For all general information and booking please contact:


1084 N. Milwaukee
Chicago, IL 60642

Please note: submissions and requests for screenings are reviewed quarterly. Please give us enough lead time to thoroughly consider your idea and please always include a preview link to the work in consideration, email contact info, and bio. Thanks very much for reaching out!

Founding Director

Christy LeMaster founded Chicago’s rough and ready microcinema, The Nightingale in 2008. She has programmed screenings for the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Chicago Filmmakers, Columbia College Chicago, The Onion City Experimental Film and Video Festival, The Chicago Underground Film Festival, Chicago Film Archives, Sector 2337, and Intuit Gallery. She teaches Media Theory at Columbia College Chicago. She has been a movie critic on the NPR Chicago affiliate, WBEZ’s morning show 848 and CINE-FILE.info. She was a 2011 Flaherty Film Seminar Fellow and a Summer Forum 2012 resident. She has served on juries for Media City, Onion City, Chicago International Children’s Film Festival and the Dallas Video Fest. She is currently programming events for The Nightingale, TRACERS, Chances Dances 10th Anniversary Retrospective, and co-curating Run of Life, an experimental documentary series for the Chicago experimental media venue, Constellation.


Emily Eddy is a film, video, and digital media artist and curator. She graduated from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2013, where she received her Bachelors in Fine Arts. She has been programming film, video, and new media works at the Nightingale Cinema in Chicago since 2013. Emily has screened work at many venues in Chicago, as well as her hometown, Portland, OR, Iceland, and various mid-western cities.


Raul Benitez has been involved with the Chicago Film Community through the Chicago Underground Film Festival for the past 10 years. He has previously volunteered for The Chicago Cinema Society before taking over the film programming at Comfort Station Logan Square in 2013. He has partnered or programmed with Chicago Film Makers, Little Mexico Film Festival, First Nations Film Festival, Reeling Film Festival, Chicago Film Archives, Beguiled Cinema, CIMM Fest, La Guarimba Film Festival, South Side Projections, DollHouse DIY, The Wretched Nobles of the Exiled Dynasty, Kartemquin Films, ACREtv, Moving Image Arts, Cinema Culture and Nerivela Mexico. Currently he is programming at Comfort Station Logan square, screening movies and volunteering for this years Chicago Underground Film Festival and volunteering for Onion City Festival. Raul was named by New City as a Chicago Screen Gem of 2015 and his outdoor film series for Comfort Station was named by The Chicago Reader(2013) and New City(2015) as the best outdoor film series in the city.

Edward E. Crouse has been a part of the Nightingale family since its inception. He is a freelance film critic who has published work in Film Comment, The Village Voice, Cinema Scope, Sight and Sound, Time Out Chicago, and the San Francisco Bay Guardian. He is co-author of the monograph Curtis Harrington: Cinema on the Edge (Anthology Film Archives Press, 2005). As an actor, he appeared alongside George Kuchar in Anne McGuire’s All Smiles and Sadness. He is the producer of Wilkie Duran Monte: Toxic Chemical Victim (2002), a short environmental advocacy documentary by Minnie Solomon Crouse, that won festival awards in the Philippines and Belgium.

Lee Ferdinand is an adjunct instructor in the Cinema Art + Science department at Columbia College Chicago. In the past he has served as the documentary programmer for the Chicago International Film Festival and has programmed events at the Chicago Cultural Center, Columbia College and the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. In addition he is a DVD producer for Music Box Films and is currently an MFA candidate in the Film, Video, Animation and New Genres program at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee.

Sara Holwerda is an artist and educator. Her video work includes hand-cut stop motion animations and staged performances. Drawing from her personal experience with trauma and spectacle alongside her ongoing interrogation of visual culture, she focuses on the rehearsed nature of gendered movements and moments of culturally mediated self-expression. Her video work has been screened nationally and internationally, and was discussed in the newly published textbook "Elements and Principles of 4D Art and Design" by Ellen Mueller. Originally from an unincorporated farm town in Michigan, she went on to be educated in the more populated areas of the state: she holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Michigan, and a Master of Fine Arts from Cranbrook Academy of Art.

Nellie Kluz is a filmmaker and artist based in Chicago. Using curiosity, observation and analysis, she records and interprets various locations and communities – focusing on social interactions, belief systems and material realities.Her films have screened at venues like the Full Frame Film Festival, Festival de Popoli, the Chicago Underground Film Festival, Camden International Film Festival, the Independent Film Festival Boston, the Maryland Film Festival, The DocYard, the Sidewalk Film Festival, Rooftop Films and others. She has been the recipient of the Princess Grace Film Award and a Rooftop Films Short Film Grant. She was named one of Filmmaker Magazine's "25 Faces of Independent Film" for 2017.

Jesse Malmed is an artist and curator, working in video, performance, text, occasional objects and their gaps and overlaps. He has performed, screened and exhibited at museums, microcinemas, film festivals, galleries, bars and barns, including recent solo presentations at Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Roots and Culture, the Chicago Cultural Center, Cellular Cinema, Cinema Contra, Echo Park Film Center and the University of Chicago Film Studies Center. Previously the proponent of the Deep Leap Microcinema and a collective member of Cinema Project and Lasercave, Jesse's resent platformist and curatorial projects include the Live to Tape Artist Television Festival, programming at the Nightingale Cinema, the mobile exhibition space Trunk Show (with Raven Falquez Munsell), programming through ACRE TV and the recently inaugurated Western Pole. A native of Santa Fe, Jesse earned his BA at Bard College and his MFA at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He was named a "2014 Breakout Artist" by Newcity and held residencies through Links Hall, DCASE and Ox-Bow this year.

Kat Sachs is the co-founder of Beguiled Cinema with her husband and fellow Nightingale programmer, Ben. Highlights of their programming endeavors include screenings of Dan Sallitt's HONEYMOON and ALL THE SHIPS AT SEA, the Chicago premiere of Joanna Arnow's I HATE MYSELF :), and a ten-week Frederick Wiseman series entirely on 16mm, as well as a one-off screening of Wiseman's six-hour NEAR DEATH, also on 16mm. In addition to the Nightingale, she's also on the programming committee at Chicago Filmmakers and occasionally programs at Comfort Station. She's the social media coordinator for the Onion City Experimental Film and Video Festival and CINE-FILE.info, and has contributed to the latter web publication on a near-weekly basis for the past three years.

Aaron Walker is an artist and organizer, originally from Cincinnati, Ohio. He has organized screenings at microcinemas, alternative spaces, living rooms, parking lots and museums throughout the Midwest. In 2012 he co-curated Is This Thing On?, a three-part group exhibition focused on hybrid new media practices at the Center for Contemporary Art in Cincinnati. He is currently an MFA candidate at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Programmers Emeriti

Ian Curry is an excellent filmmaker.
Patrick Friel is still in Chicago: watches, teaches, eats, sleeps movies.
LJ Frezza runs the Basement Media Festival.
Jillian Hansen-Lewis is a digital video maker, photographer, and visual artist.
Emily Kuehn is still in Chicago, and knows a heck-of-a-lot about making videos.
Chloe McLaren moved to Ithaca, NY, and is a good projectionist with no depth perception.
Douglas McLaren moved to Ithaca, NY because they have hills and waterfalls there.
Jenny Miller is the Assistant Artist Director at Union Docs in New York.
Ben Sachs writes for CINE-FILE.info.
Fern Silva is a filmmaker and teaches at Bard College.