Chicago Film Office Announces Bea Cordelia and Daniel Kyri as the Independent Film Initiative 2018 Filmmakers In Residence

December 13, 2017

Christine Carrino, 312.744.0573

Mary May, 312.744.0576


Bea Cordelia and Daniel Kyri

The Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) is pleased to announce the producing team of Bea Cordelia and Daniel Kyri as the 2018 Filmmakers in Residence. The residency is part of the Independent Film Initiative (IFI), a first-of-its-kind program from the Chicago Film Office designed to support, promote and provide career-building opportunities for local film industry professionals and media makers.

“Native Chicagoans Cordelia and Kyri were selected for their originality and commitment to telling stories that are unique to Chicago,” said Commissioner Mark Kelly, Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events. “We are excited to have two award-winning artists as our Filmmakers in Residence this year and look forward to seeing the forward-thinking series they are planning to produce.”

As part of the year-long residency, Cordelia and Kyri will be producing The T, a web-series dramedy that explores LGBTQ relationships and the universally relatable milieu of awkward hook-ups, nervous dates and the painful pursuit of lasting love. The series’ candid portrayal challenges audiences to look at how they perceive and confront social differences, often times with unintentional bias. Inspired by shows like Looking and Insecure, The T presents an authentic, unapologetic representation of voices and narratives we don’t often see onscreen.

The Filmmaker in Residence is a year-long commitment with the Chicago Film Office that provides a $10,000 cash grant and other industry resources to assist in the completion of an original work. In turn, Cordelia and Kyri will mentor four apprentices as part of the IFI’s new Independent Producer Apprenticeship (IPA) program, a collaboration of DCASE and Cinema/Chicago – the presenting organization of the Chicago International Film Festival – that will provide hands-on filmmaking experience and strategic career development to emerging producers and media-makers.

The Independent Producers Apprenticeship, coordinated by the Chicago International Film Festival’s Industry Days program, is a professional development and mentorship program for emerging Chicago area independent film and media entrepreneurs. This apprenticeship is an opportunity to cultivate the next generation of independent film and media makers through hands-on experience working on an independent production in Chicago.  Accessible to all professional levels and open to broad industry interests, applicants interested in pursuing independent production of any kind and/or starting independent production companies are encouraged to apply.

The six-episode online series by Cordelia and Kyri will be released in June, 2018. The T is being produced in conjunction with Open TV, an online platform for queer and intersectional television, and Full Spectrum Features, a local nonprofit committed to increasing diversity in the media arts by producing, exhibiting and supporting the work of women, LGBTQ, and minority filmmakers.

Bea Cordelia is an award-winning writer, filmmaker, performance artist, producer, educator and activist whose work aims to elevate and reimagine the narratives of transgender people. Her solo show Chasing Blue was featured in Steppenwolf Theatre’s LookOut performance series and in The Brick’s inaugural Trans Theatre Festival in Brooklyn. In 2016 she developed her first multimedia installation The Cosmic Body in a University of Chicago Performance Lab residency and was named a Luminarts Cultural Foundation Creative Writing Fellow. In 2015 she self-published her first chapbook of poetry, 28.06 // Dear Sylvia, recounting the history and impact of the Stonewall riots.

Daniel Kyri is a Jeff Award-nominated actor, singer, writer and curator. He is featured in Stephen Cone’s award-winning film Henry Gamble’s Birthday Party, now streaming on Netflix, and has starred in productions at Lookingglass, Steppenwolf, Chicago Shakespeare and Goodman Theatres, and is currently working in the Denver Center for Performing Arts production of Macbeth. He is also a curator and founder of the Dojo Collective—a recent recipient of the 2017 Meow Wolf DIY funding grant—partnering with local artists to produce POC, femme, and LGBTQ-centered interdisciplinary events and performances.

Four apprentices will be selected by Cinema/Chicago from an online application and will be placed working on the Filmmaker-in-Residence production for up to two weeks. Job assignments are paid up to $500 per week and are decided based on mutual goals and interests. 

“The Chicago International Film Festival’s Industry Days initiative is excited to partner with DCASE on the Independent Producers Apprenticeship program to further bolster new filmmakers and filmmaking in Chicago,” said Film Festival and Industry Days programmer Anthony Kaufman. “As the Festival has done over its last 53 years, we look forward to continuing to discover and embolden new talent.”

Those interested in applying for the apprenticeship can find applications information from Cinema/Chicago at


Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events

The Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) is dedicated to enriching Chicago’s artistic vitality and cultural vibrancy. This includes fostering the development of Chicago’s non-profit arts sector, independent working artists and for-profit arts businesses; providing a framework to guide the City’s future cultural and economic growth, via the 2012 Chicago Cultural Plan; marketing the City’s cultural assets to a worldwide audience; and presenting high-quality, free and affordable cultural programs for residents and visitors. For more information, visit


Chicago Film Office

The Chicago Film Office, part of the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, leads the City’s efforts to attract and enhance the production of feature films, television series, commercials, documentaries and all forms of local screen entertainment. For filmmakers, it is a one-stop liaison for all City of Chicago production needs, including permits, City services and logistical support. For more information, visit



Cinema/Chicago, the presenting organization of the Chicago International Film Festival, is a year-round non-profit cultural and educational organization dedicated to fostering better communication between people of diverse cultures through the art of film and the moving image. We serve Chicago’s diverse and under-served citizenry by providing access to world-class cinema. We aim to enrich Chicago’s cultural environment by presenting film in contexts that encourage discussion and debate.


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