WBEZ | Chicago Filmmakers http://www.wbez.org/tags/chicago-filmmakers Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Summer stock: a 16mm film series http://www.wbez.org/blogs/alison-cuddy/2013-07/summer-stock-16mm-film-series-108026 <p><p dir="ltr" id="docs-internal-guid-4f70b87c-ce3b-301e-d34f-47f862891d48"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/3829139992_447316a0f9_z.jpg" style="float: right; height: 198px; width: 300px;" title="‘Psycho’ at the 2009 Chicago Outdoor Film Festival. (Flickr/Laurie Chipps)" />The city of Chicago unveiled its brand new, state-of-the-art <a href="https://soundcloud.com/afternoonshiftwbez/pritzker-pavilion-unveils-high">LED screen</a>&nbsp;in Millennium Park a few weeks ago. Long-term, the screen could be a portal to all kinds of live cultural and sporting events from around the world. But for the moment, its primary function is to screen films every Tuesday night.</p><p dir="ltr">It&rsquo;s great to have more outdoor movie venues in the city, especially ones that are free and come equipped with the amazing sound system at Millennium Park.</p><p dir="ltr">But truth be told, I still miss the old <a href="https://www.facebook.com/pages/Chicago-Outdoor-Film-Festival/18709252335?fref=ts">Chicago Outdoor Film Festival.</a></p><p dir="ltr">For 10 years, starting around mid-July and running through August, a series of real films, actual 35mm prints, would be projected on Tuesday nights. As dusk settled in, people would pour into Grant Park&rsquo;s Butler Field, lawn chairs and coolers in hand, to watch classic films such as <em>Born Yesterday</em>, <em>Cat on a Hot Tin Roof</em>, <em>Rebel Without a Cause</em>, even <em>The Blues Brothers</em>. But thanks to <a href="http://chicagoist.com/2010/04/14/can_the_chicago_outdoor_film_festiv.php">city budget cuts</a>, this cinematic paradise, located just a stone&rsquo;s throw from the lake, came to an end in 2010.</p><p dir="ltr">Given the expense of that series (just putting a giant screen up for eight weeks costs a lot), it&rsquo;s unlikely to come back anytime soon, despite calls to revive it. But you can still easily watch movies outdoors - the Chicago Park District shows mostly family-friendly flicks in smaller parks all around the city. The thing is, all of those screenings are digital prints. Finding an outdoor fest that projects actual films on actual film stock is &nbsp;much tougher. That&rsquo;s why I was excited to see the line-up at the <a href="http://chicagofilmmakers.org/cf/genre">&lsquo;Summer 2013 Screening Series&rsquo;</a> at Chicago Filmmakers.</p><p dir="ltr">Starting this week, the non-profit media outlet will launch a series of different film programs, some drawing from its own archive, some in partnership with other film groups. In collaboration with the <a href="http://www.blackcinemahouse.org/">Black Cinema House</a>, Chicago Filmmakers will highlight some of the films shown in the long defunct but groundbreaking Blacklight Film Festival.</p><p dir="ltr"><a href="http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/modern-blaxpoitation-cinema">Floyd Webb,</a> who launched the fest in 1982 (he currently programs the <a href="https://www.facebook.com/pages/black-world-cinema/283425797391">Black World Cinema </a>series at the Chatham 14 Theaters), will be on hand to introduce the films and reminisce about his experiences running the festival, which showcased the work of independent black filmmakers like Julie Dash. &ldquo;The Return of Blacklight Cinema&rdquo; screenings take place on the second Saturday of each month, and will rotate between the Filmmakers&rsquo; and Black Cinema&rsquo;s screening rooms.</p><p dir="ltr">Those films are all digital, so for the &ldquo;real&rdquo; aka 16mm cinematic gems, you&rsquo;ll have to check out the &ldquo;Celluloid Stars&rdquo; series in the Chicago Filmmaker&rsquo;s parking lot on Farragut Avenue. Not only will you have the chance to relax to the whir of a projector, you&rsquo;ll also be able to sample the eclectic range of experimental works to be found in the Filmmakers&rsquo; archive.</p><p dir="ltr">The first program is a collaboration with <a href="http://southsideprojections.org/">South Side Projections</a> and exploits the insane popularity of <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2_5tpLjUcrE">cat videos</a>. This mini &ldquo;cat film festival&rdquo; includes works by the likes of Stan Brakhage (whose <em><a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cur2P5Ym3Yw">Cat&rsquo;s Cradle</a></em> is like the distillation of your typical feline day, from a cat&rsquo;s point of view), Joyce Wieland and other experimental filmmakers. Other programs in the &ldquo;Celluoid Stars&rdquo; series will focus on childhood, food and visual movement - all of which seem like perfect topics for summer movies. The &ldquo;Celluloid Stars&rdquo; series starts July 26 and takes place most Fridays nights through the end of August.