10:30 AM10:30

Executive Talks: Creating Chicago

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Tickets available here.

Join us with the current and former Directors of the Illinois Film Office for an in-depth discussion of the history, the present, and the future of the Chicago Film Industry. Panelists include Betsy Steinberg, Christine Dudley, and Peter Hawley. Moderated by Angie Gaffney.

Betsy Steinberg: As Executive Director of Kartemquin Films, Steinberg served as Executive Producer on Academy Award nominated documentaries Abacus: Small Enough to Jail, Edith+Eddie, and Minding the Gap as well as nine other projects including Steve James’ epic series America to Me. She led development efforts at Kartemquin that resulted in unprecedented fundraising for the organization. Steinberg was instrumental in building Chicago’s production infrastructure by serving as Director of the Illinois Film office from 2007-2015, launching the state’s 30% film tax credit and helping to guide the development of Cinespace Chicago Film Studios. Prior to her work in the IFO, Steinberg developed, produced, directed and wrote television projects for History, A&E, National Geographic and the Discovery Networks. She was named Chicagoan of the Year in Film by the Chicago Tribune in 2015. She has served on the boards of the Chicago Media Project, Free Spirit Media and The Midwest Independent Film Festival.

Peter Hawley: In his role as Director of the Illinois Film Office, Peter and his team strive to make Illinois the best state in the country for film and television production. In addition, the IFO is actively trying to build the infrastructure needed, film studios and production crews, to attract projects to Illinois from around the country and around the world. Peter has been an Illinois-based filmmaker for more than 30 years. He has written and directed the feature film,Victimless Crimes, directed or produced numerous television commercials, music videos, and award-winning documentary films. Beginning in 1996 he began his college teaching career at Columbia College Chicago. In 2007 he was one of the original faculty members at Flashpoint Chicago, and named Dean in 2014. He became Dean of Columbia College Hollywood in 2016, merging both campuses. Peter began teaching at Loyola University Chicago in 2017. On May 1, 2019 he became the Director of the Illinois Film Office.

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2:00 PM14:00

ELJ3 CREATIVE SERVICES Presents: God is a Woman Pt.1


Tickets available here.

A presentation of work by Eddie L Jerks III.

About this Event

Eddie L Jerks III is an African American, Queer portrait and travel photographer. His work focuses on the experiences and beauty of melanated cultures and individuals around the world. It is with great joy he presents to you a project that pays respect to the feminine boldness and innate beauty women of color possess.

Stop by Stage 18 Chicago between 2 and 6 pm on August 17th to view the work and meet the artist.

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10:30 AM10:30

Rise & Shine: Uniting Chicago's Womxn Filmmakers


Tickets available here.


Calling all womxn/girls/ladies/females/femmes/moms/thems/y'alls/babes/matriarchs/champions/filmmakers/producers/directors/editors/writers/artists! We want to invite all of the she/hers and they/thems to come and bask the presense of one another. Our goal is to build relationships, friendships, bridges, and worlds and walk away with contacts you didn't have before.


  • Pancakes, coffee, mimosas, pastries, finger sandwiches! (GF/DF/VEG/CFA)

  • Meeting eachother in a non-threatening enviornment.

  • We will have introductions and information from the host organizations, Mezcla Media Collective, Women of the Now and Stage 18, as well as an open floor time for our attendees to make any announcements they'd like to share! (and don't worry, we'll take notes this time!! And of course, share them with you.


Stage 18 Chicago

What else:

Moms are welcome, which means your kids are welcome! We don't have specific childcare but please know that your kids are welcome and there will be some toys and village of people to support you!

If you purchase a ticket, we expect you to please come! If you cannot make it, please let us know as we work with a wait list.

Limited space available, don't worry, we'll do this again!

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6:00 PM18:00

Write To Win: How To Develop Films That Will Actually Get Made

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Tickets available here.


Due to the popularity of this event, we've opened single-class ticket options for the remaining two courses. Don't miss out! There are two dates still available:

July 24th, 6-9PM @ Stage 18
August 7th, 6-9PM @ Stage 18

Please note: If you already purchased a full-pay ticket to the first class, you do not need to purchase another.

We look forward to seeing you there!


This three-course intensive is built for writers, directors, and creative producers. Creators will focus on developing their story ideas into commercially viable projects that are engineered for production.

As independent creators, many of us operate as if the world—and more specifically the entertainment industry—is “just waiting” for us to come along and reinvent the wheel. Unfortunately, this just isn’t the case. Hollywood is a business. Independent cinema is a business. Even in the modern world of self-distribution, a project’s success depends on some form of commercial viability. However you define your own success, this three-course intensive is designed to help your project come down off the shelf and find its way onto the screen.

Discount codes may not be used for this event.

Patrick Wimp is an award-winning independent filmmaker, writer, and professional educator with over twelve years experience. Pat has written, directed, and produced content all over the world that has exhibited on major cable networks, streaming platforms, and prestigious film festivals including Cannes Film Festival, Chicago International Film Festival, Netflix and Amazon Prime. During that time, he has also maintained a strong commitment to passing on his knowledge to young and aspiring professionals. Pat holds a MFA in Digital Cinema and works as a lecturer at Northwestern University and DePaul University. 

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