursday night at AMC River … Continue reading “Kenneth Tsang accepts lifetime achievement award”

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”

Hornitos & Chicago Ideas $10K “Elevator Pitch” contest

Entrepreneurs can win big bucks by convincing judges that they’ve got “a shot worth taking” Hornitos Tequila and Chicago Ideas are giving entrepreneurs a shot at turning their aspirations into reality. As part of 2019 Chicago Ideas Week, the premium tequila brand and the innovator platform will host A Shot Worth Taking Elevator Pitch Contest … Continue reading “Hornitos & Chicago Ideas $10K “Elevator Pitch” contest”

Flavor adds Joshua Studebaker to L.A. staff

Visionary Artist assumes CG Supervisor role to heighten global superpowers The leaders from creative production studio Flavor are very proud to announce the addition of Joshua Studebaker to their Los Angeles staff in the position of CG supervisor. The announcement was made by Executive Producer Darren Jaffe. For more than eight years, Studebaker has been … Continue reading “Flavor adds Joshua Studebaker to L.A. staff”

IPG invests in new women-owned consultancy

Inspired by a 2018 Golin PR campaign, Have Her Back launches as a company dedicated to “driving change for gender equity”   Three proven business leaders driving change for gender equity — Caroline Dettman, Erin Gallagher and Pamela Culpepper — are joining forces to launch Have Her Back Consulting (HHB), an independent company. Interpublic Group … Continue reading “IPG invests in new women-owned consultancy”

‘No Small Matter’ back by popular demand

Chicago-produced doc about childhood education returns to the Gene Siskel Film Center September 6 Following up on its sold-out June premiere, the acclaimed early childhood education documentary No Small Matter returns to Chicago’s Gene Siskel Film Center for an encore week of screenings beginning Friday, September 6. The film’s encore run coincides with the start … Continue reading “‘No Small Matter’ back by popular demand”

Kartemquin benefit to honor Julia Reichert

Empowering Truth Benefit Luncheon will also feature exclusive preview of Steve James’ newest project Kartemquin Films, the award-winning Chicago-based documentary not-for-profit behind films such as Hoop Dreams and Minding the Gap, announced today it will honor documentary legend and three-time Academy Award nominee Julia Reichert at the organization’s 2019 Empowering Truth Benefit Luncheon on October … Continue reading “Kartemquin benefit to honor Julia Reichert”

Gloria Steinem joins board of new Kartemquin film

Legendary activist and writer strengthens diverse and powerful leaders advising ‘The Dilemma of Desire’ Writer, lecturer, political activist, and feminist organizer Gloria Steinem will join the project advisory board for the upcoming feature-length documentary The Dilemma of Desire. The co-founder of Ms. and former New York magazine columnist strengthens a powerful group of leaders dedicated … Continue reading “Gloria Steinem joins board of new Kartemquin film”

FCB sets record with 51 Cannes Lions

Agency takes first-ever Titanium while doubling the number of Grand Prix won throughout network’s history With a grand total of 51 Lions – five Grand Prix, 18 Gold, 12 Silver, 16 Bronze including its first-ever coveted Titanium Grand Prix, FCB garnered more accolades than in its 146-year history at the 2019 Cannes Lions International Festival … Continue reading “FCB sets record with 51 Cannes Lions”

TimeZoneOne named AOR for Navy Pier

The tourist “must-see” destination named indie agency TimeZoneOne its Agency of Record for branding campaign With more than 9 million visitors annually, The Navy Pier is without doubt one of Chicago’s (and the Midwest’s) most popular destinations. And now the tourist “must-see” has named indie creative communications agency TimeZoneOne AOR. TZO’s first project for the … Continue reading “TimeZoneOne named AOR for Navy Pier”

2019 CineYouth audience and jury awards

”No Such Sunrise” and “Mad Lib Pixie Dream Girl” earn top honors from passionate global audience CineYouth Festival, presented by Cinema/Chicago, announced award winners for the 2019 program that was held April 26-28 at the Music Box Theatre. No Such Sunrise — by 22 year olds Dana Brandes-Simon, Laura Li, and Cella Wright from Oberlin, … Continue reading “2019 CineYouth audience and jury awards”

