dontate now

Join Email List

Facebook  Become a Fan on Facebook
twitter  Follow Us on Twitter

329 West 18th Street Suite #610
Chicago, Illinois 60616
(312) 243-1808

Movies Under the Stars: 1968 – WILLIAM GREAVES


359 E. Garfield Blvd.
Chicago, IL 60637
go to map


July 28, 2017






WILLIAM GREAVES - Still A Brother: Inside the Negro Middle Class (1968, 90 min.)

Join Black Cinema House and Chicago Film Archives for the second of three outdoor screenings in our annual “Movies Under the Stars” series at the Muffler Shop. Grab a lawn chair and join us at the SW corner of 55th Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Drive for a night of illuminating films that begin as the sun goes down. This summer we’re revisiting the tumultuous and transformative year of 1968 through the lens of three gifted visual artists: Gordon Parks, William Greaves and Thomas Reichman.

On Friday 7/28 we’ll be screening William Greaves’ breakthrough documentary Still A Brother: Inside the Negro Middle Class. Originally made in collaboration with William Branch and National Educational Television (NET), Still A Brother presents a variety of perspectives on status and the concerns of the emerging African-American middle class at a time of intense racial, social, cultural, and political turmoil. Narrated by legendary civil rights activist, author, actor, poet, director, and playwright Ossie Davis, the film proved to be much more controversial and provocative than NET expected. While the network envisioned a documentary portrait of “good negroes” whose values and socio-economic aspirations mirrored those of middle-class white Americans, Greaves’ film presents a wide range of perspectives and questions the impact of these aspirations on the fight for equal rights and civil liberty in the 1960s. Still A Brother argues that the passive acceptance of white middle-class values by African-Americans amounted to nothing more than what Greaves referred to as “mental enslavement.” Airing on April 29, 1968, less than three weeks after the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., Still A Brother: Inside the Negro Middle Class is a probing and complex look at media coverage and representation, racial and economic disparity, and the various degrees of oppression faced by African-Americans in the United States.

“We had difficulties once Still a Brother was finished because NET had not expected that kind of film. They had expected an Ebony magazine kind of film, but we brought them this documentary that talked about mental revolution and showed increasing militancy in the black experience. People are talking about black is beautiful, the African heritage, militancy, and championing Rap Brown and Stokely Carmichael. So when NET executives saw the film they sort of blinked because they didn’t know whether or not they really wanted to put it into the system. They weren’t clear whether or not it would be acceptable. There was a great deal of anxiety because these executives were looking at their mortgages and didn’t know whether they would be tossed out of their jobs. They didn’t tell me that, but it was obvious that they were really under pressure. But I must say that they rose to the occasion, which speaks well of them, and of course the film eventually received an Emmy nomination and a Blue Ribbon at the American Film Festival.” -William Greaves

Movies Under the Stars: 1968 – GORDON PARKS


359 E. Garfield Blvd.
Chicago, IL 60637
go to map


June 30, 2017


(when the sun goes down!)




Black Cinema House and Chicago Film Archives present the fourth annual series of outdoor summer screenings, “Movies Under the Stars,” at the Muffler Shop. Grab a lawn chair and join us at the corner of 55th and King for a night of illuminating films that begin as the sun goes down.

This summer, we’re revisiting tumultuous and transformative 1968 through the lens of three gifted visual artists: Gordon Parks, William Greaves and Thomas Reichman. The films screening tonight take viewers into the world of New York neighborhoods nearly 50 years ago.

Legendary African American photographer Gordon Parks was a humanitarian who was deeply committed to social justice. From the early 1940s up until his death in 2006, his body of work documents the highs and lows of American culture with a specific focus on race relations, poverty, Civil Rights, and urban life. Parks was also a celebrated composer, author, and filmmaker – best known for his films The Learning Tree (1969) and Shaft (1971). This program presents two very early documentaries made by Parks for public television broadcast. Like his renowned photographic essays for Life Magazine, these films focus on individuals and their environments within the larger context of social and political change.

Diary of a Harlem Family (1968, 20 min, 16mm)
A plea for poverty relief and equal opportunity, this photomontage film documents the life of the Fontinelli family who live in a Harlem tenement in New York City.

