Illinois Filmmakers Shine at SXSW

Illinois Filmmakers Shine at SXSW

South by Southwest 2016 continues in Austin this week, and a number of Illinois filmmakers have been warmly received by audiences and critics alike.

AMERICAN FABLE made its world premiere Sunday to a jam-packed and enthusiastic audience at the Alamo Lamar in Austin. FABLE is a fairytale thriller set in the 1980s Midwest farm crisis about a courageous girl living in a dark and sometimes magical world. When 11-year-old Gitty discovers that her beloved father is hiding a wealthy man in her family's silo in order to save their struggling farm, she befriends the captive in secret and is forced to choose between saving the man's life and protecting her family from the consequences of their actions.

AMERICAN FABLE is loaded with Chicago crew, including line producer Carrie Holt De Lama, art director Adri Siriwatt, locations managers Maria Roxas and Gilbert Morales, costume designer Megan Spatz and makeup department head Justine Losoya. The film was edited by Milwaukee native Amanda Griffin, who also cut the Illinois indies ANIMALS and A LIGHT BENEATH THEIR FEET.

FABLE was written and directed by Anne Hamilton, produced by Hamilton and Kishori Rajan. Cast includes teen newcomers Peyton Kennedy and Gavin MacIntosh, Kip Pardue, Marci Miller, Richard Schiff and Chicago actor Rusty Schwimmer. Here's a rave review from TwitchFilm and here's a clip from the film:

INSATIABLE: THE HOMARU CANTU STORY premiered this week in Austin, chronicling the meteoric rise and tragic, sudden fall of the renowned chef. At the age of 27, innovative chef and inventor Homaro Cantu helped put Chicago on the culinary map when he opened his first restaurant “Moto” in the city’s untapped Fulton Market meatpacking district. Virtually overnight, Cantu rose to the rank of celebrity chef and became famous for his “molecular gastronomy” approach to cooking. Cantu’s meteoric rise to fame masked an early life of poverty, homelessness, and even physical and emotional abuse. Filmed over a period of three years with remarkable access, INSATIABLE follows Cantu at a pivotal moment in his career and takes you on a dizzying and thrilling ride, in a story that moves from redemption and inspiration to tragedy and back again. INSATIABLE is directed by Highland Park resident Brett A. Schwartz.

And several other Chicago and Illinois filmmakers are in Austin this week for SXSW...

DRINKING BUDDIES director Joe Swanberg was one of the festival's keynote speakers, taking the stage earlier this week, on Monday, March 14th.

FOR GRACE co-director Mark Helenowski, who premiered his film here in Austin last year, was in town to moderate a number of post-premiere discussions with this year's filmmakers.

Entertainment attorney Daliah Saper was in Austin serving as a panelist at the Retail Innovation Lounge “Winning (and not so Winning) with Social Media” discussion on March 13th alongside Joe Scartz, Managing Director, Digital Commerce & Integration and Emily Shannon, Digital Director, Mall of America.

After last night's Film Awards extravaganza (here are this year's jury winners), the festival shifts its focus to music. The "Chicago-Made" team will be hosting its 2016 Music Showcase Thursday, featuring acclaimed artists Rhymefest, Phuture and Hawley, among many others.

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Mike McNamara is the Co-Founder of The Midwest Independent Film Festival, Mike pays his rent as an actor in Chicago in theatre, commercials, television and film. More from Mac at