‘Knock Down the House’ documents a new tradition

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and her progressive cohorts are part of a movement that will not be ignored   Knock Down the House, which debuts today on Netflix, is the story of four American women who turned their political frustrations into a national wakeup call. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Paula Jean Swearengin, Cori Bush, and Amy Vilela jumped … Continue reading “‘Knock Down the House’ documents a new tradition”

The Colonie scores a pair of nods on AICP Shortlist

Chicago shop makes the cut with a Porsche spot and a Taylor Bennett music video The Colonie is on the AICP Post Awards’ Shortlist with two of the company’s projects receiving nominations for exceptional work. Editor and Social Media Director Jimmy Helm and Creative Director Jennifer Moody received a nomination in the New Media: Vertical … Continue reading “The Colonie scores a pair of nods on AICP Shortlist”

Behind the scenes of ‘Pooh: The Derrick Rose Story’

The real life tale of an NBA star who responded to his critics by playing like a legend on the court Director Scott Diener endured several last-minute NBA thrills to capture a real-life, feel-good, Hollywood-style ending for a film about basketball legend Derrick Rose. Pooh: The Derrick Rose Story is an upcoming Stadium Network special … Continue reading “Behind the scenes of ‘Pooh: The Derrick Rose Story’”

CineYouth unveils 2019 film and program schedule

Cinema/Chicago’s young filmmaker celebration will light up the Music Box Theatre with 64 films screening April 26-28 Celebrating its 15th edition in 2019, CineYouth, presented by Cinema/Chicago, yesterday announced the selection of 64 thrilling and diverse short films for a weekend of free screenings, discussions, and events. The three-day film festival will be held April … Continue reading “CineYouth unveils 2019 film and program schedule”

WGA puts talent agencies on blast in new report

“Agents unwilling to represent writers will have to find another line of work” – WGA A scathing new report issued Monday morning from The Writers Guild of America has targeted two of Hollywood’s largest talent agencies – William Morris Endeavor (WME) and Creative Artists Agency (CAA) for their continued behavior in engaging in a series … Continue reading “WGA puts talent agencies on blast in new report”

Doc10 screens the year’s best at the Davis Theater

Fourth annual fest of the best opens with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez doc, “Knock Down The House” The 4th annual Doc10 Film Festival’s 2019 lineup is an entertaining variety of undeniable relevance taking place April 11-14 at The Davis Theater (4614 N. Lincoln Ave.) The program opens with Rachel Lears’ critically acclaimed Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez documentary, Knock Down … Continue reading “Doc10 screens the year’s best at the Davis Theater”

Jaime Robinson settles into AICP Next judging chair

The JOAN Creative co-founder and CCO “represents the next generation of creative leader,” according to AICP President Matt Miller Matt Miller, President and CEO of AICP, announced today that Jaime Robinson, Co-Founder and Chief Creative Officer of JOAN Creative, has been named as the 2019 AICP Next Awards Judging Chair, and will serve as Master … Continue reading “Jaime Robinson settles into AICP Next judging chair”

Jussie Smollett: Timeline of a “hoax?”

Grand jury convenes this week to determine if the “Empire” star filed a false police report The alleged “homophobic” and “racist” attack on Jussie Smollett, which reportedly took place in the early hours of January 29, has taken more twists and turns than an hour of the locally-filmed hit Fox series Empire. One could almost … Continue reading “Jussie Smollett: Timeline of a “hoax?””

