Frank's Weekend Faves, July 15, 2018

Frank's Weekend Faves, July 15, 2018

Feel like you have at least one great film in you? Or at least 20 minutes or less of a decent one? If so, it's time to break out your movie camera — or smartphone, what have you. This year's New Art Film Festival is accepting entries now through Aug. 31, and whether you're shooting or just spectating, admission is free.

The event is being presented by the Art Theater in downtown Champaign and C-U Confidential, a weblog and print digest celebrating its 11th year of covering the local filmmaking scene. Jason Pankoke, editor of C-U Confidential, is organizer and emcee of the festival, set for Tuesday, Oct. 30, at the Art.

Here's what he tells us: Filmmakers from downstate Illinois and the central Midwest are invited to send their works to the festival at and include functional link(s) to online screener(s), password(s) to access the same, and the following: year of production; running time; name of director(s)/producer(s)/writer(s); names of primary cast members; name of production company(ies); plot synopsis; filmmaker biography(ies); and print source (i.e., contact information that can be shared with the public).

Entries on nonreturnable DVD or flash drive (not Blu-ray) may be sent to The Art Theater, 126 W. Church St., Champaign, IL, 61820, attn.: New Art Film Festival c/o Jason Pankoke, with the above information included as hard copy or electronic document; emailing the same information to the NAFF is also acceptable. There is no fee to enter films, and run times should be no longer than 20 minutes. All narrative genres are welcome as well as formats including short subjects, Webisodes, music videos, trailers and excerpts from long-form pieces. Entries should be productions from within the last three years.

Final selections will be announced by Oct. 1. New this year is a complementary pair of festival accounts on YouTube and Vimeo that showcase past entries. The YouTube channel is here; the Vimeo collection is here.

All that remains to be said is: Lights! Camera! Action!

Speaking of indies, nothing cures those summertime blues like tuneage, and if indie music is what rocks your boat, there's plenty of it to be enjoyed all over this Land of Lincoln — from Champaign to Chi Town.

The organizers of C-U's Pygmalion Festival like to fill the space between the fest's annual run in September with concerts and events they call, "Inter-Pygmalion ... a collection of performances, panel discussions, innovation engagements and other odds and ends that keep us ticking while we are recovering from, and building toward, our annual what have you at the end of September." The next Inter-Pygmalion show is a week from Friday, July 27, at 51 Main in downtown Champaign and features Speedy Ortiz with Spandrels.

However, if you're an insatiable indie music buff, a Pygmalion diehard or both, that just may not be enough to tide you over until the next Pyg Fest. If so, the Pygmalion gang recommends checking out the Pitchfork Music Festival next weekend, July 20-22, in Chicago's Union Park.

The first Pitchfork fest followed the first Pygmalion by 10 months and in the dozen years since has shared, by Pygmalion's own accounting, a "staggering" number of acts. In fact, Pyg's website acknowledges "tracking their moves, paying attention to their cues and booking our own festival with their sensibilities in mind" and hails them as "kindred spirits," "neighbors" and "partners."

They're not kidding. This year's Pitchfork playlist also features several music acts who are also on the bill for C-U's Pygmalion festival in September, including Mount Kimbie, Kweku Collins and Paul Cherry. Others playing the Pitchfork this year include Tame Impala, Fleet Foxes, Chaka Khan and Lauryn Hill (remember her from "Sister Act 2"? She'll be playing her solo album "The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill" in its entirety) and more.

Single-day tickets are $75, three-day passes are $175, and Plus passes — offering luxury bathroom, private food and drink, and more — are available for $375. For tickets and schedule, visit

For the first time ever, Rantoul Theater Group is playing Paxton!

Forced to get creative with its venues of late, the group has staged productions at Rantoul's junior high and high school since Grissom Hall closed. It will actually venture out of town for the first time when its next production opens Friday at Paxton Market Street Theatre, 120 N. Market St.

"Faith County 2, An Evening of Culture" will run at 7:30 p.m. July 20-21 and 27-28. The slapstick comedy features characters from the original "Faith County" as they try to put on Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet." For reservations, call 815-383-0151.

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Topics (3):Film, Music, Theater