Podtalk

Oscar Week: Podtalk with Director Bing Liu of Oscar nominated Feature Doc ‘Minding the Gap’

Minding the Gap, directed by Bing Liu

CHICAGO – All through the 2019 Oscar Week, HollywoodChicago.com will rerun significant articles from 2018 that feature the nominees associated with Sunday’s Academy Award ceremony. Today is a Podtalk with director Bing Liu, who was the filmmaker behind a Best Documentary Feature nominee, “Minding the Gap.” The film seems to be a nostalgic profile of Liu’s youth in Rockford, Illinois, as he goes back to his hometown to explore the skateboarding culture that kept him balanced while growing up in a difficult home environment. What he found out about himself was an organic reveal in the film, both shocking and cathartic.

Podtalk: Midwest Independent Film Fest Opener is ‘An Acceptable Loss’ on Feb. 5, 2019

An Acceptable Loss

CHICAGO – Some extraordinary local and outside talent coordinated to produce the film “An Acceptable Loss” in 2018, including featured stars Jamie Lee Curtis and Tika Sumpter (“Southside with You”). Producer Colleen Griffen and writer/director Joe Chappelle, who hail from Chicagoland, helped to create this passionate thriller, with echoes of paranoid government oversight films like “All the President’s Men” and the recent “Vice.” The Midwest Independent Film Festival has made “An Acceptable Loss” the kickoff film for their 2019 season. Click here for tickets and details.

Podtalk: Director Richard Yeagley Observes ‘The Sunday Sessions’

Sunday Sessions, The

CHICAGO – The film ”Boy Erased” was released in November, a star-studded “based on real events” memoir film about the topic of “gay conversion therapy” (the rejected-by-the-medical-world notion of using techniques to convert a gay individual to straight). Director Richard Yeagley has produced a documentary on the same subject, “The Sunday Sessions,” which has more authenticity because it’s completely real. One more screening of the film will take place on January 16th, 2019, part of Gene Siskel Film Center’s “Stranger Than Fiction” series. Click here for tickets and details.

Podtalk: Mike Kwielford on Midwest Independent Film Fest’s ‘Best of the Midwest,’ Jan. 17, 2019

CHICAGO – Local Awards Season is coming up with the Best of the Midwest, honoring the 2018 film year of the Midwest Independent Film Festival. The Gala is on Thursday, January 17th, 2019, click here for tickets and information.

Podtalk: Director Nadine Labaki Creates ‘Capernaum’

Capernaum

CHICAGO – One of the best films of 2018 is “Capernaum.” The title means “Chaos,” and co-writer/director Nadine Labaki certainly created a form of that action in the crazy quilt journey of the main character of Zain, an undocumented immigrant boy in Lebanon. From a story that takes us from his street survival to a court of law… suing his parents, “Capernaum” is a multi-layered masterpiece.

Podtalk: Jerry Vasilatos Presents ‘Solstice’ at Chicago’s Music Box Theatre on Dec. 18, 2018

Solstice

CHICAGO – In a bit of a Christmas miracle, a film that was shot in Chicago in the early 1990s will see the light of screen again in the same theater – the historic Music Box Theatre – where a key scene was filmed. Writer/Director Jerry Vasilatos presents the 25th Anniversary restoration of his holiday film “Solstice” on December 18th, 2018, with a post screening Q&A moderated by Patrick McDonald of HollywoodChicago.com. For details and ticket info, click here.

Podtalk: Producer Stephanie Buxbaum on Her Adventures in Reality & Doc Series Television

Stephanie Buxbaum 3

CHICAGO – In the history of “Reality TV” there has been periods of up-and-down popularity, shows that have been around seemingly forever (“Big Brother,” “Amazing Race”) and spinoffs to new styles like “documentary series” as networks like the National Geographic Channel emerged. In all those permutations, producer Stephanie Buxbaum has experienced it all, and has the career and stories to prove it.

Podtalk: Jon Heder for ‘When Jeff Tried to Save the World’ at Music Box Theatre, Dec. 6, 2018

When Jeff Tried to Save the World

CHICAGO – When your first major role was as the title character in ‘Napoleon Dynamite,’ the way through the rest of your career is paved with gratitude. Actor Jon Heder portrays another title character in his latest film, “When Jeff Tried to Save the World” – co-written and directed by Kendall Goldberg – and creates another memorable role. Heder and Goldberg will make an appearance on behalf of the film on Thursday, December 6th, 2018, at the Music Box Theatre in Chicago. For more information and tickets, click here.

Podtalk: Creator and Lead Actor of Web Series ‘Deadbeat 2’

CHICAGO – Not many web series start out as music videos, but the new online (YouTube) drama “Deadbeat 2” was just that. Created, written and directed by Danny Froze, the made-in-Chicago story recently premiered episodes five and six in the series, which features actor Kiwaun Stoutmire in the lead role of Ronnie.

Podtalk: Co-Directors Explain How ‘Ralph Breaks the Internet’

CHICAGO – The visual density of today’s animation reaches a new height in a rare Walt Disney Studio sequel, “Ralph Breaks the Internet.” This is a follow-up to “Wreck-It Ralph,” a huge animated hit film. Returning to guide the sequel, which has Wreck-It Ralph “inside” the internet, are co-directors Phil Johnston and Rich Moore.

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