Chicago Digital Media Production Fund open for biz

Artists with “varying levels of experience” encouraged to apply for grants ranging up to $18K by March 25 The Chicago Digital Media Production Fund (CDMPF) application period will open this Friday, February 15! Grants are awarded in amounts of up to $20,000 to artists and filmmakers in the Chicagoland area whose work encourages social change. … Continue reading “Chicago Digital Media Production Fund open for biz”

Betrayal: When the Government Took Over the Teamsters

George Bogdanich’s new documentary explores how the Justice Department’s greed, corruption, and overreach resulted in tragedy George Bogdanich’s 2019 documentary, Betrayal: When the Government Took Over the Teamsters Union, alleges that former Chicago Teamster Bill Hogan and his family are victims of intimidation and fraud committed by the United States government. Evidence presented in the … Continue reading “Betrayal: When the Government Took Over the Teamsters”

MillerCoors taps Michelle St. Jacques as new CMO

The former Kraft Heinz Senior Vice President inherits a portfolio of brands from the nation’s second-largest brewer MillerCoors has named Kraft Heinz executive Michelle St. Jacques as its new chief marketing officer, the first woman to ever hold the role. St. Jacques was most recently senior vice president and global head of brands and capabilities … Continue reading “MillerCoors taps Michelle St. Jacques as new CMO”

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”

Arturo Cubacub, President of I-Cubed, passes

The award-winning director and editor was a longtime member of the film, advertising and post-production communities As the Chicago film and advertising communities rang in a new year, it was also met with sad news as it was announced on his Facebook page, that president of I-Cubed Productions, Arturo Cubacub had passed away peacefully. He … Continue reading “Arturo Cubacub, President of I-Cubed, passes”

Kartemquin announces recipients of $150K in grants

Chicago-based documentary house unveils grantees to receive funds for emerging and diverse documentary filmmakers in 2019   (Chicago — 1 November 2018) Kartemquin Films announced today the recipients of $150,000 in grants at the 2018 Kartemquin Films Empowering Truth Benefit Luncheon at the Union League Club of Chicago. The award-winning documentary not-for-profit organization also announced … Continue reading “Kartemquin announces recipients of $150K in grants”

‘Garage Squad’ finale caps off another growing year

Nearly a million viewers are expected to tune into tonight’s finale of the show that celebrates car culture as one of America’s most treasured pastimes   There’s a story behind every broken down car in America, and the creators of Garage Squad work around the clock to bring nearly a dozen of them to life … Continue reading “‘Garage Squad’ finale caps off another growing year”

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”

Backyard Productions signs new Midwest, East Coast reps

“The best, most progressive, culturally relevant reps that I have ever had the pleasure of working with.” Roy Skillicorn, Backyard Productions Backyard Productions welcomes Nathan Skillicorn of Heart, Brains and Nerve for Midwest representation, and Perry Schaffer and Corey Rogers of Schaffer/Rogers for East Coast representation. Backyard’s founder, Roy Skillicorn, who recently rejoined the company … Continue reading “Backyard Productions signs new Midwest, East Coast reps”

One at Optimus signs directors Mulholland, Patton

The pair of lensmasters brings cinematography, tabletop and stop motion expertise to the production company’s growing roster (Chicago — 26 September 2018) One at Optimus, the production arm of leading production and post house Optimus, today announced that Jamieson Mulholland and Jay Patton have signed with ONE as directors. “We’re thrilled to welcome Jamieson and … Continue reading “One at Optimus signs directors Mulholland, Patton”

Click 3X adds Senior Colorist Fred Keller

The film and commercial vet will relocate from Chicago, where he was a mainstay at Filmworkers Club (New York — 24 September 2018) Senior Colorist Fred Keller is heading home; the veteran post production artist, a mainstay of the color scene in Chicago for the past dozen years, is going back to New York as … Continue reading “Click 3X adds Senior Colorist Fred Keller”

Sarofsky creates titles for ‘Full Frontal w/Samantha Bee’

A monumental surprise will greet “Full Frontal with Samantha Bee” fans when the show’s new main title sequence begins to roll. (Chicago / New York 13 — September 2018) Chicago creative entrepreneur Erin Sarofsky and the team at her eponymous production company designed and directed the new 20-second introduction for Full Frontal with Samantha Bee. … Continue reading “Sarofsky creates titles for ‘Full Frontal w/Samantha Bee’”