World of Piri Thomas (1968, 60 min, 16mm)
Gordon Parks, along with writer and poet Piri Thomas, lead us on a journey through New York City’s Spanish Harlem. Parks guides our eyes through El Barrio, while Thomas reads from his best-selling memoir, “Down These Mean Streets.” These sights and sounds record the grim and crumbling life of the neighborhood and its inhabitants, but also provide a glimmer of hope for “survival and triumph over the ghetto.”

More information about the screening can be found here and on Facebook.



1354 West Wabansia Avenue
Chicago, IL
go to map


Thursday, June 8, 2017


8PM - 11:30PM


$15 (21+)
Buy tickets online

Additional Information:

Facebook Event Page

Come see the premiere of three new works created by Chicago-based artists using footage from the Chicago Film Archives collection!

The Media Mixer project started in 2012 as a way to open up CFA’s vault of archival footage to artists working in media, and to support the creation of a new video work by pairing these visual artists with artists working with sound. At the heart of the project is a desire to give CFA’s archival collections new life through the creative interpretation of contemporary artists. As a result, three new collaborative videos will be made using footage from the Chicago Film Archives collection.

This year’s artists are (videomakers listed first):

Eric Fleischauer + Matchess
Samantha Hill + Haptic
Marianna Milhorat + Brian Kirkbride

More on this year’s artists here!

The evening will be hosted by Alison Cuddy, and former media mixer artist Latham Zearfoss will be our guest DJ!


and more …

CALL THE OFFICE at 312-243-1808!

All proceeds from the CFA Media Mixer go to benefit the Chicago Film Archives and our efforts to identify, preserve and provide access to the Midwest’s audio-visual heritage. The Media Mixer gives CFA fans a chance to support the efforts of both CFA and local artists at the same time!

Watch the event’s trailer below!

In case you haven’t attended in years past, you can see some of the previous projects at the links below.




DustyGroove      GSFC_logo

          PMFC2017_NewsletterBanner_01         ReclaimedTablelogo    Screenshot_2017-05-16-17-21-50-1

AIC Conference 2017


Sunday, May 28, 2017 - Thursday, June 1, 2017



CFA’s Amy Belotti isn’t traveling far to speak at the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works 45th annual conference, hosted in Chicago, Illinois this year. Her session, which will be on Tuesday, May 30th at 4pm, will focus on CFA’s experiences with the Kinetta Film Scanner. The conference provides the opportunity for members of the conservation community to convene, share their latest work, and discuss the current state of the field. We’re looking forward to sharing what CFA has been up to and learning learning from an excitingly wide range of conservators!

The Soul of It: SHINEMEN & AMERICAN SHOESHINE screen at the Black Cinema House


6760 S Stony Island Ave
Chicago, IL
go to map


Friday, May 26, 2017


7 - 9PM




“It’s in the jazz of it. It’s in the soul of it. Two people conversing. The back and forth of it.” George Bailey, Columbia College

Chicago filmmaker Eleva Singleton presents SHINEMEN, a short documentary featuring Chicago shoe shine technician Bill Williams. Owner of two Chicago shoe-shine shops, Williams juggled his business while also working in the tourism industry, earning a street named in his honor in Morgan Park. A cast of local historians and politicians weigh in on Chicago’s shoe shine legacy. (Singleton, 2015, 24 min)

In AMERICAN SHOESHINE, filmmaker Sparky Greene uses an expertly edited montage of first-hand accounts, stills, and found footage, some of which dates to the first decade of this century, to follow the shoeshine business from the earliest days to the present. The shoeshine men themselves provide both history and analysis, often articulating highly developed views on the nature of both class and racial relations in American society. Nominated for an Academy Award for Best Short Documentary in 1976. (Sparky Greene, 1976, 29 min, courtesy of Chicago Film Archives)

Original Chicago shoe-shine stands from the collection of Theaster Gates will be on display.

Screening followed by conversation with Bill Williams, filmmaker Eleva Singleton and cinematographer Ahmed Hamad, moderated by Black Harvest Film Festival’s Sergio Mims.


