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Filmmakers to Discuss the Latest Trends

Free tickets will be available on a first-come first-served basis at Festival box offices, AMC River East 21 (322 East Illinois St.) and Cinema/Chicago (30 E. Adams St.), starting at 10 a.m., Monday, October 3rd. Eight free discussion panels hosted by the Festival will be open to members of the general public. 

From leveraging social media to create and market films (Social Media: Spreading the Word) to using the power of film to create social change (Art as Activism), navigating the challenge of starting a filmmaking career (New Directors: Camera Ready?), and the rapidly changing future of distribution (New Models of Distribution), panels at the 47th Festival will spark lively discourse on the topics most relevant to film today. 


Saturday, 8 October 12pm; AMC River East (322 East Illinois St.)

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 the Chicago area. With director Alrick Brown (KINYARWANDA), Independent Chicago Filmmakers James Reed and Barbara Allen, film critic and author Monique Landsberger, Cultural critic Lee Bey, moderated by filmmaker and President of the National Association of Black Screenwriters Vaun Monroe. 

Monday, 10 October 12:30pm; AMC River East (322 East Illinois St.)

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 dir. David Fine (SALAAM DUNK), National Engagement Consultant Naomi Walker [ITVS], Author/Producer Alex Kotlowitz (THE INTERRUPTERS), with other panelists TBA 


Monday, 10 October 2pm; AMC River East (322 East Illinois St.)

South Asia, and India in particular, is known for high end Bollywood blockbusters, but it is also home to a growing regional film industry which 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. With directors Prashant Bhargava (PATANG), Karan Gour (KSHAY/CORRODE), and Sanjeewa Akumara (FLYING FISH), with other panelists, TBA. 

Thursday, 13 October 4:30pm; Columbia College (1104 S. Wabash Ave., Room 402)

Join an exciting line up of Festival directors discussing the process of developing and workshopping scripts in preparation for production. This ever-popular event offers a rare opportunity to ask questions of directors at the beginning of their careers who have successfully crafted a feature but still clearly remember the trials and tribulations of starting out in the industry. With directors Daniel Mitelpunkt (WOMEN AND CHILDREN) Hagar Ben Asher(THE SLUT), Prashant Bhargava (PATANG), and Michale Boganim (LAND OF OBLIVION), and Karen Loop, Assistant Professor Film & Video, Columbia College Chicago, with other panelists TBA. 


Friday, 14 October 2pm; AMC River East (322 East Illinois St.)

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 directors Tor Fruergaard (VENUS) and Jakub Tarkowski (GEORGE THE HEDGEHOG), and SAIC Professor/Independent Filmmaker Jim Trainor, with other panelists TBA. 


Friday, 14 October 4pm DePaul University CDM Theater, Daley Building, lower level, 247 S. State St. 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 forefront of non-fiction cinema. With filmmakers Xan Aranda, Adam Gacka, Paul Matian and Olivier Morel, local Documentarian Dan Ribycky and moderated by Assistant Professor Ron Fernandez, DePaul University, CDM.


Saturday, 15 October 12pm; AMC River East (322 East Illinois St.)

The increasing popularity of Video On Demand 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 Brandon Peters of Strand Releasing Tom Quinn of The Weinstein Company, Bill Schopf of Music Box Films, Claude Nouchi of Colifilms Diffusion. Moderated by Bruce Sheridan, Film & Video Department Chair, Columbia College Chicago. 


Sunday, 16 October 12pm AMC RIVER EAST (322 East Illinois St.)

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 and other experts in the field to share wisdom and discuss ideas. Then tweet about it! With directors Rider Strong (METHOD), Braden King (HERE) and Xan Aranda (ANDREW BIRD: FEVER YEAR), independent producer and Marketing Director for The Chicago Reader Kristen Kaza, and independent filmmaker Ky Dickens. Moderated by Stephen Gossett, Flavorpill Chicago. 



All events, except Opening Night, are at the AMC River East 21, 322 E. Illinois Street. Tickets for the 47th Chicago International Film Festival are on sale now. Opening Night tickets and festival passes may be purchased on the Festival website. All individual tickets must be purchased by phone 312-332-FILM (3456), in person by visiting the Festival box office at AMC River East 21 (322 E. Illinois St.), or through Ticketmaster. 

Led by Presenting Partner, Columbia College Chicago, the 47th Chicago International Film Festival’s sponsors include: Premiere Partners-- American Airlines, Lincoln; Producing Partners-- AMC Theaters, DePaul University's School of Cinema and Interactive Media, The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences; Major Partners-- Allstate, Intersites; Supporting Partners--Applitite, Barefoot Wine & Bubbly, Brugal Rum, Kodak, Second City Computers, WBBM, and the Festival's Headquarters Hotel, JW Marriott Chicago. 


Cinema/Chicago is a not-for-profit cultural and educational organization dedicated to encouraging better understanding between cultures and to making a positive contribution to the art form of the moving image. The Chicago International Film Festival is part of the year-round programs presented by Cinema/Chicago, which also include the International Screenings Program (May-September), the Hugo Television Awards (April), CineYouth Festival (May), Intercom Competition (October) and year-round Education Outreach and Member Screenings Program. 

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