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Indestructible...But Not Made Of Money

By Scott Smith in Arts & Entertainment on Jul 19, 2005 1:17PM

In the world of independent film, one encounters plenty of obstacles not faced by the big studios. While money—or lack of it—is a common complaint, the challenge of degenerative illness rarely enters the picture. But for director and Chicago theater actor Ben Byer, 2005_07_19_indestructible.jpgdealing with ALS (commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease) was not just an obstacle but also the impetus to get behind the camera in the first place to film Indestructible: A Story of Survival.

Byer and his crew have been traversing the world to learn more about ALS and how it touches the lives of so many. The film is entirely funded by donors and fundraisers with a planned release date Summer 2006. This Sunday at the Rock Bottom Brewery from six to 10 P.M., the filmmakers will hold a Finish The Film fundraiser. There’ll be live music, raffles and auctions, booze, eats and a screening of the trailer with Q&A to follow. Tickets are $35 in advance via the film's website and $45 at the door.

In other movie news, Chicagoist has been talking about Roger Ebert so much lately you’d think we were dating. Today we had this overwhelming feeling of déjà vu when we read that yesterday was Roger Ebert Day in Chicago. Just like it was last Monday.

Originally announced to coincide with the start of the Chicago Outdoor Movie Festival, some PR genius must have realized that yesterday was the 13-year wedding anniversary of Roger and his wife Chaz and moved the date of the celebration as it makes a better story. Or maybe the medallion wasn’t ready yet. In any case, Roger Ebert’s name now adorns the sidewalk in front of the Chicago Theatre. If there’s an error in The Matrix and Roger Ebert Day occurs again next week, we’ll let you know. In the meantime, you can read the Sun-Times' special section devoted to their man in the balcony.