By MCN Editor

The 22nd Chicago Underground Film Festival Wraps With Record Attendance, Jury Awards Announced

(Logan Square, June 17, 2015) – The Chicago Underground Film Festival,
presented by Jameson Irish Whiskey with additional support from Lagunitas
Brewing Company, Tribeca Flashpoint Academy and SAG-AFTRA, concluded its
22nd edition with another year of increased attendance. More than 2,000
cinephiles converged on the Logan Theatre for the five-day event, which
drew an unprecedented 63 visiting filmmakers from across the globe, nearly
double the number of attendees last year. The Chicago Underground Film
Festival has made the Logan Theatre its home for the past three years, with
turnout growing each year as the Festival established its vital presence in
the Logan Square community.

The festival featured 25 screenings, with over 100 experimental,
documentary, and narrative shorts and features, welcoming visiting
filmmakers from the Philippines, England, Scotland, Austria, Greece,
Mexico, Spain, Canada, and from all across the United States.

Each day of screenings ended with after-parties and entertainment at
locations in Logan Square that included Elastic Arts, East Room, the
Burlington, and Parts and Labor. The fourth edition of “Bar Talks”
packed the Logan Theatre Lounge for four informal, lively 90-minute
extended conversations among local and visiting filmmakers. The Awards
Ceremony also took place at the Logan Theatre Lounge, where filmmakers were
presented with handcrafted awards, sculpted for the second year by local
artist Theresa Vishnevetskaya.

This year’s jurors were Kevin B. Lee, Ines Sommer and Michael W.
Phillips, Jr. , and they presented these awards:

BEST OF FEST went to Jennifer Reeder for “Blood Below The Skin.”
BEST FEATURE went to Iva Radivojevic for “Evaporating Borders.”
BEST DOCUMENTARY went to David McMurry for “Atomic City.”
BEST EXPERIMENTAL went to Nazli Dinçel for “Her Silent Seaming.”
Kienitz Wilkins for “Special Features”.
for “Atlantis.”
MADE IN CHICAGO went to Laura Harrison for “The Lingerie Show.”
AUDIENCE AWARD went to Jim Vendiola for “Violets.”
HONORABLE MENTIONS went to Bingham Bryant & Kyle Molzan for “For The
Plasma,” Deborah Stratman for “Hacked Circuit,” Alexander Carver and
Daniel Schmidt for “La Isla está Encantada con Ustedes (The Island Is
Enchanted with You),” Orr Menirom for “Limited Speech Holds Endless
Misunderstandings,” Olivia Wyatt for “Sailing A Sinking Sea,” and
Paul Turano for “Toward The Flame.”

The Chicago Underground Film Festival returns to the Logan Theatre June
1-5, 2016, with its 23rd edition. Mark your planners and visit
for an expanded calendar of upcoming events and festival updates.

The Chicago Underground Film Festival is a program of IFP/Chicago. Visit for more information and to become a member.

CUFF thanks: Jameson Irish Whiskey, Lagunitas Brewing Company, Tribeca
Flashpoint College, SAG-AFTRA Chicago, Perrier, Dark Horse Wine, Film
Freeway, the Illinois Film Office, Cinespace Chicago Film Studios, Fandor,
the Illinois Arts Council, Rentech Solutions, Universe, Shirts Our Business
Ltd, The Logan Theatre, The Burlington, Video Data Bank, Isla Pilipina
Cuisine, Olive Films, The Pleasure Chest, Handlebar Chicago, and

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It shows how out of it I was in trying to be in it, acknowledging that I was out of it to myself, and then thinking, “Okay, how do I stop being out of it? Well, I get some legitimate illogical narrative ideas” — some novel, you know?

So I decided on three writers that I might be able to option their material and get some producer, or myself as producer, and then get some writer to do a screenplay on it, and maybe make a movie.

And so the three projects were “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” “Naked Lunch” and a collection of Bukowski. Which, in 1975, forget it — I mean, that was nuts. Hollywood would not touch any of that, but I was looking for something commercial, and I thought that all of these things were coming.

There would be no Blade Runner if there was no Ray Bradbury. I couldn’t find Philip K. Dick. His agent didn’t even know where he was. And so I gave up.

I was walking down the street and I ran into Bradbury — he directed a play that I was going to do as an actor, so we know each other, but he yelled “hi” — and I’d forgot who he was.

So at my girlfriend Barbara Hershey’s urging — I was with her at that moment — she said, “Talk to him! That guy really wants to talk to you,” and I said “No, fuck him,” and keep walking.

But then I did, and then I realized who it was, and I thought, “Wait, he’s in that realm, maybe he knows Philip K. Dick.” I said, “You know a guy named—” “Yeah, sure — you want his phone number?”

My friend paid my rent for a year while I wrote, because it turned out we couldn’t get a writer. My friends kept on me about, well, if you can’t get a writer, then you write.”
~ Hampton Fancher

“That was the most disappointing thing to me in how this thing was played. Is that I’m on the phone with you now, after all that’s been said, and the fundamental distinction between what James is dealing with in these other cases is not actually brought to the fore. The fundamental difference is that James Franco didn’t seek to use his position to have sex with anyone. There’s not a case of that. He wasn’t using his position or status to try to solicit a sexual favor from anyone. If he had — if that were what the accusation involved — the show would not have gone on. We would have folded up shop and we would have not completed the show. Because then it would have been the same as Harvey Weinstein, or Les Moonves, or any of these cases that are fundamental to this new paradigm. Did you not notice that? Why did you not notice that? Is that not something notable to say, journalistically? Because nobody could find the voice to say it. I’m not just being rhetorical. Why is it that you and the other critics, none of you could find the voice to say, “You know, it’s not this, it’s that”? Because — let me go on and speak further to this. If you go back to the L.A. Times piece, that’s what it lacked. That’s what they were not able to deliver. The one example in the five that involved an issue of a sexual act was between James and a woman he was dating, who he was not working with. There was no professional dynamic in any capacity.

~ David Simon