Pandemic

Podtalk: Brett & Jason Butler on Their Film ‘Unfriending’

Unfriending

CHICAGO – Currently touring the film festival circuit, the new film “Unfriending” … by writer/director/brothers Brett and Jason Butler … is a pitch black comedy on our weirdly filtered world today. The Canadian filmmakers are veterans of five features, and have been building their reputations since the mid-2000s.

Podtalk: Director David Siev for His Doc on Hometown ‘Bad Axe’

CHICAGO – The combination of the divisive Donald Trump election and the pandemic affected many U.S. communities. David Siev, an American filmmaker from a Cambodian-origin family, turned on his camera to tell the story of that time in his hometown of Bad Axe, Michigan. The results became the documentary “Bad Axe.”

Via Zoom: Director Mary Wall’s ‘The Fan Connection’ at Wilmette Theatre, Oct. 7-8, 2022

Fan Connection, The

CHICAGO – A fascinating documentary on the essence of ardent hockey fanatics is in “The Fan Connection’ by Mary Wall, her debut film. Wall is originally from the Buffalo, New York, area and observed the hope that the Buffalo Sabres NHL hockey team gave the sports crazy city, which resulted in her chronicle in “The Fan Connection.” The film will screen at the Wilmette (Illinois) Theatre on October 7th and 8th, with an appearance by Mary Wall. Click LET’S GO BUFFALO for details and a ticket link.

Podtalk: Last Day of CUFF29 with Caroline Dean’s ‘Hermit Day’

CHICAGO – The 29th Chicago Underground Film Festival (CUFF29) Closing Day/Night is July 31st, 2022, and will present both short and feature films. One such work of art is the short film “Hermit Day,” written, directed and featuring Caroline Dean. It will be screened at SHORTS 7 on July 31st, for more info and tickets, click HERMIT.

Podtalk: Filmmaker/Actor Ashton Swinford Talks Magic in Her New Short Film, ‘Basic Witches’

Ashton Swinford Basic Witches

CHICAGO – When we last checked in with actor and filmmaker Ashton Swinford, she had just completed her hilarious web series ”Miss Information”. She is back with a new short film, equally funny, in the white privilege satire “Basic Witches.”

Via Zoom: Filmmaker/Actor Clare Cooney on Her New Short ‘Pick Up’

CHICAGO – Although this former Chicago-based actor has moved on to Los Angeles, she continues as a filmmaker with her excellent second short, “Pick Up.” Clare Cooney wrote, directed and is featured in this poignant journey, as two ex-lovers figure out their current status in the midst of the world pandemic.

Via Zoom: Rebecca Fons of the Gene Siskel Film Center, ReOpening on August 6, 2021

CHICAGO – A cinema treasure, the Gene Siskel Film Center, reopens in-theater screenings on Friday, August 6th, 2021, the first since the pandemic closure in March of 2020. During the closure, they also named a new Director of Programming, Rebecca Fons.

Podtalk: Morgan Gire, Artistic Associate of The Factory Theater Chicago, on Aug. Silent Auction

Factory Theater, The

CHICAGO – It’s time again for live theater in Chicago, and The Factory Theater – in anticipation of their 2021-22 Season – is launching “Quiet Please! It’s A Silent Auction,” an online silent auction through the month of August (the 1st-31st). An amazing array of goods and services are available for bidding, and can be accessed by clicking here.

Podtalk: That’s a Wrap! Filmmaker Michael Glover Smith on ‘Relative'

CHICAGO – Local filmmaker Michael Glover Smith broke through the after-the-pandemic ceiling with his recently completed fourth feature film, “Relative.” The ten day production, shot primarily in Chicago’s Rogers Park neighborhood, follows the adventures of a family negotiating the youngest son’s graduation gathering.

Via Zoom: Colin Hara, President of Chicago’s Asian Pop-Up Cinema, on Upcoming Spring Series

APUC 2021, Sophia WB and Colin Hara

CHICAGO – The Asian Pop-Up Cinema (APUC) of Chicago wishes everyone a HAPPY CHINESE LUNAR NEW YEAR … the Year of the Ox. To celebrate the day, how about a FREE Chinese Film Series, and an interview via Zoom with the President of APUC, Colin Hara. Mr. Hara has been part of the Governing Board of the cinema series since 2018, and is in his third year as president.

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  • HellsGate Haunted House

    CHICAGO – It began with a boy and his dream (nightmare?). John LaFlamboy, to be exact, as he took an idea he had in college and made it his life’s work. He owns and operates the HellsGate Haunted House in Lockport (Illinois), which was designed, built and put together by Haunted House experts expressly for the spookiest month of the year. For info on how to purchase tickets, click HellsGate.

  • Innocence of Seduction, The

    CHICAGO – Society, or at least certain elements of society, are always looking for scapegoats to hide the sins of themselves and authority. In the so-called “great America” of the 1950s, the scapegoat target was comic books … specifically through a sociological study called “The Seduction of the Innocent.” City Lit Theater Company, in part two of a trilogy on comic culture by Mark Pracht, presents “The Innocence of Seduction … now through October 8th, 2023. For details and tickets, click COMIC BOOK.

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