Feature: Jane Lynch, Paul Sorvino at 2013 Chicago Film Critics Awards Press Conference

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StarRegina Taylor, Recipient of the “Oscar Micheaux Award”

Regina Taylor considers Chicago her “performing hometown,” as Distinguished Artistic Associate of Chicago’s Goodman Theatre. Born in Texas, she did her first made-for-TV movies while studying at Southern Methodist University. “Crisis at Central High” (1981) got her rave notices from New York Times, among others, and launched her career. Since then she has appeared in such diverse films as “Clockers,” “Courage Under Fire,” “The Negotiator,” and most well known for TV’s “I’ll Fly Away,” as Lilly Harper. She recently finished four seasons as a series regular on “The Unit.” The “Oscar Micheaux Award” is named after one of the first prominent African American filmmakers, who began his career in Chicago in 1918, and honors African-American performers who have contributed to their communities as artists and activists.

Regina Taylor
Regina Taylor at the Chicago Film Critics Awards, February 9th, 2013
Photo credit: Joe Arce of Starstruck Foto for HollywoodChicago.com

“After giving the award to James Earl Jones last year, I was totally surprised and amazed to be the recipient of the ‘Oscar Micheaux Award’ this year,” Taylor said. “My mother and grandmother always told me to live a creative life, and to give back. I’ve been able to do what I love so much, and have an effect on the community, and it has been a wonderful experience.”

StarGeorge Tillman Jr. & Robert Teitel, “Commitment to Chicago” Award

Two filmmakers who have been vital to the local film economy are George Tillman Jr. and Robert Teitel. They met at Columbia College in Chicago and went on to form a partnership that produced the films “Soul Food” (also directed by Tillman), the two “Barbershop” films and “Nothing Like the Holidays,” all shot on location in the Windy City. In addition, Tillman has directed Oscar winners Robert De Niro and Cuba Gooding Jr. in “Men of Honor,” and recently helmed the well-received biography film, “Notorious,” about The Notorious B.I.G.

George Tillman Jr., Robert Teitel
George Tillman Jr. and Robert Teitel at the Chicago Film Critics Awards, February 9th, 2013
Photo credit: Joe Arce of Starstruck Foto for HollywoodChicago.com

“We’ve been fortunate because we’ve made six films in Chicago,” Robert Teitel said. “For me, Chicago is great, with crews that work harder than anywhere, with locations that are out of this world, a acting community that is undeniably strong and tax incentives that are very supportive.”

“When we first met, the independent scene was in New York,” George Tillman added, “we felt there was an untouched world here in Chicago, and we just thought the best thing to do was to tell our stories here. We shot our first film on State Street and the south side, and I remembered those locations when we later did ‘Barbershop.’ It’s all connected to our own personal experience, and we stand out as Chicago filmmakers.”

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