2018 International Media Mixer!

The Chicago Film Archives (Chicago, IL) and Lab 80Cinescatti (Bergamo, Italy) are thrilled to announce a new international artistic collaboration—the 2018 International Media Mixer! This project is one of 15 artistic partnerships supported by the MacArthur Foundation’s International Connections Fund.

The International Media Mixer is a cross-cultural “call and response” exchange, bringing together artists from two different countries to explore the process of creating hybrid works of media art. The project sheds new light on the international practice of media conservation and artistic creation.

Here’s how it works: Michelle Puetz, Curator of Public Programming at the Chicago Film Archives, and Karianne Fiorini, film archivist and curator associated with Lab 80 – Cinescatti, each commissioned two local video artists and two local sound artists to collaborate on the creation of four new videos using archival footage. Here is where the exchange comes in: the two filmmakers from Italy and Chicago create new works using digitized footage from the partner archive (Italian-based artists use footage from the Chicago Film Archives and Chicago-based artists use footage from Lab 80 – Cinescatti). Each new silent video is then scored by the sound artists/musicians from the partnering country. Upon completion, the four new pieces will screen in the US and in Italy with live accompaniment by the musicians who created the scores.

The artists selected for the 2018 International Media Mixer are:

Giuseppe Boccassini (IT) + Alex Inglizian (US)
Lori Felker (US) + Patrizia Oliva (IT)
Federico Francioni & Yan Cheng (IT) + Tomeka Reid (US)
Domietta Torlasco (US) + Stefano Urkuma De Santis (IT)


Read More »

CFA Media Mixer 2017: Meet this Year’s Artists

We’re so thrilled to announce the amazing lineup of artists participating in this year’s CFA Media Mixer event. Now in its sixth year (!!!), the Media Mixer has grown to be one of our most anticipated and exciting public programs. The project began in 2012 as a way to open up our vault of archival footage to Chicago-based contemporary artists and support the creation of a new video work by pairing these visual artists with local sound artists and musicians.

This year’s artists are (video + sound):

Eric Fleischauer + Matchess
Samantha Hill + Haptic
Marianna Milhorat + Brian Kirkbride

The evening will be hosted by Alison Cuddy, and former Media Mixer artist Latham Zearfoss will be our guest DJ!

At the heart of the project is a desire to give our archival collections new life through the creative interpretation of a new generation of makers. Last month our three visual artists sent in prompts and ideas for their projects, and we pooled our knowledge of CFA’s collections to load them up with source footage (including rarely seen gems and a few staff favorites!). They are just starting to work on editing their pieces and are already in conversation with the three talented and diverse audio artists they have been paired with.

On June 8 you’re all invited to the Hideout to celebrate the world premiere of their collaborations and benefit your favorite Midwest film archive! Tickets can be purchased here. It’s CFA’s Media Mixer 2017!

Read More »

Society for Cinema and Media Studies Conference – 2017


200 N. Columbus Drive
Chicago, IL 60601
go to map


Thursday, March 23, 2017


3PM - 4:45PM

At the 58th Annual SCMS Conference in Chicago this year, CFA’s Nancy Watrous joins archivists and scholars in a workshop on amateur films and the public.

Researching Amateur Film History: Archives, Publics, Digital Platforms
Chair: Charles Tepperman (University of Calgary)
Dan Streible (NYU: Orphan Film Symposium)
Dwight Swanson (Center For Home Movies)
Karan Sheldon (Northeast Historic Film)
Nancy Watrous (Chicago Film Archives)
Sheena Manabat (University of Calgary)

Bobby Lee (1942-2017)


Our friend Bobby Lee passed away yesterday. Bob was a community organizer and a member of the Chicago Black Panthers. His home has been the 5th Ward in Houston over the past few decades, and he is indeed known as “Da Mayor” of the 5th Ward.

Bobby Lee was one of those rare people who had the ability to form unlikely friendships and connect to the humanity of whoever he was engaged with, whether it was a transplanted, white Appalachian mom or a Chicago police commander, or myself…a girl who grew up in the suburbs, trying to find the audience for her upstart film archive.

