Posts Tagged ‘Festivals’

Dave Leonard, NBC5 Street Team, (Video)
If you haven’t made it over to the 14th Annual Black Harvest International Festival of Film and Video, what are you waiting for?

The Gene Siskel Film Center located at 164 N. State Street is hosting the 14th edition of the festival until the 28th of August and is showcasing some great short and feature length feature films about the Black experience from talented filmmakers from around the world with special emphasis on Chicago’s very own talents.

In addition to the various screenings, there are great workshops for aspiring filmmakers that take place and plenty of guest speakers who provide the audience a chance to have a Q&A session after viewing their projects.

There are several features in this year’s festival including a return visit from Deri Tyton’s hook-up comedy “The Party Line” and new entries, “Caught In The Game” and “T.A.C.T.I.C.A.L.” Two powerful documentaries also make their debut at this year’s festival, “The Black List Vol. 1” and the post-Katrina film, “Trouble In The Water”.

If you’re in the downtown area around Randolph and State this evening, you should stop on by the Gene Siskel Film Center and catch two great films screening tonight. The first is the explosive family drama, “The Opposite Of Life” directed by David Muhammad which plays at 6:15pm. Immediately following that at 8:30p, Christopher Nolen’s (No, not that Christopher Nolen) sexy thriller “Subtle Seduction” makes a repeat screening with the director and star Jaci Williamson in attendance. Yours truly also makes a hilarious cameo in the film.

Most of the screenings cost about the regular price of any movie theater ticket…about $9. An extra added feature to the Black Harvest Film Festival is a free vendor’s market in the gallery/cafe area of the upstairs part of the film center where free demonstrations of production equipment and information are provided.

Support independent filmmaking in Chicago and make sure you catch a couple of great films at the Black Harvest Film Festival before it closes up. For screening info and times, go to www.siskelfilmcenter.org

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Hungry Z, NBC5 Street Team

The Taste of Chicago was born July 4th in 1980, and is now the second largest tourist attraction in Illinois. For ten days, this free- admission festival is the place to be, injecting the city with a spirit of hunger and attracting a few news stories along the way.  To add some spectacle to all the gluttony, there will also be a performance by Cirque du Soleil as well as live concerts daily by artists such as Chaka Khan, Josh Kelley, and more.


But when it comes to the food, how do you know what to try? With 65 different vendors serving well over 300 different food items, it’s easy to be intimidated. My friends, that’s where Hungry Z and my very large appetite come in. No need to walk around aimlessly and try random items you’re not sure you’ll enjoy. That’s my job. In an effort to create a comprehensive guide to the Taste, this Friday I will bring my large appetite to Grant Park, and sample something from all 65 vendors!


My quest for 65 is one I fully intend to achieve.  In an effort to resurrect my teenage appetite, I’ve been training! My regimen is as follows; I have hit the gym 12 out of the last 14 days, drinking a gallon of water each day, as well as eating 6 meals and 4 snacks each day.

To document this I will be making an appearance on the NBC5 morning news this Friday at 5:45am, Tivo it if you can’ wake up that early. I’ll also be live on the 4:30 p.m. newscast.11 a.m. and will hopefully finish at 5 p.m.  That means I have to try something new every 6 minutes. I’m going in order 1-65, so it’ll be real easy to track my progress. In addition there will be a live roaming Web camera Taste tracking my progress, which you can link to from this page, and I’ll also be doing a live blog right here so everyone can keep up with my opinions of each dish. I’m starting my eating at 11 a.m. and hope to finish up at 5 p.m.

To help me truly “Taste Chicago”, I could use everyone’s help. Stop by the Taste this Friday and show your support. High fives and cheering will be much appreciated. And don’t think that you won’t be able to spot me, I’ll be the guy with a NBC t-shirt on and a camera following him. Thanks, and here’s hoping that I don’t puke!

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The Local Tourist, NBC5 Street Team

“We struck the home trail now, and in a few hours were in that astonishing Chicago–a city where they are always rubbing a lamp, and fetching up the genii, and contriving and achieving new impossibilities.” Mark Twain “Life on the Mississippi,” 1883

Museum of Science & Industry

The Museum of Science & Industry is celebrating the ground-breaking (metaphorically speaking) 75-year anniversary of the first interactive museum in the US, so admission is fr*ee through Sunday for everyone and for kids under 11 until September 1. MSI isn’t the only fr*ee museum this week. Play hookey with the kids tomorrow and bring them to the Shedd Aquarium and the Adler Planetarium. The Art Institute is also free after 5 on Thursdays and Fridays.

Museums aren’t the only places to be steeped in culture. Besides the Thailand Festival in Daley Plaza, Music Without Borders brings music from Catalonia to Millennium Park. Then there’s “Taste of Greece on LaSalle Street“. Learn the art of French-Asian cooking with Chef Bill Kim at LeLan, and celebrate storytelling with the 9th Annual Skald Storytelling Festival, named after the Scandinavian term for poet, bard, or storyteller.

For just plain ol’ parties, check out the Chicago Summerfest in Lincoln Park which boasts two days of live music. The River North SummerFest not only has live music and food, but also offers massages and kayak rides. Jazz fans don’t have to wait until the city’s Jazz Festival, because Close Up 2 Smooth has street jams Friday through Sunday. Traders are known for working hard and playing hard, and you can join in the fun Friday at Alcock’s annual “Bear and Ball Bust“.

Have a great weekend!


Type The Local Tourist into the Search bar in the upper right hand corner of the page to see my reviews, bands of the week, trivia questions, upcoming events, and more or just click here. You can also follow me on Twitter.

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