WATCH. LEARN. IMPACT. NEWS from Chicago Media Project

Welcome to the latest edition of CMP's bi-weekly newsletter,

WATCH. LEARN. IMPACT.

a/k/a known as W/L/I.

We've been a bit AWOL lately, sequestering ourselves in the dark cellars of CMP, presenting DOC10, premiering new films at Sundance, chasing down great projects at HotDocs and redesigning our "look". We're excited to unveil our latest W/L/I that is more interactive, more engaging, more impactful - in other words, more reflective of CMP and the spirit of our community. Twice monthly in your inbox.

But don't take our word for it, experience it for yourself, then tell us what you think!

WATCH:

DOC10 RECAP or WHERE CAN I SEE THOSE GREAT MOVIES (again)??

For those of you who were with us at DOC10 on March 30th - April 2nd, you were treated to ten of the best documentaries to hit the circuit in 2017. From the stunning vistas and controversial subject matter of Shaul Schwarz & Cristina Clusiau's TROPHY and Mike Day's THE ISLANDS & THE WHALES, to the genre-bending genius of Kitty Green's CASTING JONBENET, to the opening night performance of Amanda Lipitz' STEP, DOC10 once again brought SRO crowds and great entertainment to the city's north side, housed in the incredibly beautiful, newly renovated DAVIS THEATER.

But if you were one of the unlucky ones who spent your Spring Break out of town, or weren't able to secure a ticket to a soldout screening, or if you saw great movies and now want to spread the word to friends and impress the in-laws, we've got the low-down on how and where to see these great films:

OPENING NIGHT MOVIE:

STEP by Amanda Lipitz

Fox Searchlight nabbed this film straight out of Sundance, and good news for those who missed it, it will be in theaters Friday, August 4th! Rumor has it there'll be a bus tour with the girls traveling across the country to kick off the film's premiere in select cities. Check out the fantastic trailer in the meantime to whet your appetite!

WHOSE STREETS by Sabaah Folayan & Damon Davis

Also nabbed at Sundance by Magnolia Pictures, WHOSE STREETS will be in theaters August 11th! A powerful call-to-arms for grassroots activists, this film celebrates the community of Ferguson MO and provides a model for all of us looking to organize and speak truth to power.

RAT FILM by Theo Anthony

RAT FILM is exactly that - a film about humans who live with rats, humans who love rats, and also humans who kill rats. But if it were really just about that, would we have given one of our precious ten slots to it? As Eric Kohn suggests, "Anthony's feature-length debut careens from scientific observation and historical overview to spiritual inquiry with a freewheeling approach that never ceases to surprise, even as it maintains a cogent thesis." Watch for more info on its VOD release.

TROPHY by Shaul Schwarz & Cristina Clusiau

TROPHY filmstill

Yet another Sundance favorite, this in-depth look into the powerhouse industries of big-game hunting, breeding and wildlife conservation in the U.S. and Africa unravels animals as commodities. Watch for TROPHY to premiere on CNN - and likely to open in theaters later this summer. Sorry folks, no trailer yet...

CINEMA TRAVELERS by Shirley Abraham and Amit Madheshiya

CINEMA TRAVELERS filmstill

This lyrical gem premiered at Cannes before it eventually wended its way via Montclair to our neck of the woods. A beautiful "Cinema Paradiso of India," this film was the first to sell out at DOC10! It recently won the National Film Award in India. Follow them on Facebook to keep track of where this little gem will play next.

CASTING JONBENET by Kitty Green

You simply MUST watch this trailer. A masterful preview of what you'll see in the longer film on NETFLIX. It's live now, and well, you should watch it and then tell all your friends. 'nuff said.

DEATH IN THE TERMINAL by Tali Shemesh & Asaf Sudry

DEATH IN THE TERMINAL filmstill

Making its US Premiere at DOC10, we were absolutely thrilled to hear that FIRST LOOK MEDIA acquired this amazing piece of journalistic storytelling. A fascinating exploration into mob violence and the frailties of human nature, we cannot WAIT for this film to come back around again on VOD.

THE ISLANDS & THE WHALES by Mike Day

Spend a few moments watching the trailer for this stunningly beautiful, complex film. "Mike Day's gorgeous and complexly woven film carefully dissects the delicate situation unfolding in the Faroe Islands." we anticipate hearing news of it VOD premiere very soon.

OBIT by Vanessa Gould

Who knew obituaries could be so interesting? Well, some of us did and we were lucky enough to not only spend 90 minutes in the back rooms of the NYT Obit offices, but 30 minutes of Q&A with Bruce Weber afterward was the equivalent of "Elvis is in the room"-! Look for this film to make a stop back in Chicago theaters soon, and keep track of its progress here.

CHASING TRANE: THE JOHN COLTRANE DOCUMENTARY by John Scheinfeld

"Meet the man called Trane. An artistic genius and a spiritual giant." " Coltrane's sound rearranges molecular structure." WOW. What else is there to say other than catch it IN THEATERS NOW!

LEARN:

MUCH TO DISCUSS THESE DAYS ABOUT THE POWER OF MEDIA AND SOCIAL CHANGE.