I can’t remember if I met or only “knew of” Bob in the early ’80s through photographer Michael O’Sullivan. But I came to know Bob so much better in 2006 when I asked him to be a panelist at an early program CFA created called To Bear Witness: The Question of Violence. He shared the stage with Robert Lucas, who led civil rights protesters in the 1966 Cicero March, and Paul Sequeira, a gifted Chicago photojournalist whose work was prolific here in Chicago during the ’60s and ’70s. The discussion that night veered most often to that careful balance between anger and purpose and loss.

During this time, Bob would call me a lot, and we had long conversations about his past and the work he did in the 5th Ward. This work often constituted mowing older neighbors’ lawns, collecting clothes and toys for the kids in the ward, and building community centers. I was a worried mom then, worried about the dangers that my pre-teen kid might face, and we talked about that too. We talked about Mike Gray, Jim Dennett, and Bill Cottle of the Film Group. We discussed Howard Alk who directed The Murder of Fred Hampton and American Revolution II and his difficult and crazy shortened life. Bob’s losses were considerable over his lifetime. He lost brothers in the Panthers, his younger blood brother El Franco Lee and his nephew, James Byrd who was dragged behind a pickup truck until he died by white supremacists in Jasper, Texas.

In 2008 I went down to Houston to tape Bob for a CFA retrospective on Howard Alk. Bob met me at the airport, parking his big black sedan (if I remember that correctly) right outside the baggage claim. He stepped out of the car with his arms open wide, one of them grasping a cane that seemed to extend into eternity. That began a three day visit I will never forget. I stayed with Bob and his wife Faiza at their house while I was there. We ate ribs, visited his work, and shot that interview about Alk. Each morning that I was there, Bob would get up at 4am to prepare coffee and breakfast for Faiza and me. That is when he also quietly worked on his newsletters (or artistic pronouncements of activities, movements and beliefs). Faiza would go to work, and we went to work preparing to tape his interview.

But the most startling and memorable time I had during that visit was having dinner with Faiza and Bob in their bedroom watching not-too-significant television. I was in my pajamas on the floor, Bob was in a chair, clearly set up for his support and comfort, and Faiza in bed, all of us eating some great food she had prepared and laughing at really stupid stuff. I remember for one sliver of a moment thinking this is both so surreal and so comfortable.

Bob had MS the entire time I knew him. He used a cane and then more often used a wheelchair as time moved on. He was the most positive and forceful person I have ever met.




1550 N. Milwaukee Ave
Chicago, IL 60622
go to map


Thursday, March 16, 2017


7PM - 9PM


FREE! (Donations welcome)
RSVP here

Not all students are alike, right? Some might need…well…an alternate approach to learning. Come join us as we premier three newly conserved films about Chicago’s approach to students who just didn’t fit into the cookie-cutter category during the 1960s.

These three films offer a glimpse of a major urban public school system during a time when institutions and other social structures were being challenged on a national and wholesale basis. These films reflect the Chicago Board of Education’s response to those times.

Presented in the program will be three brand new 16mm prints made for this conservation project, including a special color restoration of METRO!!!.

FROM A TO Z: THE STORY OF SPECIAL SUMMER SCHOOLS, Goldsholl Design & Film Associates for Chicago Board of Education, 1964, B&W, 27 min.

This 1964 film portrays one of Chicago Public School’s innovative summer programs for pre-K through sixth grade students. Rather than relying on textbooks, teachers follow loose subject guidelines that fit the needs and skills of his/her particular classroom. This film offers an insightful peek into alternative teaching methods and philosophies within the framework of a major public school system.

A SOIL FOR GROWTH: A STORY OF THE GIFTED CHILD PROGRAM, Goldsholl Design & Film Associates for Chicago Board of Education, circa 1966, B&W, 20 min.

In the mid sixties, select students were chosen for Chicago’s city-wide gifted programs to provide “particular needs for a particular child.” The hallmark feature of these programs was the focus on critical thinking, achieved through the careful selection of materials and facilities, including science labs and libraries. The film also discusses the integration of handicapped children into the accelerated program.

METRO!!!: A SCHOOL WITHOUT WALLS, Rod Nordberg, 1970, Color, 18 min.

The political and cultural upheavals of the ’60s gave added impetus to the desire for a more open and challenging secondary education. As part of his contract, CPS Superintendent James Redmond had promised to develop an alternative experimental high school that would challenge “conformity” found in the traditional high school.

