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Chicago International Film Festival Industry Days
Chicago International Film Festival Industry Days

The Chicago International Film Festival today announced the full schedule for 2016 Industry Days (October 20-23), the four-day conference within the Festival created specifically for film business professionals. The Festival’s hub for filmmakers and professionals to connect, share ideas and find inspiration, Industry Days examines current and future trends in the art and industry of the entertainment business.

Over four days, professionals from every discipline within the film business participate in panels, conversations and networking events created to specifically address the state of the industry. Featured speakers at this year’s Industry Days include Charles D. King, an executive producer of Denzel Washington’s upcoming film Fences, actor Jim O’Heir of Parks and Recreation fame, and entrepreneur Howard Tullman, CEO of tech incubator 1871. Film companies represented include The Orchard, Music Box Films, MPI, Oscilloscope Laboratories, Cinema Guide, Icarus Films and FilmBuff.

Prolific producer and Chicago native James D. Stern will receive the Industry Days Tribute; founder of Endgame Entertainment and prolific producer of iconic films, Broadway shows and more, Stern will attend the Festival for the Tribute and a conversation on his experiences in the film business on Thursday, October 20. Featured panels and talks in the following days of the conference include Hollywood Dealmaker: A Conversation with MACRO’s Charles D. King on Producing and Packaging Films; The Money is Here! Chicago Financiers, Angels and Instigators, a conversation with Chicago-based financiers; and Distribution 5.0: Navigating the Changing VOD/Theatrical Marketplace, an in-depth look at the myriad ways films can reach an audience today.

Further, IFP/Chicago again co-presents The Pitch on Sunday, October 23. This curated event features a selection of filmmakers and producers invited to pitch their productions to a distinguished jury, including Rebecca Green, producer of the hit film It Follows, and executives from the Tribeca Film Institute and IFC Films. The winning pitch receives a suite of in-kind services from Chicago Production Facilities.

“This year’s event will gather an auspicious group of executives, financiers, and filmmakers from Chicago and the coasts,” said Industry Days programmer Anthony Kaufman. “By bringing these professionals together, Industry Days is an important gateway for local and global filmmakers to better understand the U.S. film and entertainment business and connect directly with major decision-makers.”

In conjunction with the 20th Anniversary of Black Perspectives, the Festival program that celebrates the depth and diversity of black cultures around the world, a featured public panel this year is Black Cinema Then and Now: 25 Years after the Black New Wave, with generous support from AARP and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Together with three other panels, this discussion will be held at AMC River East and open to the general public. Industry Days is an accredited event hosted this year by Union Square Events at GreenRiver, the 18th-floor restaurant and conference space in Chicago’s River North neighborhood; film and media professionals interested in attending the full program should apply for credentials at

The 52nd Chicago International Film Festival is October 13-27.

Thursday, Oct. 20:
4:30-5:30pm: The Money is Here! Chicago Financiers, Angels and Instigators*
7-8pm: Industry Days Tribute: James D. Stern, in conversation with Mark Caro*
Presented by Wintrust Community Banks
8:30-10:30pm: Industry Days Reception at GreenRiver**

Friday, Oct. 21:
10-11am: A Conversation with Howard Tullman on the Future of Filmed Entertainment
11:30am-12:30pm: From Horror to Comedy, Is Genre Content a Viable Way to Launch Your Career?
2-3pm: Punchlines: How to Make Stuff Funny*
4-5pm: Hollywood Dealmaker: A Conversation with MACRO’s Charles D. King on Producing & Packaging Films*

Saturday, Oct. 22:
10-11am: Distribution 5.0: Navigating the Changing V.O.D./Theatrical Marketplace
11:30am-12:30pm: State of the Art-House
1-2pm: Standing Out From the Crowd: Promoting, Positioning and Premiering Your Project
2pm-3pm: Black Cinema Then and Now: 25 Years after the Black New Wave*
3:30pm-4:30pm: Secrets of the Screenwriting Trade
6pm-7pm: Industry Days “Meet the Distributors” Cocktail Reception

Sunday, Oct. 23:
2pm-6pm: The Pitch co-presented by IFP/Chicago

*Indicates open to the public events ($5 ticket) at AMC River East 21, 322 E. Illinois St.
**Tribute and Reception tickets will be on sale starting September 23 at

Industry Days Sponsor: Wintrust Community Banks, FilmFreeway
Host Partner: Union Square Events
Media Partner: The Hollywood Reporter
The Pitch co-Presented by: IFP/Chicago

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