Industry Days Schedule 2016

We’re proud to announce the full schedule and lineup of speakers and special guests for Industry Days at the 52nd Chicago International Film Festival. Explore the events below, and register to attend here. Industry Days is sponsored by Wintrust Community Banks and Film Freeway, and hosted by Union Square Events.

The full Industry Days conference will take place at Gallery at GreenRiver (259 E. Erie, 18th Floor). Again this year, several Industry Days events will be ticketed and open to the public; these events will be held at AMC River East and are noted below.

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The Money is Here! Chicago Financiers, Angels and Instigators AMC PUBLIC EVENT
Forget Wall Street and Hollywood—financing for your film or media project can be found right in your own backyard. Meet these Chicago-based kickstarters and find out what types of projects they’re interested in backing, and why.

Panelists: Nicole Bernardi-Reis (moderator, IFP Chicago), Steve Cohen (Chicago Media Project), Ted Reilly (Chicago Media Angels), Jonathan Bross (Periscope), Matthew Ellison (Maudit)


Industry Tribute: James D. Stern, in conversation with Mark Caro AMC PUBLIC EVENT


Industry Days Reception at Gallery at GreenRiver

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A Conversation with Howard Tullman on the Future of Filmed Entertainment
Howard Tullman, CEO of 1871, the Chicago-based tech incubator, and founder of Tribeca Flashpoint Media Arts, will speak about entrepreneurship and innovation in the media industries. Moderator Aymar Jean “AJ” Christian (Open TV, Northwestern)


From Horror to Comedy, Is Genre Content a Viable Way to Launch Your Career?
From Paranormal Activity to Little Miss Sunshine to Broad City, many of the industry’s first-time breakouts have been horror or comedy projects. But how difficult is it to make a successful genre project, and what subgenres are hot and what are not?
Panelists: Angie Gaffney (moderator), Ned Crowley (Middle Man), Nicole Goelzhaeuser (MPI), Spencer Parsons (I’ll Come Running) .


Punchlines: How to Make Sh*t Funny AMC PUBLIC EVENT
Comedy professionals have the unenviable challenge of getting audiences to LOL. So if “success” is based on laughs, is humor something you can learn? These witty talents talk about mastering their craft and surviving in the comedy business.
Panelists: Rachael Mason (Second City, moderator), Jim O’Heir, David Pasquesi, Michael McCarthy.
Co-produced by Second City/Howard Ramis Film School


Hollywood Dealmaker: A Conversation with MACRO’s Charles D. King on Producing & Packaging Films AMC PUBLIC EVENT
Charles D. King, Founder & CEO of MACRO, is an executive producer of Denzel Washington’s Fences, and was a Partner at William Morris Endeavor (WME) for over 15 years, where he was known for his innovative deal-making. His company is a co-financier of Fences. Speaking with veteran executive Laverne McKinnon, King discusses packaging talent and how to put together quality content in today’s multi-media landscape.
Moderated by Laverne McKinnon

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Distribution 5.0: Navigating the Changing V.O.D./Theatrical Marketplace
Moving from larger to smaller screens, the U.S. distribution landscape for independent films is rapidly changing. What’s it take for a movie these days to make it into theaters, and can VOD bring in enough revenue to make it worthwhile? Meet the gatekeepers with the answers.
Panelists: Jonah Zeiger (moderator), Brian Andreotti (Music Box Films), Andrew Carlin (Oscilloscope), Danielle DiGiacomo (The Orchard), Blandine Mercier-McGovern (Cinema Guild),  Michael Sorenson (Distribber).


Standing Out From the Crowd: Promoting, Positioning and Premiering Your Project
Thousands of films of all types are created each year. How does yours get noticed? From the right festivals for your film to marketing materials to press coverage, this panel will give you the information you can use to get your projects seen and remembered.
Panelists: Ian Kibbe (Kartemquin Films, moderator), Abby Davis (Preferred Content), Susan Norget (Susan Norget Film Promotion), Lilly Riber (Mubi).


State of the Art-House: A Conversation with Ira Deutchman
Ira Deutchman has been making, marketing and distributing films since 1975, having worked on over 150 films, including some of the most successful independent films of all time (from sex, lies, and videotape to Hoop Dreams). Join Deutchman for an illuminating conversation about independent films, where they’ve been and where they’re going.


Black Cinema Then and Now: 25 Years after the Black New Wave AMC PUBLIC EVENT
In 1991, African American filmmakers launched several influential films: Boyz in the Hood (John Singleton), Daughters of the Dust (Julie Dash), New Jack City (Mario Van Peebles), A Rage in Harlem (Bill Duke) and Jungle Fever (Spike Lee). Twenty-five years later, where is black cinema now, and how much more needs to be done to foster African American filmmaking and stories?
Panelists: Prof. Allyson Field (moderator), Matthew Cherry (9 Rides), Sam Pollard (Two Trains Runnin’), Julie Dash (Daughters of the Dust), Qasim Bashir (Destined)


Secrets of the Screenwriting Trade
Writing is rewriting. Nobody knows anything. Write what you know. Avoid clichés. Find out the essentials of writing a good script and maintaining a sustainable career in the entertainment industry.
Panelists: Brad Riddell (moderator), Caitlin Parrish (The View from Tall, Supergirl), Scott Myers (Go into The Story)


Industry Days “Meet the Distributors” Cocktails

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The Pitch (with coffee break)
A curated selection of filmmakers with new narrative projects in active development will take part in a competitive pitch session. The winning pitch will receive an award of in-kind services. (Co-produced with IFP/Chicago).
Pitch Jury: Molly O’Keefe (Tribeca Film Institute), Eddie Linker (Forager Films), Aijah Keith (IFC Films), Rebecca Green (Two Flints)


Industry Days Lead Sponsors

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