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301 West Grand Ave. #170
Chicago, IL, 60654

773-848-4263

Bringing together mediamakers from around the country with engaged citizens who collectively support the creation and distribution of media that will trigger social change.

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Past Events 2

Past events

For the most comprehensive summary of our events, as well as discussions we are engaged in, please check out our blog.

Below is a sampling from our past:


GOOD PITCH CHICAGO 2015

When: May 5th, 2015, 10-4 p.m.

Where: Thalia Hall, Chicago, IL

We kicked off the day with Pilsen-based Chicago Mariachi Project welcoming the crowd, and an inspiring keynote by Chaz Ebert, the designated "queen of GPC", as so named by our moderator and BritDocs CEO Jess Search.

The pitches began with the truly absorbing story of two veterans struggling with recovery from moral injury as a result of their time in Iraq in ALMOST SUNRISE. This table was followed by the beautifully moving RAISING BERTIE which explores the lack of rural education and opportunity for African-American men in rural Americathe south. The room was stunned into silence during the heartbreaking pitch for NEWTOWN: A DOCUMENTARY. Parents Mark Barden and Nicole Hockley were introduced and spoke briefly about working toward building community resilience in the face of horrible tragedy.

After lunch we were treated to the pitch for (T)ERROR, a film with unbelievable access to both sides of a potential case of FBI  informant entrapment, followed by the loving portrait of filmmaker Sharon Shattuck’s transgender fathermily in FROM THIS DAY FORWARD. Our day wrapped with an incredible rap from Donte Clark, star of ROMEO IS BLEEDING, a film which tells the redemptive story of his transformation from gang member to modern day poet. We closed with a performance by the Afterschool Matters Mariachi band, and a reception at ultra-hip Punch House in Thalia’s lower level.

By day's end, more than $350k was contributed (with still more coming in!) to the 6 films and more than 100 new partnerships were forged to help carry these stories out into the world.

We were especially pleased that over 25 CMP members were in the room to share the excitement and join in the collective energy that took over Thalia Hall.  Even those of you who could not make it were represented in spirit.


Film Screening: THE HAND THAT FEEDS

When: March 10, 2015, 7:30 p.m.

Where: Music Box Theatre, Chicago, IL

CMP was delighted to co-host a screening of The Hand That Feeds as part of our colleague Anthony Kaufman's series Get Real: Docs at the Box at the Music Box Theatre. The film tells the story of shy sandwich-maker Mahoma Lopez as he unites his undocumented immigrant coworkers to fight abusive conditions at a popular New York restaurant chain. The epic power struggle that ensues turns a single city block into a battlefield in America’s new wage wars. Along with CMP members, over a hundred activists from Chicago's chapter of Fight for $15, organizing for a living wage and the right to unionize, joined the screening with members of the public. Executive Director Paula Froehle introduced the film to the crowd as an exemplary piece of impact media making a difference, and a successful example of a completed Good Pitch project executing its outreach campaign (the film is an alum of GPNY 2013). CMP sponsored the attendance of the doc's two filmmakers, Rachel Lears and Robin Blotnick, for a Q&A after the film. The evening truly spoke to CMP's mission: to connect filmmakers with the communities who can most use the film to raise awareness of their cause and create change in the world.


CMP Launch of the Kitchen Table Initiative

When: February 26, 2015

Where: City Winery, Chicago, IL

CMP launched its newest initiative highlighting women's causes, the Kitchen Table, with a Thursday evening wine tasting led by sommelier and barrel ownership director Aaron Mace of City Winery. Inspired by the women from Executive Director Paula Froehle's childhood who gathered around her mother's kitchen table, a group of about 20 leading women in film and media in Chicago met together to discuss how to encourage, promote, and finance impact media made by women, focusing on women subjects. The Kitchen Table will host special events and discussions throughout the year as this important initiative expands.


