Chicago Film Festival returns to GSU | Culture & Leisure

Tickets for the fourth Chicago Southland International Film Festival (CSIFF) presented by Governors State University are now available. This year’s festival provides expanded access to Chicagoland, remote / rural and international viewers through a hybrid on-site and virtual delivery model.

Virtual streaming will be offered via the Eventive platform from October 11 to 17, and festival fans will be able to view the screenings in person on the weekend of October 15 to 17 at Governors State University in Auditorium F1622. Festival passes are currently available on Eventive at csiff.eventive.org/passes/buy.

CSIFF offers something for all film buffs and independent filmmakers alike, with film lineup featuring high school, college and professional shorts with a range of genres including comedy, drama, sci-fi / horror / fantasy, documentary and animation, and a showcase of feature films.

Check out the full film lineup to plan a festival experience. Festival co-founders Suzanne E. Patterson and Joshua E. Young selected 58 short films from 13 countries (Australia, Canada, Egypt, Germany, India, Iran, Italy, Luxembourg, Poland, Portugal, Netherlands, UK United and United States) in collaboration with a committee of award-winning producers, students, academics, community advisors and working filmmakers.

Patterson said in a press release, “It’s exhilarating to come out of the virtual world 2020 with a hybrid concept this year: entertaining people from the comfort of their own homes and hosting a weekend of screenings and Q&A in live, in person, including a VIP filmmaker reception.

“We are very proud that former filmmakers are joining us as judges this year (Ines Sommer and Frank Tovar from Chicago, Desmond Huey from Matteson and Harry Locke IV from Los Angeles). We are also honored by the response from previous filmmakers who are returning for a second, third or fourth year with new nominations! “

The festival is also known to tackle important issues. Past themes have included cultural and racial identity; conquering violence (shortlisted for the Academy Award and winner of an Emmy Award “Minding the Gap” by former GSU student Bing Liu); social inclusion (Hong Kong high school film project called “Fight For Show!”); history and oppression (the 2019 Showcase feature “Who Will Write Our History” by Roberta Grossman co-produced by Nancy Spielberg); Veterans Healed from Trauma (“Mustang Saviors” by Chicago filmmaker David Glossberg); and climate change (Ines Sommer “Seasons of Change on Henry’s Farm”).

This year’s Feature Film Showcase, a community-wide film screening and discussion event celebrating independent filmmakers, is no exception. “Try harder! Is directed by Debbie Lum and made its world premiere at Sundance this year, is a heartfelt journey into the reality of the American college application process and at the intersection of class, race and educational opportunity as students students navigate a rite of passage par excellence and have it possessed.

The CSIFF co-founders select and host this feature film to offer filmmakers a public performance and the opportunity to participate in post-screening question-and-answer sessions facilitated with a diverse audience. This mission of nurturing filmmakers means a lot to the CSIFF team, as CSIFF was created as a festival for filmmakers and moviegoers.

“The goal is to bring them together to stimulate conversations and immerse visitors in the art of film and the moving image,” Young said in a press release. “We think our festival is unique in its appeal to both audiences, and we have received very positive feedback!

The festival also attracts several established filmmakers. One example is Tyler Harding, a high school student from Michigan who has submitted films to the short film competition every year since its inception. His first submission was in first year and now he is submitting in his final year.

Many local filmmakers from Chicago and Illinois are also featured. The film “Requiem for Black Love”, where two runaway slaves risk their lives for a chance to love and seek happiness, was directed by Eric Almond, a resident of Flossmoor.

The film “Roots” is written, produced, shot and edited by Alex Pavloski, a GSU alumnus; two flowers experience love, sorrow and the cyclicality of life. Rockford’s Tom Doherty created “Keep the Change,” a comedic drama where a comedian shoots dinner and rushes off in hopes of luring a restaurant owner to his show. Eight other selected films were submitted by Chicago natives.

For more information on the festival, visit the Chicago Southland International Film Festival website or the CSIFF Facebook page.

About Leslie Schwartz

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