Friday, October 16, 2020

Chicago International Film Festival - FINDING YINGYING, directed by Jenny Shi, presented by MTV Documentary Films

Directed by Jiayan "Jenny" Shi
Produced by Brent E. Huffman and Diane Quon
Executive produced by Sheila Nevins, Mark Mitten, Ken Pelletier,
Jolene Pinder, and Gordon Quinn
**WINNER - SXSW 2020 - Special Jury Prize for Breakthrough Voice**
**WINNER - Best Documentary Feature - 2020 Loudoun Arts Film Festival**
**WINNER - Best Documentary Feature - 2020 Middlebury New Filmmakers Film Festival**
**OFFICIAL SELECTION - 2020 Chicago International Film Festival**
**OFFICIAL SELECTION - Double Exposure Investigative Film Festival**

Yingying Zhang, a 26-year-old Chinese student, comes to the U.S. to study. In her detailed and beautiful diaries, the aspiring young scientist and teacher is full of optimism, hoping to also be married and a mother someday. Within weeks of her arrival, Yingying disappears from the campus. Through exclusive access to Yingying’s family and boyfriend, Finding Yingying closely follows their journey as they search to unravel the mystery of her disappearance and seek justice for their daughter while navigating a strange, foreign country. But most of all, Finding Yingying is the story of who Yingying was: a talented young woman loved by her family and friends.


The film is available virtually from today, October 16th
through Sunday, October 25th


Tonight - Friday, October 16th at 9:00pm
with director Jiayan “Jenny” Shi, producer Brent E. Huffman, and cinematographer Shilin Sun



theWit Hotel and ROOF on theWit, Chicago’s Original Rooftop, Officially Reopen Their Doors in the Loop (Chicago, IL.)


Chicago’s gateway to the Loop has been reimagined with a fresh new concept to follow all social distant guidelines, offering patrons an elevated dining experience, along with hybrid meeting spaces, and safe overnight stays
CHICAGO, IL (October 2020)– theWit Hotel and ROOF on theWit, located in the Chicago Loop at 201 N. State Street, have officially reopened their doors back to the public for those slowly headed back to the office, or for those looking to feel comfortable going out again. theWit Hotel is now offering all guests contactless arrivals and departures, requiring face coverings in all indoor public areas of the hotel, and have implemented Hilton CleanStay to deliver an industry-defining standard of cleanliness in all rooms. ROOF on theWit is also now open on Thursday through Saturday from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m., and Sunday from Noon to 6 p.m. 27 stories above it all, ROOF is featuring Neapolitan-inspired pizzas made fresh in their hearth oven, along with a full cocktail menu paired with unparalleled city views of State Street and the Chicago River. Reservations are highly encouraged due to limited capacity restrictions. 
“We are optimistic in reopening our doors to the public in the Loop, as it is the core to our city,” said CEO of SMASHotels, Scott Greenberg. “In doing so, we hope to bring people back to the city and give them the comfort and confidence to start going out and enjoying a cocktail on a rooftop, or staying at a hotel, knowing their safety is a top priority to us.”
ROOF on theWit provides patrons a spectacular open-aired space with high ceilings, and comfortable seating throughout to socially distance,keeping safety at the utmost importance for all. Guests can choose from a selection of salads and pizzas such as Margherita, Sausage, Mushroom, and Brussels Sprouts, as well as a variety of decadent desserts. ROOF is also continuing their full Classic Cocktail list that patrons can indulge in, with bottles of wine and champagne also available for purchase. On Sundays, ROOF will be playing NFL football games on all screens for fans looking for a hot destination to cheer their favorite teams to victory.
theWit Hotel will also ensure the safety of all guests and staff alike with sanitation standards in place to make everyone feel comfortable. The Hilton Property has implemented a Hilton CleanStay with Lysol Protection program, which was developed in consultation with global and local public health authorities, with key features including: guestroom door seals to indicate a patron’s room has not been accessed since it was cleaned; extra disinfection on high touch areas; removal of excess in-room amenities; guest-accessible hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes throughout the hotel; along with contactless check-in/check-out and more. theWit Hotel also offers a selection of meeting room spaces that feature immersive video walls and state-of-the-art technology for upcoming digital hybrid conferences, corporate holiday parties, and more. 
New, revised hours of operation for ROOF are Thursdays - Saturdays from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m., and Sundays from Noon to 6 p.m.To join theWit’s mailing list to keep up-to-date on upcoming events or for additional information on how ROOF is keeping the safety of guests and team members a top priority, please visit or call 312.239.9502. theWit Hotel reservations can be made by visiting

