Blue Whiskey Independent Film Festival took place at the Music box Theater in Chicago, Illinois from August 3-11. I was able to attend this festival for the first time this year (it’s been running for 8 years). On my night of attendance there was a special Independent Filmmaker Achievement Award presentation to Rory Uphold.

The night featured three shorts and a documentary feature film.

Wintry Spring (short): From director Mohamed Kamel, this 15 min short from Egypt tells the story of a schoolgirl who lives with her father and experiences puberty for the first time. It explores the father-daughter relationship and the tension that arises due to her circumstance. Good subtle acting performances. An interesting exploration of a father-daughter dynamic.

Lunch Time (short): From director Alireza Ghasemi, this 15 min short from Islamic Republic of Iran tells the story of a 16-year-old girl arriving at a hospital to identify the body of her mother. This was an interesting movie, but also bizarre at the same time. There was a cringe worthy moment that changed the perspective of the film and the main character.

Fish (short): From director Saman Hosseinpuor, this 4 minute short tells the story of a woman who must find a creative way to save her fish after she drops her fish bowl. It’s a quick story of an older couple that sure will make you chuckle at the ending moment.

Two Worlds (feature doc): The highlight of the night was director Maciej Adamek’s feature documentary film. It depicts the story of a 12-year-old Polish girl Laura who is a guide through the life of her deaf parents. This is a phenomenal story and film. More on that coming in my review of the film.

Unfortunately I was unable to attend the other nights of the festival, but from what I experienced it was very well put together. Founder Michael P. Noens and Community Relations Coordinator Ashley Alysa Schiavone have organized this event in a fantastic way. The showcase of quality foreign films that you might not be able to see otherwise unless you’re in the country of origin. I appreciated the access and opportunity. Every night had a filmmaker there in attendance introducing their film and providing a Q&A.

This was the first year this festival was presented in a premiere city location, as well as the first time at the Music Box Theater. I’m expecting this festival to grow and gain following in the coming years. I can say that I was already exposed to a unique film that I view as a gem.

Check out the following links more information on the Blue Whiskey Independent Film Festival 

Twitter: @BlueWhiskeyFF

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Written by Jim Alexander

Jim Alexander hails from Chicago where he started his journalism career as a film critic and founder of the Chicago Independent Film Critics Circle (CIFCC). He's a Rotten Tomatoes approved critic. Jim founded Reel Talker as a platform to share his love of movies and entertainment. Jim's favorite part of being a journalist is getting to meet and interview actors, filmmakers and entertainers. Jim is a host and on-camera personality for AfterBuzz TV. Aside from his work with Reel Talker, he's the site owner of the Bachelor Universe website, where he recaps and talks about all this ABC's 'The Bachelor'. He also runs the Reel Talker Podcast that can be found on iTunes. In his free time he enjoys attending sports events and playing in recreational leagues. He currently resides in Los Angeles.

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