Date: November 30, 2010
Contact: Lindsay Gladstone
Governors State University
Phone: (708) 534-7090
Fax: (708) 534-8399
For Immediate Release
“Chicago Heights” at the Gene Siskel Film Center
University Park, Illinois, November 30, 2010 – After playing to acclaim at festivals around the world, “Chicago Heights,” an independent feature film, produced with only a $1,000 budget and a volunteer cast and crew, will screen at the Gene Siskel Film Center in Chicago from December 10 to 16.
Governors State University associate professor Daniel Nearing and assistant professor Sanghoon Lee adapted “Winesburg, Ohio” by Sherwood Anderson, shifting the story from rural Ohio to suburban Chicago Heights. They produced “Chicago Heights” using students and resources from the new Master in Fine Arts in Independent Film and Digital Imaging program at GSU.
“In updating the story,” said Nearing, “we realized that it was equally powerful with a predominantly African-American cast in a suburb of a big city.”
In his review of “Chicago Heights,” noted film critic Roger Ebert wrote that “it is a beautiful book and it has inspired this beautiful film.”
“I call it the little film that could,” said Nearing. “We had the support of the university with equipment and locations. Many students and actors volunteered their time. With almost no budget, we had to get very creative sometimes.”
Producer and cinematographer, Sanghoon Lee, said that the experience proves that “the only thing stopping someone from making a film is a lack of determination and the willingness to work hard. Where there’s a will, there’s a way. It’s what we teach in our MFA program at Governors State University.”
Lee or Nearing or both will attend each screening at the Gene Siskel Film Center and will be available to answer questions afterwards.
For details on the film and to see the trailer, cast, and crew, visit www.923Films.com. For info on GSU’s MFA program, visit www.govst.edu/mfa. For tickets and show times, visit Ticketmaster or the Gene Siskel Film Center website at www.siskelfilmcenter.org.
The world premier of “Chicago Heights” was October 2009 at the Pusan International Film Festival in South Korea. It has played in eight national and international film festivals. It won the Best Film in a Fine Arts Discipline prize earlier this year at Black International Cinema Berlin. The film’s most recent festival screening was at the San Francisco Black Film Festival.