Chicago United Film Festival
Saturday 22 - Thursday 27 September 2012
United Film Festival – Chicago is excited to be returning for its 4th year at the Music Box this fall.
The United Fest highlights the best in cutting edge local and global cinema with a diverse program of features, documentaries, shorts, and classic films.
This diverse program span everything from the quirky world of all-female wrestling in GLOW: The Story of the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling, documentaries from local filmmakers such as Fast Talk and Chicago Farmers, and a double feature of horror icon Lance Henriksen, with the recent It’s in the Blood and the classic The Terminator.
Saturday, September 22nd
- 12:30pm: Nothing Like Chocolate
- 2:30pm: Fast Talk
- 4:30pm: Of Two Minds
- 7:00pm: Sadermania
- 9:29pm: GLOW: The Story of the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling
- 11:59pm: The Craft
Sunday, September 23rd
- 12:30pm: The Devil and the Death Penalty
- 2:30pm: Toyland
- 4:30pm: Chicago Farmer
- 7:00pm: Pwners
- 9:30pm: The Warped Tour
Monday, September 24th
- 5:30pm: Short Film Block - SELF DISCOVERY
- 7:00pm: Best Laid Plans
- 9:30pm: Body Complete
Tuesday, September 25th
- 5:30pm: Short Film Block - LOVE & ROMANCE
- 7:00pm: Supporting Characters
- 9:30pm: Open Road
Wednesday, September 26th
- 5:30pm: Short Film Block - MORAL TALES
- 7:00pm: More Than Me
- 9:30pm: Fight Life
Thursday, September 27th
- 5:30pm: Short Film Block - BIOGRAPHIES
- 7:00pm: It’s In The Blood
Sat 22 Sep, 12:30pm
Nothing Like Chocolate (2012)
directed by Kum-Kum Bhavnani starring Bama Athreya, Edmond Brown and Crystal in English
Deep in the rain forests of Grenada, anarchist chocolatier Mott Green seeks solutions to the problems of a ravaged global chocolate industry. Solar power, employee shareholding and small-scale antique equipment turn out delicious chocolate in the hamlet of Hermitage, Grenada. Finding hope in an an industry entrenched in enslaved child labor, irresponsible corporate greed, and tasteless, synthetic products, Nothing like Chocolate reveals the compelling story of the relentless Mott Green, founder of the Grenada Chocolate Company.
Sat 22 Sep, 2:30pm
Fast Talk (2011)
directed by Debra Kahn Tolchinsky in English
College debaters now speak at unintelligible speeds. Some claim the benefits are clear: More arguments per minute that an opposing team needs to rebut. But is there a dark side to fast talk? This film follows the Northwestern University debate team for one year as the students try to fast talk their way to another championship. A documentary that will make you question the speed of your own life and keep you talking.
Sat 22 Sep, 4:30pm
Of Two Minds (2012)
directed by Douglas Blush, Lisa J. Klein in English
This documentary explores the extraordinary lives, struggles and successes of three unique and compelling people living with bipolar disorder in America today.
Sat 22 Sep, 7:00pm
directed by Adam Gacka in English
In this inspirational tale, Chris Sader and Hulk Hogan relate how they met and developed a bond through mutual struggles and personal loss that each would have faced alone if not for the unlikely friendship that develops between them.
Sat 22 Sep, 9:29pm
GLOW: The Story of the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling (2012)
directed by Brett Whitcomb in English
This documentary chronicles the rise and fall of the first ever all-female wrestling show through the stories of those who lived it.
Sat 22 Sep, midnight
The Craft (1996)
directed by Andrew Fleming starring Robin Tunney, Fairuza Balk and Neve Campbell in English, French
A newcomer to a Catholic prep high school falls in with a trio of outcast teenage girls who practice witchcraft and they all soon conjure up various spells and curses against those who even slightly anger them.
Sun 23 Sep, 12:30pm
The Devil and the Death Penalty (2012)
directed by Philip Gibbons in English
This documentary recounts the dysfunctional state of the death penalty in the state of California by revisiting the crimes, arrest, trial and appeals of Lawrence Bittaker, a convicted serial killer who has been on death row at San Quentin since 1981.
