OUROBOROS presented inaugural Female Filmmakers Night Jury Prize

Female Filmmakers Night Poster

At this month's Female Filmmakers Night, co-presented by Canon, OUROBOROS was selected for the first-ever Grand Jury Prize for the event. Honorary Jury Chair Chaz Ebert, CEO of Ebert Digital and publisher of RogerEbert.com, presented the award to the film's director, Emma Keehan at the annual event. Documentary short MICKEY'S PETS, directed by Ashley S. Brandon, was also recognized with special distinction by members of the Jury.

In additon to Ebert, special guest Jurors included Erica Duffy from Camera Ambassador, Melissa Barany from VML, Jan Hiegglke from NewCity, Diane Quon from Kartemquin Films, Marina Killion from Optimus, Chakka Reeves from Free Spirit Media, and Orianna Oppice from Women in Film.

The annual Female Filmmakers Night selections also included: the U.S. PREMIERE of STAGE FOUR, directed and written by Wendy Roderweiss, and starring Janelle Snow and David Pasquesi, taking a look at a 25-year marraige post-affair; the CHICAGO PREMIERE of Kailyne R. Waters's animated short about a shopping cart's search for meaning, THE GO CARTStephanie Jeter's short, atmospheric thriller, SEARCHING FOR ISABELLE; the CHICAGO PREMIERE of Miranda Johnson's animated short looking at fear and coping surrounding Macular Degeneration, DE-GENERATE; experimental short ATOMS OF ASHES directed by Maggie Scrantom; and the U.S. PREMIERE of AS OF NOW, a short film examining partner violence on college campuses, written and directed by Moira Hamilton. The line-up featured films which addressed subject matter included Title IX, disabilities, violence against women, women's health, and women working in traditionally male roles. 

In addition, the event also marked the initial First Tuesday event for incoming festival Executive Director Amy Guth.

Prior to the screening, the evening, emceed by Guth, began with a Producer's Panel, on which women from the film industry discussed the landscape in the post-MeToo era, the creative benefit of living and working in the Midwest, and their own upcoming projects. The panel was moderated by celebrated Chicago journalist Kim Bellware, and featured Colette Ghunim, Pamela Sherrod Anderson, and Jury members Chakka Reeves and Erica Duffy.

Leading up to the panel discussion, festival-goers gathered for a cocktail reception which brought the latest Canon products for demo, included food by our partners at Northern Fork, and at which members of Duffy's Camera Ambassador team also distributed t-shirts that read "Female Filmmaking is the Future," which proved a big hit with the near-capacity crowd. Also popular this year was the modern artwork created for the event by Chicago artist Michelle Favia

For members of the film community outside of Chicago, the evening also kicked off a pilot program with Festivault, a company who creates virtual festival experiences, and at which select Female Filmmakers Night films can be made available to viewers online for up to 48 hours after the festival. 

The next First Tuesdays event will take place on Tuesday, September 4 at 6pm, also at Landmark Century Cinema, 2828 N. Clark St., Chicago.