Student films sought for EIU fest

September 17th, 2014

It seems like only yesterday that we not only posted an announcement for entering one’s work into an event hosted by Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, but also gasped mightily for breath as we explored the downstate Illinois film festival mini-circuit that now hits annually between Halloween and Thanksgiving. So, with 2013 transformed into 2014 and the fall months about to settle in, we remind you once again to consider offering your work to these homegrown cinematic hoedowns, depending on where it might fit best! We’ll let you investigate the deadlines for other shows at another time and focus today on the Embarras Valley Film Festival, set to invite discerning movie-goers onto the EIU campus for a tenth go-round from Thursday, November 6, to Saturday, November 8. Screenings and panel discussions will salute the great entertainer Dick Van Dyke (MARY POPPINS, THE DICK VAN DYKE SHOW) who is a Missouri native by birth but grew up in nearby Danville as did actors Jerry Van Dyke (COACH) and Gene Hackman (THE FRENCH CONNECTION) as well as the late singer and pianist Bobby Short.

A nice gesture introduced last year by Embarras Valley organizers opened the floor up a bit, allowing locally made shorts produced by college students to play alongside the main features. Apparently, this went over well for they have issued a fresh Call for Entries in anticipation of the anniversary festival! General information can be reviewed both in the graphic below, which can be enlarged with a click, or the press release available after the jump. Final deadline for sending in your best is Friday, October 10.

A full schedule for the Embarras Valley Film Festival will appear between now and November on Facebook and the official Web site.

~ Jason Pankoke

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Read the rest of this entry »

Calendar du C-U: September 12-18

September 13th, 2014

Our unique movie and media Calendar appears every Friday on C-U Blogfidential and caters to the discerning tastes of citizens in the downstate region anchored by Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, USA.

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PLAYING THIS WEEK
9/12/14-9/18/14

MILESTONES

Happy Birthday toSunday, September 14: Kimberly Conner (filmmaker, JUMP IN), Jason Huls (partner, Ten Wing Media), Christiana Forsberg (actress, STILETTOS), Tim Cain (entertainment editor, Decatur Herald & Review) … Tuesday, September 18: Jay Rosenstein (filmmaker, THE LORD IS NOT ON TRIAL HERE TODAY), Skye Peters (producer, WCIA-TV Channel 3, Champaign) … celebrate!

PassingsSaturday, September 6: Molly Glynn, 46 (actress, CHICAGO FIRE) … you will be missed.


NOW PLAYING

@ The Art Theater Co-op, Champaign, IL: THE ONE I LOVE (9/12, 9/14-9/18), BOYHOOD (9/12-9/14), Pens to Lens 2014* encore presentation (9/13-9/14, 11:30 a.m.), DO THE RIGHT THING w/discussion (9/15, 7:30 p.m.), Dance Film Festival: ONLY WHEN I DANCE (9/16, 7 p.m.), Short films and awards* w/discussion (9/16, 9 p.m.), FRANK (9/17, 7:30 p.m.), WE ARE THE BEST! (9/17, 10 p.m.), Late Night: THE CONGRESS (9/12, 9/13, 9/18, 10 p.m.)

@ Parking lot, Busey Bank, downtown Urbana, IL: Urbana Public Arts Program presents “Free Summer Movie Night” feat. UP (9/12, 8 p.m., free) [rescheduled from 9/5]

@ South Recreation Room, Allen Hall/Unit One, UIUC, Urbana, IL: UIUC Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures, etc., present an evening with film director Lee Sang-woo (9/14, 7 p.m., free) Interview

@ The Virginia Theatre, Champaign, IL: UIUC Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures, etc., presents SPEED (Korea, 2014, d. Lee Sang-woo) (9/15, 7 p.m., free)

@ Knight Auditorium, Spurlock Museum, UIUC, Urbana, IL: UIUC Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures, etc., presents BARBIE (Korea, 2011, d. Lee Sang-woo) (9/16, 7 p.m., free)

@ WILL-TV, Campbell Hall, UIUC, Urbana, IL: Champaign Movie Makers meeting, “Online Resources” (9/16, 7 p.m., free)

@ Figure One, UIUC, Champaign, IL: BETWEEN THE FOLDS screening w/artist-in-residence Melonie Mulkey (9/17, 6 p.m., free)

@ Room 104, English Building, UIUC, Urbana, IL: Illini Film & Video meeting (9/18, 8 p.m.)

@ That’s Rentertainment, Champaign, IL: CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER, BRICK MANSIONS, WORDS AND PICTURES, KORENGAL, GOD’S POCKET, TEENAGE, FED UP, BORGMAN, A LONG WAY DOWN, GODZILLA GMK (Blu), REBIRTH OF MOTHRA (Blu) SEIZURE! (Scorpion/Kino), BLUE BLOODS (s4), HOMELAND (s3), AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. (s1), more! (9/9 on)

@ The Avon Theater, Decatur, IL: COLD IN JULY, A MOST WANTED MAN (9/12 on), BOYHOOD (9/12-9/14), “Americana at the Movies – Part 6” classes with Skip Huston (weekly, 9/17-10/30, 6:30 p.m.)

