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Midwest Independent Film Festival Celebrates Annual Female Filmmakers Night with New Jury Prize

Next Tuesday, August 7th, Chicago’s year-round Midwest Independent Film Festival will hold its annual Female Filmmakers Night. Taking place at 6 p.m. at the Landmark Century Centre Cinema, the event will feature a showcase of shorts that were all made by women, as selected by a jury of women. And for the first time ever, the best of these selections will receive a Grand Jury Prize, of which RogerEbert.com editor-in-chief Chaz Ebert will present.  

Ebert will serve as Honorary Chair for the jury, which includes Erica Duffy from Camera Ambassador, Melissa Barany from VML, Jan Hiegglke from NewCity, Diane Quon from Kartemquin Films, Marina Killion from Optimus, Chakka Reeves from Free Spirit Media, and Orianna Oppose from Women in Film. 

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Photo credit: Daniel Patton/Reel Chicago

According to the MIFF website, the live-action and animated shorts included are “films that address subject matters including Title IX, disabilities, violence against women, and women in traditionally male roles.” Such titles include the U.S. premiere of writer/director Wendy Roderweiss’ “Stage Four,” about a 25-year marriage post-affair; Kailyne R. Waters’ “The Go Cart,” about a shopping cart’s search for meaning; the experimental short “Atoms of Ashes” by Maggie Scranton; Moira Hamilton’s “As of Now,” which will be receiving its US premiere, which examines “partner violence on college campuses.” (For a full roster of the shorts playing on Female Filmmakers Night, click here.)

Speaking to Daniel Patton of Reel Chicago, MIFF's new executive director Amy Guth shared the idea behind this big moment for the festival: “We really wanted to very thoughtfully curate a group of women in leadership roles in Chicago film to serve on this jury for the first time ever on Female Filmmaker Night,” she says. “I think it’s just a way of elevating and celebrating the event a little more and adding another dimension and layer to this night and really involving more members of the community in creating it.”

The Midwest International Film Festival's annual Female Filmmakers Night, sponsored by Canon, starts at 6 p.m., and will take place at Chicago's Landmark Century Centre Cinema. For more information on the event and to purchase tickets, click here. For more information on the Midwest International Film Festival, which meets every First Tuesday every month, click here

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