CMP @ the Sundance Film Festival 2015

When: January 22-25, 2015

Where: Park City, Utah

CMP was thrilled to host its first group of members and friends at the Sundance Film Festival! We attended the Artist at the Table reception, the first night screening and Day One Party, a brunch and outreach brainstorm with the directing team from Hot Girls Wanted, the Impact Partners/CMP party, brunch with Nick Fraser and Mette Hoffman Meyer of BBC Storyville, lunch with Sundance Institute staff, and many, many terrific doc films. Check our blog for the full recap of our excursion and to see the beautiful scenery of CMP in Park City!


Film Screening: MEET THE PATELS

When: December 2, 2014, 6:00 p.m.

Where: Soho House, Chicago, IL

Geeta and Ravi Patel joined CMP members for an intimate, exclusive screening of Meet the Patels, a new documentary about love and family across cultural lines. Following the hilarious, heartwarming film screening, members were treated to a rollicking discussion with Ravi and Geeta, covering everything from the process of creating the film's style to the details of funding and distributing this unique documentary. The evening marked a fantastic end to 2014!


Big Table Dinner Fall #3: Good Pitch Chicago 2015 preview

When: November 6, 2014,  6:30 p.m.

Where: Cibo Matto, Chicago, IL

Beadie Finzi and Sandi Dubowski of BRITDOC showed preview clips of the six films accepted for GPC 2015 and discussed the powerful experience that Good Pitch can be for filmmakers, funderes, and supporters of impact documentaries. Members enjoyed a delicious dinner during teh intimate presentation and preview, helping to raise funds and excitement for Good Pitch Chicago 2015.


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America Abroad Media Award Dinner

**When: October 30, 2014

Where: The Mellon Center, Washington, D.C.**

CMP hosted a table for members and guests at the AAMA dinner, featuring honors for Paul Greengrass, Turki Aldakhil, and Impact Partners.


Big Table Dinner Fall #2: Chicken & Egg Pictures

When: October 23, 2014, 6:00 p.m.

Where: City Winery, Chicago, IL

Judith Helfand of Chicken & Egg Pictures, the premier funder of women documentary filmmakers, presented selections from upcoming grantees, and discussed women as both subjects in and creators of impact media. Paula Froehle announced the creation of CMP's own initiative on women in global documentary film, "The Kitchen Table."


CMP Justice Initiative Launch: THE NEWBURGH STING

When: October 15th, 2014,  6:00 p.m.

Where: SCREEN at The Wit, Chicago, IL

Director/Producers David Heilbroner and Kate Davis, along with Wendy Cohen from Picture Motion, presented "The Newburgh Sting," and discussed outreach strategy with 50 CMP members and guests.


Fall Big Table Dinner #1:
THE MACARTHUR FOUNDATION presents special pre-public announcement of 2014-5 Documentary Grant Recipients

When: September 23, 2014, 6:00 p.m.

Where: Private home, Chicago, IL


Kathy Im, Director of the Media, Culture and Special Initiatives program, and Lauren Pabst, program officer, present a preview of finalists for upcoming MacArthur Foundation Documentary grants to CMP members and guests. A riveting discussion about issues ranging from the environment to Chicago politics ensued.


Homegrown Chicago Launch: "Serving Time"

When: September 11, 2014

Where: Tocco Restaurant,

45+ CMP members and guests were treated to an amazing Italian dinner + presented a teaser of the upcoming documentary from legendary Chicago filmmakers Gary Sherman and Phil Koch, called "Serving Time". Bruno Abate, chef/owner of Tocco Restaurant, 1266 N. Milwaukee, and star of "Serving Time" was on hand to discuss the development of his pilot culinary program inside Cook County Correctional Facility in Division 11. Special guests included Lt. Damita Delitz and Kevin Buchanan, one of Bruno's first students.

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Film Screening: THE HOMESTRETCH

When: June 26, 2014,  6:30 p.m.