@ The Normal Theater, Normal, IL: FINDING VIVIAN MAIER (9/11-9/12, 7 p.m.), ON MY WAY (9/13-9/14, 7 p.m.), The David Davis Mansion Foundation presents the one-woman show “Big House, Big Story, Big Adventure” feat. Kathryn Harris as Harriet Tubman (9/17, 7 p.m., free)

@ Route 66 Twin Drive-In, Springfield, IL: PLANES: FIRE & RESCUE, MALEFICENT, GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER (9/12-9/13)

@ Highland Room, Hilton Hotel, Springfield, IL: Central Illinois Film Commission meeting (9/18, 7 p.m., free)

@ The Lincoln Theater 4, Lincoln, IL: DOLPHIN TALE 2, CHEF, THE NOVEMBER MAN, IF I STAY, WHEN THE GAME STANDS TALL (9/12 on)

@ The Princess Theatre, Leroy, IL: SEX TAPE (9/12-9/14), THE SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS MOVIE (9/13, 11 a.m., free)

@ The Little Lorraine, Hoopeston, IL: Save the Lorraine Foundation fundraiser screenings feat. CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER (9/12-9/14)

@ Harvest Moon Twin Drive-In, Gibson City, IL: “Harvest Moon Frightfest 2014” feat. MONSTER HOUSE, PARANORMAN, AS ABOVE SO BELOW, A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET (1984) (9/12-9/14)

@ Centerbrook Drive-In, Martinsville, IN: DOLPHIN TALE 2, THE LEGO MOVIE (9/12-9/13)

@ Landmark Century Centre Cinema, etc., Chicago, IL: 32nd annual Reeling: The Chicago LGBT International Film Festival (9/18-9/25)

@ various, Toronto, Ontario, CANADA: 39th annual Toronto International Film Festival (through 9/14)

@ The Onarga Theatre, Onarga, IL: Closed for the month!

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Locally produced movies and events featuring locally produced movies are marked with an asterisk (*). Also find out what is “Coming Soon” by hitting the jump below. Go see ‘em, C-U!

Read the rest of this entry »

Talent in demand at Surface 51

September 6th, 2014

In the “film and television production news” component of C-U Blogfidential, we tend to focus on those projects brewing in Champaign, Urbana, and the cities beyond that one might term “entertainment,” although we could probably argue the deeper merits of various entries given the opportunity. There exists a whole other body of commercial and industrial work, however, generated to meet the promotional, educational, historical, and training needs of clients the world over. Much of this material is the province of marketing firms such as Surface 51, located just north of downtown Champaign in the Blue Line Station building on Neil Street. Not unlike producers in other avenues, professional marketers might have to look outward for resources to help complete particular media jobs. For creating original broadcast or on-line content, sometimes called “motion graphics” if combining live-action footage with a healthy dose of visual elements, this often necessitates a casting call for acting talent to appear before camera. A good example is a series of brief spots for the Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District, posted in Surface 51’s portfolio, which highlights the diversity of passengers using their bus service.

That said, Surface 51 has asked us to share the following casting call for television spots they will be producing in the very near future! They assure us interested talent living in and outside the C-U are equally invited to submit their vital statistics, as described below, and have confirmed on Facebook they will also accept applications for future acting opportunities. Please send your messages or questions to talent [at] surface51 [dot] com. Good luck, everybody!

~ Jason Pankoke

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Surface 51 is casting the following roles for television spots shooting late September or early October. Acting experience is a plus but not required. There are no speaking parts.

FAMILY
Husband & Wife (grandparents), age 50-65
Husband & Wife (parents), age 28-40
School-aged child (male or female), age 7-13
*Actual couples or families encouraged to apply!

WORKING PROFESSIONALS
Male or Female, age 30-60

EXTRAS
Any age or gender

To be considered, please e-mail talent [at] surface51 [dot] com with your:

Name
Phone Number
E-mail
City/State
Age
Recent Photo of Yourself
General Availability

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Calendar du C-U: September 5-11

September 5th, 2014

Our unique movie and media Calendar appears every Friday on C-U Blogfidential and caters to the discerning tastes of citizens in the downstate region anchored by Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, USA.

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PLAYING THIS WEEK
9/5/14-9/11/14

MILESTONES

Happy Birthday toFriday, September 5: Anthony Cabral (first assistant director, CONSUMED) … celebrate!


NOW PLAYING

@ The Art Theater Co-op, Champaign, IL: MOST WANTED MAN (9/5 on), BOYHOOD (9/5-9/7, 9/10-9/11), Brilliant Corners Film Series 003: ORNETTE: MADE IN AMERICA (9/8, 7:30 p.m., $5 donation), Dance Film Festival: FLEX IS KINGS (9/9, 7 p.m.), PARIS IS BURNING (9/9, 9 p.m.), Late Night: FRANK (9/5, 9/6, 9/11, 10 p.m.)

@ The Virginia Theatre, Champaign, IL: The News-Gazette and the Champaign Park District present 4-4-43 w/executive producer John D. Lukacs (9/8, 7 p.m., $5/free for veterans and active military personnel), Reel Deals presents THE FAULT IN OUR STARS (9/9-9/11, 7 p.m.)

@ Studio Theatre/Level 2, Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, UIUC, Urbana, IL: Krannert Center Biennial Costume & Prop Sale (9/6, 9-11:30 a.m. ($3), 12 p.m. on (free entry))

@ Room 104, English Building, UIUC, Urbana, IL: Illini Film & Video meeting (9/11, 8 p.m.)

