HARVEST OF EMPIRE Screening 4/19 – 4/25 Gene Siskel Theatre

Do you want to help spark a Chicago conversation about immigration, raise awareness about the origins of Latino presence, challenge negative stereotypes of Latino immigrants and focus attention on Latino immigrants’ contributions to the U.S. society? If so, we hope you’ll be interested in sharing information about a new film on Latino immigration that will be showing from Friday, April 19th through April 23 at the Gene Siskel Movie Theater. Author Juan Gonzalez, directors and producers will also be attending a Q&A session after the 8:15pm screening.


Harvest of Empire explores the direct connection between U.S intervention in Latin America and our current immigration issues. As writer/narrator (Juan Gonzalez, award-winning journalist of Democracy Now! TV/radio shows and the New York Daily News) says at the beginning, “They never teach us in school that the huge Latino presence here is a direct result of our own government’s actions in Mexico, the Caribbean and Central America over many decades – actions that forced millions from that region to leave their homeland and journey north.” Featuring present-day immigration stories, rare archival material and interviews with:

  • Nobel Peace Prize winner Rigoberta Menchu
  • ACLU Director Anthony Romero
  • Pulitzer Prize winning writer Junot Diaz
  • NPR reporter Maria Hinojosa
  • TV journalist Geraldo Rivera
  • Grammy Award winning singer Luis Enrique
  • The Rev. Jesse Jackson

The film has gotten rave reviews in the Washington Post, the New York Times and the Arizona Republic.

Pitching Essentials with Stephanie Palmer

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Learn How To Pitch More Effectively!

This 4-week online class will teach you how to develop a great short pitch, deliver it with confidence, and present yourself like an experienced professional.

With a compelling short pitch, you can network effectively and generate opportunities. And when you get “in the room” with a decision-maker, you’ll know just what to say and how to say it.

  • Time: 4 Weeks (April 22 – May 20, 2013)
  • Structure: 15 lessons and 5 pitching assignments
  • Cost: $97
  • Instructor: Stephanie Palmer, former MGM studio executive and founder of Good in a Room

More details can be found at Good In A Room.

Doc Screening at IIFF

Today We Saw the Face of God, by director Mercedes Kane, about a Chicagoland medical team during the 2010 Haiti earthquake, will screen at the Illinois International Film Festival in Chicago the weekend of 12/1.

To learn more or purchase tickets, please click here.

Chicago Film Archives Fundraiser

Please come out on November 17th in support of the Chicago Film Archives annual fundraiser.  Established in 2003, the CFA has successfully cataloged over five thousand 16mm films donated by the Chicago Public Library.  Their work is instrumental in preserving not only Chicago, but Midwest, film history.

One of my favorites is the collection of Mort and Millie Goldscholl, the husband and wife duo behind one of Chicago’s leading graphic design agencies of the 1950’s.  For more information on Millie Goldscholl, Chicago artist and experimental filmmaker, and to view one of my favorite pieces, Intergalactic Zoo, click here.

– Rachel


From the CFA website:

On November 17, 2012, CFA presents a sneak preview of its earliest film – The Pictorial Story of Hiawatha – accompanied by live music created and performed by LeRoy Bach and his band.

Join our family of supporters to witness a 1903 pageant depicting Longfellow’s poemSong of Hiawatha performed by the Garden River First Nation more than a century ago.  You will have the opportunity to view other select films from the archive including three newly commissioned films by local video and audio artists, and listen to live gypsy jazz performed by Bach and his band.

Kick off the holidays with films, music, good food and good spirits!

Film and Musical Presentation: 6:30PM
Films Presented by: Chicago Film Archives
Music by: LeRoy Bach and his band

Building Legacies

As part of the ongoing expansion of its holdings, CFA has begun collecting amateur and home movies from people in Chicago and other regions of Illinois. This is a program that will shed light on a sector of filmmaking that can have great impact on perspectives of our historical and social selves as Midwesterners. To underscore this initiative, each year CFA sponsors the Chicago branch of the annual Home Movie Day, an international program that encourages the preservation and exhibition of home movies. In addition, CFA continues to acquire professional films that reflect our region’s history and culture as well as films that are artistic expressions of our local filmmakers. We are bringing acknowledgement and discussion to the works of our local filmmakers while tracing the impact they have had on our local, national and international communities.

Preserving Our Past

CFA is continually applying for grants and other means of funding for the restoration and preservation of films that are central to our mission. Restoration and preservation of films typically involves removing scratches, dirt and warping from original film materials and creating a new negative and preservation print. Usually a digital transfer is created as well in order to allow the film to be handled and accessible to many people.

Save-the-Date! 2012 ANNUAL FOCUS ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS GALA October 10th, 2012

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Women in Film Chicago Honors local superwomen Debbie Amsden (Vice-President, Director of Broadcast, Burrell Communications), Stella Foster (Columnist, The Chicago Sun-Times), Robin Robinson (News Anchor, Fox 32 TV News) and inaugural Hall of Fame inductee, the incomparable Bill Zwecker (Columnist, The Chicago Sun-Times).

Details and ticket info: Focus Awards

WIFC Back Lot

September brought another Back Lot series. Leviathan opened their doors to WIFC to showcase emerging mediums and technologies. Their media professionals demonstrated a range of projects and shared info about the company’s partnership with the inaugural Exposition Chicago. Leviathan is a design-focused production studio specializing in creating large-scale visual experiences across all media. Champions of breakthrough design and branding, Leviathan’s leaders draw from experiences earned inside leading digital agencies, production companies, VFX and motion studios. Also leveraging the talents of extraordinary designers, technologists, developers and producers, the studio develops cutting edge content maximizing the greatest capabilities of today’s media platforms, from broadcast visuals to experiential installations to online campaigns. Since launching in 2010, the studio’s collaborations with agencies, brands and leading filmmakers have rendered scores of sensational projects across all markets and industries and earned award recognition from the Association of Independent Music, Communication Arts Magazine, the AICP, The One Club, and the Themed Entertainment Association. More about LEVIATHAN here: http://www.lvthn.com

WIFC Student Kick Off Event

Just in time for the new school year, students and members were invited to commence at DePaul University in September for WIFC’s Student Kickoff. Members and guests were offered a “Back-to-School” Student Membership discount and had the chance to meet media professionals and media students in the WIFC community. Further details on WIFC’s inaugural Student Shorts Competition were also announced. Winners of the competition win a cash prize and tickets to the organization’s Focus Achievement Awards. Food and beverages were served.