Michael Glover Smith’s ‘Relative’ Winds Down Theatrical Run with Hometown Screening at Alamo Drafthouse

Fourteen months after its world premiere, a span of time that saw it play 11 festivals, winning awards at five, and screening at dozens more commercial theaters across the United States and Canada, a Chicago indie will wind down its theatrical run with a hometown screening that is being billed as its “likely final” local exhibition. Michael Glover Smith’s fourth feature film, the acclaimed Rogers Park-set dramedy Relative, will play the Alamo Drafthouse in Wrigleyville on the evening of Monday, May 22nd with many of the cast and crew members present.

In addition to writer/director Smith, the post-screening Q&A session will include producer Aaron Wertheimer (Skippers) and cast members Wendy Robie (Twin Peaks), Clare Cooney (Widows), Emily Lape (Mercy’s Girl), Elizabeth Stam (Bleed American), Heather Chrisler (Chicago PD), Sandy Gulliver (Once Upon a River) and Salome Chasnoff (Code of the Freaks). The discussion will be moderated by DePaul University Professor and acclaimed filmmaker Lori Felker (Future Language: The Dimensions of Von LMO). 

In an exclusive chat with SCREEN, Smith said, “I’ve learned never to say ‘never’ when it comes to theatrical screenings but it looks like the theatrical adventure of Relative is finally coming to end. When we first premiered at the Gasparilla International Film Festival in Tampa in March of 2022, I never would’ve imagined that we’d be screening in theaters continuously for over a year. I’m very lucky that I’ve had the good folks at Chicago Film Project as my distributor. We had very similar ideas about the importance of a healthy theatrical run before even thinking about making this film available to stream. I’m also grateful to the movie theaters that have programmed us in 17 different states as well as in Ontario, Canada. The success of this run is proof that there is definitely still a theatrical market for microbudget indie films.” 

As Smith indicates, robust ticket sales this year and last, brought on by strong reviews (the film has a 100% fresh rating at Rotten Tomatoes) and positive word-of-mouth, have brought the film’s box office total to over $23,000, according to Box Office Mojo

The Los Angeles-based Clare Cooney, who co-produced and served as casting director on Relative, in addition to playing the role of Evonne Frank, spoke to SCREEN about the upcoming Alamo Drafthouse screening: “After an exhilarating extended theatrical run across the country, it’s so special (and bittersweet) to be reuniting with my Relative family in Chicago one last time. It’s even more special to be playing at such a cool venue — I’ve always wanted to be on the big screen at Alamo Drafthouse.” Smith concurred with Cooney’s “bittersweet” comment: “I was deeply moved that so many of the cast members responded to my request to do this Q&A. This will be the largest post-screening discussion we’ve ever had and I suspect more than a few tears will be shed. Also, I personally really love the Drafthouse, which I think is a true cinephile’s paradise, and if this is really the end of the road then there’s no better way to go out.”

If you’re hearing about Relative for the first time today, here is your first look at the Chicago-made indie:

To enjoy some photographic highlights from the film’s theatrical run, click right here. For more about the film and its team, visit the official website at www.relativemovie.com

To purchase your tickets to the Monday May 22nd screening of cast/crew Q&A of Relative at the Alamo Drafthouse in Wrigleyville, click right here.

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