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The Dark Side of Disney and Keep Moving Forward (W.I.P) - a double Disney documentary screening event!

  • The Logan Theatre 2646 North Milwaukee Avenue Chicago, IL, 60647 United States (map)

Join us on Thursday, October 29, at 7:00pm for a Disney Documentary Double Feature at the Logan Theatre for The Dark Side of Disney, a new feature-length documentary by Philip B. Swift and Keep Moving Forward, a work-in-progress by IFP Chicago member Emily Strong.

Philip B. Swift, an independent documentary filmmaker from New York City, and his mother scattered his grandmother's ashes in the moat around Cinderella castle in the Magic Kingdom in 2005. It is this event that sent him on a journey to discover other Disney fans who may have pushed the envelope in their desire to experience the darker side of the Disney theme parks in his latest film, The Dark Side of Disney.

Swift’s film documents his adventures with "Disney Gangs", urban explorers, podcasters, drug abusers, and his own Disney obsessed mother. 

“I am always intrigued by the imperfections in things. I guess that’s what keeps me looking back at them as a subject for my current work,” Swift says. “ Disney puts on this facade of childlike wonder and fascination, but at the end of the day they’re just as fragile and human as everything else.  It’s that fragility that I find very interesting.”

The Dark Side of Disney screening will be followed by the first glimpse of a rough cut screening of the Chicago made documentary, Keep Moving Forward, a short documentary film about a Vietnam veteran who finds peace from his PTSD through all things Disney. Keep Moving Forward is an in-progress documentary directed and edited by Chicago filmmaker Brent Bandmemer and produced by Emily Strong, making its first public appearance following The Dark Side of Disney on October 29th.

As an editor, Bandemer spends a lot of time getting to know his subjects, and ended up sending the main participant in the film, Guy Spagnoli, a friend request on Facebook so he could stay in touch after editing an interview on him about his war experience in Vietnam for a class at Columbia College in 2014.  Almost immediately, he started to notice a trend with Guy's posts...EVERYTHING was about Disney! Then, one day, Guy shared this Walt Disney quote: "We seek to estimate the future and its bearing on our existence, as well as dwelling fondly on the past or indulging in escapist dreams." Bandemer started to wonder...were there underlying psychological factors in this obsession over Disney that helped him escape the events he experienced in the war?

"‘Keep moving forward.’ Anybody that knows me as a student or a friend, I keep saying, ‘Keep moving forward,” Spagnoli references a famous Walt Disney quote. “No matter what you stumble over, no matter what you've been laid off of, just keep moving forward. Do not accept what is given to you.”

About the Event

Doors will open at 6:30pm and The Dark Side of Disney screening will start promptly at 7:00pm followed by the rough cut of Keep Moving Forward at 8:30pm.

Meet and greet with filmmakers and subjects directly after event from 9:15p-10:30p at The Harding Tavern (2732 N Milwaukee Ave). 20% off bill with DSoD ticket stub night of event.

Material not suitable for children.

Tickets are now available for $15 at Eventbrite and

This event is sponsored by Columbia College Viva Doc.