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Podcast Talk: ‘Drifting Towards the Crescent’ Opens Chicago Underground Film Fest

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CHICAGO – The oldest underground film festival in U.S. cinema history is CUFF – the Chicago Underground Film Festival, celebrating its 24th edition. From Wednesday, May 31st to Sunday, June 4th, 2017, the radical fringe of the film world will unspool at the five day fest. The Opening Night film on May 31st, at the historic Logan Theatre in Chicago, is “Drifting Towards the Crescent,” a documentary from local filmmaker Laura Stewart.

Opening Night Film of CUFF is ‘Drifting Towards the Crescent,’ Directed by Laura Stewart
Photo credit: CUFF.org

The film is a meditation on “river rats,” the residents of the town of Keokuk (Iowa) just down the Mississippi River from Hannibal, Missouri… the hometown of Mark Twain. Director Stewart uses a deliberate approach, and we get to know the biker, the pole dancer, the bar owner and the survivors of this once thriving town, left behind after the river that once thrived for them has moved on – life and the water keeps flowing.

Director Laura Stewart
Photo credit: LauraStewartFilms.com

The 24th Chicago Underground Film Festival is an annual event showcasing independent, experimental and documentary films from around the world. Their mission is to promote films and videos that dissent radically in form, technique, or content from the “indie” mainstream, and to present adventurous works that challenge and transcend commercial and audience expectations. 25 programs comprised of narrative, documentary and experimental features, shorts, and music videos, representing more than 20 countries, make up the main body of the festival, along with nightly parties and live music, discussions and other networking and community building events. For the 2017 schedule at a glance, click here.

Director Laura Stewart resides in Chicago, and focuses on works that explore places that use the aura of the past influencing the present, plus the economics of female sexuality – and the associative opportunities or lack thereof – in small town America. Her feature debut was “Shooter and Whitley” (2013), which debuted a year before she received her MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. In the following podcast, Patrick McDonald of HollywoodChicago.com spoke to her about “Drifting Towards the Crescent,” and her experiences in filming the documentary.

The 24th Annual Chicago Underground Film Festival (CUFF) Opens on May 31st, 2017 (8pm), with “Drifting Towards the Crescent,” directed by Laura Stewart, at the Logan Theatre – 2646 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago. The 2017 festival runs through Sunday, June 4th. For more information, click here.

HollywoodChicago.com senior staff writer Patrick McDonald

Writer, Editorial Coordinator

© 2017 Patrick McDonald, HollywoodChicago.com

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