Savoy to host Illinois Film Office

By now, some of you have heard rumblings about an event called “IFO Night at the Movies” sponsored by Governor Rod Blagojevich‘s cinema posse (better known as the Illinois Film Office), which will take place this coming Monday, June 30, 6:30 p.m., at the Savoy 16 multiplex, 232 Burwash Ave., Savoy, IL. Bracketed around a showing of the comics-derived action flick WANTED, filmed in and near the Windy City last year by Timur Bekmambetov of NIGHT WATCH/DAY WATCH noteriety, the name of this game is certainly far removed from the academic grounding of Roger Ebert’s Film Festival.

To wit … The important thing for those readers who really want to make some dough and/or a career out of media production while living in the Land of Lincoln is that numerous employees from the State of Illinois will be on hand to talk economics and business. (The official press release, which plays up this angle for obvious reasons, appears after the jump.) The important thing for those readers who simply want to make movies in the area is that like-minded individuals will most likely infiltrate the audience on Monday. The important thing for those readers who just want to catch a free movie is that, as of mid-Thursday, RSVP seats were still available; politely request one from Julie Morgan before they’re filled.

What can this possibly mean for C-U Blogfidential? My guess is that it won’t mean squat for a while until the IFO and film personnel working in the Chicago wilds start viewing this forum on a professional par with their preexisting news and media sources. Which means, um, there’s work to do. Pronto.

~ Jason Pankoke

p.s. Yes, I know it’s been 33 days since I last posted. If you’re interested in helping me speed up the process while simultaneously whipping the Secret MICRO-FILM Headquarters into shape, you know how to reach me. Boxes, papers, bags, and crapola await you!


From June 24, 2008:


Illinois Film Office Announces “IFO Night at the Movies”
Series premiers with screening of WANTED in Champaign

CHICAGO – The Illinois Film Office today announced IFO Night at the Movies, a new program for citizens around the state to see movies shot in Illinois for free and to learn more about Illinois’ bustling film industry. The program kicks off in Champaign on Monday, June 30th, with a screening of Universal PicturesWANTED starring Angelina Jolie and Morgan Freeman. WANTED was shot in and around Chicago in 2007, accounting for more than 800 job hires and about $8 million in Illinois spending.

The movie will begin at 6:30 p.m. Monday, June 30 at the Savoy 16 Theatre at 232 Burwash Avenue in Savoy. Seats are limited so interested individuals should rsvp via email to secure their seats. Email responses should be sent to Julie.Morgan [at] illinois [dot] gov. WANTED is R-rated. Children under 17 are not allowed to attend R-rated motion pictures unaccompanied by a parent or adult guardian.

“IFO Night at the Movies is a great opportunity to host people around the state for a fun night out while learning about the positive economic impact film production has in our state,” Illinois Film Office Managing Director Betsy Steinberg said. “With the help of the Champaign Tourism and Convention Bureau as well as local businesses, we expect the night to be a huge success.”

The film industry has a sizable impact on the Illinois economy and brings thousands of jobs to the state each year. In 2007, Illinois film productions made more than 26,500 hires in Illinois – a 110 percent increase over 2006. A number of films and television shows were produced in Illinois in 2007 including: THE DARK KNIGHT, WANTED, FRED CLAUS with Vince Vaughn, MEET THE BROWNS starring Angela Bassett, ER, and MY BOYS. This year, movies such as PUBLIC ENEMIES starring Johnny Depp and THE INFORMANT starring Matt Damon have filmed in Illinois.

In 2000, Illinois began suffering a mass exodus of the film industry as other states began enacting film incentives. By 2003, the Illinois film industry had fallen to an all-time low of $23 million. In response, Gov. Rod Blagojevich enacted the Illinois Film Tax Credit. Since its passage, the film industry has rebounded dramatically. The film industry reached an all-time record of nearly $155 million in 2007. This represents the single best year in the state’s history – and an 80 percent increase over 2006.

“We are always looking for innovative ways to showcase and promote Illinois’ film industry. The film industry brings thousands of jobs to the state each year, and millions in revenue,” Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Director Jack Lavin said. “The IFO Night At the Movies program is another way that we’re promoting Illinois’ vibrant film industry.”

The Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity is dedicated to advancing Illinois’ reputation as a world-class film destination. The Illinois Film Office, a division of DCEO, promotes and markets the state as an ideal shooting location for films, television shows and commercials. The IFO also promotes and encourages the training and hiring of Illinois residents who represent the diversity of the state’s population.

Gov. Blagojevich’s Opportunity Returns regional economic development strategy is the most aggressive, comprehensive approach to creating jobs in Illinois’ history. Since a one-size-fits-all approach to economic development just doesn’t work, the Governor has divided the state into 10 regions – each with a regional team that is empowered and expected to rapidly respond to opportunities and challenges. Opportunity Returns is about tangible, specific actions to make each region more accessible, more marketable, more entrepreneurial and more attractive to businesses. It is about upgrading the skills of the local workforce, increasing the access to capital, opening new markets, improving infrastructure, and creating and retaining jobs. Opportunity Returns is about successfully partnering with companies and communities, both large and small, to help all of Illinois reach its economic potential.


Ashley Cross (DCEO)
Marcelyn Love (DCEO)

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