Film News: CIMMfest, the Chicago International Movies & Music Festival, Opens April 16, 2015

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CHICAGO – CIMMfest, the Chicago International Movies and Music Festival, has become one of the fastest growing and buzzworthy Chicago film festivals in recent years. Combining film, tribute events and live performances – and centered in and around the neighborhood of Wicker Park from April 16th through the 19th, 2015, – CIMMfest is not so much a festival as a organic happening.

The 2015 edition of CIMMfest is bigger, bolder and lights up with star power. Besides some of the highlights listed below, there is a jam-packed variety of films, music and events from April 16th through the 19th. For more information, including purchasing passes, click here.


’808:The Movie’
Photo credit: CIMMfest

StarDon’t Think I’ve Forgotten: Cambodia’s Lost Rock ‘n’ Roll

Thursday, April 16th, 7pm, The Logan Theater, 2546 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago

During the Vietnam War, Cambodian musicians crafted a sound from the various rock music styles sweeping America, England and France adding in unique melodies and hypnotic rhythms of their traditional music. Then on April 17, 1975, the Khmer Rouge began wiping out all traces of modernity and Western influence. Intellectuals, artists and musicians were specifically and systematically targeted and eliminated. “Don’t Think I’ve Forgotten” provides a new perspective on a country, usually associated only with war and genocide.

Star808: The Movie

Friday, April 17th, 9pm, The Logan Theater

In 1980, a Japanese electronics manufacturer unwittingly unleashed one of music history’s most important instruments upon the world: The Roland TR-808. More than just a drum machine, the 808 became the backbone of countless hip-hop and R&B tracks before injecting itself into nearly every genre imaginable. From Afrika Bambaataa and LL Cool J to Marvin Gaye and Phil Collins, musicians from all walks of life wanted that iconic 808 sound. Director Alexander Dunn immerses you in the story of this iconic instrument, as told through the eyes (and ears) of some of the most influential artists of the past four decades.


Filmmaker Julien Temple
Photo credit: CIMMfest

StarJulien Temple Film Retrospect

Various locations

From groundbreaking music videos, to highly acclaimed documentaries and feature films, Julien Temple epitomizes the inseparability of movies and music. CIMMfest honors Julien Temple with the BAADASSSS! Award for Lifetime Achievement, and presents a select retrospective of his work including: Absolute Beginners in 35mm (4/18), Dave Davies: Kinkdom Come (4/17), Ray Davies: Imaginary Man (4/17), Rio 50 Degrees (4/18), Oil City Confidential (4/18), in addition to his latest documentary, The Ecstasy of Wilko Johnson (4/18). Each film screening is followed by a Q&A with the Julien Temple. The retrospective culminates in a celebration of Julien’s career at the CIMMfest Awards Ceremony (4/18).

StarAn Evening of Music, Film & Wine with Spike Lee

Saturday, April 18th, 8pm, City Winery Chicago, 1200 W. Randolph St.

Legendary director Spike Lee is provocative, outspoken, and controversial, but possesses a wealth of stories as well. As a filmmaker, his impact on culture and politics is unmatched in his generation. Films like “Do the Right Thing,” “Mo’ Better Blues” and “Malcolm X” had immediate and long lasting impact on music, fashion and political mindset. Lee will discuss and show selected scenes spanning his 36 Joints (films), as well as share an exclusive sneak peek of his latest, Da Sweet Blood Of Jesus.


John Primer
Photo credit: CIMMfest

StarJohn Primer

Friday, April 17th, 9:30pm, Rosa’s Lounge, 3240 W. Armitage Ave., Chicago

As the title of his critically acclaimed Atlantic Records CD suggests, John Primer is truly “The Real Deal.” The Grammy Award and Blues Music Award nominee does not mess around. At 70 years old he’s been playing the blues for over five decades. Primer was instantly hooked with the sounds of Jimmy Reed, Little Milton, and Muddy Waters and easily fills their shoes as one of the greats.

StarDJ Sneak, Mark Farina, Derrick Carter

Friday, April 17th, 9pm, Cabaret Metro, 3730 N Clark St., Chicago

A pioneering figure in Chicago’s second wave of house music, DJ Sneak (Carlos Sosa) remains one of the genre’s most celebrated artists. With an unmistakable style that combines aggressive electronic sounds and explosive beats with Latin grooves, disco, soul, funk, and more, DJ Sneak is always in demand to perform at some of the world’s hottest parties. World-renowned DJ and musician Mark Farina honed his craft in Chicago before becoming a major player in San Francisco’s then-developing dance music scene with his signature “Mushroom Jazz” style. Since then, he’s become a revered figure in the global dance circuit with his seamless blends of house, jazz, downtempo, and myriad experimentations. Raised in the western suburbs, and coming of age in the city’s underground dance community during the 1990s, house music legend Derrick Carter is inextricably tied to Chicago music history and the global electronic music scene.

CIMMfest, the Chicago International Movies and Music Festival, runs from April 16th through April 19th, 2015. Click here for day-by-day schedules and to purchase tickets. senior staff writer Patrick McDonald

Writer, Editorial Coordinator

© 2015 Patrick McDonald,

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