Sun 23 Sep, 2:30pm
directed by Ken Sons
This documentary is a never-before-seen look at a place where fun is born and competition is fierce: The $22 billion dollar toy business. Meet the people behind the biggest playthings in history including Ant Farm, Lite Brite, Inch Worm, Mouse Trap, Twister, Toss Across, Kerplunk, Radio Flyer wagons and more.
Sun 23 Sep, 4:30pm
Chicago Farmer (-)
directed by Cory Poplin
This documentary chronicles the life of modern folk musician Cody Diekhoff, also known as Chicago Farmer. Cody grew up in a small town with no traffic lights called Delavan, IL, then moved to the big city of Chicago to pursue his dreams. He sings about small towns, big cities, and everywhere in between. The film tells his story through songs and interviews — back and forth all over Illinois. Chicago Farmer aims to capture the spirit of this unique voice in modern folk music.
Sun 23 Sep, 7:00pm
directed by Nicholas de Fina starring Dan Aho, Drew Current and Micah Philbrook
Aesop Arandin is a phenomenon. Chris Grey was born with a controller in his hand. In the Modern Warfare League, however, there is only room for one video gamer.
Sun 23 Sep, 9:30pm
The Warped Tour (-)
directed by Jonathan Rach
This documentary captures the heart and soul of The Van’s Warped Tour. It sheds light on how the Warped Tour has become the longest running and most successful traveling music festival in American history against all odds.
Mon 24 Sep, 5:30pm
Short Film Block - SELF DISCOVERY (-)
directed by Lee Garman, Peter Jin, Trisha Gum
Reconstructing Jack (16.5 min): Jack, is about to kill himself when his clone walks through the front door.
Portrait of Leonore (18 min): A stylized, autobiographical short film, in which director Peter Jin copes with depression by creating a make-believe sister – a sister he might have had if his mother did not have an abortion – and indulges in fond, pretend memories of his otherwise unhappy childhood.
Losing Ferguson (20 min): After the death of Rebecca’s family leaves her disconnected from the world, she rekindles a relationship with her childhood imaginary friend, Ferguson. But when Ferguson abruptly leaves Rebecca, she is forced to confront her loss and reconnect with the world.
Mon 24 Sep, 7:00pm
Best Laid Plans (-)
directed by David Blair starring Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Stephen Graham and David O'Hara in English
A powerful British drama, loosely inspired by John Steinbeck’s novel Of Mice and Men. Set in Nottingham, the film revolves around the relationship between the thuggish Danny (Stephen Graham) and Joseph (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje), a giant of a man with a mental age of seven.
When Danny finds himself in debt to a local crime boss, he feels he is left with no choice but to manipulate Joseph into participating in a series of underground cage fights from which Danny can pay his debts. However, as the fights become harder and Danny and Joseph fall for two beautiful women, Danny starts to question his own motives. Ultimately, this is a story of love and friendship and how far you would go for a friend.
Mon 24 Sep, 9:30pm
Body Complete (2012)
directed by Lukas Sturm starring Asli Bayram, Senad Basic and Adnan Haskovic in English, German, Bosnian
Nicole is a journalist working for a TV station in Vienna, Austria. In 2004, she travels to Bosnia to film a report about Edina, a young woman who has gone missing. Edina wanted to bury her Muslim father in Bosnia. His remains were discovered in a mass grave. Nicoles search takes her to Morovci, the place where Edina was last seen. Morovci is located in Republika Srpska, a nation created after the war. It was a major site of ethnic cleansing, in which thousands of Muslim civilians perished. Nicole’s tenacious inquiries put her increasingly at risk. The fanatic nationalism and open aggression all around her make Nicoles search a life-threatening mission.
