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Something Different than Whatever Made Money Last Summer, Part III

By Rob Christopher in Arts & Entertainment on Jun 7, 2007 3:36PM

Movies in the summertime. Comic book heroes? Check. Cuddly computer animation? Check. Bloated running times? Check. MOTS? SOS? Double-check. With scads of movie franchises so stale yet so expensive they give McDonald's a bad name, it's no wonder that we'd rather catch up on our reading than check out what Hollywood has deigned to fob off on us this season. (We do confess to being excited about Ocean's Thirteen however; director Steven Soderbergh always keeps things lively and tonight's star-studded Chicago premiere ought to be fun.)

An upcoming mini-festival may yet revive us. There's nothing like a little DIY filmmaking to remind you that the pulse of our culture doesn't originate in Hollywood; it's places like Hollywood that appropriate what's already going on elsewhere.

2007_6studentfilms.jpg Student Films Across America originated as an idea of college-aged brothers Brian and Steve Amos. We imagine they merely decided to seize on the rather obvious fact that some talented youngsters with a video camera and a gift for imagination can often make something more entertaining than so-called "adult professionals" can, despite having millions of dollars at their disposal. SFAA is on a 50 city tour and plays in Chicago for one night only, Saturday June 9th at the Lakeshore Theatre. The program features films made by high school and college students in the past year. Judges the likes of Michael Emerson, John August and Jane Han selected winners for Best Comedy, Best Drama, and Best Documentary from among the 64 finalists, giving out $30,000 in prizes.

The Chicago show includes An Open Door, by Columbia College student Sean Jourdan. A drama with a surprising twist, it has previously shown at Mann's Chinese Theater in Hollywood and at this year's Cannes Film Festival! Umm, not bad Sean.

Admission is $10 and also includes a performance by local band The Lifeline. You can check out SFAA's YouTube video; advance tickets are available online.