Full Schedule 2022

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Industry Days Schedule 2022

Welcome to Industry Days at the 58th Chicago International Film Festival!

Industry Days is the Chicago International Film Festival’s hub for filmmakers and industry professionals to connect, share ideas, and be inspired. We are back and fully in-person—Zoom be damned!—and we look forward to seeing you at our many discussions, events, networking opportunities, and don’t forget to sign up for our Decision-Maker Roundtable meetings, where you can meet up close with top executives from major entertainment companies.

Since its inception, Industry Days has hosted an impressive lineup of film executives, entertainment professionals, and major talents, including Oscar-winning director Steve McQueen, Oscar-nominated screenwriter John Logan; Oscar-nominated composer Terence Blanchard; producers Dede Gardner, Ted Hope, Gigi Pritzker, Brenda Gilbert, James D. Stern, and MACRO CEO Charles D. King; and veteran distribution executives Michael Barker, Richard Lorber, and Tom Quinn.

All events are open to registered Industry Days passholders only unless otherwise noted.

Industry Days Schedule

Thursday, October 13

5:00-6:00pm: Minding the Gap: Navigating a Career in Chicago’s Film/TV Industries

With the explosion of streaming content, Chicago and Illinois have become a major production hub, hitting a record last year in revenue generated from major productions shooting in the city and the state. What are the various positions that exist and how do crew and craftspeople land the jobs that sustain a career? And is it easier or harder in the pandemic-era to stay in the Midwest? The area’s most prolific and hardworking below-the-line talent speak out.

Panelists: DeShawn Bowman (Make-up Artist), Jami Primmer (Production Designer/Art Director), Nick Rafferty (Location Manager), Marci Rodgers (Costume Designer)
Moderated by: Christine Dudley (Illinois Production Alliance)
Location: AMC River East 21 – Theater #21, 322 E Illinois St | Map It >
Presented by: Logo: Cinespace 171x65Logo: Illinois Production Alliance 125x129

6:00-7:00pm: Industry Days Mixer

Location: Lizzie McNeil’s, 400 N McClurg Ct | Map It >
Hosted by: logo: CineCity Studios 156x125

Friday, October 14

11:00-12:00pm: Deep Impact: How to Craft and Fund Stories That Make the World a Better Place

Media is one of the most powerful tools we have to raise awareness for issues that matter to us, from social justice to climate change. How do content creators and documentary filmmakers translate their message into effective stories that will get financial support and reach a wider audience? What are funders looking for and how can creators harness their financial or philanthropic support? And how can storytelling—either documentary or fiction–empower audiences and make a positive impact on our society? Funders and filmmakers offer tools, strategies, and advice.

Panelists: Paula Froehle (CMP), Brenda Robinson (Film Independent), Whitney Spencer (Kartemquin), Jill Tidman (The Redford Center)
Moderated by: Yvonne Welbon (Sisters in Cinema)
Location: WoodWind, 259 E Erie St, 18th floor | Map it >

1:00-2:00pm: Side Effects: Independent Filmmakers Can Use Visual FX, Too!

Chicago filmmakers Alex Phillips (All Jacked Up and Full of Worms) and Alex Thompson (Rounding), both of whom are screening their films at this year’s Festival, and local experts from companies Carbon and Sarofsky discuss the ways in which VFX can help creators realize their inspired visions, and the tricks and tips on how to do it on a budget.

Panelists: Stefan Draht (Sarofsky), Alex Phillips (All Jacked Up and Full of Worms), Michael Sarabia (Carbon VFX), Alex Thompson (Rounding)
Moderated by: Spencer Parsons (Filmmaker)
Location: WoodWind, 259 E Erie St, 18th floor | Map it >
Presented by: Logo: Adobe 257x85

3:00-4:00pm: Art and Money: Financing Films/TV with Media Powerhouse 30WEST

Join IndieWire’s Editor in Chief Dana Harris in conversation with Dan Steinman, co-president and COO of 30WEST, the media investment firm and studio that has helped assemble and finance many of the last half-decade’s most acclaimed projects, from breakouts Tiger King and Fyre; Academy Award-nominated I, Tonya; recent Cannes Palme d’Or winner Triangle of Sadness; as well as the forthcoming reimagining of The Crow. Harris and Steinman will discuss the current funding landscape for independent projects, navigating agencies and packaging talent, and the viability of film markets in getting those projects funded, made, and sold.