Tue 25 Sep, 5:30pm
Short Film Block - LOVE & ROMANCE (-)
directed by Rick Limentani, Hadi Ghandour, Brian James Crewe
Gemologia (12 min): A young gemologist who specializes in classifying diamonds is fired for claiming to have found the perfect gem, an obviously flawed stone, because he has fallen in love with a girl called Gemma, and has come to believe that imperfections are what give character and make something special and unique.
Love After Sunrise (15 min): A hopeless romantic recounts how getting into a relationship with his ideal woman causes him to destroy the very thing he’s been longing for since he first discovered the opposite sex.
Far (23 min): David goes on a date with Hannah, a young woman, who isn’t quite what she seems.
Tue 25 Sep, 7:00pm
Supporting Characters (-)
directed by Daniel Schechter starring Alex Karpovsky, Tarik Lowe and Arielle Kebbel
Two New York film editors balance their personal relationships while reworking a movie in crisis. Starring Alex Karpovsky, Tarik Lowe, Kevin Corrigan, Arielle Kebbel, Melonie Diaz, Sophia Takal, Sebastian Sozzi and Lena Dunham
Tue 25 Sep, 9:30pm
Open Road (2012)
directed by Marcio Garcia starring Andy Garcia, Camilla Belle, Juliette Lewis, Colin Egglesfield
Angie, a young Brazilian artist, abandons her old life and embarks on a journey around the country. Running from her past, and searching for her foundation in life, Angie finds not only herself but love in its many forms.
Wed 26 Sep, 5:30pm
Short Film Block - MORAL TALES (-)
directed by Antonia Suarez, Alex Brüel Flagstad, Damian Schipporeit
Good Luck (Buena Suerte) (11 min): A young Argentian boy learns a lesson about prejudice and honesty from his grandmother.
The Hopper (19 min): Clay-Motion, Stash House Stick-Ups, West Baltimore, and fluffy pancakes. The Hopper is not your average clay-animation story. 16 year old Dexter lives with his grandmother in west Baltimore, Maryland. One night Dexter and his friend Kevin rob local drug dealers, but things do not work out as planned and violence spins out of control.
Line 102 (22 min): A bus driver is pushed to her limit by a group of rowdy passengers, but when something tragic happens to the girl that she kicks off her bus, she is forced to examine her choices.
Wed 26 Sep, 7:00pm
More Than Me (2010)
directed by William Philbin starring Jim Breuer
Actor/comedian Jim Breuer, best known from Saturday Night Live and the film Half Baked, set out in 2008 on his first stand-up tour in six years, taking his 84 year-old father along for the ride of his life. While struggling with the chores of caregiving and coming to terms with his father’s mortality, Jim is determined to strengthen their relationship while on the road.
Wed 26 Sep, 9:30pm
Fight Life (2012)
directed by James Z. Feng starring Nick Diaz, Cesar Gracie and Chuck Liddell
This documentary chronicles the daily lives of professional MMA fighters from all different levels over the course of one year.
Thu 27 Sep, 5:30pm
Short Film Block - BIOGRAPHIES (-)
directed by Kristofor Husted, Ronnie Reese, Hunter Holcombe
Love, Dad (20 min): The story of career criminal James Gardner, who committed an estimated one thousand burglaries between 1970 and 1999. When he was sentenced to 30 years in prison, he abandoned his family. This documentary short takes a trip through Gardner’s past as he visits family and the mentor who helped turn his life around, and examines the impact of his absence on loved ones, and his attempts at reformation, reconciliation and making up for lost time.
Exit Wound (26 min): Sgt. Chess Johnson was shot through his eye while fighting in Iraq, and told he was no longer fit to serve. After struggling with alcoholism, drug dependency, PTSD and traumatic brain injury, he is invited to a unique program in Sun Valley, Idaho helping treat veterans and their spouses. The goal: to channel their addiction to adrenaline through outlets like skiing and paragliding.
Thu 27 Sep, 7:00pm
It’s In The Blood (-)
directed by Scooter Downey starring Lance Henriksen, Sean Elliot and Rose Sirna
When a father and son become stranded in the wild, they must confront the horrors of their past to escape with their lives. Starring horror legend Lance Henriksen!