August 1, 2014

Mayor Emanuel, Chicago Park District Announce Films to Be Featured as Part of Free Inaugural Local Film Showcase

Chicago On Screen to showcase 16 local films as part of Movies in the Parks

Mayor's Press Office    312.744.3334

Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Park District General Superintendent Michael P. Kelly today announced selections for Chicago On Screen, the Park District’s new initiative to enhance the Movies in the Parks series with locally produced independent features, documentaries and shorts that focus on Chicago. Films were chosen in response to a call for submissions last January.

“With a growing film industry here in Chicago, it makes perfect sense to showcase homegrown features in the neighborhoods that inspired the makers of the films,” said Mayor Emanuel. “Chicago On Screen is an extension of our successful Movies in the Park series that provides free and fun summer activities for families in neighborhoods across Chicago.”

Chicago On Screen will feature 16 films in six locations over three weekends running from Friday, September 5 through Saturday, September 20. Films featured on Saturday, September 6, will be dedicated specifically to works created by and for young people.

“Chicago On Screen is a wonderful addition to our long standing Movies in the Parks series, which is one of Chicago’s most popular summer traditions,” said Superintendent Kelly. “This is a great opportunity for local talent to present their work to a broad audience in the City.”

A selection team comprised of members of Chicago’s film community and the Park District reviewed nearly 80 submissions for this inaugural event and selected the final lineup of 16 films to feature in local parks. The selections represent works from amateur, student and professional filmmakers. Most screenings will take place outdoors (weather permitting).
Now in its 14th year, Movies in the Park is part of the Chicago Park District’s Night Out in the Parks series. Night Out in the Parks, which was launched last year, is part of Mayor Emanuel’s citywide vision for art and culture. It is also a key component of the Chicago Cultural Plan, which was launched by Mayor Emanuel and DCASE in 2012 and is the first plan of its kind in more than 25 years.

Screenings will be held at Ping Tom Park, Northerly Island, Union Park, Dvorak Park, Revere Park and Washington Park Refectory; a full schedule of screenings is listed below.

Friday, September 5 – Ping Tom Park
White Lotus Rising with The Peace Exchange 

White Lotus Rising chronicles the social impact of the Ten Thousand Ripples project an art-based project for peace in Chicago Neighborhoods. The Buddha sculptures placed throughout the city as part of this project strive to elicit positive change for peace on social and psychological levels. The Peace Exchange tells the story of a similar quest, as a group of teens travel to Thailand and Burma with Chicago Peace Builders to engage with peace activists and social and spiritual leaders to learn how best to promote peace in Chicago.

Saturday, September 6 – Northerly Island Park (Teen/Youth Arts and Film Festival)
Louder Than a Bomb and Maydays with The Peace Exchange and Free Spirit Media’s Youth-Produced Public Service Announcements

This collection of films made by and for young people highlights the vibrant lives of teens across the city with a selection of narratives and documentaries. Louder Than a Bomb, one of the featured films, tells the story of four Chicago area high school poetry teams as they prepare to compete in the world’s largest youth slam. Tackling deeply personal topics, these poets celebrate language as a joyful release and a way to find one’s own voice.

Friday, September 12 – Union Park (Short Film Festival) 7:30pm

The End of August, CATalogue, Hatboxes, Scotty Works OUT, Dirty Laundry, Michael’s Last Ride, Fanfare for Marching BandThis collection of short films celebrates Chicagoans of all kinds, and the incredible diversity and talent of Chicago’s filmmaking community. Audiences will be treated to 7 short films, at times heartbreaking, hilarious, joyful and bittersweet but always engaging, thought-provoking and decidedly Chicago.

Saturday, September 13 – Dvorak Park
Maydays with Fanfare for Marching Band
In Maydays, two Chicago-area high-school students from different worlds meet at a Model United Nations conference and quickly become more than Facebook friends. Alicia and Daniel explore the city, from Pilsen to Winnetka, and watch the many worlds within Chicago come together and clash at the 2012 NATO Summit as they learn just how much divides us and what it takes to come together. Fanfare for Marching Band features Chicago’s own beloved musical collective Mucca Pazza as they form a ragtag musical militia and embark on an inept invasion to engage an immobilized public.

Thursday, September 18 – Washington Park Refectory
Natural Life with Ghetto Art
Natural Life uses documentation and depiction to explore the U.S. Juvenile Justice System and investigate the lives of five individuals sentenced to Life Without Parole for crimes they committed as youth, a sentence that can be levied on youth only in the U.S. Unable to ever be released, these five will never be evaluated for change, difference or growth. In Ghetto Art, a woman is released from a 30 year incarceration at the Illinois Department of Corrections and tries to reunite with her youngest son through their passion for art in Chicago.

Friday, September 19 – Washington Park Refectory and Revere Park
Natural Life with Ghetto Art (Washington Park)
Close Quarters with Left Alone (Revere Park)
In the interlocking stories of Close Quarters, the late-night denizens of a trendy coffee shop navigate their way through blind love, clandestine love and love in vain as two battling baristas serve up coffees and croissants and desperately try to close on time. In Left Alone, a cab driver, grieving the death of his son, is compelled to reach out to the strangers he encounters one night on the job in search of someone who will listen.

Saturday, September 20 – Revere Park
Close Quarters with Left Alone
For more information, visit or call 312.742.PLAY, 312.747.2001 (TTY).


For more information about the Chicago Park District’s more than 8,100 acres of parkland, more than 580 parks, 26 miles of lakefront, nine museums, two world-class conservatories, 16 historic lagoons, nearly 50 nature areas, thousands of special events, sports and entertaining programs, please visit or contact the Chicago Park District at 312.742.PLAY or 312.747.2001 (TTY). Want to share your talent? Volunteer in the parks by calling, 312.742.PLAY.