The abundance of talent for a behind-the-scenes tally of Chicago film professionals rises from a sweeping landscape of creativity, both cultural and industrial. We could flash upon fifty good and worthy figures from each of these precious trades—production, education, finance, exhibition, programming and preservation—that generate not only careers, but a virtuous record of this moment, moments before and moments to come, and sustain the waking dream that is image-making, storytelling, the poetry of desire. A wind blows across the prairie, carrying hats on the wind.
These neighbors, whose work and avocations and philanthropy and their creation and sustenance of communities, catch and prize an abundance of these high-bouncing hats in all their ambitious, amazing, even astounding pursuits.
Film 50 2019 was written by Ray Pride.
All photos by Sally Blood with photo assistance by Hayley Osborn
Shot on location at the Chicago Cultural Center.
The Hall of Fame
These Chicagoans, or the roles they play, are so well-established and essential to the film world of Chicago that they are always near the top of the list.
Owner, Operator, Odd Obsession
President, The Ebert Company Ltd, Ebert Digital LLC, Ebert Productions; Publisher, RogerEbert.com; Chairman of the Board, The Roger and Chaz Ebert Foundation, Co-Founder and Producer, Ebertfest
Director, Video Data Bank
Eugene Sun Park
Executive Director, Full Spectrum Features
President, Cinespace Chicago Film Studio
Film Producer, Philanthropist
Founding Member and Artistic Director, Kartemquin Films
Kyle Westphal, Becca Hall, Julian Antos, Cameron Worden, Rebecca Lyon
Co-Programmer, Blogger; Co-Founder, House Manager; Executive Director; Co-Programmer; Archivist; Chicago Film Society
Ray Pride is Newcity’s film critic and a contributing editor to Filmmaker magazine.
His history of Chicago “Ghost Signs” in words and images will be published in Spring 2022.