@ Parking lot, Busey Bank, downtown Urbana, IL: Urbana Public Arts Program presents “Free Summer Movie Night” feat. UP (9/5, 8 p.m., free)

@ That’s Rentertainment, Champaign, IL: DRAFT DAY, MOMS’ NIGHT OUT, CITIZEN KOCH, THE DANCE OF REALITY, THEY CAME TOGETHER, NIGHT MOVES, HORSES OF GOD, WHO IS DAYANI CRISTAL?, CABIN FEVER: PATIENT ZERO, IT’S ALWAYS SUNNY IN PHILADELPHIA (s9), CHICAGO FIRE (s2), more! (9/2 on)

@ The Avon Theater, Decatur, IL: CALVARY, BOYHOOD (9/5 on), THE HUNDRED-FOOT JOURNEY (9/5-9/9), LIFE OF CRIME (9/5-9/7), “Americana at the Movies – Part 6” classes with Skip Huston (weekly, 9/10-10/30, 6:30 p.m.)

@ The Normal Theater, Normal, IL: THE ROCKET (9/4-9/5, 7 p.m.), LOCKE (9/6-9/7, 7 p.m.), WTVP-TV (PBS) and the Normal Theater present Ken Burns’ THE ROOSEVELTS: AN INTIMATE HISTORY sneak preview (9/8, 7 p.m., free)

@ Route 66 Twin Drive-In, Springfield, IL: PLANES: FIRE & RESCUE, MALEFICENT, IF I STAY, INTO THE STORM (9/5-9/6)

@ The Lincoln Theater 4, Lincoln, IL: LET’S BE COPS, THE EXPENDABLES 3, THE GIVER, IF I STAY, WHEN THE GAME STANDS TALL (9/5 on)

@ The Princess Theatre, Leroy, IL: PLANES: FIRE & RESCUE (9/5-9/7)

@ The Little Lorraine, Hoopeston, IL: Save the Lorraine Foundation fundraiser screenings feat. MOMS’ NIGHT OUT (9/5-9/7)

@ Harvest Moon Twin Drive-In, Gibson City, IL: LET’S BE COPS, 22 JUMP STREET, SEX TAPE, TAMMY (9/5-9/7)

@ Centerbrook Drive-In, Martinsville, IN: TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES, 22 JUMP STREET (9/5-9/6)

@ various, Toronto, Ontario, CANADA: 39th annual Toronto International Film Festival (through 9/14)

@ The Onarga Theatre, Onarga, IL: Closed for the month!

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Locally produced movies and events featuring locally produced movies are marked with an asterisk (*). Also find out what is “Coming Soon” by hitting the jump below. Go see ‘em, C-U!

Read the rest of this entry »

Illini Film & Video meets Sept. 2, 4

September 2nd, 2014

The Illini Film & Video club at the University of Illinois will meet tonight, Tuesday, September 2, 8 p.m., in Room 66 of the Main Library, 1408 W. Gregory Dr., Urbana, for their first gathering of the 2014-15 academic year. (An “alternate info session” will take place in the same room Thursday, September 4, 8 p.m., for those who can’t attend later today.) Meetings allow interested members of the student body to learn about and get involved in film-making projects, fund-raising events, and volunteer or paid job opportunities outside of IFV. There is also the IFV Web page, through which you can track projects and other happenings, and their YouTube channel, where you can watch examples of their work!

This year’s officers are Marlon Mueller-Soppart (President), Jigar Patel (Vice President), Emily Jahn (Treasurer), Ozzy Villa, Gracy Xiong (Webmasters), Noelle Africh (Social Media Coordinator), Charlie Kessler (Equipment Manager), Eric Klein, Thomas Polk, and Brian McMahon (Party Committee). You should write illinifilmandvideo [at] gmail [dot] com to be added to their Mailing List and receive all the up-to-date club news, including confirmation on where future meetings will be held.

Also, make sure to visit C-U Blogfidential next week for a bonus interview with IFV alumnus Paul Karpenko about his new shot-in-California Web series, RE-ELECTION!

~ Jason Pankoke

Calendar du C-U: Aug. 29–Sept. 4

September 1st, 2014

Our unique movie and media Calendar appears every Friday on C-U Blogfidential and caters to the discerning tastes of citizens in the downstate region anchored by Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, USA.

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PLAYING THIS WEEK
8/29/14-9/4/14

MILESTONES

Happy Birthday toSunday, August 31: Rochelle Arjmand (entertainment publicist, Arjmand Artistic Promotions) … Monday, September 1: Matt Wiley (graphic artist, Pens to Lens Screenwriting Competition & Gala), Matt Williams (volunteer, The Virginia Theatre) … Tuesday, September 2: Matt Harsh (music video producer, Sun Stereo/Headlights), Audrey Wells (co-author, The Art Theater: Playing Movies for 100 Years) … celebrate!


NOW PLAYING

@ The Art Theater Co-op, Champaign, IL: BOYHOOD (8/29 on), Robin Williams tribute: DEAD POETS SOCIETY (9/1, 7:30 p.m.), Dance Film Festival: ROYAL WEDDING (9/2, 7 p.m.), Late Night: THE ROOM (8/29, 8/30, 11 p.m.; 9/4, 12:30 & 10 p.m.)

@ Room 66, Main Library, UIUC, Urbana, IL: Illini Film & Video meeting (9/2 & 9/4, 8 p.m.)

@ That’s Rentertainment, Champaign, IL: BLENDED, THE DOUBLE, LEGENDS OF OZ, A PROMISE, THE LOVE PUNCH, YOUNG & BEAUTIFUL, AFTERMATH, THE NORMAL HEART, CRIMINAL MINDS (s9), SONS OF ANARCHY (s6), THE WALKING DEAD (s4), HAVEN (s4), more! (8/26 on)

@ The Avon Theater, Decatur, IL: LIFE OF CRIME, BOYHOOD, THE HUNDRED-FOOT JOURNEY (8/29 on)

@ The Normal Theater, Normal, IL: WORDS AND PICTURES (8/28-8/31, 7 p.m.)