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”

DGA: first-time TV directors more inclusive than ever

‘It’s not just the right thing to do, it is vitally important to keep our industry growing, changing and innovating.’ DGA President Thomas Schlamme (Los Angeles — 30 August 2018) In a business where success often hinges on getting that initial break to prove yourself, probably nothing has more power to make the pool of … Continue reading “DGA: first-time TV directors more inclusive than ever”

Camera Ambassador expands with a pair of grip trucks

A 5-ton GMC and a 3-ton Ford are the most recent additions to the Chicago-based, multifunctional vendor and production partner Camera Ambassador added a pair of grip trucks to its rental inventory this summer. Both of the vehicles in the new fleet — a 5-ton GMC and a 3-ton Ford — were customized by founders … Continue reading “Camera Ambassador expands with a pair of grip trucks”

“America to Me” sparks a national conversation

“White people have to more than just think that it’s okay to not act in a racist way … they actually have to actively do something” Director Steve James America to Me explores a national crisis, but that’s just the beginning. The ten-part docuseries, premiering August 26 on the Starz Network, is a call to … Continue reading ““America to Me” sparks a national conversation”

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”

2018 Camp Kuleshov Trailer Competition opens

The challenging trailer contest for assistants casts a wider net, with entries now accepted from production as well as post studios.   (New York — 30 July 2018) Camp Kuleshov, the annual trailer competition named for the Russian film theorist Lev Kuleshov, has issued its 2018 Call for Entries. This year, the competition is open … Continue reading “2018 Camp Kuleshov Trailer Competition opens”

Cinepocalypse announces 2018 award winners

A record-shattering sophomore year of the Chicago genre festival comes to a close with big audiences, big stars, and big winners   (Chicago, Illinois — 29 June 2018) The Music Box Theatre is honored to announce the juried winners of the 2018 edition of Cinepocalypse. As the festival wraps today, it is also immensely proud … Continue reading “Cinepocalypse announces 2018 award winners”

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”

Team Companies history in a groovy video by Flavor

“In an industry driven by creative, how do you tell the story of the business behind that?” Mark Egmon, VP Marketing, the Team Companies   A new branded video for The Team Companies brings life to the history of their wide-ranging business services through a colorful animation featuring paper cutouts created by Flavor. While referencing … Continue reading “Team Companies history in a groovy video by Flavor”

The African Diaspora International Film Festival

The “most thought-provoking program to date in the Windy City” will light up Facets Cinematheque June 8-14, 2018   New York — 14 May 2018 To celebrate its 16th Anniversary in Chicago, the African Diaspora International Film Festival (ADIFF) — hosted by Facets Cinematheque and presented by ArtMattan Productionsts from June 8 to 14 — … Continue reading “The African Diaspora International Film Festival”

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”

ThinkLA announces 2018 IDEA awards finalists

(Los Angeles — 24 April 2018) ThinkLA has announced the finalists for the 2018 IDEA Awards. For the eighth year, the association celebrates Southern California’s advertising, marketing, and media superstars and pay tribute to Los Angeles as a hotbed of creativity and brand building. Over the past few months, hundreds of submissions were received from … Continue reading “ThinkLA announces 2018 IDEA awards finalists”

Blue Chip names former P&G exec Joy Mead EVP / GM

Integrated marketing agency Blue Chip announced that it has hired former client and P&G exec Joy Mead as its new executive vice president and general manager of business leadership. Mead comes to Blue Chip from a 30-year career at P&G, where she retired as an associate brand director, overseeing marketing for its $9 billion grocery … Continue reading “Blue Chip names former P&G exec Joy Mead EVP / GM”

Reel Women: Carey Lundin, Filmmaker

Carey Lundin is a multi award-winning director, writer and producer specializing in comedic digital series, media for progressive candidates, and documentaries. Lundin recently directed and co-wrote The WORST Travel Show, a five-episode comedy / travel series for the newly launched Facebook Watch and WatchMojo.   Her digital series, Citizen Kate, The Outsiders’ View of Inside … Continue reading “Reel Women: Carey Lundin, Filmmaker”

