City announces first Chicago Film and Media Summit

September 27, 2013 (CHICAGO)

Following the success of the inaugural Chicago Music Summit this fall, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events are proud to announce the first Chicago Film and Media Summit on Sunday, October 20 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington.

Chicago filmmakers expected to participate include actor Michael Shannon, producer Bob Teitel and director John McNaughton.

"This has been an outstanding year for film in Chicago – with big Hollywood movies and six full-time TV shows in production," said Mayor Emanuel. "We have filmmakers who live right here with the same dreams of making their stories come to life on screen and it's important that they have the support of the City to help those dreams come true."

Presented by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events and co-organized by IFP Chicago, CIMMFest and Cinespace, the FREE Film and Media Summit will host Producers Series Panels in the Claudia Cassidy Theater (2nd Floor North). How does a filmmaker fund his or her project? Crowd sourcing is the newest option, but is old-fashioned method of co-producers the way to go? Panelists for Financing Your Film in the Age of Celebrity Crowdfunding include Albert Berger ("Nebraska" and "Little Miss Sunshine") and John Bosher ("Chicago Overcoat").

Producing: the Chicago Way will feature a diverse group of producers with ties to the city, talking about the city that works. Steven A. Jones ("The Harvest") moderates a panel that includes Berger, Bob Teitel ("Soul Food" and "Jayne Mansfield's Car") and Laurel A. Ward ("Ice Harvest").

Distribution has become a new multi-prong conduit to the viewers. Do films need to play in theaters, or will laptops suffice? Facets Multi-media Director Milos Stehlik leads a group of theatrical distributors, sales agents, festival programmers and other experts as they examine the new world of distribution in Decoding Distribution: From VOD to DIY.

Summit participants will also have the opportunity to participate in a case study on a newly-released film. "The Harvest" will have its premiere screening on October 19th at the Chicago International Film Festival. This case study will provide an insider's look at an indie success story from conception to completion. Participants will hear about how the film came together with a panel that includes the film's director, John McNaughton ("Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer," "Mad Dog and Glory," "Wild Things"); its lead actor, Michael Shannon ("Man of Steel," "Take Shelter," "Boardwalk Empire," "Bug"); and producers Steve Jones ("Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer," "Mad Dog and Glory," "Wild Things") and Kimberly Jose ("Old Cats," "Neal Cassady," "All the Real Girls") and the film's writer, Stephen Lancellotti.

For filmmakers, casting can make all the difference in successfully conveying their story. Grace McPhillips of The Chicago Acting in Film Meetup Group moderates Talent Casting for Producers and Directors, providing guidance on working with casting directors, using online casting services, casting name talent, exploring Chicago's rich acting community and diversity casting.

Smaller sessions will explore the multiple platforms now available to filmmakers to reach audiences and will take place in the Fourth Floor Conference Room (4th Floor South). These include sessions on Transmedia Storytelling, The Art of the Trailer, Exploring the Web Series Format and creating fruitful partnerships for documentary filmmakers.

Registration for the Film and Media Summit opens Monday, September 30. Registration is FREE, but limited to the first 500 people who sign up at The Summit will also feature an expo of industry professionals whose services are readily available for filmmakers in Chicago.

Additionally, film fans are invited to enjoy short films in Randolph Square (1st Floor North). Films screened will be representative of many of the city's film festivals. Admission to the short films is FREE, with no registration required.

Prior to the Summit, filmmakers can take advantage of free events in association with the Chicago International Film Festival. On Friday, October 18 they can Meet the Critics at 4 p.m. at the AMC River East 21 (322 E. Illinois St.); on Saturday, October 19 at noon, a panel of writers, producers, directors and actors offer up their thoughts on Comedy: Improvising Cinema; and at 2 p.m. Saturday, filmmakers will learn about the current surge in horror films at After Dark: The Horror Renaissance. Pre-Summit events are FREE, but tickets must be obtained from the box office.

The Chicago Film and Media Summit is presented by the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events and co-organized by IFP Chicago and CIMMFest with the support of 2DS Productions, Beverly Ridge Pictures, Chicago Acting in Film Meetup Group, Chicago International Film Festival, Cinespace Film Studios Chicago, Directors Guild of America, Filmworkers, Fletcher Chicago, the Illinois Film Office, the Chicago Film Office, Kartemquin Films, the Midwest International Film Festival and Ocean Pictures.

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