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Interview: Sophia Wong Boccio on Season 6 of Chicago’s Asian Pop-Up Cinema

Sophia Wong Boccio

CHICAGO – The Asian Pop-Up Cinema (APUC) series has established a foothold in the Chicago film scene through the last three years and now five seasons. For Spring 2018, Season 6 will open on March 13th with a U.S. Premiere from Japan, “Colors of Wind,” featuring an appearance by hot lead Japanese actor, Yuki Furukawa (click here for details). The series will then unspool 14 more films through May 16th, all facilitated and curated by the Founder of APUC, veteran film programmer Sophia Wong Boccio.

Film News: DePaul University’s Big Shoulders International Student Film Fest on Feb. 16 & 17, 2018

Big Shoulders International Film Festival

CHICAGO – As the DePaul University film school grows and evolves, it continues to have innovative ideas to promote the art of cinema. For the first time, the College of Computing and Digital Media (which encompasses the film school) is presenting the Big Shoulders International Student Film Festival. The screening events, which are free and open to the public, will take place on February 16th and 17th, 2018. For more information about the specifics of the Fest, including how to reserve a seat for the screenings, click here.

Film Review: History by Rote in Formulaic ‘Victoria and Abdul’

CHICAGO – There have been 155 TV/Movie depictions of Queen Victoria, who ruled England from 1837 to 1901. The “Victorian Era” continues to fascinate filmmakers, and who is perfect to portray Queen V. towards the end of her life? Get me Dame Judi Dench on the Skype!

Film Review: ‘Lion’ Can’t Quite Tame Audience’s Hearts

CHICAGO – “Lion” is the kind of inspirational-triumph-over-insurmountable-odds and adversity stories that’s bound to appeal to grandmothers and Academy voters, and it does offer plenty of material to tug at the heartstrings. But it’s a movie that only gets the job half done, and unfortunately loses its way once Nicole Kidman comes into the picture.

Interview: Director Raza Siddiqui on ‘We Could Happen,’ Premiering on May 17, 2016

We Could Happen - Raza Siddiqui

CHICAGO – Raza Siddiqui is a “can do” director, who not only continues his own proficiency in filmmaking, but supports all Chicago films by presenting and participating in local film showcases. He has completed his first feature film – “We Could Happen” – and it will have its premiere on May 17th, 2016, at the Landmark Century Centre Cinema in Chicago. For details, click here.

Film News: Chicago Filmmaker Prashant Bhargava of ‘Patang’ Dies at 42

Prashant Bhargava

NEW YORK – He was a Chicago-born director who explored his culture with a delicacy and poignancy that set his debut feature film “Patang” apart from any other experience, and within that art he sought to understand the world beyond his American birthplace. Prashant Bhargava passed away suddenly in New York City on May 16th, 2015, of undisclosed causes. He was 42 years old.

Film Review: ‘Million Dollar Arm’ Misses the Strike Zone

CHICAGO – “Million Dollar Arm” harkens back to a period of shameless family friendly schmaltz that used to play to families in theaters and then run in perpetuity on “The Wonderful World Of Disney” on television. But this treacly baseball drama throws nothing but balls.

Interview: Actress Fawzia Mirza Reflects on the Stage Play ‘Brahman/i’

Fawzia Mirza

CHICAGO – The world is full of living components that express the similarities in our differences, and actress Fawzia Mirza is the embodiment of us all coming together. The self described South-Asian-Muslim-American woman has been a force on the Chicago acting scene for years, and recently broke out with a role in the high profile stage play “Brahman/i,” by Aditi Brennan Kapil, which premiered in Chicago on March 27th. The play was recently extended to May 4th.

Film Review: Frieda Pinto Takes a Sad, Tragic Journey in ‘Trishna’


CHICAGO – Transitions are one of the juiciest themes to have in a film, as a character or circumstance takes a path from one way-of-life to another. Director Michael Winterbottom has created “Trishna,” a story based on a 19th Century British novel, but woven into the present day India. Frieda Pinto (“Slumdog Millionaire”) stars as the title character.

Interview: Director Prashant Bhargava of ‘Patang’ at Chicago International Film Festival

CIFF logo 2011

CHICAGO – Going back to his roots is what director Prashant Bhargava accomplished with his new film “Patang.” The starkly beautiful, highly symbolic film centers on one of India’s largest kite festivals in the old city of Ahmedabad. The film centers on family and the clash of new and old traditions.

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  • Speech & Debate (stage play)

    CHICAGO – “Speech & Debate,” the latest production from the mighty Brown Paper Box Company, continues their tradition of thinking outside that “box” in presenting storefront theater that makes a statement and a difference. “Speech” goes inside America by showcasing the outsiders… those who create art because they can’t get it right in real life. This non-equity Chicago stage play premiere is finely tuned and wonderfully acted, and runs through March 4th, 2018. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

  • We're Gonna Be Okay

    CHICAGO – The 1960s were a time of historical social transition. The movements – civil rights, feminist, gay rights – all had roots in that tumultuous decade. The Chicago premiere of Basil Kreimendahl’s “We’re Gonna Be Okay” echoes all of those movements in its characters, and collides them against the October 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. The show has a Thursday-Sunday run at the American Theater Company through March 4th, 2018. Click here for more details, including ticket information.


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