Where: The Wit screening room, 201 N. State Street, Chicago, IL

The Homestretch follows three homeless teens as they fight to stay in school, graduate, and build a future. Each of these smart, ambitious teenagers - Kasey, Anthony and Roque - will surprise, inspire, and challenge audiences to rethink stereotypes of homelessness as they work to complete their education while facing the trauma of being alone and abandoned at an early age. Through haunting images, intimate scenes, and first-person narratives, these teens take us on their journeys of struggle and triumph. As their stories unfold, the film connects us deeply with larger policy issues of juvenile justice, immigration, foster care, and LGBTQIA rights.

With unprecedented access into the Chicago Public Schools, The Night Ministry’s “Crib" Emergency Shelter and Teen Living Programs, The Homestretch follows these kids as they move through the milestones of high school while searching for a warm place to sleep, a quiet place to study, the privacy to shower. The film goes beyond high school, to focus on the crucial transition after graduation, when the structure of school vanishes, and homeless youth struggle to find the support and community they need to survive and be independent. A powerful, original perspective on what it means to be young, homeless and building a future in America today.


Big Table Dinner #2

When: May 29, 2014,  6:00-8:00 p.m.  

Where: Cibo Motto, The Wit, 201 N. State Street, Chicago, IL

Join us for dinner at Ciba Motto and a presentation by Diana Barrett, President & Founder of The Fledgling Fund, and director Sue Williams for a screening of her work-in-progress, “Death by Design." Diana Barrett founded Fledgling in 2005 after a long career at Harvard University, where she taught in both the Harvard Business School and the School of Public Health.

Diana Barrett, founded Fledgling in 2005 after a long career at Harvard University, where she taught in both the Harvard Business School and the School of Public Health. Fledgling focuses on innovative approaches to complex social issues including the use of media to ignite social change. At Harvard Business School, she was a member of the Social Enterprise core group teaching Business Leadership in the Social Sector as well as various executive programs. Her areas of interest included the use of public private partnerships for global poverty reduction and specifically, in addressing the social and personal burden of disease.

Diana Barrett, founded Fledgling in 2005 after a long career at Harvard University, where she taught in both the Harvard Business School and the School of Public Health. Fledgling focuses on innovative approaches to complex social issues including the use of media to ignite social change. At Harvard Business School, she was a member of the Social Enterprise core group teaching Business Leadership in the Social Sector as well as various executive programs. Her areas of interest included the use of public private partnerships for global poverty reduction and specifically, in addressing the social and personal burden of disease.

Sue Williams is a film producer and director who started her own business, Ambrica Productions, in 1986 to make documentaries with an international scope and interest. Under Sue’s leadership, Ambrica has produced awarding-winning films on a range of subjects, including feature-length documentaries about China for the PBS series Frontline, and biographies of two American icons, Eleanor Roosevelt and Mary Pickford, for American Experience.

Sue Williams is a film producer and director who started her own business, Ambrica Productions, in 1986 to make documentaries with an international scope and interest. Under Sue’s leadership, Ambrica has produced awarding-winning films on a range of subjects, including feature-length documentaries about China for the PBS series Frontline, and biographies of two American icons, Eleanor Roosevelt and Mary Pickford, for American Experience.


 

 

 

Big Table Dinner #1

When: March 6, 2014, 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.

Where: Private Residence

Our launch event on March 6, 2014, invited members to a catered dinner in the home of Steve Cohen, CMP co-founder, and a presentation by Dan Cogan, the Executive Director and Co-Founder of Impact Partners, a fund and advisory service for investors and philanthropists who seek to promote social change through film.

Since its inception in 2007, Impact Partners has been involved in the financing of over 50 films, including: The Cove, which won the 2010 Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature; The Garden, which was nominated for an Academy Award for Documentary Feature in 2009; Hell and Back Again, which won the Documentary Grand Jury Prize and Cinematography Award at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival, and was nominated for an Academy Award for Documentary Feature in 2012; and How to Survive a Plague, which was nominated for an Academy Award for Documentary Feature in 2013.