The Englewood International Film Festival is an important part of Chicago cultural events. When we think of Chicago film festivals, we often think of other events, such as the Chicago International Film Festival. However, the Windy City offers a large variety of film-related fests . Founded by Mark Harris and Alisa Inez, the 3rd Annual Englewood International Film Festival brings a “positive spirit” to a neighborhood that needs it. “The reason I wanted to do a film festival in Englewood is to transform the lives of the people in Englewood, to provide jobs and to help people create jobs,” said Mark Harris.
I caught up with Mark to discover more about this intriguing film festival.
Jolie du Pre: How did the Englewood International Film Festival get started?
Mark Harris: It was an idea circulating in my head for quite some time. We were filming our film “Black Butterfly” and the co-founder Alisa Inez and I were having a discussion, and she asked what else do I have on the plate. I told her about the idea for this festival and within months we were planning for the Englewood Film Festival Ribbon Cutting event in 2010.
Jolie du Pre: What types of films can the public expect at the 3rd Annual Englewood International Film Festival?
Mark Harris: Great films. Films starring Darrin Henson, Lamman Rucker, Kevin Hart, Abagail Breslin, Bill Cobbs, Mekhi Phifer and many more. The films we select aren’t only entertaining. Prepare to walk away with something special from them.
Jolie du Pre: I’m from Chicago, and Englewood is known as one of the poorest neighborhoods. Given the location, why should people outside of Englewood attend the festival?
Mark Harris: Because we have a great film festival. Whole Foods is coming to Englewood. You will for sure have people from different areas coming to shop there, because you can get your organic foods and foods that are better for you at Whole Foods. The Englewood International Film Festival was an amazing experience for people in the last two years and with not one incident. We have a beautiful film festival with amazing free panels that keep people informed and amazing films. So those are great reasons to support this film festival.
Jolie du Pre: Tell us about some of the panelists.
Mark Harris: Sharon King who was casting director of “Rollbounce” and “Barbershop;” Craig Harris, a television producer for “The First 48: Missing Persons;” Christopher Nolen, who’s gotten national distribution for all of his films and currently has a new film “Four Seasons” starring Robin Givens and Keith Robinson; Brett Jeffries, an associate producer at Harpo Studios; Ricardo Islas, who has produced over 20 feature films and is one of the top horror directors of our time. We have many more amazing panelists that are down to earth and informative.
Jolie du Pre: How do you get tickets to the festival?
Mark Harris: Visit our site at www.eiff.org
3rd Annual Englewood International Film Festival
October 24-27, 2013