SXSW: 72andSunny, Dropbox get active through murals

If it’s early March, then that means SXSW beckons for artists from film, TV, music and advertising to make an annual pilgrimage to Austin, Texas and explore, inspire and create. It’s mecca. This year, Dropbox and 72andSunny LA teamed up to create an combustive environment where artists were encouraged to unleash their creativity on a … Continue reading “SXSW: 72andSunny, Dropbox get active through murals”

Twin City news: Dennis Ryan, Carmichael Lynch, more

Dennis Ryan launches new video consulting service From the we’re a fan dept.: Longtime advertising ECD/CCO Dennis Ryan now works ​directly with clients ​as a digital video content consultant. “To me, it’s a natural progression to use video as a communication platform. After years of speaking generally to attract as wide an audiences as possible, … Continue reading “Twin City news: Dennis Ryan, Carmichael Lynch, more”

Reel Women: Wendy Jo Carlton — Filmmaker

Wendy Jo Carlton directed her first feature film, Hannah Free, starring Emmy-winner Sharon Gless, in 2009. Hannah Free won several Audience awards and is globally distributed. Carlton’s second feature, Jamie and Jessie are Not Together, is often described as the first lesbian romance musical. Written and directed by Carlton, Jamie and Jessie won Audience awards, … Continue reading “Reel Women: Wendy Jo Carlton — Filmmaker”

DDB’s CEO helps launch Times Up / Advertising

DDB Worldwide CEO Wendy Clark is among 180 other female advertising leaders who have launched Time’s Up / Advertising, the advertising and marketing industry answer to the entertainment industry’s Time’s Up movement, which was launched at the end of 2017. Other leaders include Alyson Warshaw, CCO of Laundry Service; Debby Reiner, CEO of Grey New … Continue reading “DDB’s CEO helps launch Times Up / Advertising”

United Airlines ends NRA discount & other news

United Airlines joins other brands in NRA boycott Chicago-based United Airlines has joined other major brands including Delta Airlines, Hertz, National and Avis car rentals as well as MetLife, Allied Van Lines and North American Van Lines in discontinuing or altering their relationships with the National Rifle Association. In a tweet, United said it is … Continue reading “United Airlines ends NRA discount & other news”

The Reel Black List: Rhyan LaMarr, Filmmaker

You know that crazy dream you had last night? Rhyan LaMarr could make it happen in reality. He’s been a director since high school, with more than ten years of experience producing films including long-form music videos, features, shorts, reality shows, and programs. Rhyan recently completed directing his third feature film, Canal Street. An out … Continue reading “The Reel Black List: Rhyan LaMarr, Filmmaker”

The Campus’ Rachel Bryant has passed her “Scream” test

Even drenched in blood — and I do mean buckets of blood, like a Carrie amount of blood — there are still undeniable things that stand out about actress, writer and producer Rachel Amanda Bryant. First, are her friendly but driven deep blue eyes that apparently sometimes turn green depending on her mood. Second, is … Continue reading “The Campus’ Rachel Bryant has passed her “Scream” test”

“What’s On Tap” is all about the beer, and more

Kinzie Street Studio’s upcoming weekly series What’s On Tap adds a most essential ingredient to the food and travel show menu: beer. Lots and lots of beer. “Serving up stories about people who make beer, people who serve beer and people who drink beer,” the work-in-progress will be a thirst-quenching, host-driven trip through bars and … Continue reading ““What’s On Tap” is all about the beer, and more”

Wendy Clark is the new Global President & CEO at DDB

Well, that didn’t take long. Omnicom Group Inc. President and CEO John Wren announced the appointment of Wendy Clark, who joined the agency in 2016, as President and CEO of DDB Worldwide. Clark succeeds Chuck Brymer who will assume the title of Chairman. Both roles are effective immediately. “After 12 terrific years as the head … Continue reading “Wendy Clark is the new Global President & CEO at DDB”

