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Local Film Fiction Is Now a Fact

By Rob Christopher in Arts & Entertainment on Jan 5, 2007 3:46PM

rsz_JamesAndTypewriter.jpgWay back in 2005 we told you about Crime Fiction, a movie made by students of the University of Chicago. When we last heard from them they were in the midst of post-production. Far from being the last step in the filmmaking process, post-production is merely the end of the beginning; for as any indie filmmaker will tell you, once you've "finished" your film the wheels of the industry can turn very very slowly when it comes to actually acknowledging its existence.

Suddenly those wheels are moving at the speed of Porsche, for Crime Fiction has been accepted into the Slamdance Film Festival. The other Park City, Utah, festival, Slamdance is less well-known to the average joe than Sundance, but it is more competitive and (in many ways) more prestigious. This year Slamdance had over 3,000 submissions, but only ten narrative features made the cut to screen in competition.

We asked associate producer Marc DeMoss what lies ahead. "Our plan is to get to Park City first, spend the week there promoting our film and meeting the people there, and then we'll see where life leads," he told us. "After Slamdance, we will very definitely be having some sort of screening in the Chicago area, although we can't plan any such screenings until we have an understanding of what (if anything) will happen to Crime Fiction in terms of it being purchased, distributed, licensed, etc. thereafter ... I can tell you that the first screening of any [kind] will be in Hyde Park, at DOC Films at the University of Chicago."

We're always pleased whenever a local movie gets some kudos. It gets us optimistic about the chances of a renaissance of local feature filmmaking, something that's almost happened more painful times than we care to remember. Chicago has scads of talented, motivated filmmakers ready to make it happen. But as we said, the wheels of the industry can turn very slowly. Until there's at least a skeletal foundation of locally-based year-round production, we're beholden to the location-shooting whims of Hollywood (and movies like The Break-Up and Fred Claus). And wouldn't more movies about murderous would-be celebrity writers be better than all that?

Go to the official website for more info about Crime Fiction, including a new trailer.