This film is about the genesis, philosophies and early years of Metro. With the mantra of “freedom, choice and responsibility,” students were encouraged to explore the city, think critically, and develop a strong sense of responsibility.

Previously existing prints of METRO!!! had all faded in color to red, but as part of the conservation project, the color has been restored and preserved in a new 16mm print. Come see this film for the first time exactly how it was initially presented in 1970!

Collaborating with the Korean Film Archive

KOFA’s Sangam facility in Seoul, South Korea

In September of last year CFA was approached by Eric Choi from the Korean Film Archive (KOFA) with a proposition: Eric works in the acquisitions department of KOFA and was inquiring about collaborating with CFA to make any Korea-related material held by CFA accessible to researchers in South Korea through KOFA. We said yes.

KOFA, located in Seoul, South Korea, was first established in 1974 as the Korean Film Depository, a name it used until a restructuring in 1991 changed it to KOFA in 1991. The national film archive for South Korea, KOFA currently holds over 6,000 Korean films, along with thousands of items of film-related ephemera, and operates the archive, a museum, library, and cinematheque. For anyone not in South Korea, KOFA also runs the Korean Movie Database and a YouTube channel featuring full-length films for free (highly recommended).

Read More »

CFA Receives the 2017 Ruth Page Award


Friday, January 27, 2017


6:00 PM – 10:00 PM CST



Chicago Film Archives, along with the Batsheva Dance Company, will receive the 2017 Ruth Page Award for significant contributions to the world of dance. This unexpected honor came to us just recently for CFA’s “dedication to preserving the legacy of Ruth Page.” With enduring trust from the Ruth Page Foundation and financial support from the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, CFA spent three and a half years stabilizing, digitizing and describing this large collection of films and videos that dates from the early 1920s. Today hundreds of performances, rehearsals, home movies and dance films can be viewed streaming from CFA’s website

This award will be presented Friday, January 27th at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance after the performance of Last Work by the Batsheva Dance Company.

Tickets are available at: 2017 Ruth Page Award

Hope to see you there! 

MLK Day at Rebuild


6760 S. Stony Island Ave
Chicago, IL 60649
go to map


Monday, January 16, 2017






Celebrate Dr. King’s legacy and explore African American history and culture at the Stony Island Arts Bank. In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, movie screenings and readings culled from our archival collections of black history will last throughout the day. Free and open to the public, activities for all ages.

In celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr Day, Black Cinema House presents a full day of archival films featuring historic moments from the civil rights leader’s time in Chicago, along with audio and video clips exploring the legacy of the movement.

In partnership with the Chicago Film Archives:

Non-Violence: The Message of Mahandas Ghandi and Martin Luther King, Jr.  (1975, Sunrise Media Collection)

Producer: Pictura Films for the series Turning Points: America in the Twentieth Century

Filmmakers: Mert Koplin and Charles Grinker | Editor: John Christophel

Reaction Film: Black Power  (1975, Sunrise Media Collection)

Producer: Pictura Films for the series Turning Points: America in the Twentieth Century

Filmmakers: Mert Koplin and Charles Grinker | Editor: John Christophel

Cicero March  (1966, Film Group Collection)

Camera: Mike Shea | Sound: Mike Gray | Editor: Jay Litvin

In partnership with Media Burn Archive:

Audio: This Train (Studs Terkel, 1963)/ Video: Historical news footage of the March on Washington (1963) (45 seconds).

Historical news footage (1964, 8 minutes)

Martin Luther King, Jr., speaks at an event celebrating the enactment of the Civil Rights Act.

Historical news footage (1954/1968, 40 seconds)

Dr. King speaks at Soldier Field, June 21, 1954, followed by footage of Mayor Richard J. Daley’s press conference giving his infamous “Shoot to kill” order on April 8, 1968.

Excerpt from Daley (Tom Weinberg, 1986, 5 minutes)

John Callaway interviews Daley’s longtime press secretary, Earl Bush, about Daley’s response to the unrest sparked by Dr. King’s assassination.

Historical news footage (year unknown, 30 seconds)

Dr. King speaks on his involvement in Chicago.