Panelists: Dan Steinman (30WEST)
Moderated by: Dana Harris-Bridson (IndieWire)
Location: WoodWind, 259 E Erie St, 18th floor | Map it >

4:30-5:30pm: Disabling Comedy: Humor That Dares to Go There

Mental illness isn’t funny, but comedians have always mined their own psychological challenges for laughs. Alex Heller, at this year’s Festival with The Year Between, which hilariously chronicles her own bout with bipolar disorder, joins comedians and others in the comedy industry to discuss the challenges of balancing humor and mental health, and how comedic storytelling can broach difficult topics and reach audiences in ways that other mediums often can’t.

Panelists: Jen Ellison (The Second City), Alex Heller (The Year Between), Kellye Howard (Comedian, Actor), Anne Libera (Columbia College Chicago)
Moderated by: Kelly Leonard (The Second City)
Location: WoodWind, 259 E Erie St, 18th floor | Map it >
Co-presented by: Logo: The Second City 329x75

5:30-6:30pm: Industry Days Mixer

Location: Woodwind, 259 E Erie St, 18th floor, Cedar Room | Map it >
Co-hosted by: Logo: Periscope Post & Audio 154x50 and Logo: SAG Indie 163x100

Saturday, October 15

10:30-11:30am: Critical Stories for Critical Impact: Black-Run Media Companies

Featuring representatives from distinguished Black-owned and Black-run media companies addressing sustainability in the industry and the power of independent storytelling, this panel will explore the ways in which these executives are breaking through the industry, and paving the way for a new generation of creatives and leaders.

Panelists: Ada Chiaghana (Higher Ground Productions), Dana Gills (Monkeypaw Productions), Greta Talia Fuentes (MACRO Film Studios)
Moderated by: Troy Pryor (Creative Cypher)
Location: WoodWind, 259 E Erie St, 18th floor | Map it >
Presented by: Logo: SAG Indie 163x100

12:00-1:00pm: Tarell Alvin McCraney and Kemp Powers: Writing Trauma and Transformation

Acclaimed writers Tarell Alvin McCraney, the Oscar-winning screenwriter of Moonlight, and Kemp Powers, the Oscar-nominated scribe of Pixar’s Soul and One Night in Miami, discuss bringing the Black experience to life and the challenges of creating meaningful work that fosters healing and transformation. Moderated by award-winning actor and playwright Regina Taylor.

Panelists: Tarell Alvin McCraney, Kemp Powers
Moderator: Regina Taylor
Location: WoodWind, 259 E Erie St, 18th floor | Map it >
In partnership with: Logo: Steppenwolf Theatre 371x54

This event is open to the public.
Get tickets now

2:00-3:00pm: Composing Master Class with Mychael Danna

Join us in a special conversation with Mychael Danna, Academy Award-winning film composer behind Life of Pi as well as Moneyball, Little Miss Sunshine, and (500) Days of Summer. Known for his evocative blending of non-western traditions with orchestral and electronic music, Danna will discuss working with Award-winning directors such as Ang Lee, Marc Webb, as well as working on animated features such as The Addams Family and Pixar’s The Good Dinosaur and Onward. Most recently, his work includes Stillwater, Return to Space, and Where the Crawdads Sing.

Moderated by: Kubilay Uner (Columbia College Chicago, Composer)
Location: WoodWind, 259 E Erie St, 18th floor | Map it >
Sponsored by: Logo: Dark Matter Coffee 125x125

3:30-4:30pm: De-fueling the Crisis: Storytellers and Scientists on Climate Action

From the Marvel Universe to Avatar, the new Knives Out mystery Glass Onion to independent films, storytellers everywhere are grappling with our current climate change and global energy crises. We discuss the latest scientific developments on climate change, the struggles with our institutions’ inability to confront it, and how these debates are inspiring a new generation of stories.

Sloan Salon | Awarding $120,000 to filmmakers annually, Film Independent and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation together encourage filmmakers to create more realistic and accurate stories about science and technology to challenge existing stereotypes about scientists and engineers in the popular imagination.

