The NIGHTINGALE is a rough and ready microcinema located in Chicago's Noble Square neighborhood. Programming strains include expanded cinema, new media, experimental narrative, documentary, and video art. The Nightingale Cinema is a proud supporter of artist, activist, underground, outre, avant-garde, après-garde, unconventional, independent, forgotten and unforgettable cinema. Projection capabilities include 16mm and digital formats. Operated with a gift economy by an informal volunteer community of programmers, projectionists, critics, and artists, the Nightingale’s mission is to present experimental and independent moving image work by emerging and established makers in a cinema context. Always striving to collaborate with other organizations, the Nightingale hosts an averages of 50 events a year including screenings, performances, festivals, live studio shoots, workshops, and artist talks. Since 2008, the Nightingale has shown the work of hundreds of artists to thousands of attendees. The Nightingale believes in cinema as collective and bodily event and brings audiences and artists together for vital and illuminating exchange.
Christy LeMaster, Founding Director, 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 has organized series for TRACERS, Chances Dances 10th Anniversary Retrospective, and co-programmed Run of Life, an experimental documentary series for the Chicago experimental media venue, Constellation. She taught Media Theory at Columbia College Chicago and 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, and a Visiting Artist at ACRE. She has served on juries for Media City, Onion City, Chicago International Children’s Film Festival and the Dallas Video Fest. She is currently Assistant Curator of Public Programs at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago.
Emily Eddy, Co-Director, is a film, video, and digital media artist and curator based in Chicago, IL. She graduated from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2013, where she received her Bachelor’s in Fine Arts. Combining many forms of moving image, her work utilizes strategies of video diaries, archival practices, and experimental documentaries. She has been curating film, video, and new media works at the Nightingale Cinema in Chicago since 2013, and she has worked with the screening series and online video curation project Video! Video! Zine since 2016. Emily has shown her work and programmed screenings at many venues in Chicago, as well as her hometown, Portland Oregon, Los Angeles, and Reykjavík Iceland.
Raul Benitez, Programmer, has been involved with the Chicago Film Community through the Chicago Underground Film Festival for the past 11 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 Filmmakers, 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. Raul was once again named by New City Chicago as a 2017 Chicago Screen Gem. He currently does film programming for Comfort Film at Comfort Station Logan Square and at The Nightingale Cinema and also a screener for The Chicago Underground Film Festival, The Twisted Oyster Film Festival, CIMM Fest, Onion City, Chicago Onscreen Local Film Showcase 2018, and is the Lead Programmer for Full Spectrum Features Chicagoland Shorts.
Edward E. Crouse, Programmer, has been with Nightingale family since the beginning. As a freelance film critic, he has written for 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 and Sagittarius, he appeared in the experimental soap opera By Way of Today (2015) and alongside George Kuchar in Anne McGuire’s All Smiles and Sadness (1999). 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, Programmer, 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, Programmer, 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 receive a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Michigan, and a Master of Fine Arts from Cranbrook Academy of Art.
Nellie Kluz, Programmer, is a filmmaker and artist mostly making non-fiction videos. Using curiosity and observation, she records and interprets various places and communities – focusing on social interactions, belief systems and material realities.
David Langkamp, Programmer, was born and raised on the soft suburban streets of Rockford, Illinois. After developing an early love of cartoons and comics, he dabbled in animation while earning a BFA in studio art from Truman State University in Kirksville, Missouri. After moving to New York, David took advantage of his day job at New York University to earn a master’s degree in animation from their (now-defunct) CADA program. From 2010-2017 he volunteered with ASIFA East, the New York chapter of an international animation organization for professionals and aficionados. He co-hosted animation screenings and events at the School of Visual Arts and served as the Co-Chair of the 2017 ASIFA East Animated Film Festival, hosted by The New School's Parsons School of Design. In addition to film and animation, David enjoys karaoke, comedy podcasts, and listening to that new music the kids seem to love so much.
Jesse Malmed, Programmer, is an artist and curator living and working in Chicago. His work in moving images, performance, text and occasional objects has exhibited widely in museums, cinemas, galleries, bars and barns, including recent solo presentations at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Mothlight Microcinema, Artists’ Television Access, D Gallery, Syntax Season, Microlights, Echo Park Film Center, Lease Agreement and the University of Chicago Film Studies Center. His platformist and curatorial projects include the Live to Tape Artist Television Festival, instigating Western Pole, the mobile exhibition space and artist bumper sticker project Trunk Show (with Raven Falquez Munsell), programming through ACRE TV and organizing exhibitions, screenings and performance events both independently and institutionally. Originally from Santa Fe, he earned his BA from Bard College and his MFA from the University of Illinois at Chicago, where he currently teaches. He has programmed at the Nightingale since 2013. www.jessemalmed.net
Kat Sachs, Programmer, is a cinephile and programmer from Dayton, Ohio. She is the associate editor of CINE-FILE.info, where she writes about film on a weekly basis. Highlights of her programming endeavors include a recent Barbara Hammer retrospective and past 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 at Doc Films, entirely on 16mm, as well as a one-off screening of Wiseman's six-hour NEAR DEATH, also on 16mm. On average, she watches two movies per day, often with her husband, critic and occasional-programmer Ben Sachs, and their two cats, Squeeks and Chloe.
Aaron Walker, Programmer, is an artist and occasional curator hailing from southern Ohio. He has been a member of a variety of artist-run organizations throughout the Midwest and has exhibited and programmed at Hyde Park Art Center, Gallery 400, Roots & Culture, Compound Yellow, The Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati, and Wave Pool.
PROGRAMMERS EMERITIIan Curry is an excellent filmmaker.
Patrick Friel is still in Chicago: watches, teaches, eats, sleeps movies.
LJ Frezza lives in New York City, editing videos and programming at the Spectacle Theater.
Jillian Hansen-Lewis is a digital video maker, photographer, and visual artist.
Emily Kuehn is still hanging around Chicago. She divides her time between an illustrious technical support position at School of the Art Institute and momming.
JB Mabe moved out of the Nightingale in 2009 and made some films, worked as a librarian, co-founded Chicago 8 FF, co-programmed Chicago Underground FF one year, worked at Chicago Filmmakers for a good while, ran Onion City FF in 2016, still writes for Cine-File, still programs stuff all around town (currently with Channels: A Quarterly Film Series), is back to being a librarian, and misses the couch in the front row.
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 misses Chicago and the Nightingale dearly. She is currently living in a small bright box in Brooklyn and serves as the Assistant Artistic Director at UnionDocs, Center for Documentary Art.
Ben Sachs writes for CINE-FILE.info.
Fern Silva is a filmmaker and teaches at Bennington College.
Michael Wawzenek is in Iowa City getting an MFA and programs at Vertical Cinema.