We've been spending our days glued to CNN & MSNBC, reading the NYT cover to cover, scanning our FB feed for MOTHER JONES articles & posts... anything to give us hope that media can indeed speak truth to power and bring about dramatic change in the world. Documentary films have a history of illuminating the darkness, providing avenues of hope, and influencing policy change, as evidenced by our look back at some documentary classics with "Nine Documentaries that Really Did Change the World" (link below). Along with a review of the just-premiered CMP-funded film 32 Pills, we've included a fascinating interview with Laura Poitras (dir. CITIZENFOUR) discussing her latest film "RISK" - an unsettling character study of Wikileaks' Julian Assange. Here's a shortlist of the open tabs on our browser lately:

CMP- funded film Film Review: ‘32 Pills: My Sister’s Suicide’

"I can't pretend that I'm not a participant": Laura Poitras on her WikiLeaks documentary, "Risk"

Gael Garcia Bernal On Mexico’s Plan to Save Its Image With Documentary Films

Nine Documentaries That Really Did Change The World

IMPACT:

CMP was proud to announce the first recipients of its new Impact Grant Fund at a special reception at this year’s Doc10 film festival. The fund—started by a group of CMP members— is another way CMP supports powerful film projects that influence the social landscape.

This year CMP made grants to four filmmakers working on these exceptional projects:

EARLY STAGE FUNDING

JIM LEBRECHT, IGF AWARDEE

The EARLY STAGE GRANT, designed to fund early development of important documentary projects, was awarded to Jim Lebrecht, for his new project, CRIP CAMP. Jim has over 35 years of experience as a film and theater sound designer and mixer, author, producer and disability rights activist. CRIP CAMP explores a piece of his history in the late 1960s and early 1970s, where just down the road from Woodstock, a parallel revolution blossomed in a ramshackle summer camp for disabled teenagers. Crip Camp is a film that aims to take viewers deep inside a revolutionary era and on a wild trip: a ride from oppression to empowerment, from infantilization to freedom, a ride of sexual awakening – the trip of a lifetime.

FILMMAKER SUSTAINABILITY FUNDING

ELAINE McMILLION SHELDON, IGF Awardee

The FILMMAKER SUSTAINABILTY GRANT, designed to acknowledge the importance of personal sustainability while making films, was awarded to filmmaker Elaine Sheldon. Elaine’s latest film, RESCUE BREATH, explores the opioid epidemic in Appalachia/West Virginia, where Elaine lives and works. Elaine is a wonderfully gifted filmmaker, working in various lengths and digital mediums. More on the range of her work here.

INNOVATIVE OUTREACH FUNDING

WHITNEY DOW, IGF Awardee

The INNOVATIVE OUTREACH AND IMPACT GRANT was awarded to Whitney Dow to help support the impact strategy for his powerful series FACING WHITENESS, a story-based interactive media and research project he is producing in collaboration with American Documentary | POV and Columbia University's INCITE Institute, and Veterans Coming Home , a digital initiative by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting which focuses on the American Military Civilian Divide.

THE WHITENESS PROJECT is an interactive investigation into how Americans who identify as “white” experience their race. #whitenessproject.

IMPACT GRANT FUND INITIAL GRANT

KIMBERLY REED, IGF Awardee

And finally, our initial grant was awarded at the New York GoodPitch event last fall, to filmmaker Kim Reed for her feature documentary DARK MONEY. A century ago corrupt money scarred Montana’s democracy and landscape, but Montanans voted to prohibit corporate campaign contributions.

Today, after the Citizens United ruling, 501c4 dark money floods elections nationwide, but Montanans are standing up to stop history from repeating itself in a struggle that has the potential to change the way elections happen nationwide.

We're excited for the premiere of this film, likely in early 2018.

CMP NEWS:

JOIN US FOR THE FIRST ANNUAL CMP MEMBER RETREAT

Save the Date for our first annual retreat, June 27th for CMP members, & June 28th for CMP I/I & CMPAC members, in Chicago at what we guarantee will be beautifully inspiring surroundings (more on that very soon!)

NEW PROGRAM LAUNCHING SUMMER 2017

Watch your inbox for news of our latest collaboration DINNER AND DOCS @ THE DAVIS - a quarterly screening series with dinner at CARBON ARC restaurant and Q&A with visiting filmmakers and documentary legends. MORE ON THIS SOON!

For newcomers, the curious, and the shy: join our newsletter to learn more about joining our community.

AND FINALLY:

We always like to leave you with a short and sweet piece of media culled from the back alleys of the internet - something inspiring, sometimes absurd, sometimes impactful, always intriguing.

This week's obsession is from the NYT OpDocs: the LONG LIVE BENJAMIN short doc series. About a man, a monkey, and love. "Everyone needs a Benjamin. Something you can love unconditionally, that you will do anything for, that brings magic and meaning to life." Read the Op-Ed piece by Benjamin's owner/companion Allen Hirsch.

We've binge-watched all 6 episodes.

Hey, they're short.

Enjoy!

Let us know what you think:

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Chicago Media Project Froehle
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