Podtalk: Erica Duffy Introduces Rebooted Midwest Film Festival in Chicago on Feb. 22, 2020

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CHICAGO – Facing extinction, the Midwest Independent Film Festival was resurrected through the efforts of new Executive Director Erica Duffy, who will introduce the rebooted “Midwest Film Festival” to Chicago on February 22nd, 2020.

The Midwest Independent Film Festival has been a staple in Chicago’s film community for 15 years. The last two years have been the most difficult, as the format of “First Tuesdays” (monthly screenings each month on that day) and other factors began to erode audiences and sponsorship. Erica Duffy – the founder of Camera Ambassador, a local camera rental company – joined the board of directors in 2019 and oversaw the situation from the inside. When that same board was on the brink of voting for the Fest to end, Duffy stepped in and presented a new way of revival, feeling that the Festival was essential in Chicago’s growing production community.

This Saturday at the Chicago Cultural Center
Photo credit: MidwestFilm.com

Enter the Midwest Film Festival (MFF), rebranded and re-established for 2020. Gone is the First Tuesday concept, as the Fest will screen on various nights – and away from their usual Northside location – to see how the audiences react, and the MMF also take place bi-monthly rather than monthly. The first Midwest Film Festival night will be a “Film Fair,” an all-day and night event at the Chicago Cultural Center, beginning at 2pm on 2/22. For details and tickets for the first film program, click here.

Erica Duffy, Executive Director of the Midwest Film Festival
Photo credit: MidwestFilm.com

In Part One of a Podtalk with Patrick McDonald of HollywoodChicago.com, Erica Duffy – new Executive Director of the Midwest Film Festival – talks about the background of the transition to 2020, and the Mission Statement of the Fest.

In Part Two, Duffy reflects on the current state of film production in Chicago, and how she envisions success for the Midwest Film Festival.

The Midwest Film Festival kicks off with a Film Fair on February 22nd, 2020, at the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 East Washington Street. The “Fair” and seminars take place from 2pm-6pm, and is free. 6pm will be the intro panel to the Midwest Film Festival and the first film program, Comedy Shorts. And finally, an after party at Lucky Strike, 322 East Illinois Street, Chicago, from 9-11pm.

HollywoodChicago.com senior staff writer Patrick McDonald

Editor and Film Writer

© 2020 Patrick McDonald, HollywoodChicago.com

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