@ Route 66 Twin Drive-In, Springfield, IL: IF I STAY, INTO THE STORM, THE EXPENDABLES 3, STEP UP ALL IN (8/29-8/31)

@ The Lincoln Theater 4, Lincoln, IL: THE GIVER, LUCY, IF I STAY, WHEN THE GAME STANDS TALL, TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES (8/29 on)

@ The Onarga Theatre, Onarga, IL: THE EXPENDABLES 3 (8/29-8/31, 9/3)

@ The Princess Theatre, Leroy, IL: DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES (8/29-8/31)

@ Harvest Moon Twin Drive-In, Gibson City, IL: PLANES: FIRE & RESCUE, GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, HOOK, GOOD WILL HUNTING (8/29-8/31), GOING ATTRACTIONS: THE DEFINITIVE HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN DRIVE-IN MOVIE w/filmmaker April Wright (8/31, dusk)

@ Centerbrook Drive-In, Martinsville, IN: PLANES: FIRE & RESCUE, TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES, GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY (8/29-8/31)

@ Landmark Century Centre Cinema, Chicago, IL: Midwest Independent Film Festival presents HAPPY CHRISTMAS w/filmmaker Joe Swanberg (9/2, 6 p.m.)

@ Sheridan Opera House, etc., Telluride, CO: 41st annual Telluride Film Festival (8/29-9/1)

@ various, Toronto, Ontario, CANADA: 39th annual Toronto International Film Festival (9/1-9/14)

@ The Little Lorraine, Hoopeston, IL: Closed for the weekend!

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Locally produced movies and events featuring locally produced movies are marked with an asterisk (*). Also find out what is “Coming Soon” by hitting the jump below. Go see ‘em, C-U!

Read the rest of this entry »

Calendar du C-U: August 22-28

August 22nd, 2014

Our unique movie and media Calendar appears every Friday on C-U Blogfidential and caters to the discerning tastes of citizens in the downstate region anchored by Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, USA.

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PLAYING THIS WEEK
8/22/14-8/28/14

MILESTONES

Happy Birthday toSaturday, August 23: Luke Boyce (creative director, Shatterglass Studios) … celebrate!


NOW PLAYING

@ The Art Theater Co-op, Champaign, IL: CALVARY (8/22 on), Brilliant Corners Film Series 002: THE MISSING PICTURE (8/25, 7:30 p.m., $5 donation), Late Night: EL TOPO (8/22, 8/23, 8/27, 8/28, 10 p.m.)

@ Room 222 (Foundation Conference Room), Champaign Public Library, Champaign, IL: Champaign Screenwriters Summer Meeting (8/26, 7 p.m.)

@ The Virginia Theatre, Champaign, IL: Reel Deals’ “Best of the Summer Blockbusters” presents BACK TO THE FUTURE (8/26-8/28, 7 p.m.)

@ Anniversary Plaza, Main Quad, UIUC, Urbana, IL: Illini Union Board presents Summer Quad Cinema Series feat. MALEFICENT (8/24, 9 p.m., free)

@ That’s Rentertainment, Champaign, IL: THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2, THE QUIET ONES, ONLY LOVERS LEFT ALIVE, FADING GIGOLO, THE GOOD WIFE (s5), PARENTHOOD (s5), THE MINDY PROJECT (s2), ROSEMARY’S BABY (ms), more! (8/19 on)

@ The Avon Theater, Decatur, IL: BOYHOOD, TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES, THE HUNDRED-FOOT JOURNEY (8/22 on)

@ The Normal Theater, Normal, IL: 50 TO 1 (8/21-8/24, 7 p.m.)

@ Route 66 Twin Drive-In, Springfield, IL: TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES, HERCULES, THE GIVER, LUCY (8/22-8/23)

@ The Lincoln Theater 4, Lincoln, IL: IF I STAY, WHEN THE GAME STANDS TALL, TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES (3-D & 2-D), GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY (8/22 on)

@ The Onarga Theatre, Onarga, IL: TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES (8/22-8/24, 8/27)

@ The Princess Theatre, Leroy, IL: TAMMY (8/22-8/24), MUPPETS MOST WANTED (8/23, 11 a.m., free)

@ The Little Lorraine, Hoopeston, IL: Save the Lorraine Foundation fundraiser screenings feat. THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2 (8/22-8/24)

@ Harvest Moon Twin Drive-In, Gibson City, IL: TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES, INTO THE STORM (8/22-8/24)

@ Centerbrook Drive-In, Martinsville, IN: TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES, HERCULES (8/22-8/24)

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Locally produced movies and events featuring locally produced movies are marked with an asterisk (*). Also find out what is “Coming Soon” by hitting the jump below. Go see ‘em, C-U!

Read the rest of this entry »

IOW: View Hugh’s videos on H&R

August 16th, 2014

Good weekend, dearest readers! Looking for a little common-sense instruction heading into your own video-making endeavors? It so happens we’ve found an online series just for you, published by a nearby news source but produced by someone who is clearly one of us, one of us!

We recently introduced you to Griffin Hammond, the director of New Art Film Festival ’14 documentary favorite SRIRACHA, whose prior employment involved hosting viral videos detailing the spectrum of independent filmmaker interests for Indy Mogul. With funding cut to that YouTube channel, Hammond departed and has just relocated to New York for a new position with Bloomberg News covering the 2016 election cycle. We will miss this fine chap here in central Illinois! However, we know of someone else local who shares perspectives on low-budget, high-impact technique in a roughly similar manner.

