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Chicago Filmmakers Hosting First Fundraisers To Help Renovate The Old Ridge Firehouse

firehouse-1This Sunday, the Chicago Filmmakers will launch its first of several public events to raise money to renovate the old Ridge firehouse which will become the organization’s new Edgewater home at 5720 N. Ridge Ave.

The 40-plus-year-old, not-for-profit media arts organization will host the fund raising events, which are a series of five documentaries all made by local filmmakers and all of them women. The Chicago Filmmakers are hoping to increase awareness about their efforts to raise money to help fund the renovation.

The historical landmark firehouse is being purchased from the City of Chicago. It will house the organization, which aims to support independent and diverse voices in film and digital media arts.

The first of the “5 Films by Women” will be the documentary “Band of Sisters” by Mary Fishman. It will be shown at the Damen Student Center Cinema at Loyola University, 6511 N. Sheridan Road at 2:30 p.m. on Oct. 11. The film focuses on the life experiences and day-to-day stories of more than a dozen nuns, many of whom helped make major social improvements.

“The classes I took, the people I met, and the support I received through Chicago Filmmakers helped me realize my dream of becoming a filmmaker,” Fishman said.

She is now a member of the Chicago Filmmakers’ board of directors and is spearheading the fundraising initiatives for the firehouse.

“For over 40 years, Chicago Filmmakers has played a quietly heroic role in Chicago’s indie film and media world,” Fishman said. “Our renovation and move to the Edgewater firehouse will allow us to launch exciting new programs as we transform into a vital neighborhood center and a hub for media arts in the Chicagoland area.”

Here is information about the other four films and the times they will be shown:

  • Oct. 25, 2 p.m.: “Spilled Water,” by May Tchao. Tchao’s debut feature explores the lives of four Chinese mothers, wives and daughters and how their roles, rights and status shifted during the country’s rapid economic transformations.
  • Oct. 25, 3:30 p.m.: “Jens Jensen the Living Green,” by Carey Lundin. This is a profile of the unsung pioneering landscape architect who became one of America’s most influential urban designers and early conservationists.
  • Nov. 1, 2:30 p.m.: “The Curators of Dixon School,” by Pamela Sherrod Anderson. It features Dixon Elementary, where enlightened educators implemented the idea that art should be an integral part of the everyday learning environment, with museum-quality works openly adorning the halls.
  • Nov. 15, 2:30 p.m.: “Sole Survivor,” by Ky Dickens. This CNN-broadcasted film profiles four of the 14 sole survivors of commercial airline disasters for the very first time.

Single screening tickets are $15, a Doc Series Pass is $50, and a Doc Series Pass + “Women in Docs” donor designation is $100.

The Chicago Filmmakers is dedicated to providing alternative options in media education, production, and exhibition by offering classes, low-cost equipment rentals, filmmaker services, weekly public screenings, and the Chicago Digital Media Production Fund. It also offers film festivals, including Reeling: The Chicago LGBTQ+ International Film Festival and the Onion City Experimental Film + Video Festival.

The “5 Films by Women” series is being sponsored by Loyola University’s The Gannon Center for Women and Leadership and the School of Communication.

For more information about the Chicago Filmmakers and their move to the firehouse, visit www.chicagofilmmakers.org/firehouse. To learn more about the “5 Films by Women” series, visit www.chicagofilmmakers.org/loyolaseries.


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