What’s Up!? Midwest Film Festival

Midwest Film FestivalMidwest Film Festival gets underway with their 2018 season which begins February 6, 2018! Long awaited given the success of their 2017 BMA’s awards, they open their season with the film Cold War. Its about a couple who on the day they move in together, both come down with the worst flu ever. Called the raccoon flu, it hits hard and fast, similar to their relationship which includes a lot of hard hits and emotional clashes! Have we been there, ugh…but an intriguing exploration of personal and interpersonal relationships, always a worthy endeavor.The Midwest Film Festival is the nation’s only film festival solely dedicated to the Midwest filmmaker, presenting audiences with regionally produced independent cinema every first Tuesday of the month at Landmark Century Centre Cinema, 2828 North Clark in Chicago.

This year-round film festival sits proudly at the center of the independent film scene in Chicago and the Midwest and is dedicated to celebrating and strengthening the Midwest filmmaking community.

Cold War

Lonnie Edwards

A Chicago based filmmaker who spent his first 11 years working as a consultant…moving to film professionally as a way of telling stories his children would appreciate. As his work gained international acclaim, he realized and appreciated the power and impact of film and that film could in fact be his voice. He decided to create stories from his unique perspective, not unusual, but he strayed from the ‘safe space’ and instead followed his own truth.

Edwards hit a couple of ‘controversial’ bumps in the road, mostly surrounding his film about Ferguson, Missouri. Many of these events and emerging issues caused him to refocus his efforts. He re-edited the film to be a short film: Ferguson, still controversial but also poignant. The experience was both profound and humbling. He credits the effort with significantly influencing his work as an artist.

His work has been seen in the Chicago International Film Festival, The Collected Voices Film Festival and most recently the Manchester International Film Festival. He’s on the rise as an artist.


It was another amazing and great festival.  Many have suggested the festival included work from the most diverse audience of filmmakers, and many would agree. Few of the feature films found buyers…the industry is just catching up to the changing demographics and appetites of the US.

2018 Sundance Film Festival Short Film Jury Awards:

The Short Film Grand Jury Prize was awarded to: Matria / Spain (Director and screenwriter: Álvaro Gago) —Faced with a challenging daily routine, Ramona tries to take refuge in her relationships with her daughter and granddaughter.

The Short Film Jury Award: U.S. Fiction was presented to: Hair Wolf / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Mariama Diallo) — In a black hair salon in gentrifying Brooklyn, the local residents fend off a strange new monster: white women intent on sucking the lifeblood from black culture.

The Short Film Jury Award: International Fiction was presented to:Would You Look at Her / Macedonia (Director and screenwriter: Goran Stolevski) — A hard-headed tomboy spots the unlikely solution to all her problems in an all-male religious ritual.

The Short Film Jury Award: Non-fiction was presented to: The Trader (Sovdagari) / Georgia (Director: Tamta Gabrichidze) — Gela sells secondhand clothes and household items in places where money is potatoes.

The Short Film Jury Award: Animation was presented to: GLUCOSE / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Jeron Braxton) — Sugar was the engine of the slave trade that brought millions of Africans to America. Glucose is sweet, marketable and easy to consume, but its surface satisfaction is a thin coating on the pain of many disenfranchised people.

Special Jury Award was presented to: Emergency / U.S.A. (Director: Carey Williams, Screenwriter: K.D. Dávila) — Faced with an emergency situation, a group of young Black and Latino friends carefully weigh the pros and cons of calling the police.

Special Jury Award was presented to: Fauve / Canada (Director and screenwriter: Jérémy Comte) — Set in a surface mine, two boys sink into a seemingly innocent power game, with Mother Nature as the sole observer.

Special Jury Award was presented to: For Nonna Anna / Canada (Director and screenwriter: Luis De Filippis) — A trans girl cares for her Italian grandmother. She assumes that her Nonna disapproves of her – but instead discovers a tender bond in their shared vulnerability.

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