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Mike McNamara

Podtalk: Michael Lippert of ‘Miriam is Going to Mars’ at Ithaca Fantastik Fest on Nov. 11, 2017

Miriam is Going to Mars

CHICAGO – The issue of mental health is given a celestial spin in the short film “Miriam is Going to Mars,” written and directed by Michael Lippert of Cutters Studios in Chicago. The film recently was the Grand Jury Winner at the Midwest Independent Film Festival “Midwest Advertising Community Shorts Night,” and follows that up with a screening at the Ithaca (New York) Fantastik Fest on November 11th, 2017.

Film Review: Short Film ‘The Replacement’ at 53rd Chicago International Film Festival

Replacement, The

CHICAGO – The science fiction that we once knew, that we thought was impossible, is fast becoming everyday life. One short film that premiered at the 53rd Chicago International Film Festival – “The Replacement” – takes the concept of cloning, applying a chilling and symbolic twist to a science fiction that can also be interpreted in our current times as reality. “The Replacement” screens one more time as part of the “City & State” slate of shorts on Wednesday, October 25th, 2017 (details below).

Interviews: ‘Signature Move’ at the Midwest Independent Film Festival on Oct. 3, 2017

Midwest Independent Film Festival Logo

CHICAGO – The Made-in-Chicago film “Signature Move” will have a Midwest festival premiere through a “first Tuesday” showcase at the Midwest Independent Film Festival on October 3rd, 2017, and it will take place at a different location, the Music Box Theatre in Chicago (usually the Festival is at the Landmark Century Centre Cinema). Lead Actor Fawzia Mizra, director Jennifer Reeder and other cast/crew members are all scheduled to attend.

Podtalk: Nnamdi Ngwe on ‘Rap Skool’ at the Midwest Independent Film Fest on Sept. 5, 2017

Midwest TV Pilot

CHICAGO – On one of the most exciting Tuesday nights of the year-round Midwest Independent Film Festival is the Midwest Pilot Showcase on September 5th, 2017. Seven full TV pilots will see the light of screen, all with a diversity of form and story. Among the pilots in the showcase is “Rap Skool,” a hilarious parody/comedy about a class of wannabe street rhymers. Co-created by twin brothers Amechi and Nnamdi Ngwe, this Chicago-based show is packed with laughs.

Interview, Audio: Monica Raymund of ‘Chicago Fire’ Debuts New Film ‘Tanya’ on Aug. 1, 2017

Monica Raymund on set for 'Tanya'

CHICAGOTV fans know Monica Raymund as paramedic Gabby Dawson on the long-running “Chicago Fire.” But the talented actor is expanding her range, debuting her first film as director, “Tanya,” at the Midwest Independent Film Festival on Tuesday, August 1st, 2017. The short film – written by Sam Forman – will be part of “Female Filmmakers Night” at the Midwest Indie, and is part of Raymund’s involvement with Hidden Tears Project, an organization dedicated to raising consciousness by creating media on gender inequality, sexual abuse and human trafficking.

Podcast Talk: John Charles Meyer on ‘Dave Made a Maze,’ Screening in Chicago on June 6, 2017

Dave Made a Maze

CHICAGO – Truly unique and creative micro-budget films are as rare as a sighting of Bigfoot these days, as so many people are picking up a camera to give it try. The production of “Dave Made a Maze” is a happy exception, a film that delivers the thrills and at the same time makes fun of them. Throw in hipsters-in-peril and homages to 1980s adventure films, and it’s easy to find the way through this fun movie.

Film News: ‘Animation Showcase’ at Midwest Independent Film Festival on May 2, 2017

Animation Showcase, MIFF

CHICAGO – The Midwest Independent Film Festival, the year round “First Tuesday” film happening in Chicago, is about to go cartoony. The Fest’s first-ever Animation Showcase will take place on Tuesday, May 2nd, 2017, at the Landmark Century Centre Cinema in Chicago. For complete details and to purchase tickets, click here.

Interview: Amy Pietz of ‘Halfway’ to Appear at Midwest Independent Film Festival on Feb. 7, 2017

CHICAGO – Amy Pietz is a Midwesterner made good in her primary role as a working actor. And what better performer to appear at the kick-off of the 2017 Midwest Independent Film Festival, as Pietz’s new film takes place in her native Wisconsin.

Film News: ‘For Grace’ is Top Film at 2016 ‘Best of the Midwest’ Awards Night

Best of the Midwest 2016

CHICAGO – On Tuesday, December 6th, the Midwest Independent Film Festival gave out their 2016 “Best of the Midwest” Awards with a ceremony at Rockit Bar & Grill in Chicago. Best Feature honors went to “For Grace,” directed by Mark Helenowski and Kevin Pang. Best Female Actor was Amy Frazzini of “Guidance,” Best Male Actors were T.J. Jagodowski and David Pasquesi of “T.J. & Dave,” and Best Screenplay was Robert Putka of “Mad,” among other categories.

Film News: Midwest Independent Film Festival ‘Best of the Midwest’ on Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2016

MIFF 2016 BMA

CHICAGO – On Tuesday, December 6th, the Midwest Independent Film Festival will award their 2016 “Best of the Midwest” honors with a ceremony at Rockit Bar & Grill, 22 W. Hubbard, in Chicago. The evening will be hosted by Festival Director Mike McNamara, and nominees include the short film “Lady of the House” (directed by Brad Bischoff), plus feature films “Mad” (directed by Robert Putka), and “My Friend’s Rubber Ducky” (directed by Josh Hyde).

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Bobby Pin Girls

    CHICAGO – The “breeder years” are difficult on everyone, as the biological imperative becomes overwhelming and the couplings that result yield both discovery and misadventure. Nothing Without a Company’s new play “Bobby Pin Girls” highlight two such Millennial women, roommates who are having man trouble, although the argument can be made that it’s eternally “boy trouble.” The show has a Thursday-Sunday run at the Chicago Mosaic School through December 3rd, 2017. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

  • Transformers 5 front

    CHICAGO – Knock me over with a feather kids, but I enjoyed “Transformers: The Last Knight.” Maybe it was in comparison to the others or maybe director Michael Bay has beaten me into submission, but this one had the right story elements and casting to make it work, with exceptions of course. It’s goofiness is its charm, and it was released on Blu-Ray/DVD on September 26th, 2017 (Digital HD already available).

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