Cinema/Chicago News

Industry Days Panels & Panelists

Published: September 15, 2015  |  Filed under: Festival News

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Panels on Financing, Producing, Sales, TV & Web Series, and Film Distribution 

The Chicago International Film Festival announces the full program for Industry Days, presented by leading financial services provider TIAA-CREF. The four-day conference kicks off on Thurs, Oct 22 with a Tribute to producer Gigi Pritzker at the AMC River East (322 E. Illinois St, Chicago), moderated by Andrea Wishom, Chief Operating Officer for Skywalker Properties Ltd. and former Executive Vice President of Harpo Studios. Following the Tribute will be a reception in Gigi Pritzker’s honor, hosted by the Tribune Tower (435 N Michigan Ave, Chicago) on their rooftop Crown Terrace.

Industry Days is Presented by TIAA-CREF. With additional support from Program Partners Tribune Media Company, Columbia College Chicago, and OtterBox. Featured panelists include writer/director Steve Pink (Gross Pointe Blank, Hot Tub Time Machine, New Girl); actor-producer-director Jeff Garlin (Curb Your Enthusiasm, I Want Someone to Eat Cheese With); Kickstarter co-founder Charles Adler; Chicago directors Stephen Cone & Kris Swanberg; Richard Lorber, distributor of films by such acclaimed directors as Steven Soderbergh, Jean-Luc Godard, Francois Truffaut, and John Woo; and Amy Hobby, producer of such films as Secretary, What Happened, Miss Simone? and co-founder of female-driven production company Tangerine Entertainment.

Speakers from the following companies are also confirmed to participate: IFC Films, Magnolia Pictures, The Orchard, Sundance Institute, MPI Media Group, Zeitgeist Films, Music Box Films, Kino/Lorber, The Film Collaborative, Film Buff, The Film Sales Company, Preferred Content, ITVS, Kartemquin Films, and the Chicago Media Project.

Industry Days features four days of networking, receptions, master classes, panel discussions, and workshops, ending with a competitive Pitch Session co-produced by IFP Chicago. The winning pitch will receive an award of in-kind services valued at over $20,000 from such companies as Avid, Hewlett-Packard, Magnanimous Media, and Stage 18.

“We have always wanted to expand our Industry program at the Festival,” says Festival Founder & Artistic Director Michael Kutza. “This is an incredible lineup and I’m glad we have Anthony Kaufman on our team to lead it.”

Chicago International Film Festival Programmer Anthony Kaufman added, “The Festival has always had a very strong international focus and roster of global guests. With Industry Days, we look forward to bringing foreign filmmakers together with Chicago’s local filmmaking community and industry professionals from the coasts and seeing what synergies develop.”

Industry Days will serve as the central hub for filmmakers and industry professionals, examining current and future trends in the film and entertainment business. All panels require an Industry Days pass, unless otherwise noted. All OPEN TO THE PUBLIC events will take place at the AMC River East 21 (322 E. Illinois St, Chicago). All Industry-only events will take place at the Tribune Tower’s Campbell Hall (435 N Michigan Ave, Chicago). For more information, including a complete list of confirmed speakers and Industry Days registration, visit

*Program subject to change

Overseas Connections: How to Gain Access to International Partners and Financiers
Co-produced with IFP/Chicago

Crowdfunding and Crowdfinding: How to Raise Money and Prime Your Prospective Audience

Making an Impact: How to Build Coalitions, Engage Communities, and Change the World Through Film

Is the Future of Indie Film in TV and on the Web? (Open to the Public)

How to Build a Booming Chicago Film Industry (Open to the Public)
Co-produced with Stage 18

A Conversation with Writer-Producer-Directors Steve Pink and Jeff Garlin (Open to the Public)

How to Make a Great Movie for $50,000 or Less

The Foreign Language Film Crisis: Are Subtitled Movies Fading on U.S. Screens? (Open to the Public)

How to Sell Your Film

The Distribution Puzzle: Film Releasing Strategies from Theaters to VOD
Co-produced with IFP/Chicago

Power Players: How Women Producers & Financiers are Changing the Entertainment Business (Open to the Public)

TIAA-CREF ( is a national financial services organization with $869 billion in assets under management (as of 6/30/2015) and is the leading provider of retirement services in the academic, research, medical and cultural fields.

Regarded as a historical landmark, the Tribune Tower continues to be one of the most recognizable buildings in Chicago. This Neo-Gothic icon offers stellar views of downtown Chicago that highlight the charm of the “Magnificent Mile,” making this a premier location for film and television, events, and activations.

The 51st Chicago International Film Festival’s sponsors include Gold Festival Partners: TIAA-CREF, Columbia College Chicago, Wintrust Community Banks; Official Airline: American Airlines; Headquarters Hotel: JW Marriott Chicago; Silver Festival Partners: Bloomberg, Intersites; Platinum Media Partners: National CineMedia (NCM), JC Decaux, Michigan Avenue Magazine; Gold Media Partners: The Hollywood Reporter, Time Out Chicago, WBEZ, WTTW11; Bronze Festival Partners: Stella Artois, AARP, Tribune Media; Participating Partners: SundanceNow Doc Club, Whole Foods Market, Wansas Tequila, Cultivate Studios, Netrix, KIND, OtterBox, Sound Investment AV, Optimus; Official Automobile: Volvo; Participating Hotels: Public, The Whitehall Hotel, theWit; and Cultural Partners: Consulate General of Argentina in Chicago, Italian Cultural Institute of Chicago, Italian Film Commission. With Foundation and Government support from the National Endowment of the Arts, Alphawood Foundation Chicago, the Illinois Arts Council, and Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events, Richard H. Driehaus Foundation.


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