The Reel Black List: Denise O’Neal, Writer

Longtime Windy City writer Denise O’Neal is a freelance screenwriter, blogger, and novelist. In 2012, she served on the board of the Chicago Screenwriters Network. Her interviews have also been published in Windy City Times and Screen Magazine. Denise resides in the “windy city” and lives with the love of her life, Poopy, the human … Continue reading “The Reel Black List: Denise O’Neal, Writer”

SAG Awards, PGA Awards, Midnight Oil, Halo in the news

SAG Awards tee up “Three Billboards” for Oscar run Sunday night, the SAG Awards made it very clear that Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri is a frontrunner for the Oscars. Chicago-born Frances McDormand was named Female Actor in a Leading Role in a Motion Picture. In the film, McDormand portrays Mildred Hayes, a distraught mother … Continue reading “SAG Awards, PGA Awards, Midnight Oil, Halo in the news”

Burrell named AARP Supplier of the Year

Burrell Communications Group received 2017 “Supplier of the Year” honors from the American Association of Retired People (AARP) during a celebration at the Kimpton Hotel Monaco in Washington, D.C. on November 15. As multicultural agency of record for the nonprofit organization, the Michigan Ave. firm helps nearly twelve million people over the age of 50 … Continue reading “Burrell named AARP Supplier of the Year”

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”

BK, Hulu, and “People Die in This Movie” in the news

Today’s Reel Thing keeps us in the Halloween spirit(s) with some creepy news from around the world of advertising and film. Last week, we reported on Fox’s All City and the scary work they are doing for Mars Candies. Now we have this whopper (ha!) from Burger King. Like I haven’t had enough of scary … Continue reading “BK, Hulu, and “People Die in This Movie” in the news”

SNL, OKRP, Ora Interactive and Starburst in the news

Live from the Museum of Broadcast Communications it’s The SNL Experience!

According to The Chicago Tribune, a major, 500-artifact exhibit, chronicling the four-plus decades of NBC’s late-night topical humor sketch series, is coming to the Museum of Broadcast Communications in October.

The Museum’s founder, Bruce DuMont says the exhibit will change the dynamics of the museum. “It’s a grab for the gold ring. I think it’s going to dramatically change the museum for the better. We’re very excited about it. There’s going to be more attention, more traffic, more buzz about the things we do here.”

Beginning Oct. 21, the show is slated to run for 14 months at the North State Street museum that is celebrating its 35th anniversary but has struggled to draw visitors and get on sound financial footing.

No Limit, Comcast, NBC, charlieuniformtango in news

No Limit Agency has found its new president in industry and current independent consultant, Bryan Van Dyke.

Prior, Van Dyke spent nearly two years as chief operating officer for AutonomyWorks. Before that, Van Dyke was with Razorfish for eleven and a half years where he led client engagement for a decade and served as managing director before his departure in June of 2013.

Founded in 2008 as a social media agency, No Limit Agency bills itself as a “biography agency,” telling brand stories through all communications channels.

New gigs for Sciarotta, Funk, Kirk and Gitersonke

Joe Sciarotta promoted to Ogilvy Co-U.S. Creative Officer

Ogilvy and Mather announced that the agency promoted veteran Chicago creative leader, Joe Sciarotta to U.S. Chief Creative Officer along with Alfonson Marian, who will also share the title. According to a report in AgencySpy, they will form a new stateside management team alongside U.S. CEO Lou Aversano and chief strategy officer Steve Zaroff.

Sam Jackson sings, Bears go red, Kirk leaves Sun-Times

I’ve been meaning to write about this for the last couple of weeks since I saw it, but finally got around to it. Have you seen the new Sam Jackson spot for Capital One and Spotify?

If you haven’t, it’s just a fun little piece where Sam puts the moves to Al Green’s classic song, “Let’s Stay Together.” As Jackson croons, Capital One announces that with the Quicksilver Card clients can receive 1.5 percent cashback on every purchase and 50 percent back on Spotify Premium.