</p><p dir="ltr">By the way, starting July 30, I&rsquo;ll be hosting a summer movie series on WBEZ&rsquo;s terrace at Navy Pier. We&rsquo;ll screen a mix of digital and 16mm films three Tuesday evenings in a row, in partnership with the <a href="http://www.chicagofilmfestival.com/">Chicago International Film Festival</a> and the <a href="http://www.northwestchicagofilmsociety.org/">Northwest Chicago Film Societ</a>y. All of the films are set in Chicago neighborhoods, and a local film celebrity will join us for each screening. More details to come - keep your eyes on our website.</p><p dir="ltr">Meanwhile, if you&rsquo;re excited about any other outdoor film festivals, share them below.</p><p><em>Alison Cuddy is WBEZ&rsquo;s Arts and Culture reporter and co-host of <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/wbezs-changing-channels/id669715774?mt=2">Changing Channels,</a> a podcast about the future of television. Follow her on<a href="https://twitter.com/wbezacuddy"> Twitter</a>,<a href="https://www.facebook.com/cuddyalison?ref=tn_tnmn"> Facebook</a> and<a href="http://instagram.com/cuddyreport"> Instagram</a></em></p></p> Thu, 11 Jul 2013 09:53:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/alison-cuddy/2013-07/summer-stock-16mm-film-series-108026 Local documentarians promote social change http://www.wbez.org/blogs/leah-pickett/2013-01/local-documentarians-promote-social-change-104915 <p><p>Kartemquin Films has some big plans for 2013.&nbsp;</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/In%20the%20Game.jpg" style="float: right; " title="'In the Game,' a documentary about gender equality in sports by director Maria Finitzo, is currently in production. (Kartemquin Films)" />The Chicago-based independent film company has an <a href="http://kartemquin.com">impressive list</a> of documentaries slated for the new year: stories that map the diverse breadth of the human condition.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">Films in progress include <em>Almost There</em> (the portrait of a disabled artist obsessively documenting his own life), <em>American Arab </em>(in which Iraqi-American filmmaker and former Vocalo host Usama Alshaibi shares his personal experiences with racism in a post-9/11 world)&nbsp;and <em>On Beauty</em> (a chronicle of three physically atypical women and their plans to change society&rsquo;s definition of of the word &ldquo;beautiful.&rdquo;)</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">If you haven&#39;t heard the name Kartemquin&nbsp;before, perhaps you remember two of the studio&rsquo;s biggest success stories. In 1994, <em>Hoop Dreams </em>received&nbsp;the Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival and went on to win every major critic&#39;s prize in the following year. This heartwarming tale of two inner-city basketball players became the highest grossing documentary at that time and one of the highest rated documentaries ever broadcast on PBS.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">More recently, Kartemquin released <em>The Interrupters</em>: a stirring film about Chicago&rsquo;s &ldquo;violence interrupters&rdquo; that won Best Documentary at the Independent Spirit Awards in 2011.<img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/beneath_blindfold.jpg" style="float: left; " title="'Beneath the Blindfold,' an activist documentary about torture victims by local filmmakers Kathy Berger and Ines Sommer, premiered to critical acclaim in 2012." /></div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><p>Director Steve James helmed both of these projects, and won a Director&rsquo;s Guild of America Award for his work on&nbsp;<em>Hoop Dreams</em>. James&rsquo; next film in development with Kartemquin is <em>Life Itself</em>, based on Roger Ebert&#39;s memoir of the same name.&nbsp;<em>Generation Food</em>, a documentary about the innovative efforts and obstacles to fixing the global food crisis, is scheduled for 2014.&nbsp;</p><p>While Kartemquin is the documentary film giant in Chicago, other local filmmakers also deserve praise for their raw talent and tireless dedication to social change.&nbsp;</p><p>During <a href="http://www.chicagoideas.com/videos/43">Chicago Ideas Week</a> last October, video journalist Jigar Mehta introduced the idea of &quot;Crowdsourced Documentary Filmmaking&quot; as the means for creating his latest project&nbsp;<em>18 Days in Egypt</em>.