Hugh Sullivan is a content creator for the Decatur Herald & Review Web site who also records segments about his personal experiences with film shorts, sketches, and the like. You can find links to the most recent entries of his BEHIND THE LENS series on the “H&R Nerd” pop culture page or the dedicated LENS playlist on the H&R YouTube account. A decent percentage of them addresses broad topics – local news gathering, quality vacation videos, etc. – but others touch upon distinct aspects of the trade such as organizational skills, storyboarding tips, and cost-effective tools to have on the set.

Below, we’ve embedded two recent BEHIND THE LENS episodes in which Sullivan describes how he managed location shooting gaffes and post-production sound for his film short, THE GRIFTER. In a third video he waxes positive about networking, especially while an active participant on the sets of projects not his own. He talks specifically about his time spent working on Alaric Rocha’s Super 8 short WINTER and Mike Trippiedi’s feature AMBER ROSE. Sullivan’s bread-and-butter work otherwise dots the Herald & Review Web site weekly, while one can watch his personal and freelance pieces on Vimeo or keep up with his endeavors at this portfolio page shared with his wife, photographer Alida Sullivan.

~ Jason Pankoke


Calendar du C-U: August 15-21

August 15th, 2014

Our unique movie and media Calendar appears every Friday on C-U Blogfidential and caters to the discerning tastes of citizens in the downstate region anchored by Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, USA.

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PLAYING THIS WEEK
8/15/14-8/21/14

MILESTONES

Happy Birthday toSaturday, August 16: Marcel Fauci (animator, DAVE’S DREAM DIARY) … Monday, August 18: Leslie Boedicker (actress/producer, REVOLTING), Kayla Johnson (actress, UP THE CREEK), Jeff Brandt (owner, Exile on Main Street) … Wednesday, August 20: Daniel Griffith (filmmaker, THE WONDER WORLD OF K. GORDON MURRAY) … celebrate!


NOW PLAYING

@ The Art Theater Co-op, Champaign, IL: CALVARY (8/15 on), Late Night: THE NEVERENDING STORY (8/15, 8/16, 10 p.m.; 8/17, 11:30 a.m.; 8/20, 8/21, 10 p.m.)

@ Robeson Pavilion Room B, Champaign Public Library, Champaign, IL: Champaign Movie Makers meeting, “Pens to Lens Filmmaker Talkback” (8/18, 7 p.m., free)

@ The Virginia Theatre, Champaign, IL: Reel Deals’ “Best of the Summer Blockbusters” presents ALIEN (8/19-8/21, 7 p.m.)

@ That’s Rentertainment, Champaign, IL: MUPPETS MOST WANTED, A HAUNTED HOUSE 2, FILTH, LOCKE, BREATHE IN, THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN, PROXY, THE BLACKLIST (s1), more! (8/12 on)

@ The Avon Theater, Decatur, IL: TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES (3-D & 2-D), THE HUNDRED-FOOT JOURNEY, GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY (8/15 on)

@ The Normal Theater, Normal, IL: BELLE (8/14-8/17, 7 p.m.)

@ Route 66 Twin Drive-In, Springfield, IL: TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES, HERCULES, THE GIVER, LUCY (8/15 on)

@ Highland Room, Hilton Hotel, Springfield, IL: Central Illinois Film Commission meeting (7/21, 7 p.m., free)

@ The Lincoln Theater 4, Lincoln, IL: TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES (3-D & 2-D), THE HUNDRED-FOOT JOURNEY, INTO THE STORM, GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY (3-D & 2-D) (8/15 on), WHEN THE GAME STANDS TALL (8/21, 7:10 p.m.)

@ The Onarga Theatre, Onarga, IL: TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES (8/15 on)

@ The Princess Theatre, Leroy, IL: EARTH TO ECHO (8/15-8/17)

@ The Little Lorraine, Hoopeston, IL: Save the Lorraine Foundation fundraiser screenings feat. MUPPETS MOST WANTED (8/15-8/17)

@ Harvest Moon Twin Drive-In, Gibson City, IL: TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES, GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY (8/15-8/17)

@ Centerbrook Drive-In, Martinsville, IN: TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES, INTO THE STORM (8/15-8/17)

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Locally produced movies and events featuring locally produced movies are marked with an asterisk (*). Also find out what is “Coming Soon” by hitting the jump below. Go see ‘em, C-U!

Read the rest of this entry »

It was 15 years, 8 days ago…

August 14th, 2014

…when the middle component of our first MICRO-FILM wave flooded the shelves of many Champaign-Urbana businesses, providing their patrons with lively words on cinema the likes of which did not appear in their humdrum, average, everyday media! The newsletter MICRO-Scope first appeared on Friday, August 6, 1999, and thereafter every six to eight weeks during the 1999-2000 academic year. A follow-up to MICRO-FILM: The Warning Shot from that spring and a quick-and-cheap attempt at keeping our name on the streets between the newsstand MICRO-FILM issues, the ‘Scope was packed with as many bite-size tidbits of interest as we could cram onto the front and back sides. We considered news, interviews, reviews, shout-outs, MF promotion, and calls to filmmaking arms fair game, bestowed upon our community free of charge and copied on crayon-hued paper stock. We screamed all the colors of the cinema rainbow, we did! Sadly, the ‘Scope was shelved once our flagship title picked up some traction.

In the near future we will share the fruits of these dark-ages labors for your perusal but, right now, let’s tease with a facsimile of MICRO-Scope #1. Topics included the nationwide release of THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT, a Freaky Films screening of WADD: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF JOHN C. HOLMES at the New Art Theater, the empowering video-making activity of Girlzone, the sixth Chicago Underground Film Festival up north, and a messy, noisy, and totally rad moving-away show for our pal John May featuring local bands and his own film shorts. Not unlike MF proper, the ‘Scope ranged from the local to national and provides a selective timeline that helps us remember our beginnings. Just click on the graphics to pop up an enlarged, easy-to-read scan! Underneath that, we chart the who, the what, the where, and the when appearing in the newsletter’s brief run. If your humble editor’s old-school comrades are interested in a hard copy set to file away, write him to arrange an exchange.

“Between one copy-shop ‘zine, two full-blooded glossy ‘zines, seven newsletters, and a brand-new Web site, I think I can say that it’s been exhausting and exhilarating so far,” I professed at the head of the final MICRO-Scope issued Friday, April 28, 2000, during the second Roger Ebert’s Overlooked Film Festival. The general sentiment still applies in 2014. You’re welcome, then and now.

~ Jason Pankoke

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MICRO-Scope
“MICRO-FILM’s Newsletter of Local Cinematic Action”
August 1999 – April 2000


M-S 1.1, 8/6/99: MICRO-FILM 1 preview; Chicago Underground Film Festival ’99 details; Freaky Film Festival ’99 update; seeking THE GARBAGE MAN; box office victory for THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT; Girlzone makes videos; John May rocks out before Madison move; WADD film review; The Ultimate Film Festival Survival Guide by Chris Gore book review; MF: The Warning Shot plug; Caffe Paradiso plug

M-S 1.2, 9/17/99: Adventures in seeing STAR WARS: EPISODE 1 at the Lorraine Theatre in Hoopeston; the revival of the Normal Theater in Normal; Russ Meyer attends his own film in the C-U; UIUC student makes short film in Chicago; THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT review; Channing-Murray Foundation plug

M-S 1.3, 10/22/99: John May talks creating a “film scene;” words to film by from Eric Stanze (ICE FROM THE SUN); Bruce Campbell wisdom remembered from Freaky Film Festival ’97; complete Freaky Film Festival ’99 program essay by Mr. JaPan; DOGS IN QUICKSAND local film review from Shock Cinema

M-S 1.4, 12/3/99: MICRO-FILM 1 now available; Freaky Film solo shows coming to The Highdive; MF 1 cover story film RUNNING TIME released on home video; MICRO-FILM Web site announced; looking for C-U short film OPEN TO CLOSE; first reactions to MF 1; preview of MF 2; TED: THE MOVIE local film review; Game Over by Mike Cole local comic ‘zine review; Freaky Film Festival ’99 local event review

M-S 1.5, 2/4/00: Peter Asaro and Doug Matejka talk producing C-U homeless documentary IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD; Leila Ramagopal Pertl on acting in Champaign Underground music video DELTA QUEEN; LIVING PROOF: COURAGE IN THE FACE OF AIDS film review; SPREADING THE DISEASE local student film review

M-S 1.6, 3/17/00: John May discusses developing animated fairy tale SAMARIA; thought provoking coffee talk with Jay Rosenstein; Ralph Roether III on appearing in thesis film short LOTTO; Illinois Wesleyan at the Movies local book review; DREAM WHEEL CIRCUS local film review

M-S 1.7, 4/28/00: MICRO-FILM 1 review excerpts; Champaign-Urbana local film directoryfin.

IOW: Our kids stay in the pictures

August 8th, 2014

Yesterday, we published the core program for the second annual gala of the Pens to Lens (P2L) program developed by the Champaign-Urbana Film Society (CUFS) as a method through which to teach the children of Champaign County how to tell their stories as screenplays. The ultimate reward for some participants, of course, is to see their ideas translated into short-form cinema such as the 22 pieces that will be unveiled midday tomorrow, Saturday, August 9, at the Virginia Theatre, 203 W. Park Ave., Champaign. The P2L Web site neatly addresses the goals and scope of the program, with additions relating to the new batch sure to appear shortly. One concrete peek we can offer you is this teaser trailer during which a gaggle of colorfully myriad fragments flash before your eyeballs in 90 seconds flat:

Those who want to learn more about the P2L experience can hear from one of its organizers later tonight during Pecha Kucha Night, Vol. 16 at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, UIUC, 500 S. Goodwin Ave., Urbana. This entertaining presentation format, introduced in Japan and sponsored locally by the Champaign-Urbana Design Organization (CUDO), features community members who volunteer to speak knowledgeably about topics that excite them. The challenge (or, gimmick) is they are allowed 20 seconds each for 20 total image slides to get their point across visually to the audience. With the direct involvement of CUDO in the P2L movie poster designs, it is no surprise that Thomas Nicol will appear at Pecha Kucha to discuss the value and growth of P2L less than 24 hours before show time.

“I directed one short, ZACK AND THE MOUNTAIN MAN, and co-directed two others, MR. SNUGGLES [with Andrew Gleason and Anna Zorn] and WATCH OUT FOR BUTTERFLIES [with Joe Taylor]. They each had something different about them that really spoke to me and my co-creators,” CUBlog learns via e-mail from Nicol, who recently married the lovely Becky Griesheimer and also devotes time in various behind-the-scenes capacities to P2L, CUFS, and Champaign Movie Makers. “We’re super excited about how much the program has expanded this year … Students submitted even more scripts [that were] even better than the already wonderful work turned in last year, more filmmakers took on shorts, more designers took on posters, and everyone really upped their game to make this event fantastic.”

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Calendar du C-U: August 8-14

August 8th, 2014

Our unique movie and media Calendar appears every Friday on C-U Blogfidential and caters to the discerning tastes of citizens in the downstate region anchored by Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, USA.

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PLAYING THIS WEEK
8/8/14-8/14/14

MILESTONES

Happy Birthday toSunday, August 10: Geoff Merritt (owner, That’s Rentertainment) … Wednesday, August 13: Eddie Avinashi (stagehand, Cinespace Chicago Film Studios) … Thursday, August 14: Erin Anadkat Schwartz (contributor, MICRO-FILM) … celebrate!

15 Years AgoFriday, August 6, 1999: Micro-Scope #1, our first original print publication after MICRO-FILM: The Warning Shot, is placed in Champaign-Urbana businesses for free not unlike our current C-U Confidential digest. Each two-sided newsletter featured as many locally-oriented news items as we could cram onto that color paper stock in our pre-Internet era!


LOCAL FILMS, ETC.

@ The Virginia Theatre, Champaign, IL: 2nd annual Pens to Lens Screenwriting Competition + Awards Gala* (8/9, 2 p.m.: K-7th grade shorts; 5 p.m.: CUDO Gallery Show; 6 p.m.: 8th-12th grade shorts)


NOW PLAYING

@ The Art Theater Co-op, Champaign, IL: VENUS IN FUR (8/8-8/13), TOUCH OF EVIL (8/8-8/10), CITIZEN KOCH (8/11-8/12, 8:30 p.m.), SNOWPIERCER (8/13-8/14, 5 p.m.), OBVIOUS CHILD (8/13-8/14, 7:30 p.m.), Late Night: NOSFERATU THE VAMPYRE (1979; 8/8 w/blood drive, 8/9, 8/13, 8/14, 10 p.m.)

@ The Virginia Theatre, Champaign, IL: Reel Deals’ “Best of the Summer Blockbusters” presents RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK (8/12-8/14, 7 p.m.)

@ Parking lot, Busey Bank, downtown Urbana, IL: Illinois Public Media and Backyard Industry present “Free Summer Movie Night” feat. SPINNING PLATES (8/8, 8 p.m., free) Details

@ That’s Rentertainment, Champaign, IL: DIVERGENT, NEED FOR SPEED, OCULUS, PING PONG SUMMER, MODERN LIFE, CALIFORNICATION (s7), COMMUNITY (s5), more! (8/5 on)

@ The Avon Theater, Decatur, IL: TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES, THE HUNDRED-FOOT JOURNEY, GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY (8/8 on)

@ The Normal Theater, Normal, IL: IDA (8/7-8/10, 7 p.m.)

@ Route 66 Twin Drive-In, Springfield, IL: GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, JERSEY BOYS, TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES, HERCULES (8/8 on)

@ The Lincoln Theater 4, Lincoln, IL: TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES (3-D & 2-D), THE HUNDRED-FOOT JOURNEY, INTO THE STORM, GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY (3-D & 2-D) (8/8 on), RIO 2 (8/9, 8/12, 10 a.m.)

@ The Onarga Theatre, Onarga, IL: GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY (8/8-8/10, 8/13)

@ The Princess Theatre, Leroy, IL: 22 JUMP STREET (8/8-8/10), BAMBI (8/9, 11 a.m., free)

@ The Little Lorraine, Hoopeston, IL: Save the Lorraine Foundation fundraiser screenings feat. THE OTHER WOMAN (8/8-8/10), GOD’S NOT DEAD (8/10)

@ Harvest Moon Twin Drive-In, Gibson City, IL: TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES, GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY (8/8-8/10)

@ Centerbrook Drive-In, Martinsville, IN: GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, INTO THE STORM (8/8-8/10)

@ Brown County Playhouse, Nashville, IN: 8th annual B-Movie Celebration feat. 1984 releases (8/8-8/10)

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Locally produced movies and events featuring locally produced movies are marked with an asterisk (*). Also find out what is “Coming Soon” by hitting the jump below. Go see ‘em, C-U!

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Virginia hosts Pens to Lens gala

August 7th, 2014

The Champaign-Urbana Film Society, Champaign Movie Makers, Champaign-Urbana Design Organization, and Champaign Park District present the second annual Pens to Lens Awards Gala this Saturday, August 9, featuring youth-skewing film shorts made by area filmmakers from a pool of more than 100 scripts written by area students. The schedule is as follows:

1 p.m. Red Carpet Event

2 p.m. K-7th Grade Films | hosted by Joe Barlow

THE ADVENTURES OF MR. PANCAKE | written by Ayan Ehsan, Zander Hackman, Olivia Havard, and Nolan Lawson | directed by Andrew Nygard
A VISIT FROM THE TOOTH FAIRY | written by Adrian Blume | directed by Robin Berthier
WHO BABYSITS ZOMBIES? | written by Dalton Carmien, Eric Miebach, Kalani Rentschler, and Audrey Young | directed by Chris Lukeman
THE TAMING OF THE BEAST | written by Braylen Chaney, Griffin Goddard, Nina Martinez, and Jasmine Yancy | directed by Michael Bach
THE SORCERESS | written by Madeline De Coste | directed by Emily Jahn
DOUBLE-O KEVIN | written by David Cerezo | directed by Joe Taylor and William L. Kephart
GUYS GO GREEN | written by Benjamin and Claire Keating | directed by Mike Trippiedi
FAST AND FURIOUS 8 | written by Urias Smith | directed by Andrew Stengele
WATCH OUT FOR BUTTERFLIES | written by Megan Graham, Alejandro Hernandez, and Jocelyn LeFaivre | directed by Thomas Nicol and Joe Taylor
GOO PARTY | written by Adrian Blume, Pieter Duursma, Lucas Feng, David Risinger, and Daniel Tersiey | directed by AJ Christensen
THE DUMMY VS. THE MAD ROBOTS | written by Mary Bryant, Trevor Hahn, Nate Hopkins, and Jackson Reder | directed by Carter Boyce
RACE YOU TO RUSSIA | written by John Patrick Nicol | directed by Luke Boyce

5 p.m. CUDO Gallery Show + Red Carpet Event

6 p.m. 8th-12th Grade Films | hosted by Charlie Hester

MR. SNUGGLES | written by Curtis Bradley, Andrew Kowalski, and Garret Williams | directed by Andrew Gleason, Thomas Nicol, and Anna Zorn
THE DOUGHNUT DANCE | written by Jessie Denning | directed by Jason Knade
THE TIME WILL COME | written by Kiarra Hall-Brooks | directed by William L. Kephart
THE BRAINSTORM | written by David Hopping | directed by Dan Drake
MY IMAGINATION BECAME A NINJA AND IT IS FOLLOWING ME | written by Gabby Mancuso and Kathleen Sherlock | directed by Andrew Gleason
CHANCES* | written by Nick Boeji, Cody Jesswien, and Mason McAnally | directed by Victor Miely
THE BEDTIME STORY | written by Jasmine Domingo | directed by Jennifer Bechtel
ZACK AND THE MOUNTAIN MAN* | written by Preston Richardson | directed by Thomas Nicol
THE RUNNER* | written by Nathan Martin | directed by Anne Lukeman
IMAGINE | written by Ellie D’Andria, Lana Fitzgerald, and Alora Rent | Directed by Tim Meyers

The Pens to Lens Awards Gala will take place at the Virginia Theatre, 203 W. Park Ave., Champaign, IL. Sponsors include Flex-n-Gate, Benefit Planning Consultants, Alex Ruggieri, Shatterglass Studios, and Matt Wiley Art with support from ThirdSide and Paula Design. Further information about this year’s event or last year’s films and posters can be found on the official Web site. Tickets cost $8 for each block or $12 for both, while students 19 years old or under will be admitted for free. *Contains material that may not be suitable for younger children.

Look for more about P2L2 on C-U Blogfidential tomorrow!

~ Jason Pankoke

Article du C-U: Ebertfest ’14, pt.4

August 6th, 2014

“First Intermission: MUSEUM HOURS and SHORT TERM 12”
After sending a battery of Confidential agents into the Ebertfest fold in April, we present their findings

by Jason Pankoke

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Ever since this late-blooming coverage of the 2014 Roger Ebert’s Film Festival began to take shape, we’ve been adding extra installments to make this series relevant, complete, and worthy of being dubbed an “Ebertfest epic.” One step we are taking to meet this goal is drafting briefs about the selections our trusty agents did not infiltrate personally at the Virginia Theatre back in April. They will appear in between the full-length essays, which will resume next week with Samantha Ducey’s sweetly acerbic account of seeing YOUNG ADULT and listening to Patton Oswalt as a young one herself amongst an older majority. Until then, we give over the C-U Blogfidential floor to a Vienna-set meditation on the arts and human interaction, MUSEUM HOURS, and a lightly bittersweet tale about finding value and love by helping the undervalued and unloved, SHORT TERM 12.

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In the cavernous Kunsthistorisches Art Museum of Vienna, Austria, an unassuming security guard named Johann (Bobby Sommer) meets a Canadian woman named Anne (Mary Margaret O’Hara) visiting on family business. The museum provides Anne with a low-cost activity in an unfamiliar city, and through subsequent visits she and Johann grow friendly. Soon, they are sharing their lives through conversation as they walk amongst great art works from centuries past and monumental structures built by generations long gone. “This story might recall another famous movie about a couple exploring Vienna, Richard Linklater’s swooningly romantic [sic] BEFORE SUNRISE,” wrote RogerEbert.com and IndieWIRE contributor Kevin B. Lee in his review appropriated for the Ebertfest program. “But unlike that youthful coupling, here there’s no chance of an amorous encounter between the leads, for reasons I’ll leave you to discover. Here the two talk with no agenda other than to enjoy each other’s company, discussing their families, their jobs, and their honest reactions to the artworks in the museum.” The independent filmmaker Jem Cohen (BENJAMIN SMOKE, FUGAZI: INSTRUMENT) strove to make a compelling piece that felt as naturalistic and unpredictable as real life, working with a skeleton crew and non-professional actors in actual locations to “[create] a set of circumstances, some carefully guided, some entirely unpredictable,” per Cohen in the press notes. After a year of editing and post-production, MUSEUM HOURS premiered in the International Competition section of the 65th Locarno Film Festival in Locarno, Switzerland, in late 2012. Release in the United States came one year later courtesy of The Cinema Guild, a specialty distributor based in New York City with a diverse catalog of documentaries and international cinema including LEVIATHAN, MARWENCOL, VIOLA, and Steve JamesTHE INTERRUPTERS.

MUSEUM HOURS played the sixteenth annual Roger Ebert’s Film Festival on Thursday, April 24, 2014, 1 p.m. Director Jem Cohen appeared as a festival guest.

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