Audio only: WBBM radio report on the assassination of Dr. King (1968, 7 minutes).

Historical news footage (1968, 1 minute)

Footage of Dr. King’s casket being loaded onto a plane.

Historical news footage (1968, 3 minutes)

Early responses to Dr. King’s assassination.

Outtake from THE 90’s Election Specials (Andrew Jones, 1992, 1 minute)

Congressman Charles Hayes (D-IL), who was elected to fill the vacant House seat of Harold Washington after he became mayor in 1983, talks about marching with Dr. King in Chicago.

Excerpt from Dovie Thurman, A Conversation with Studs Terkel (produced by the Chicago Video Project of Communications for Change, Community TV Network, and Community Media Workshop, 1997, 4 minutes)

Dovie Thurman, community organizer & the “heart” of Uptown speaks with Studs Terkel about her reaction to Dr. King’s assassination.

Excerpt from Omnibus: Studs Terkel’s Chicago (Mike Dibb, 1985, 2 minutes)

Studs Terkel interviews Peggy Terry, a Southern white whose ingrained racist views were challenged and changed by her awakening to civil rights issues in Montgomery, AL.

Outtake from THE 90’s (Jimmy Sternfield, 1990, 1 minute)

Professor William M. King, pioneer of Black Studies at the University of Colorado, discusses Dr. King’s ideal of the “beloved community.”

Excerpt from March for Disarmament (Ted Krichels, 1982, 20 seconds)

Folksinger and activist Joan Baez speaks about Dr. King at this anti-nuclear weapons rally in Central Park attended by nearly a million people.

Outtake from Voices of Cabrini (Ronit Bezalel, 1997, 1 minute)

Patrons at George Robbins’s Barbershop in Cabrini–Green remember the unrest following Dr. King’s assassination.

Excerpt from The Other M.J(Tom Weinberg, 1999, 15 seconds)

Chicagoan Michael Johnson quotes Dr. King on MLK Day.

Footage of Chicago special events (Bill Stamets, 1985, 3 minutes)

Stevie Wonder and a gospel choir pay musical tribute to Dr. King on his birthday.

CFA’s New Year Awards and Grants Roundup

The turn of the year has been full of news for CFA! Here’s a round up of the grants and awards we have received recently, which we are extremely grateful for. Lots of reasons to keep checking back in with us to see what we’re up to!

CFA and Partners Awarded “Hidden Collections” CLIR Grant


Chicago Film ArchivesNortheast Historic Film and the Lesbian Home Movie Project are extremely pleased to announce that we have been awarded a “Hidden Collections” grant, a granting program of the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) that is generously funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. This collaborative project will unleash the work of 50 women filmmakers by supporting the digitization of their works. CFA is particularly happy to increase exposure to the work of Millie Goldsholl and JoAnn Elam, two twentieth-century filmmakers who are largely unknown.

Millie Goldsholl (1920-2012) headed up the filmmaking division of the renowned Chicago design firm, Goldsholl Design and Film Associates. She attended classes at Laszlo Moholy-Nagy’s new School of Design when the New Bauhaus movement was just taking hold in Chicago. Her work is playful, political and highly innovative. The Goldsholl’s studio gave space and guidance to new experimental filmmakers such as Larry Janiak, Byron Grush and Robert Stiegler, all who have archived their work at CFA. A large portion of the personal films made by Millie will be digitized and made accessible as a result of this grant.

JoAnn Elam (1949-2009) was a champion of the small gauge film, and an experimental filmmaker as well. She, too, was highly political and at an early age made two feminist films RAPE and LIE BACK AND ENJOY IT. Both still are in distribution. Her collection of films is vast and not easily decipherable. A closer look often reveals a home movie to be subtle commentary. Many of her films depict every day events with shadings of political overtones. So, it’s unclear what is and is not a “finished” film. JoAnn died before finishing her documentary named EVERYDAY PEOPLE. In the coming years, CFA hopes to take a stab at extending her themes into unexpected places.