</p><p>He and interaction designer Yasmin Elayet enabled participants to chronicle the Egyptian Revolution through their own voices: uploading real-life footage, tweets and Facebook status updates. This collaborative method not only inspires filmmakers to work together en tandem, but also encourages audiences to take a more active role in collectively re-examining their connections to the world and to each other.&nbsp;</p><p>For those wishing to get more involved in our city&#39;s thriving documentary film scene, <a href="http://chicagofilmmakers.org">Chicago Filmmakers</a> is a great place to start. This 37-year-old media arts organization holds workshops, screenings and seminars to foster our ever-growing independent film community, and sponsors networking events for like-minded cinephiles as well.&nbsp;</p><p>The next filmmaker meet up is <a href="http://chicagofilmmakers.org/cf/content/filmmaker-meetup-0">tonight</a> from 7 to 9 p.m., with director Dinesh Sabu discussing his first feature-length documentary <em>Unbroken Glass.&nbsp;</em>If you want to learn more about the industry, connect with other filmmakers or find inspiration for your own work-in-progress, opportunities like this one should not be missed.&nbsp;</p><p><em>Follow Leah on Twitter <a href="http://twitter.com/leahkpickett">@leahkpickett</a></em></p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/SC1EOm4o_0A" width="620"></iframe></p></p> Tue, 15 Jan 2013 05:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/leah-pickett/2013-01/local-documentarians-promote-social-change-104915 'Screen Dances' marries film and dance http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-09-23/screen-dances-marries-film-and-dance-92375 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-September/2011-09-23/Love Crime.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>French filmmaker <a href="http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0006734/" target="_blank">Alain Corneau</a> died of cancer last year and his final film screens in Chicago over the weekend.&nbsp;<a href="http://www.musicboxtheatre.com/features/love-crime" target="_blank"><em>Love Crime</em></a>, a cat-and-mouse thriller set in the global corporate world, involves a fight to the finish between a boss and her talented assistant. To discuss whether this is more cat fight or great mystery-- or a bit of both– <em>Eight Forty-Eight </em>was joined by <a href="http://nightingaletheatre.org/contact.html" target="_blank">Christy LeMaster</a>. LeMaster directs the <a href="http://nightingaletheatre.org/" target="_blank">Nightingale Theatre </a>in on Milwaukee Avenue in Chicago and joins <em>Eight Forty-Eight</em> monthly to talk about film.&nbsp;</p><p><a href="http://www.musicboxtheatre.com/features/love-crime" target="_blank"><em>Love Crime </em></a>opens Friday at the <a href="http://www.musicboxtheatre.com/" target="_blank">Music Box Theatre</a> in Chicago. LeMaster also&nbsp;reviewed <em><a href="http://chicagofilmmakers.org/cf/content/screen-dances-films-nadia-oussenko" target="_blank">Screen Dances</a></em>, which runs Friday and Saturday at 8:00 p.m. at <a href="http://chicagofilmmakers.org/" target="_blank">Chicago Filmmakers</a> in Andersonville, Chicago. Filmmaker <a href="http://nadiaoussenko.com/" target="_blank">Nadia Oussenko</a> will be at both screenings.</p><p><em>Music Button: Dinah Washington, "This Can't Be Love", from the album For Those In Love, (Verve)</em></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Fri, 23 Sep 2011 14:52:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-09-23/screen-dances-marries-film-and-dance-92375 Film series at Chicago Filmmakers focuses on lesbian films http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/film-series-chicago-filmmakers-focuses-lesbian-films <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/Coquie Hughes.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The Dyke Delicious Screening Series starts Saturday at <a target="_blank" href="http://chicagofilmmakers.org/cf/index.php">Chicago Filmmakers</a> with some films by local independent filmmaker <a target="_blank" href="http://seetruepeace.com/">Coquie Hughes</a>, including her latest, &quot;<a target="_blank" href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1774499/">My Mama Says Yo Mama&rsquo;s a Dyke</a>.&quot; Hughes makes films covering a range of topics: lesbian love, motherhood, even the difference between good and evil. And, she does it all on a shoestring budget.</p><p>Hughes joined &quot;Eight Forty-Eight's&quot; Alison Cuddy to explain how she does all <br />&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Thu, 06 Jan 2011 16:48:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/film-series-chicago-filmmakers-focuses-lesbian-films