Cinema/Chicago News

A colorful truck weaves through winding mountain roads, two people sit on its roof observing the passing scenery.

Film Spotlight: Billy Dec & Michele Josue on Food Roots

Published: October 17, 2023  |  Filed under: Festival News

Chicagoans may know Billy Dec from his restaurant Sunda or his appearances on the Today Show, Criminal Minds, and Empire. But many may not know that Dec has Filipino heritage – and that’s what he decided to explore in making the documentary Food Roots.

We chatted with Billy Dec and fellow Filipino-American Michele Josue, the director of Food Roots, about the project, discovering one’s heritage, their favorite Chicago films, and more.

Q&A with Billy Dec

Photo: Billy DecWhat was the genesis of Food Roots?[…]

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Cinema/Chicago News

A film crew shoot direcot Eric D. Seals and his father on their bikes with sun setting behind the St. Louis Arch in the background.

Director Spotlight: Eric Seals on Bike Vessel

Published: October 13, 2023  |  Filed under: Behind the Scenes, Festival News

headshot: Eric D. SealsEric D. Seals is a Chicago-based director and cinematographer who’s worked on projects from live sports and Netflix documentary series to ads. His directorial debut, Bike Vessel, follows a bike trip he took from St. Louis to Chicago with his father after his dad changed his lifestyle following three quadruple bypass operations. The film is both a funny and touching portrait of a father-son road trip while also commenting on racial health disparities and the systemic racism Black men face.[…]

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Cinema/Chicago News

Cinema/Chicago News

headshot: Minhal Baig

Director Spotlight: Minhal Baig on We Grown Now

Published: October 9, 2023  |  Filed under: Behind the Scenes, Festival News

headshot: Minhal BaigMinhal Baig is a Chicago native whose first film, Hala, screened at the 55th Chicago International Film Festival in 2019. We’re thrilled to present the U.S. Premiere of her next feature, the Chicago-set coming-of-age story We Grown Now, for Opening Night of our 59th Festival. We chatted with Minhal about the origin of the story behind We Grown Now, recreating 1990s Cabrini-Green on screen, and her favorite Chicago movies.

How did you first come up with the idea behind We Grown Now?[…]

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Cinema/Chicago News

headshot: Clare Cooney

Director Spotlight: Clare Cooney on Departing Seniors

Published: October 6, 2023  |  Filed under: Behind the Scenes, Festival News

headshot: Clare CooneyClare Cooney is an actor and filmmaker who rose through the ranks of the Chicago arts community. She’s appeared in NBC’s Chicago Med, Steve McQueen’s Chicago thriller Widows, and the indie feature Runner, among other shows and films. We’re thrilled to host the North American premiere of her directorial feature debut, the sarcastic, whip-smart horror-comedy Departing Seniors – shot right here in Chicago.

We chatted with Clare about filming during COVID, refreshing the teen slasher genre, what it’s like to screen her film at the Music Box Theatre, and more.[…]

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