This month will mark the third annual Blue Whiskey Independent Film Festival, running July 24-29 at Palatine Park District's Cutting Hall Performing Arts Center, 150 E. Wood St., Palatine.
The festival brings feature and short films that have strong and powerful stories, from all over the world to one screen. Among the 33 films screening during the festival are a number of locally produced films. BWiFF programmers had twice as many film submissions to go through than last year, and of the final selections, several local films stood out.
"Red Balls," a fully improvised and guerrilla style mockumentary about Chicago's roughest and most intense underground dodgeball league, is one of nine features that will screen at the festival. The Chicago produced comedy, directed by Andrew Morris, follows four teams as they go head-to-head in a no-holds barred tournament in an abandoned warehouse on the south-side. "Red Balls" screens Thursday, July 26, along with several shorts, including Fremd High School alum Steve Coulter's "The Diet Situation." Coulter's short comedy is about two friends that decide to start a diet, but one of them can't stop fantasizing about her guilty pleasure.
On Friday, July 27, "Other," directed by Daniel DelPurgatorio. The short, produced by Chicago-based Vitamin Pictures, is a horror/ thriller that follows the story of a brilliant doctor, who, through a series of unconventional experiments to alter his own grim prognosis, discovers a scientific loophole unlike anything he had ever imagined. Also on Friday, catch Chicago filmmaker Zachary Merhbach's "The Last Interview." Merhbach's short avant-garde is a dreamlike deconstruction of a lonely woman who confronts her fear of emotional connection in an 'interview' with her lover.
The festival has a free opening night, Tuesday, July 24, sponsored by 101.9 FM THE MIX. Join THE MIX Road Crew at 6 p.m. for a reception with free food, beverages, and a live acoustic performance by Chris Petlak. At 8 p.m., catch the presentation of the festival's music video selections. This includes Cheers from musicians Mickey & Fitch, directed by Chris Parker, Bolingbrook natives. Also catch With Beating Hearts' My Only Enemy, directed by Highland Park native, Matt Silver. Music videos will be followed by a concert from the Chicago's fun-alt-rock band, BAND CALLED CATCH.
The Blue Whiskey Independent Film Festival's full program can be viewed online at www.bwiff.com. Session, Saturday and Complete Festival Passes are available for purchase at www.cuttinghall.org.