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Influencing Chicago's Film Scene

Northwestern well represented in New City list of movers and shakers in film

EVANSTON, Ill. --- Northwestern University faculty and alumni are well represented on Film50, a list of movers and shakers in the Chicago film scene published by New City magazine.

Here’s what the magazine had to say about some of the Northwestern-related names on their list of Chicago’s most important players in film.

  • David Tolchinsky, director of the MFA in Writing for the Screen and Stage and School of Communication professor of radio/TV/film: Quoting the Hollywood Reporter, New City notes that Tolchinsky heads up not only Chicago’s top-rated film program but also one of the nation’s best programs. The influence of Northwestern’s film and theatre programs “is so deeply rooted in LA and New York that the phrase ‘Purple Mafia’ has arisen to describe it.”
  • Mimi Brody, Pick-Laudati curator of film and director of Block Cinema: “Brody brings vital experience from her years at the UCLA Film & Television Archive and a number of film festivals in the rich assemblage of classic and contemporary films” that Block Cinema offers. New City refers to Block Cinema’s impressive range of sponsors and programming that shows films that haven’t yet debuted in Chicago.
  • Filmmaker Melika Bass, School of Communication lecturer and former artist in residence at Northwestern’s Kaplan Institute for the Humanities: Borrowing a description from the Toronto Film Festival, New City says “Bass directs as if time did not exist, with a rigor that transforms images into still lifes, loading them with a heartbreaking and threatening beauty.”
  • Chicago Mayor and Northwestern alumnus Rahm Emanuel: The mayor is “poised to rebuild Chicago’s production position which waned with the closing of several studios and tax incentives provided by other states to cash-strapped producers.”
  • Alumnus Brian Andreotti, the director of programming for Chicago’s Music Box Theatre who also markets Music Box Films: “Andreotti oversees a team of programmers and special events coordinators for a schedule packed with all manner of attractions and showmanship that goes beyond the movie itself.” 
  • Independent film programmer and alumnus Patrick Friel, who, since 2008, has programmed the White Light Cinema series: According to New City, Friel’s “experimental and alternative programming has always drawn a small, if consistent audience, even as groups and screening spaces come and go.” He also is managing editor of the Cine-File Chicago, a review website.

View the entire Film50 list online.

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