TV Pilot ‘Palookaville’ Wins Slamdance Grand Jury Prize for Columbia College Chicago Alum Collatos

A promising TV pilot has won the coveted Grand Jury title at Slamdance and is now looking ahead to series development. Could the series eventually land in Chicago? Pilot creator and Columbia College Chicago alum Theodore Collatos says the Windy City is a possible home as he sat down with SCREEN following this momentous win.

Asked about the feelings at hand as he brought home the coveted award this past week in Park City, Collatos replied, “I’m elated! This win means everything in my life coming out of the pandemic time right now. It means a light at the end of the tunnel, a possibility for the future, a stick, a hook and an eight count.

And as for that eight count… Palookaville tells the story of a complex brother-sister relationship, where the brother ultimately believes he’s legendary heavyweight champion Joe Louis.

I think universally people will feel the heart of the relationships of the film and love the fun, breezy, surrealist, New Wave playfulness of the style,” Collatos shared with SCREEN. “I want to make something suspenseful, heartful, cool and aesthetically sustainable to watch.

Here is a lightning-quick, ten-second first look at Palookaville

What’s Next for the Pilot? Could Chicago Step into the Ring?

Next up for Collatos and Palookaville is pursuit of a series order from the television world. The journey could be swift and successful, or could be a 12-round marathon. But when that order arrives, could Palookaville land in Chicago? Collatos replied, “YES! Besides one of my closest Chicago friends being a Golden Gloves boxing champion, PALOOKAVILLE is a state of mind, the all-of-us-journeymen who are fighting through life (and film), following our dashed dreams to the end, baring our souls, struggling against or escaping from fate, a place that is everywhere all the time… even in Chicagoland.”

Collatos has extensive ties to the Windy City, having graduated from Columbia College Chicago following stints at the Art Institute of Chicago and Wilbur Wright College.

Slamdance award winners celebrate. Theodore Collatos pilot was among the Grand Jury winners.

There are many rounds ahead for Collatos as he battles to bring Palookaville to series, but for now, Theodore and his team can enjoy the elation of an epic win at Slamdance.

Click here for SCREEN’s look at all of the Slamdance winners, including Chicago-made indie Waiting for the Light to Change, which earned the Grand Jury Prize for Narrative Feature.

Check back at SCREEN for updates on Palookaville and more promising television series in development. You can also click right here to subscribe to our weekly email newsletter.

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