Fifth-annual Lake Country Film Festival arrives in Chicagoland from Feb. 28 to March 3, 2008

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I just received the following statement from Nat Dykeman with the Lake County Film Festival:

Fifth-Annual Lake County Film Festival Arrives From Feb. 28 to March 3, 2008

GRAYSLAKE, Ill. – The Fifth Annual Lake County Film Festival will take place February 28th - March 3rd, featuring the best of independent cinema right here in Lake County. This year’s festival is our biggest yet with seventeen feature length documentaries, seventeen narrative features, and over 100 short films. As with last year, many of the filmmakers will be in attendance to present their films.

Festival highlights include our closing night film, Grace Is Gone, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, where it won the Audience Award, and was nominated for two Golden Globes. Grace is Gone stars Chicago native John Cusack as a man whose wife is killed in Iraq and can’t figure out how to tell his two daughters.

There are two other films with impressive film festival pedigrees. The first is Wristcutters: A Love Story, another Sundance Film Festival alum, which won Best Feature at Gen Art Film Festival and was nominated for two Independent Spirit Awards. Wristcutters stars Patrick Fugit (Almost Famous) as a young pizza delivery boy who commits suicide, only to find himself in an alternate and bizarre world.

The other is Last Stop for Paul, a heart-warming comedy/drama about two friends who travel the world spreading a friend’s ashes. Last Stop For Paul has shown at over 100 film festivals, and won over 45 awards.

While not in Chicago proper, there are plenty of Chicago-based films playing, including the World Premieres of An Alternative To Slitting Your Wrist, a feature documenting a mans year-long attempt to find something worth living for after a failed suicide attempt, King In Chicago, a historical documentary about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s work in 1966 with the Chicago Freedom Movement and Break-Up Date an in-depth look at the modern dating scene.

Other Chicago based films are Indestructible, Ben Byer’s doc about his own battle with ALS and his search for a cure, romantic comedy The Chemistry of Dating, drama The Half Life Of Mason Lake, and Lake County native John Covert’s film Shut-Eye, which features Stana Katic (24, Heroes, Feast Of Love).

There are several foreign films this year, including the World Premiere of L’estate d’Inverno, an Italian drama, Statyści, a Polish comedy and El Violin, the Cannes and Ariel Award-Winning drama.

While last year’s festival brought in over 3,000 admissions, we are proud to announce this years hosting sponsor, The College Of Lake County. CLC has enabled us to grow to almost 100 screenings. Almost 90 percent of our screenings will be held at the Grayslake, IL campus of the College of Lake County, with additional screenings on Saturday, March 1 at the Lakeshore Campus in Waukegan, IL. Our closing night film will be held at the Landmark Theatre in Highland Park, IL.

For more information, including full descriptions of all films and their showtimes, as well as directions and ticketing information, please visit the Lake County Film Festival Web site at or contact the festival at 847-362-5666 or

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Jury winners announced for 2008 Lake County Film Festival

I screened many, many more documentary features and shorts for the 2008 Lake County Film Festival and haven’t mentioned them all in this thread. I have, though, just published the full jury winner’s list. Read them all here!'s picture

Feb. 22, 2008 screening update

So stoked but also a half basket case about what’ll go down this Sunday at the Oscars, I decided to stay in this Friday and get indie. Tonight, I screened the following two Lake County Film Festival documentary feature submissions:

Title:An Alternative to Slitting Your Wrist
Description: In April of 2006, Owen Lowery found himself in the psychiatric ward for attempted suicide. He decides he needs a drastic change in his life so that he will not return. After making a list of 52 things he wants to do before he dies — stop drinking, get stung by a scorpion, ride in a hot air balloon, burn my regrets to the ground — Owen takes one year of his life to complete his list. He chases his demons instead of being chased by them and documents his journey along the way to complete his final task: Have this film played at a film festival.
Note: The trailer follows.
Note: This is a Chicago-based filmmaker.

Title:Urban Explorers: Into the Darkness
Description: Urban Explorers plunges into the world of urban exploration, a growing international subculture of adventure-seekers who explore places where most people would never dream of going. They crawl through storm drains and sewers, wander around faded tourist attractions, and rappel into long-forgotten government sites. Some do it for the thrill of being where they’re not supposed to be and not knowing what lies ahead. Others do it to document places before they are demolished. The bond they share is the desire to explore an urban landscape that is almost completely unappreciated or simply forgotten. Urban Explorers follows Max Action, Katwoman, Turbozutek, Slim Jim on their “missions” to infiltrate abandoned hospitals and “lunatic asylums,” the decaying “House of the Future” in Florida, and even the forbidden Catacombs in Paris. Urban Explorers won Best Feature at the Boston Underground Film Festival.
Note: A production still from the film follows.

Urban Explorers: Into the Darkness's picture

Feb. 19, 2008 screening update

Next on my list, I just screened the following documentary short:

Title:Clean Freak
Description: Chris Hansen is a filmmaker, but he’s also a neurotic clean freak. Here, he turns the camera on himself, first to see how his family sees him, then to explore the roots of his issues, and finally to seek treatment. Clean Freak is a comedic documentary that straddles the line between reality and fiction.
Note: A production still from the film follows.

Clean Freak's picture

Adam Fendelman on Lake County Film Festival documentary jury

I have been asked and have joined the documentary shorts and features jury at the 2008 Lake County Film Festival. I screened the following three short documentaries tonight (and have many, many more to go and will of course reserve judgment until after screening them all):

Title:Janis: A Daughter’s Portrait
Description: A filmmaker daughter asks her farmwife mother about why she got married.
Note: A production still from the film follows.

Janis: A Daughter's Portrait

Description: San Francisco Bay Area recycling pioneers share their insightfully hilarious thoughts and stories on garbage collection, treasure hunting, Jack Benny, and the products we buy.
Note: A production still from the film follows.


Title:Weeding By Example
Description: A small group of determined New Orleanians who suffered their own losses after Katrina, hope to save their park and their community — one weed at a time.
Note: A production still from the film follows.

Weeding By Example

NRPookie's picture


Adam: I’m amazed….like your interview with the author of the Spiderwick Chronicles also!

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