Panelists: David A. Archer (University of Chicago, author of Global Warming: Understanding the Forecast), Carmiel Banasky (writer, Amazon’s Undone), Daniel Goldhaber (How to Blow Up a Pipeline), Anastasia Montgomery (Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Northwestern University)
Moderator: Michael Metzger (Northwestern University)
Location: WoodWind, 259 E Erie St, 18th floor | Map it >
Co-presented by:
Logo: Film Independent 67x100

5:00-6:00pm: Master Class with Darren Aronofsky

Join this special Master Class in directing with Academy Award®-nominated filmmaker Darren Aronofsky. His upcoming film The Whale for A24 stars Brendan Fraser, Sadie Sink, Hong Chau, and Samantha Morton. Aronofsky wrote and directed 2017’s mother! starring Jennifer Lawrence and Javier Bardem. Before that, Aronofsky made the 2014 box office hit Noah, starring Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, and Anthony Hopkins. In 2010, Aronofsky received a Best Director Academy Award® nomination for his indie box office phenomenon Black Swan starring Natalie Portman, who won a Best Actress Academy Award® for her performance. 2008’s The Wrestler starring Mickey Rourke won the Golden Lion for the best film at the Venice Film Festival. Previous to that were the acclaimed and award-winning films The Fountain (2006), Requiem for a Dream (2000), and π (1998).

Moderated by: Anthony Kaufman
Location: AMC River East 21 – Theater #9, 322 E Illinois St |  Map it >
This event is open to the public
Get tickets now

Note: Industry Days Badge Holders do not need to purchase an additional ticket for this event, but must RSVP via the link sent to their email by Friday, October 14 at 10 am CT. Otherwise, you must wait in the standby line for rush tickets.

5:00-7:00pm: Industry Days Mixer

Location: WoodWind, 259 E Erie St, 18th floor, Cedar Room | Map it >
Co-hosted by:
Logo: Film Independent 67x100

Sunday, October 16

1:30-4:00pm: The Pitch

A curated selection of filmmakers with new narrative projects in active development will take part in a competitive pitch session. The winning project will receive an awards package of in-kind services from Chicago-area production facilities and organizations—to include consultation, production, and post-production services.

Pitch Judges: Gigi Pritzker (Madison Wells), Brenda Robinson (Executive Producer), Greta Talia Fuentes (MACRO Film Studios)
Host: Nicole Bernardi-Reis (IFA Chicago)
Location: WoodWind, 259 E Erie St, 18th floor | Map it >

Pitch Sponsors: Logo: IFA Independent Film Alliance 263x100Logo: Panavision 185x85Logo: Light Iron 275x75Logo: Periscope Post & Audio 154x50  Simon Casting, and Sloss Eckhouse Dasti Haynes LawCo.

Saturday, October 22

3:30-4:30pm: Composing Master Class with Kris Bowers

Join us for a special Master Class with Kris Bowers, an Emmy Award-winning composer, musician, and filmmaker at the forefront of an emerging generation of genre-defying composers and multi-hyphenate creators. Famed for honoring his jazz roots while incorporating alternative and R&B influences into his work, the Juilliard-educated pianist has composed music for such films as Dear White People, Green Book, The United States vs. Billie Holiday, Respect, and King Richard, as well as television mini-series When They See Us and Mrs. America, both of which earned Emmy nominations for Outstanding Original Dramatic Score, and the hit Netflix series Bridgerton, for which he also received Emmy nominations for his score and theme music.

Industry Days badge holders do not need to purchase a ticket. Students can use the discount code ids58fest for $5 off when purchasing a ticket

Moderated by: Jenna Lyle
AMC River East 21, 322 E Illinois St |  Map it >
Sponsored by: Logo: Dark Matter Coffee 125x125
This event is open to the public.
Get tickets now

Note: Speakers are subject to change.

2022 Industry Days Sponsors & Supporters

Logo: Adobe 257x85Logo: Camera Ambassador 172x150logo: CineCity Studios 156x125Logo: Cinelease 270x100Logo: Cinespace 171x65Logo: Dark Matter Coffee 125x125Logo: Film Independent 67x100Logo: IFA Independent Film Alliance 263x100Logo: Illinois Production Alliance 125x129Logo: Light Iron 275x75Logo: Panavision 185x85Logo: Periscope Post & Audio 154x50Logo: Revolution Brewing 355x100Logo: SAG Indie 163x100Logo: The Second City 329x75Logo: The Seeker 210x75Logo: Steppenwolf Theatre 371x54

Additional Support

Logo: NEA 293x100Logo: Illinois Arts Council - 133x100logo: Illinois Film OfficeLogo: DCASE Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events 311x100Logo: DCASE/Chicago Film Office (202) - 450x75

This program is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts, a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency, and a CityArts Grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events.