Opening Night Screenings Screened at Cinema Borealis (1550 N. Milwaukee, 4th Floor) Presented by CHICAGO 8: A Small Gauge Festival


October 21st, 2011

Chicago 8, a fest founded this year by S8 makers Karen Johannesen, JB Mabe, and Jason Halprin, is dedicated to exhibiting works by small gauge filmmakers as they were intended to be seen: on film. This festival has been created to celebrate small gauge filmmaking, to offer a unique event for Super 8 filmmakers to exhibit their work in its original format, and for viewers to experience the joy of seeing S8 the way it was intended. Opening night of the festival will feature an exciting selection of S8 film from Chicago-based filmmakers, both new and old.

S8 has an intimacy and charm that comes from its home movie history, it’s personal diaristic sensibility, its small compact size, and it’s unmistakable visual presence. Highly identifiable, S8 is known for its vibrant color, surface, texture, and unmistakable grain. Our goal is to keep small gauge filmmaking alive, to encourage further activity in this format, and to provide an opportunity for these rare gems to be seen by the Chicago community. By fostering a continued interest in S8 as a viable, affordable, and a uniquely personal way in which to explore image making, we hope to inspire the next generation of small gauge filmmakers.



A survey of small gauge films from Chicagoans past and present opens our first annual Chicago 8 Small Gauge Film Festival. This show includes work spanning four decades of local filmmakers, from the old guard to current residents. Filmmakers in this program include Saul Levine, Michael Robinson, Joann Elam, Adele Friedman, Bill Staments, Lori Felker, Adam Paradis, Karen Johannesen, and Jason Halprin.



Dutch S8 filmmaker, Jaap Pieters’ ethereal, intimate films are highly personal of his surroundings. Limiting himself to the duration of the 3-minute Super 8 reel, he uses minimal equipment and editing. Often filming from his apartment window, he may focus on unusual people seen on the street, or on recurring characters both known and unknown. In the manner of a home screening, Pieters will be present to give commentary on his program. Bird and Lindorff-Ellery, who collaborate in their originally Chicago-based sound duo Dense Reduction, will improvise accompaniment to the silent films. They will incorporate both musical and nonmusical elements to interact with the visual environments presented in Pieters’ work.

Jaap Pieters has been taking photographs and making Super 8 films for the last three decades, and is a well-known presence in Europe. Beginning with his first solo program in Istanbul in 1997, he has shown regularly throughout virtually all corners of Europe, including on tours of Switzerland, Germany, and Spain, as well as in Paris, Athens, Copenhagen, and many more. He is also a fixture at IFF Rotterdam, and has shown at all manner of alternative venues along the way.

Travis Bird, is a guitarist, composer, and writer focused on both songwriting and improvisation. Active in Chicago since 2007, he has worked in a wide variety of musical environments and has played at venues across the U.S. on several occasions, as well as pursuing an active release schedule. In addition to his musical activities, he co-curates Notice Recordings (est. 2010), a boutique cassette label that has released his own work as well as that of other experimental musicians.

Evan Lindorff-Ellery, currently based in his native Vermont, is developing a uniquely abstract yet deliberate style in both visual and sound art. As de facto art director of Notice Recordings, his original drawings adorn most of the label’s releases; they have also been published in online and in print form, most recently by the artist Jez Riley French. Musically, Lindorff-Ellery works with consumergrade and analog electronics, recordings of his surroundings, and layered processes to craft subtle yet richly layered sound environments connoting both isolation and home.


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