This coming Sunday, “Signature Move” will pitch to an audience of film distributors, investors and industry peers alongside five other outstanding film projects in various stages of development at the first-ever “Industry Days Pitch Session. Besides ours, audience members will see the latest undertaking of veteran Chicago team John McNaughton and Steve Jones (“Henry: Portrait of A Serial Killer,” “Wild Things,” “Mad Dog and Glory”), from Jennifer Reeder, who made both Newcity’s Film 50 and Art 50 lists last year before playing the Sundance festival with her short film; from Collin Schiffli (director of the acclaimed debut “Animals”) and his brother Brandon Schiffli, the Chaz Ebert-executive produced Emmet Till biopic and a John Wayne Gacy-inflected period piece from the husband-and-wife team at Cornbred Films. Whether we win or lose the competition (we’re playing to win, of course), this event offers a unique showcase of some of the very best independent film projects in development in Chicago right now. Read More
We’ll write more about this later, but we wanted to share the news that our team, in conjunction with director Wendy Roderweiss (contrarianfilms.com), produced a promotional trailer for the Chicago International Film Festival. While it’s crafted around the festival’s tagline “Because Everybody Loves Movies,” we wrote an original script and, with the help of twenty-five Chicago film professionals, shot what is basically a one-minute film starring our own Fawzia Mirza in the role of Zaynab, the character she’ll play in “Signature Move.” Read More
Joe Swanberg (in conversation with the Tribune’s Nina Metz) offered a chronological and candid assessment of his career to date last week as part of IFP Chicago’s “75 Minutes With” series.
Here are a few observations from his IFP Chicago gig.
Metz asked him about his blogging about the making of his films, which she found insightful. He said he did this for his first five films, and that all are still available on the individual film web sites.
The candid sexuality in his early films was a kind of “political statement,” he says, in response to the lack of realistic depictions of the way sex is a part of our lives. Read More
I moderated a producers panel at the Midwest Independent Film Festival last night, and one of the unexpected pleasures of the evening was meeting the Lucas Brothers. Lifelong South Siders (104th Street), they’ve taught themselves filmmaking skills (“we wanted to go to Columbia but could not afford it,” one told me) and have nearly completed what looks to be a compelling and important documentary about the South Side “Bucket Boys.” They need $25,000 to finish the film, and you can check it out here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/743781516/bucket-0 (Brian Hieggelke)
I don’t know these folks yet, but here’s another local film project raising money. Robert Alaniz and his company Sole Productions operate out of the Southwest suburbs and have a decade and several films under their belt. This one includes some familiar faces from sitcoms we actually watch(ed). I bet Larry Thomas looks forward to the day when his name is not always followed by “Soup Nazi.” Perhaps this film will do it.
They’re looking to raise production and post funds, with a campaign end date of August 9. https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/mind-over-mindy-a-robert-alaniz-film (Brian Hieggelke)
The latest on us? Meetings, meetings, meetings, reading, reading, reading, watching, watching, watching. More very soon, though.
We’re thinking about a crowdfunding campaign this fall to raise development funds for this project, and to get an early gauge on the breadth of support. But meanwhile, we’ll start sharing campaigns for other films raising funds this way with deep Chicago pedigrees, as part of our mission to support the development of Chicago’s indie film community. Read More
The Chicago International Movies & Music Festival’s recently concluded sixth edition seemed to push the still-young festival up toward a new level, as its connection to South by Southwest, both actual (SXSW co-founder Louis Black sits on its board) and spiritual is well-timed in a city increasingly fancying itself as a Midwest answer to Austin’s big event, with a plan for a multi-genre summit forming for next spring.
Though the screenings and concerts remain the center event, the CIMMcon panels are an increasing focus, and the most likely to give the festival the gravitas it needs to break out as a national force. On a sunny Saturday afternoon, May 3, a heavy-duty panel of film industry professionals, including producer Steven A. Jones of Owen Films and Rich Moskal, director of the Chicago Film Office, discussed “Chicago Film Business: Beg, Borrow, or Build” in front of a nearly sold-out audience at the Chop House.
Here are some of the highlights, lowlights and suggestions offered up. Read More