Bringing independent films to the big screen is often a long and difficult process. Turning independent comedy into a finished film can be even harder, but thanks to the Chicago Comedy Film Festival, filmmakers will be afforded an opportunity to share their films and laughs.
"Prior to coming up with the idea to start [the festival], I am a filmmaker myself and have been part of comedy community for 10 years, so having worked with comedy filmmakers, there was a feeling that there as a lack of outlets," said festival director Jessica Hardy, 34.
Now in its second year, the festival has grown from 31 films to 34 and created opportunities and support for comedy filmmaking, since even independent film circuits often favor experimental and dramatic films. The CCFF will take place from Nov. 2 to 4 at DePaul University's School of Cinema and Interactive Media. The centerpiece of the weekend is the Chicago premiere of "Bad Parents," starring former former "Saturday Night Live" cast members Janeane Garafolo and Cheri Oteri, at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 3. After the film, director Caytha Jentis will be available for a Q&A session.
"It was filmed in New Jersey and New York, and director and writer Caytha Jentis put together a really awesome team of people, as you can see," Hardy said. "It's just a take on exactly the title, bad parenting."
In Friday's headliner, "Servitude of Canada," Dave Foley makes an appearance, and producer Michael Sparaga will also host a Q&A after the film. The local entries include "Close Quarters," from Chicago director Jack Newell, which features local talents, and "Good Luck Mr. Gorski," a short film that stars Chicago actor Gary Houston.
Evaluating the films will be a panel of five judges, all comedians and writers with Chicago ties: Beth and Gary Hoover, Ray Chou, Michael McCarthy and Kathleen Puls Andrade.
"I think people will be pleasantly surprised with the different types of comedies we have," Hardy said. "We really tried to diversify the schedule. We have some animated shorts, some directed by females, some films with some really diverse casts, which you don't see often, especially in comedy."
More information, including ticket pricing and a full list of films, can be found at chicagocomedyfilmfestival.com.
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