The Chicago Documentary Summit is happening at Columbia College Chicago on April 21st and 22nd. Summit leader, Andrew Zinnes and author of Guerilla Film Guide has offered a discounted rate to our readers, code: chicagofilm
Here are some of the speakers that you can meet at the summit:
I first encountered Ruth’s work when Lipstick and Dynamite was airing on IFC. I was fresh out of undergrad and hungry to watch any documentary available. Her style of using a variety of archival sources to put together a portrait of early female wrestlers was different than much of the doc that I found on television. Years later, I voted for her short film called Tony & Janina’s American Wedding, which was a winner of the Link TV: One Chicago, One Nation contest that many of my friends entered (before crowd-sourcing was a buzzword.)
When the film premiered, Tony asked me, “What’s next?” I answered, “We need to make some noise, because if we make enough noise, tell and show enough people, keep our eye on the prize, something will happen.” – R.Leitman
Today, Tony and Janina’s American Wedding: A Deportation Love Story is a feature doc that’s at the forefront of the immigration debate. The laws that are highlighted by the film represent the only positive change that President Obama has made on the issue, which means that Ruth has achieved the greatest goal that a documentary filmmaker can hope for; to shine a spotlight that makes life better for those involved in the story and the world better for those that are impacted by it. Ruth and her producer, Steve Dixon, were recently named NATIONAL ADVOCATE OF THE YEAR by Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota for their efforts in teaching American communities about the need for immigration reform.
Jeff was my first mentor at Columbia College Chicago because he’s passionate about linking his films to social issues and prolonging his relationships to the people in them. His work with the Robben Island Singers and The Navajo Community continues, even years after the films were released. Jeff’s latest documentary, Food Patriots, portrays the way his family deals with the consequences of industrialized food.
He’ll talk about casting, story structure and lessons he’s learned about putting his family in the doc. The Spitz family has raised some chickens in the past year that have been deemed illegal by their north-suburban neighborhood. I’m looking forward to hearing how this bomb shell will effect the beginning, middle and end of his story.
Julie Keck and Jessica King
Julie and Jess make up the dynamic filmmaking duo, King is a Fink. We first encountered them at Ego Fest in 2011 when they screened a short called Wiggle Room. Everyone in Brainerd, MN loved them and they seemed to have ongoing collaborations with a variety of filmmakers in town including Phil Holbrook, director of TILT. Together, they raised $15,000 from 223 donors for a thriller webseries.
Just to be clear, the only time you should say you’re the Key Master is when a possessed Sigourney Weaver with fabulous hair asks you directly. And then you should say ‘yes’. Always. – J.Keck
Julie Keck (right) was recently invited to write a series of articles for Script Magazine called Taking the Reins. She wisely begins the series by claiming to be not an expert, because anyone claiming to be an expert in something as new as crowdsourcing shouldn’t be trusted. She’ll be giving tips on online fundraising from the perspective of young, up-coming filmmakers.
Other speakers include Gordon Quinn, Tod Lending, John Siskel and Greg Jacobs.