Culture

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Whether you live in or near Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, or are discovering the New Art Film Festival (NAFF) from afar, we invite you to investigate our growing and self-perpetuated film culture by visiting the links below. Our list is only representative and hardly inclusive of all the filmmakers, production groups, or cinema organizations making our little Midwestern oasis an interesting place to collaborate and create. If you happen to encounter these folks in your travels, please let them know the NAFF helped make your acquaintance!


The Art Theater | The Art Film Foundation | Our home base is a century-old, single-screen movie house that boasts compelling year-round programming, sharp DCP projection, knowledgeable staff, and a cozy location in downtown Champaign, Illinois. In 2017, the Art merged with the much more recently formed Art Film Foundation, a non-profit devoted to supporting non-mainstream and repertory film presentations. More of the NAFF perspective on the Art can be found on our Venue page! | Art Official Web | AFF Official Web

Champaign County Film Office | A service of the Visit Champaign County tourism bureau, this resource for local and incoming media production received a “soft launch” in 2015 with an assist from Shatterglass Studios. | Official Web

Champaign Movie Makers | Founded in 2008 by Johnny Robinson, this group is currently organized by Thomas Nicol and attracts a dedicated audience each month with a mix of demonstrations, open screenings, talk-backs, and networking. If you want to engage in indie and personal film production, join CMM! | Appearances: THE FAMINE (NAFF ’13) | Official Facebook

Champaign-Urbana Film Society | Developed through Shatterglass Studios, the Film Society seeks to perpetuate an enlightened film culture by sponsoring film screenings, workshops led by industry professionals, and the popular Pens to Lens Screenwriting Competition for K-12 students in Champaign-Urbana. | Appearances: WRITER’S BLOCK (NAFF ’17), FAST RODNEY, WHO WAS ON HIS WAY OUT, THE GOLDFISH, HELLO FEAR, HORRORS, IMAGINARY (all NAFF ’16), ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE, MR. SNUGGLES, THE MOOSE EMERGENCY, SUNSHINE, WHAT’S THE PASSWORD?, ZACK AND THE MOUNTAIN MAN (all NAFF ’15), FLUFFYSTEIN, TUNNEL TO GREENLAND (both NAFF ’14) | Official Web | Pens to Lens Web

Department of Media and Cinema Studies, College of Media, UIUC | This interdisciplinary curriculum, offered by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, concentrates on the history, ethics, and applications of mass media practices as well as more traditional cinema analysis courses. Cinema Studies was established as a formal unit at the university in 1974 and merged with the College of Media in 2009. | Official Web

Dreamscape Cinema | Robin Christian’s firm has provided corporate production and marketing services for more than 15 years from offices in Champaign, Chicago, and Los Angeles. They have also produced several feature films in Champaign-Urbana, four of which have received domestic and international distribution. | Appearances: MY DOG THE SPACE TRAVELER preview (NAFF ’13), ACT YOUR AGE (NAFF ’10), DISPOSABLE (NAFF ’10) | Official Web

Illini Film & Video | Launched during the 1999-2000 academic year at the University of Illinois, this registered student organization has given undergraduates a way to meet and share their interests in producing their own media. | Appearances: WHO KILLED PAC-MAN? (NAFF ’12), HAD HE FIDELITY (NAFF ’12), THE TRANSIENT (NAFF ’10) | Official Web

Micro-Film | C-U Confidential | The former is an independent film journal published by NAFF co-founder Jason Pankoke between 1999 and 2006. The latter is an on-going Weblog/print digest project continuing a Micro-Film initiative to look at the diversity of independent film culture through an East Central Illinois lens. | MF Official Web | C-U Official Facebook

Railsplitter Media | Kill Vampire Lincoln Productions | Two business entities run by the versatile and prolific Chris and Anne Lukeman, they provide a wealth of commercial video services (Railsplitter) and mad genre weirdness (Kill Vampire). The Lukemans also lend gracious helping hands to most key movie endeavors in Champaign-Urbana, including several on this list. | Appearances: ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE, THE WIZARD (both NAFF ’15), TUNNEL TO GREENLAND, SHIP YOUR FACE (both NAFF ’14), ONCE UPON A TIME IN 1977 (NAFF ’13), ONE UPON A TIME IN 1973 (NAFF ’12), ONCE UPON A TIME IN 1972 (NAFF ’11), THE TRANSIENT (NAFF ’10) | RM Official Web | KVL Official Web

Roger Ebert’s Film Festival | Most would call this popular annual festival, organized by the College of Media at the University of Illinois and formerly hosted by the film critic Roger Ebert, the epicenter of film culture in Champaign-Urbana. We prefer to think of our fellow happening as an important part of a much larger whole. Any which way, be sure to attend when it hits town! | Official Web

Shatterglass Studios | This upstart, award-winning media production house led by Brett Hays and Luke Boyce has lent cinema craft to commercial work for numerous clients and non-profit organizations as well as provided production services for several Midwest-made independent narrative films. In 2015, they announced the formation of Shatterglass Films for producing their own features as well as a partnership with Chaz Ebert to develop a film on the life and legacy of Emmett Till. | Appearances: THE POOKA (NAFF ’17), THE DRUNK (NAFF ’14), FINDING VIRGINIA (NAFF ’12), LEADING LADIES preview (NAFF ’10), PRELUDE (NAFF ’10) | Official Web

Swede Films | Local musician John Isberg (Tigerbeat, Evil Tents) has reinvented himself as a go-to producer of low-budget media concentrating in equal parts on music and grassroots culture. The twain shall meet in his largest undertaking to date, the Champaign-Urbana music documentary WHERE IT BEGINS: 1977-2000, which is currently in production. | Appearances: TRASH (NAFF ’15) | Official Web


[rev. 10-20-2017 jp]

About The NAFF

The New Art Film Festival is an annual festival showcasing local filmmakers from Champaign-Urbana, IL, and other downstate Illinois cities.

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