McDonald’s seeks to trim fat from agencies

Well the sauce is going to get a little less special for some of McDonald’s regional agencies.

According to Ad Age and Agency Spy reports, as well as confirmed by a Los Angeles creative recruiter, the Chicago-based fast food giant is looking to consolidate more of its advertising at We Are Unlimited, the dedicated Omnicom agency.

This will be accomplished by greatly reducing the number of creative agencies handling marketing for cooperative franchise groups that operate throughout the United States.

It’s happy hour in Chicago as beer returns to DDB

DDB Chicago, which has a storied history of creating award-winning work for beer brands — Anheuser-Busch to be specific — is ready to break out the beer steins again as Miller Lite consolidated its brand within the network.

As many industry pundits had predicted, DDB Chicago will be global AOR for Miller Lite and Adam&Eve. DDB will handle Miller Genuine Draft. The decision follows a formal creative review among several competitors.

Sears slashes 400 jobs in corporate offices

According to multiple June 13 reports, Sears announced it would cut 400 jobs, affecting mostly its employees at its corporate headquarters in Hoffman Estates.

The layoffs come as part of an effort to restructure, which is designed to deliver Sears $1.25 billion in annual cost reductions.

On top of the corporate office jobs, positions at field operations will be affected as well due to store closures Sears initiated earlier in June.

Cutters Studio Detroit livestreams new Lions’ uniforms

On April 13, Cutters Studio Detroit (CSD) helped the Detroit Lions rally their fan base and earn national headlines by hosting a sensational “uniform unveil” event that was live-streamed by more than 300,000 viewers.

Cutters, with studios in Detroit, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City and Tokyo, conceived and produced the entire media events behind the scenes of the fanfare which consisted of several brand films, a complete on-air graphics package and an experiential art installation.

Director Wolfe back at Optimus after White House gig

One at Optimus director Duncan Wolfe is packing up his Washington, D.C. apartment after a 14-month gig at the Obama White House and will head for Los Angeles as his base for the next phase of his filmmaking/social media career.

“And I’m looking forward to the positive effect of sunshine,” adds the St. Louis native about his move to LA.

AICE & AMP partner on post/music mentorship program

Trade associations AICE and AMP (Assn. of Music Producers) have teamed up to launch PrePro, a new mentorship program to help local high school and college students explore careers in post and music for advertising.

The PrePro diversity program, open to students age 17 to 23, will kick off this coming semester in the active Chicago and New York chapters. Other chapters will follow as the year progresses.

First Pop Culture Con Nov. 26-27 a blast from the past

The first-ever, exciting, enormous Chicago Pop Culture Show & Sale takes place Thanksgiving weekend, Nov. 26-27 at the Pheasant Run Mega Center in St. Charles, giving visitors a spectacular blast from the past.

A year in the works, this new event builds on the concept of a comic convention with all kinds of vintage TV and movie, sports, music, sci-fi, comics and toy collectibles, memorabilia and displays.

Kartemquin’s festival of new doc projects at ArcLight

Kartemquin Films will cap its 50th anniversary with the Nov. 2-4 Kartemquin Fall Festival, to be held in partnership with ArcLight Cinemas, 1500 N. Clybourn, in Lincoln Park.

The festival, says Gordon Quinn, Kartemquin co-founder and Artistic Director, “emphasizes new projects and rich documentary filmmaking talent in our community and provides a glimpse of the future of documentary filmmaking in Chicago.”

Here are highlights of the three-day festival.

Leadership roles for new Optimus EPs Spera and Desir

Optimus promoted senior producer Tracy Spera and EP/VFX and design John Desir to executive producers, “roles in which they also will assume internal leadership and business development responsibilities,” said EP/managing director Brian Hrastrar in making the announcement.

Tracy Spera is a 14-year veteran at Optimus, “where I felt lucky to have started my career,” she said, hired as an intern after graduating from Columbia College in 2002 with a BA in TV postproduction.