Dennis Farina to appear at MWFF’S Best Awards Dec. 6

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VETERAN ACTOR DENNIS FARINA and director Joe Maggio of indie feature “The Last Rites of Joe May,” will be special guests at the Midwest Independent Film Festival’s Best of the Midwest Awards Dec. 6 at Rockit Bar & Grill.  “The Last Rites” is a contender for a BMA award. 

Actor David Pasquesi, whose newspaper editor character on “Boss” was screwed out of his job by the mayor’s people, will also attend, along with just about everyone else in town, myself included.

ANNA JUNG, ANOTHER BMA NOMINEE is in a class by herself and should deserve a special prize for this.  She has the dubious distinction of being the sole female filmmaker up for recognition out of the entire list of 49 Best of the Fest nominees. 

Jung, of Silent Rebel, made the BMA list by winning third place in MWFF’s Ad Shorts Program last month, with her doc short, “Off in Space.”   She was the lone woman filmmaker in that competition.

The only other female Best of Awards nominee amid all that testosterone is Emily Wilson, up for Best Female Actress for “A Certain Breed.” 

“A SURPRISE HOLIDAY FILM” is the theme of Columbia College’s Dec. 5 free Cinema Slapdown presented by the school’s Film & Video Department.

The debate over the mystery film will take place among the Slapdown’s superstars: Nick Digilio, host, ”The Nick Digilio Show,” WGN Radio; Emily Easton, director of New Student Programs;  Tim Kazurinsky, producer, former “SNL” regular and comedy legend and Kelly Kleiman, one-half of WBEZ’s  “Dueling Critics;”  Dan Rybicky, Film & Video faculty member and Howard Schlossberg, Journalism faculty member.

Referee is Ron Falzone, Film & Video faculty member and the erudite host of “Talk Cinema.”

RE:THINK STUDIOS is settling into its new space at 955 W. Fulton Market. Possibly Chicago’s wholly dedicated 3D/ CGI shop, re:think is run by partners John McGrath, lead facilitator, Brian Bollock, CGI artist and Jessica Simmon, general manager/editorUp until the recent move, the staff of six had been working out of McGrath’s beautiful Hyde Park home that he spent more than a year in its total top-to-bottom, inside-out renovation.

TRIBECA FLASHPOINT ACADEMY students helped create some of the very first panels for the worldwide digital AIDS quilt which launched Dec. 1, World AIDS Day.  

KARTEMQUIN DIRECTOR STEVE JAMES’ much honored “The Interrupters was nominated for Best Documentary in the upcoming Independent Spirit Awards (Feb. 25 in Santa Monica), for his much-honored “The Interrupters,” about three Chicago “violence interrupters” who work to protect their communities from the violence they once employed. 

James produced with author-turned-producer Alex Kotlowitz (“There are No Children Here: The Story of Two Boys Growing Up in the Other America”) and Zak Piper.

“The Interrupters” plays Dec. 16 at the Gene Siskel Film Center and at a special Dec. 17 ITVS Community Cinema screening organized by the Chicago Dept. of Cultural Affairs & Special Events at the Cultural Center.

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