About ROOF on theWit
A glamorous escape set 27 stories above the hustle and bustle of the vibrant city streets, ROOF on theWithas proven itself as the premiere rooftop destination in Chicago. With breathtaking, panoramic skyline views, ROOF on theWithas earned international praise for its stunning design, private event spaces and entertainment programming. Rated one of the “Top 3 Rooftop Bars in the World” by Travel+Leisure,and the ”2018 Hotel Bar of the Year” by Nightclub + Bar Awards,ROOFcontinues to excite guests with their recent unveiling of The Gallery, boasting a spectacular Artisan Wall, featuring fresh innovative Digital Art, and a dazzling 25-foot back-bar with a massive digital display complementing a sophisticated remodel of the entire venue. The 7,000-square-foot indoor/outdoor venue features a retractable ROOF and a space that is climate controlled, making the destination accessible all year-round. In addition to sweeping views of Millennium Park, the Chicago River and spectacular architectural icons, guests can enjoy floor-to-ceiling windows and a high-quality telescope that can see for miles. 

Thursday, October 15, 2020

CIFF Industry Days >> Daily Industry Alert - Thursday October 15


Daily Industry Alert

Thursday, October 15

Welcome to Day 2 of Industry Days!

Below, please find the registration links to today's panels and networking event. V
isit the website and read the FAQs for more information.
Industry Days Website

How to Make a Good Movie and a Little Profit on a Low-Budget: Case Study on Saint Frances
12:00 – 1:00pm (CT)
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Director Alex Thompson and writer-star Kelly O’Sullivan made last year’s Chicago hit film Saint Frances; the movie won multiple festival awards, was released by Oscilloscope, received great reviews, but earned just $200,000 at the box office. Get the nitty-gritty details on development, financing, and distribution from the Saint Frances team, and what success really means for a low-budget film.

Panelists: Scott Macaulay (moderator), Kelly O’Sullivan, Alex Thompson, Nate Hurtsellers, Ian Keiser

Panel Registration Link

Screenwriting Master Class: John Logan
3:00 – 4:15pm (CT)
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Three-time Oscar nominee and winner of Golden Globe, BAFTA, and WGA awards, John Logan has written such films as Skyfall, Spectre, Hugo, The Aviator, and Gladiator, as well as created and produced the television series Penny Dreadful and written dozens of award-winning plays. Learn how to write scripts from a master, indeed.

Moderated by Tim Grierson (Screen International)

Panel Registration Link

Keynote Conversation: At the Vanguard with Dede Gardner, Producer of Moonlight and The Big Short
5:00 – 6:15pm (CT)
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Two-time Academy Award-winning producer and Co-President of Brad Pitt’s production company Plan B Entertainment, Dede Gardner has produced such award-winning films as Moonlight, Vice, The Big Short, Selma, 12 Years a Slave, and The Tree of Life. For TV, she recently produced Barry Jenkins’ Underground Railroad and Dennis Kelly’s Third Day. Gardner will discuss her process for cultivating new talents and developing and producing great works of topical and artistic cinema and television.

Moderated by Gil Robertson (African American Film Critics Association)

Panel Registration Link

Networking Hour: With Kartemquin Films, IFA Chicago, and SAGIndie
6:00 – 7:00pm (CT)
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Passholders are invited to this meet up to talk with other attendees, filmmakers, and the Industry Days team. Also, meet representatives from Kartemquin Films, IFA Chicago and SAGIndie to learn more about their organizations.

Networking Registration Link

Past Panels

All Industry Days panels will be recorded. After a panel is complete, please give us generally up to 24 hours for it to appear on the YouTube page. Passholders will have access to this page through the duration of the festival - ending on October 25.
Past Panels Link

Any questions email:

Industry Days Supporters

With many films streaming across the U.S. and select primetime screenings happening at Pilsen's ChiTown Movies drive-in, enjoy our selection of the most exciting, compelling, and groundbreaking feature films, documentaries, and short films of the year.

Werner HerzogChloĆ© Zhao, Spike Lee, and Tsai Ming-Liang are just some of the acclaimed directors whose work you'll see at this year's Festival, alongside such highly anticipated films as AmmoniteBad Hair, and One Night in Miami.
Learn More

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