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Sundance Institute’s ShortsLab: Chicago 5/7

May 4, 2011 | By | Add a Comment

Saturday, May 7, Columbia College Chicago

Sundance Institute invites filmmakers to participate in ShortsLab: Chicago, a three-part, all-day educational workshop. This full day of Sundance-organized seminars, screenings, and panels offers filmmakers firsthand insight and access into the world of story development, production, and exhibition of narrative short-form storytelling.

Attendees who submit their short film to the 2012 Sundance Film Festival will receive one-on-one feedback from a Sundance programmer post-Festival. And as an added bonus, attendees will also receive a gift card good for three months ($150) of complimentary access to Topspin Plus, the leading direct-to-fan marketing application for artists.

ShortsLab: Chicago includes the following parts and participants:

Story: An in-depth conversation with notable filmmakers on the fundamentals of story, creating characters, and the writing process. Moderated by Nina Metz (Film, Theatre, and TV Critic for the Chicago Tribune), we’ll screen work, cite examples, and discuss a range of topics about the craft of the conception stage. Filmmakers include:

  • Jared Hess – Director of Napoleon Dynamite (2004 Sundance Film Festival), Nacho Libre (released 2006), and Gentleman Broncos (released 2009).
  • Aaron Schneider – Director of Get Low (2010 Sundance Film Festival), which won an Independent Spirit Award for ‘Best First Feature’ in 2011. In 2003, Aaron also won an Oscar for his short film Two Soldiers.

Production: From financing a short film and overcoming legal hurdles to collaborating with a DP and working with SAG actors, we’ll look at the ins and outs, trials and tribulations, do’s and don’ts of the production process. Panelists include:

  • Pete Biagi (Director of Photography) and Kyle Henry (Filmmaker) – Pete has shot more than 30 shorts and 12 feature-length films. Kyle has directed features (Sundance, SXSW) along with numerous award-winning shorts. These Chicago locals will speak to the strategies of director and cinematographer collaborations.
  • Ilyssa Fradin (Chicago Branch President of SAG) – Representing over 4,000 members in the nine-state Midwest region, Ilyssa will speak about working with SAG actors and SAG contracts.
  • Marci Rolnik (Legal Director at Lawyers for the Creative Arts) – Marci will share insight into the many aspects of entertainment law.
  • Yancey Strickler (Co-founder of Kickstarter) – Kickstarter is a new way for artists to raise money for creative projects through crowdfunding.

Distribution: Where can my short film play outside of festivals, and just who is buying short films? Is there money to be made on the internet and/or TV with short films, and how do I get on those companies’ radars? What about self-distribution – is there a payoff to going at it myself? This discussion will be moderated by Todd Lillethun (Program Director of Chicago Filmmakers). Panelists include:

  • Bob Moczydlowsky (Director of Program Management at Topspin Media) – Using Topspin as an example, Bob will talk about the many ways in which filmmakers can empower themselves and self-distribute their work.
  • Linda Olszewski (Co-Head of Global Acquisitions for Shorts International) – Shorts International is a leading short movie entertainment company.
  • Romen Podzyhun (Corporate Head of Programming for Movieola) – Romen will share his vast experience with shorts distribution and discuss the opportunities that currently exist for filmmakers in such an arena.

Programmers Panel: A look at festivals and festival programming: What are they looking for, how do they find it, and, well, why didn’t I get in last year? Moderator Ed M. Koziarski (Filmmaker and Journalist at Chicago ReaderFilmmaker Magazine, and Reel Chicago) will help scoop some inside tips from festival programmers. Panelists include:

Cocktails and Networking Reception

Sundance Film Festival Shorts Program: A screening of short film highlights from the 2011 Sundance Film Festival.

Click here for information on registration and tickets.



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