We might associate animation with Disney and children’s cartoons, but it also has a long history as an alternative art form. Join a group of Festival filmmakers whose shorts and features use animation in all of its guises to satirize, criticize and generally push the envelope of what we expect to see in animated work. With Venus director Tor Fruergaard, George the Hedgehog director Jakub Tarkowski, Jim Trainor, SAIC Professor/Independent Filmmaker, and other panelists TBA.
We all know first-hand that film has the power to move us emotionally, but does it also have the power to create social change? How does a film go beyond entertainment and become a call to action? Do filmmakers consider themselves activists as well as auteurs? Join a panel of Festival filmmakers as well as local voices for a discussion about the importance of looking at film with education and social awareness in mind. With Salaam Dunk director David Fine, Naomi Walker, National Engagement Consultant, [ITVS], Alex Kotlowitz, Author/Producer (Interrupters), and other panelists TBA.
For the 15th anniversary of our Black Perspectives program, we are turning our focus to independent production and distribution models for black cinema in Chicago. With one of the largest and most diverse African-American populations in the country, we’ll explore the past, present and future of black cinema produced in our area. With Kinyarwanda director Alrick Brown, James Reed, Independent Chicago Filmmaker, Barbara Allen, Independent Chicago Filmmaker, and other panelists TBA.
What are the latest trends in documentary form? Has technology changed the way docs are produced and distributed? How do filmmakers incorporate new styles and approaches such as 3D and animation into their storytelling and character development strategies? Join a lineup of this year’s visiting filmmakers and members of the local documentary community for an insightful conversation on the status of non-fiction cinema. With Ron Fernandez (DePaul University), director Xan Aranda (Andrew Bird: Fever Year) , director Adam Gacka and producer Paul Matian (Sadermania), director Olivier Morel (On the Bridge) and local filmmaker Dan Rybicky.
Join an exciting line up of Festival directors as they discuss the process of developing and workshopping scripts in preparation for production. This ever-popular event offers a rare opportunity to ask questions of directors who have successfully crafted a feature but still clearly remember the trials and tribulations of starting out in the industry. With Women and Children director Daniel Mitelpunkt, Land of Oblivion director Michale Boganim, Karen Loop, Assistant Professor Film & Video, Columbia College Chicago, and other panelists TBA.
The increasing popularity of Video On Demand (VOD) platforms is just the latest development to rock the ever-changing world of independent film distribution. Join a stellar line up of panelists from leading U.S. distributors to discuss current trends in distribution, how to strategize the distribution of your film, and where we can, and should, be going from here. Panelists include reps from Strand Releasing, The Weinstein Company, and more. With Brandon Peters, Strand Releasing, Tom Quinn, The Weinstein Company, Claude Nouchi, Colifilms Diffusion, and other panelists TBA.
Love it or hate it, there’s no denying that social media can be a valuable tool for filmmakers, whether it’s used as a marketing device or a fundraising platform. Join a number of filmmakers who have used social media effectively in promoting their work as well as other experts in the field to share wisdom and discuss ideas. Then tweet about it! With moderator Stephen Gossett, Flavorpill Chicago,Method director Rider Strong, Andrew Bird: Fever Year director Xan Aranda, Kristen Kaza, Marketing Director, The Chicago Reader/Independent Producer, Ky Dickens, Independent Filmmaker, and Here director Braden King.
South Asia, and India in particular, is known for high-end Bollywood Blockbusters, but it is also home to a growing regional film industry that is gaining prominence and producing visually stunning, edgy work. Join directors whose new films are showcased in this year’s Spotlight South Asia program as they discuss their experiences making movies outside of the studio system. Moderator Neha Kamdar, Screen Cultures, Northwestern UniversityPatang director Prashant Bhargava, Kshay (Corrode) director Karan Gour, Flying Fish director Sanjeewa Pushpakumara, and other panelists TBA.
Dinner. A glass of wine. Stimulating conversation. What better way to wind down the day? A couple's dinner repartee quickly morphs into a scene ripped straight from the script of an adult film. Who wins this battle of the sexes is anyone’s guess. Starring Seymour Cassel as you’ve never seen him before.
Can you ever really go home again? In Chicago-born Prashant Bhargava’s visually stunning feature debut, a successful Delhi businessman returns to his familial home, urban-bred daughter in tow, for a surprise visit during India’s largest kite festival. The excitement of their homecoming soon fades as long-held resentments and distrust surface.
Hindi with subtitles, 93 min
Legendary German filmmaker (and Chicago Film Festival discovery) Wim Wenders brings long-time friend and dance innovator Pina Bausch's revolutionary work to life through state-of-the-art 3D in Pina. A labor of love for both Wenders and the Tanztheater Wuppertal, Bausch's company, Pina features four of her most acclaimed choreographies ingeniously staged indoors and outdoors. By focusing on depth and perspective instead of flashy effects, Wenders creates a submersive experience for dance fans and neophytes alike.
Multiple languages with subtitles, 103 min
Based on real cases of bullying in Sweden, Play incisively delves into a children’s world ruled by intimidation and manipulation while delivering a nuanced commentary on race relations. When three boys are falsely accused of stealing a cell phone by older boys from immigrant African families, the latter assert their dominance through elaborate role play and gang rhetoric. What follows is an alarmingly tense game that no adult could dare to win.
Swedish with subtitles, 118 min