2014 Conference Schedule

The 2014 Conference has ended.  Thank you to all of our sponsors, speakers, moderators, volunteers and attendees!

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Friday, October 10 - Saturday, October 11
Film Row Cinema
Columbia College Chicago - Cinema Art + Science
1104 S. Wabash, 8th Floor, Chicago, IL

**Topics & Panelists Subject to Change**



9:00am – 10:00am – Registration & Check In

10:00am – 11:15am - Case Study: “The New Black” – An in depth look at the award-winning documentary “The New Black.” Scheduled to appear: Producer & Outreach Director Yvonne Welbon

10:00am – 11:15am - Fair Use & Copyright for Filmmakers – A panel discussion examining the broad strokes and finer nuances of Fair Use, Copyright, Rights Clearing and Distribution.  Scheduled to appear: Gordon Quinn & Justine Nagan, Kartemquin Films; Robert Labate, Holland & Knight

11:15am – 11:30am - Break

11:30am – 1:00pm - Breaking In and Making It: Starting Up and Getting Ahead in the Illinois Production Industry -  This panel will examine the unique and varied production industry of Illinois and describe various available career pathways. Panelists will also describe the numerous opportunities available for Illinois filmmakers to develop and build their skillsets. Scheduled to appear: Raul Esparza, Illinois Film Office; Brenda Webb, Chicago Filmmakers; Christina Varotsis, Independent Producer; Jonah Zeiger, DePaul University; Craig Harris, Filmmaker

1:00pm – 2:00pm – Lunch on your own

2:15pm – 3:30pm  Transmedia Storytelling - A discussion amongst media creators who aim to identify compelling ways of employing various media to provide cohesive story universes that engage recipients through different forms of storytelling. Scheduled to appear: Joe Steiff, Jim Rohn, Michael Niederman, Columbia College Chicago; Anuradha Rana, Doris Rusch, DePaul University

2:15pm – 3:30pm - The Best Tool for the Job: Cinematographers Talk Cameras - This panel of cinematographers will discuss their experiences with various cameras and describe what makes a particular camera "right" for a particular job.  Scheduled to appear: Cinematographers Peter Biagi, Lawrence Daufenbach and Jonah Rubash; Kari Hess; John Otterbacher

3:30pm – 3:45pm - Break

3:45pm – 5:15pm More than One: Producing the Documentary Series – A look at some of the most exciting new documentary series being produced in Chicago today.  Scheduled to appear: Mike Schmiedeler (The Michael Group), Maggie Bowman and Justine Nagan (Hard Earned, Kartemquin Films for Al Jazeera America); along with Bob Hercules (Media Process Group),Greg Jacobs (Siskel/Jacobs) and Ines Sommer (Sommer Filmworks)

3:45pm – 5:15pm Case Study: “Finding Hope” – An in depth look at the Chicago-shot feature film “Finding Hope.” Scheduled to appear: Writer/Director Julian Grant, Producers & Stars Shannon Brown & Suzette Brown; David Adler, Adler Law Group

5:15 - 6:30 - Dinner on Your Own

6:30PM - Doors Open

7:00PM  - Screening: Some  Girl(s)  Screening is free for Conference pass-holders.  Individual, screening-only tickets may be purchased at the door for $10.00 or in advance by clicking here.

9:30PM - Post-screening party at Gioco, 1312 S. Wabash Ave., Chicago.  Cash Bar.  Party is open to Conference pass-holders only.


9:00am – 10:00am – Registration & Check In

10:00am – 11:15am Meet the Programmers – This panel of festival programmers will provide you with insight into the curation and programming of film festivals.  Scheduled to appear: Cara Cusumano, Tribeca Film Festival; Alexandra Ensign, Reeling; Jonathan Jackson, Milwaukee Film Festival; Bryan Wendorf, Chicago Underground Film Festival; Mike McNamara, Midwest Independent Film Festival

10:00am – 11:15am Show Me the Money: Filmmakers Talk Financing – This panel of filmmakers will discuss their strategies for raising funds for their projects: Shorts, Features, Narratives & Documentaries.  Scheduled to appear: Bob Hercules, Yvonne Welbon, Tim Evans, Angie Gaffney and Timothy Kelley

11:15am – 11:30am  - Break

11:30am – 12:45pm - From the Internet to the Network: Web Series Production – This panel will examine how local web series creators have honed their ideas, how they’ve managed to cultivate large audiences, and how traditional and cable networks have started to take notice.  Scheduled to appear: PJ Fishwick, Kenneth Yoder, Wendy Jo Carlton and Troy Pryor

11:30am – 12:45pm - Case Study: Some Girl(s) - Join producer Patty West for an in-depth look at the development, financing, production and distribution strategies behind our Friday night featured film Some Girl(s).  Moderated by Christina VarotsisScheduled to appear: Patty West

12:45pm – 1:45pm – Lunch on your own

2:00pm – 3:15pm - Impact, Outreach, Audience Engagement – Filmmakers are being asked to do a lot more than traditional marketing once their film has been completed. Our panelists will address these issues and share a wealth of information from their successful audience engagement events and campaigns.  Scheduled to appear: Danny Alpert, Kindling Group; L. Anton Seals, Jr., Seals360group; Naomi Walker, ITVS; Andy Spyrison, Populous, Ines Sommer, Sommer Filmworks

2:00pm – 3:15pm – Women at the Helm - Join in on this conversation of women who have written, directed and produced films. What breakthroughs have women made in the entertainment industry in the last 10 years? Do women get the same respect as their male counterparts on set? What problems and/or benefits are associated with a woman being the person in charge? Scheduled to appear: Xan Aranda, Natasha Parker, Kimberly Conner, Patty West, Ruth Ratny

3:15pm – 3:30pm – Break

3:30pm – 5:00pm – 75 Minutes with Steve James – An exclusive conversation with Steve James, the director of Life Itself, The Interrupters and Hoop Dreams.  Hosted by Nina Metz.