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Local Film Goes Cross-Country

By Rob Christopher in Arts & Entertainment on Jun 11, 2007 7:45PM

Crime Fiction started life in 2005 as a modestly-budgeted project by some University of Chicago students. It's a sly dark comedy of artistic ambition, deceit and murder (no, it is not based on the day-to-day workings of Chicagoist). When we last chatted with associate producer Marc DeMoss in January, it had just gotten into the Slamdance Film Festival. That screening seems to have been some kind of golden ticket, because since then it's played at the Vail Film Festival, the Crossroads Film Festival and the Seattle True Independent Film Festival. Now the film has come full circle, and on Wednesday the 27th will screen at Piper's Alley as one of the five features that make up the Gen Art Film Festival.

2007_6genart.jpg The festival has been in existence since 1996 but until now has been a strictly New York affair. All we can say is, Chicago cinephiles must be a vocal and persuasive bunch. It's a highly select lineup consisting of only five feature films (with each feature accompanied by a short subject). In addition to Crime Fiction, there are also helpings of intense horror drama (Broken, JOSHUA) a new comedy starring Matthew Perry (Numb) and Alan Cumming's harrowing farce Suffering Man's Charity. Speaking of Alan Cumming, did you know he has a line of fragrances?

And since this comes from New York, the festival doesn't end after the lights go up. No ma'am. The festival's homepage promises five "soon-to-be legendary after parties at Chicago's hottest and hippest nightspots." The Blue Water Grill, Castaways, Manor, The Underground and ... the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum. (OK, so the Butterfly Room is pretty hot). Seriously though, a $20 ticket not only gets you admission to the feature film and its short subject but also a two hour open-bar at the after party. You could easily spend that much at the AMC River East on a movie and some "real cheese" nachos.

So what's next for Crime Fiction? "We're currently working on a theatrical release deal in a few major cities in the U.S., plus U.S. DVD distribution," Marc tells us. Not bad at all for a film with a budget of $160,000. Maybe crime does pay after all.

The Gen Art Film Festival runs June 26-30 at the Music Box and Piper's Alley. Check the site for more info.