Filmmaker scores funding at AFM for his Cubs’ feature

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That long-awaited and exciting Chicago Cubs 10-8 World Series victory over the Cleveland Indians not only elated millions of Cubs fans, but it instilled confidence in one filmmaker that his Cubs’ film will be produced without having to wait decades to do so.

The filmmaker is Chicago writer / producer / director Anil Sunkara, a devoted Cubs fan for 23 years, who this week is attending the American Film Market (AMF) in Santa Monica, where he successfully found funding for his “Cubs & Goats” comedy sports feature.

“The film takes an intimate look, from the fan’s point of view, about the infamous Cubs’ curse and how it has affected Chicagoans,” explains Sunkara, who has produced more than 20 films in India.

In development for two years, the script follows the attempts of four Cubs fans to lift the Curse of the Billy Goat, that was supposedly placed on the team when Billy Goat tavern owner William Sianis was asked to leave Wrigley Field during game four of the 1945 World Series because of his goat’s foul odor — and told never to return.

That year the Cubs lost the Series to the Detroit Tigers and hadn’t played a Series game in the ensuing 71 years.

“After a wait of 108 years, through eight different club owners and more than a thousand players, millions of fans have never changed, all wanting, hoping, praying the Cubs would make it to the top, working towards eliminating the curse in their own individual ways,” Sunkara says.

Sunkara also looks at how contemporary fans felt when the Cubs went into the 10th inning of Thursday’s Series game in Cleveland. The film ends with amazing scenes of the world’s seventh largest gathering of humans ever and the number one biggest US assemblage, in Wrigleyville, along the five-mile parade route and in Grant Park.

“‘Cubs & Goats’ will be in pre-production within the next couple of months,” he states, “as we interview players, coaches, owners and, of course, the fans. It’s our way of appealing to Cubs fans around the world.”

Funding will be provided by an investment company he connected with at the AFM, whose name Sunkara will reveal when all the legalities are confirmed.

Casting is scheduled to begin in January, 2017 and principal photography to start in March 2017. Tentative US release is set for November, 2017.

Working screenwriter Colin Costello, who still calls Chicago, “home,” wrote the Emmy-nominated “Moochie Kalala Detective’s Club” and the 2016 family film, “Traveling Without Moving.” Reach him at colin@colincostello.com.

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