Sold-out crowd for MIDWEST PREMIERE of HESBURG documentary

For this month's First Tuesday event, the Midwest Independent Film Festival hosted the MIDWEST PREMIERE of HESBURGH, the feature-length documentary film from award-winning filmmakers Patrick Creadon and Christine O'Malley. The film examines the life, work, challenges and triumphs of one of the most influential leaders in American history, Father Theodore Hesburgh, civil rights leader, educator, and longtime President of Notre Dame-- who also happened to be America's most well-known Catholic priest. Educator, civil rights champion, advisor to presidents, envoy to popes, theologian and activist, Hesburgh was called on by countless world leaders in critical moments in modern history to tackle the most challenging issues of the day.

His story timely in today’s current social and political landscape, Hesburgh remained a leader armed with a fierce intelligence, a quick wit and an unyielding moral compass-- a timeless example of bipartisan leadership in today’s increasingly polarized times. He built a reputation as a savvy political operator with a penchant for bridging the divide between even bitter enemies.

The evening brought new faces to the festival thanks to an outpouring of support from the network of University of Notre Dame alumni, and welcomed Newton Minow, former FCC Chairman under the Kennedy Administration, lawyer, civil rights champion, and history-making University of Notre Dame trustee, and Ken Woodward, author and former Newsweek editor, both of whom appear in the film. 

Introduced by the filmmaker, Minow gave opening remarks prior to the screening, and, with fondness and enthusiasm, reflected on his work and friendship with the late Fr. Hesburgh.


As the HESBURGH credits conculded, MIFF Executive Director Amy Guth welcomed Creadon back to the stage where he received a standing ovation from the crowd prior to their Q&A and to fielding audience questions, the last of which from Woodward.

Prior to the screening, the evening, emceed by Guth, began with a Producer's Panel, this time discussing "Social Justice Through Documentary," on which filmmakers discussed the importance of documentary dealing with social issues and the responsibilities of filmmakers as storytellers on such topics. This month's panel was moderated by celebrated producer Nicole Bernardi-Reis, and included cinematographer and editor, Rebecca Parrish, as well as Creadon.

Leading up to the panel discussion, guests gathered for a cocktail reception on the top floor of the Landmark Century Cinema building for networking and conversation, this month also featuring schedules and membership materials for the upcoming Reeling Chicago LGBTQ+ International Film Festival.

The next First Tuesdays event will take place on Tuesday, October 2 at 6pm, also at Landmark Century Cinema, 2828 N. Clark St., and will be followed by an after party at Avenue Tavern, 2916 N. Broadway.