Stage 18, IFP/Chicago form Independent Film Alliance

Stage 18 Chicago, a 501(c) 3 organization established to elevate Chicago’s independent film and new media industries, has announced an agreement with Independent Filmmaker Project Chicago (IFP) to merge and create a powerhouse organization that serves Chicago’s independent film creatives and the businesses that support them.

The new organization, called the Independent Film Alliance (IFA Chicago), will combine expertise, talent, and resources to better serve the industry. 

The organizations have a history of successfully collaborating. By combining staff and operational resources, as well as working together for sponsorship and grant opportunities, the two groups can function more efficiently as one. IFA, Chicago’s mission is to provide the programming and resources needed to integrate the art and commerce of independent content creation, in order to build a diverse, sustainable industry in Chicago.

Plans for IFA Chicago include a renewed commitment to career incubation, high-quality programming, and shared workspace. Exciting new member-only initiatives will be rolled out in the coming months, and a budget-friendly soundstage and production fund are in the works for 2021. 

“This is an exciting time for the film industry in Chicago, and as opportunities increase, every resource available needs to be maximized for the good of the community. We believe that we can be stronger together and create a larger impact on the careers of independent filmmakers,” said Angie Gaffney, Executive Director of IFA Chicago.

“We see it as an opportunity to provide more value to the community, contribute directly to the growth of the Chicago film economy, and eliminate organizational redundancy in our region,” said IFP Board President Lisa Swanson.

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The nonprofits have combined their boards to create a new Board of Trustees, including Cinespace Chicago President Alex Pissios, Illinois Medical District CEO/Executive Director Suzet McKinney, Producer / Real Estate Professional John Cooke, and others who will serve as senior advisors with fiduciary responsibility.

A creative cabinet consisting of industry leaders such as Northwestern University’s Jonah Zeiger, TRiiBE Co-Founder Morgan Elise Johnson, and Writer/Director Patrick Wimp will lend industry expertise and guidance.

Showing strong support for the merger, well-known industry professionals with roots in Chicago have formally come together to show their support for the independent film community in Chicago by joining IFA’s Luminary Board.

Members include Academy Award-winning producer Albert Berger, Academy Award-nominated director Steve James, producer Bob Teitel, CEO of Ebert Productions, Chaz Ebert; actors Bonnie Hunt, David Eigenberg, and David Pasquesi, as well as writer/director Steve Conrad, and Kris Rey.

SOURCE: IFA, Chicago