CFA Acknowledged by the Ruth Page Center for the Arts


Chicago Film Archives, along with the Batsheva Dance Company, will receive the 2017 Ruth Page Award for significant contributions to the world of dance. This unexpected honor came to us just recently for CFA’s “dedication to preserving the legacy of Ruth Page.” With enduring trust from the Ruth Page Foundation and financial support from the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, CFA spent three and a half years stabilizing, digitizing and describing this large collection of films and videos that dates from the early 1920s. Today hundreds of performances, rehearsals, home movies and dance films can be viewed streaming from CFA’s website

This award will be presented Friday, January 27th at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance after the performance of Last Work by the Batsheva Dance Company. Hope to see you there!


CFA Goes International!


CFA is happy to announce we have been awarded a grant from the MacArthur Foundation International Connections Fund to produce an International Media Mixer!!

Chicago Film Archives (Chicago, IL) and Lab 80 film (Bergamo, Italy) will partner in this exciting project by exchanging digitized film footage from our respective repositories. Each organization will then commission two media artists (from our respective countries) to create new works using the partner’s footage (digitized, of course!). Upon completion of these four new silent video works (2 in Italy and 2 in the US), the partnering organizations will once again exchange the works so that two musicians/bands from the partnering country can score the new pieces.

Once completed, these four new media works will be screened in the Chicago area and in northern Italy with live accompaniment by the musicians who created the scores. Our Italian colleague, Karianne Fiorini, will be representing Lab 80 film to identify the Italian artists, curate the project, and coordinate the screenings on her side of the ocean. CFA will be doing the same in Chicago.

The goal of this project is twofold. It will allow archivists and filmmakers to explore the process and outcomes of creating culturally hybrid works of media art with archival footage. It’s a sort-of cross cultural “call and response” exercise, mixing and layering artistic audio/visual expressions that emanate from artists of two different cultures. It will also bring definition and a sense of scope to the international practice of media conservation, combining the practices of art and archiving to produce new artistic works.

This project is based upon an artistic collaboration that Chicago Film Archives has sponsored locally over the last five years. CFA provides footage to three Chicago media artists to create original video works. These videos are then handed over to three local musicians, bands or audio artists who each score one of the new works. These three new fully-realized media works are then premiered at CFA’s annual Media Mixer at the Hideout. This MacArthur proposal will add an international component to the mix.

On A Blues Note – Chicago Film Archives Benefit 2016


920 North Franklin Street
Chicago, Illinois 60610
go to map


Wednesday, December 7, 2016




Individual tickets: $125
Ticket for two: $200

Buy tickets online



Chicago Film Archives invites you to:

On a Blues Note

6:00 PM9:30 PM

Come join us as we celebrate another year of preserving Chicago’s rich history and culture on film. Kick off the holidays with music, drink, tasty food and of course some twentieth century cinema at Savage Smyth, Chicago’s newest swanky but sweet spot to party. Our theme this year is Chicago’s blues history!

Come meet and listen to:

Sam Lay – Rock and Roll Hall of Famer and Blues musician extraordinaire
John Anderson – Film Director of SAM LAY IN BLUESLAND
Dick Shurman- Music journalist, historian, and Alligator Records producer
Corky Siegel - musician, composer, and a blues birther

and our very own…

Alison Cuddy – Associate Artistic Director, the Chicago Humanities Festival

Come see unique footage that captures the clubs, musicians and good times of the 60s and 70s, including the Checkerboard, The Peppermint Lounge, Theresa’s, Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Albert King and more. Help CFA collect, preserve and exhibit our extraordinary, historic and often unique films that reflect our twentieth century lives.


Cocktails & Food: 6PM – 7:30PM

Presentation – 7:30PM

  • Welcome – Alison Cuddy
  • SAM LAY IN BLUESLAND (excerpt)
  • “Twentieth Century Chicago Blues” – A conversation with Sam Lay, John Anderson and Dick Shurman – Home movies to accompany
  • Corky Siegel on keyboard and harmonica
  • CFA’s Board Chair, Christine Haddad
  • Judy Pielach auctions prizes to benefit CFA


Savage Smyth
920 North Franklin
Chicago, Illinois  60610


Wednesday, December 7, 2016
6:00PM to 9:30PM

Tickets:  $125 or $200 a couple
Dress:    Business Casual

For tickets contact: 312-243-1808 or or follow the link below: