Late last week, co-director Michael Wolinski announced that the line-up for this year’s Illinois International Film Festival (IIFF) had been posted on their Web site, so I immediately took a gander at the list. Lo and behold, amongst the dozens of short subjects and 15 feature films chosen for the festival’s second go-round, I discovered that three productions from downstate Illinois made the final cut: LATE AFTERNOON OF THE LIVING DEAD, WELCOME TO TOLONO, and MERRY CHRISTMAS! Congratulations to all!

IIFF will take place Friday, September 14, through Sunday, September 16, at the Arcada Theatre, 105 E. Main St., St. Charles, IL, one block from the Fox River in the downtown area. When I served as a judge last year, I was pleasantly surprised by the overall quality of the selections, so film fans in the west Chicago ‘burbs should definitely check it out. Just as well, friends of C-U Blogfidential would do well to support local filmmaking by attending LIVING DEAD (9/14, 10 a.m.), TOLONO (9/15, 10 a.m.), and CHRISTMAS (9/15, 4:30 p.m.) if at all possible. Two words, folks – “road trip.”

Prior to launching IIFF, Wolinski and partners Shaun Fox and Jeff Wolinski formed Tripod Films, LLC, through which they have produced a pair of horror films, WITCHCRAFT 13: BLOOD OF THE CHOSEN and DRAWING BLOOD, and a sketch comedy video, THE DIRTY IMMIGRANTS: ALL FOR ONE. Michael Wolinski graduated from the film school of Southern Illinois University-Carbondale while Jeff Wolinski earned a cinema studies degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The brothers’ first feature, THE AFTER SCHOOL SPECIAL, was covered way back in MICRO-FILM 3.

~ Jason Pankoke

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