New thriller 'Broadcast Signal Intrusion' inspired by Chicago local TV hijacking in 1980s

CHICAGO (WLS) -- "Broadcast Signal Intrusion" is a new thriller making its Midwest debut at the Chicago Film Festival this week.

The leading man and executive producer spoke about the movie that was shot here in town and inspired by events that happened on local TV.

James is a tech expert who discovers some disturbing video piracy on Chicago television. The terrifying source may be linked to his own painful loss.

Actor and producer Harry Shum Jr. said Chicago was a key ingredient in the story.

"This film based in Chicago and the origins of these signal intrusions coming from Chicago, I think it's just the perfect fit for the Chicago Film Festival, especially to have it play at the Music Box Theatre," Shum said. "A lot of great Chicago actors, not just that, but the city itself kind of lends a hand in being a character in this."

James ends up uncovering a possible conspiracy that is linked to the disappearance of several women, including his wife.

"It also has atmospheric horror, dreadful horror but also mystery, I think all these things is why it's such a fun ride," Shum said. "Those dark corners of some places you might not want to explore, but James definitely does that and you might be pulling your hair out!"

The jumping off point for the film was the Max Headroom incident that happened in Chicago.

"The story is actually inspired by actual broadcast hijackings or hackings in the 1980's in Chicago, it was this big old... the FCC got involved," Shum said. "I can't wait for the general audience and people to really see it and come up with theories that we never even thought of."

Harry and the director of the film will be the special guests when "Broadcast Signal Intrusion" makes its Chicago Film Festival debut at the Music Box Theatre Thursday night. The movie can also be streamed through the end of the festival.
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