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Film News: Merle Hayden, Subject of ‘Manlife: The Last of the Lawsonians,’ Dies at 96

Merle Hayden

RACINE, WIS – The last of the Lawsonians has now passed on. Merle Hayden, six days after he made an appearance on Closing Night at the Chicago Underground Film Festival (CUFF), died on June 10th, 2017, of natural causes in Racine, Wisconsin. He was 96 years old. His life was the subject of a World Premiere documentary shown at CUFF, “Manlife: The Last of the Lawsonians” on June 4th. Mr. Hayden made an appearance at that screening, lucidly participated in a Q&A and got to celebrate the achievement of his life’s work brought to a cinematic form.

Film News: ‘Manlife: The Last of Lawsonians’ Wins Audience Award at 2017 Chicago Underground Film Festival

Manlife

CHICAGO – The 24th Chicago Underground Film Festival (CUFF) wrapped on June 4th, 2017, and announced their award winners on June 7th. Taking the Audience Award, the top prize at CUFF, was the closing night film “Manchild: The Last of the Lawsonians.” As a bonus, the 96 year-old star of the film, Merle Lawson, got the opportunity to bask in the limelight, as he appeared on behalf of the film.

Film News: CUFF Closing Night Film is ‘Manlife: The Last of the Lawsonians’ on June 4, 2017

Manlife

CHICAGO – It’s been five days of off-the-wall cinema, filmmaker appearances, afterparty happenings and showing off the emerging Logan Square neighborhood. The 2017 Chicago Underground Film Festival (CUFF) is wrapping up on Sunday, June 4th, with a day of film presentations, culminating with the special U.S. and World Premiere of “Manlife: The Last of the Lawsonians.”

Film News: 2017 Tribeca Film Festival Honors ‘Keep the Change’ as Best U.S. Narrative Feature

2017 Tribeca Film Festival

CHICAGO – The 16th Edition of the Tribeca Film Festival continues through April 30th, 2017, but the main jury awards were announced yesterday at Awards Night ceremonies. “Keep the Change,” directed by Rachel Israel, was award Best U.S. Narrative Feature. All of the 2017 winners represented a wide range of topics, from inspirational to entertaining, and featured veteran as well as up-and-coming creators and talents from around the world. Worth noting, and a first for Tribeca, all five feature categories winners are from women-directed films.

Film News: Patrick McDonald of HollywoodChicago.com at the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival

NEW YORK CITY – HollywoodChicago.com is New York City bound, as Writer and Editorial Coordinator Patrick McDonald reports on the first week of the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival from April 20th through April 25th. For a Festival overview, click here.

Interview: Gordon Quinn of Kartemquin Films on Life After 50

CHICAGO – In the final chapter of a three-part interview, Gordon Quinn of Kartemquin Films desires to evolve forward, soon after the celebrations of the 50th anniversary of the iconic Chicago documentary house have past.

Interview: Gordon Quinn on 50th Anniversary of Kartemquin Films

CHICAGO – Two months ago, producer/director/cinematographer/editor Gordon Quinn received the Baadasssss Award from the 2016 CIMM Fest, for his longtime contributions to the cinema scene in Chicago through Kartemquin Films. The famous production house, known for their documentaries, is celebrating their 50th anniversary.

Interview: Producer Marla Gamze to Present ‘Artists of the First Sunrise’ in Chicago on Nov. 14, 2015

Artists of the First Sunrise

CHICAGO – The traditions and ceremony of our tribal past have eventually become homogenized in modern society. But there are some parts of the world where those traditions still exist, and much of it has a connection to art, dance, design, music and ritual. Executive Producer Marla Gamze is working on a new documentary – “Artists of the First Sunrise” – about the indigenous Aboriginal tribes of Australia, a native population that still bond to their tradition and expression.

Interview: Asif Kapadia, James Gay-Rees on Finding ‘Amy’

CHICAGO – She burned like a firework in the sky, and just as quickly faded away. The unique voice of Amy Winehouse was fresh air into the music vacuum, and yet the delicate state of her destructive addictions succumbed to a sudden notoriety. Director Asif Kapadia and producer James Gay-Rees tell her story in ‘Amy.’

Interview: Comedian Barry Crimmins of ‘Call Me Lucky’ at 2015 Chicago Critics Film Festival

CHICAGO – One of the more emotionally stunning screenings at the Chicago Critics Film Festival (CCFF) was a film about a comedian. Barry Crimmins is a beloved comic, with a stable of famous friends. But he also had a secret in his past, and it’s all explored in “Call Me Lucky,” directed by fellow comic traveler Bobcat Goldthwait.

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  • Adam West, LIFE Magazine

    CHICAGO – As they say about Adam West’s interpretation of Batman, “he hit so hard, that words describing the impact appeared out of thin air.” But there was more to him than just the superhero tights, as Patrick McDonald, Spike Walters and Jon Espino of HollywoodChicago.com remember the three main characters in the career of Adam West, who passed away last week.

  • Jeff Awards, 2017

    CHICAGO – The 44th edition of the Non-Equity Jeff Awards were given out on June 5th, 2017, at what insiders call “the theater prom.” The event honors the non-union smaller or “storefront” theater companies, and their efforts to produce quality stage work. Hosted in grand style by Alexis Roston and Lillian Castillo, the recipients of the top play was “At the Table” by the Broken Nose Theatre and top musical was “High Fidelity” by the Refuge Theatre Project.

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