Reel Chicago launches “Reel Women”

Every single one of us got here by putting a woman through pain. That’s just a small part of the female sacrifice that keeps the world turning.

There are also undeniable inequalities in nearly every measurable category of career, comfort, consideration, and wealth.

Yet women continue to not only endure but also thrive.

Although there is no way to compensate for the centuries of unfairness that created this scenario, Reel Chicago is committed to helping resolve it. Throughout the month of March, which is also Women’s History Month, we will publish the “Reel Women” series, a number of individual profiles celebrating female professionals who prove that there is no such thing as “women’s work.”

It’s just work, plain and simple, and these women are great at it.

The “Reel Women” series officially begins with Brenda Robinson — a Chicago-based entertainment attorney and philanthropist — but we’re offering a preview here with a quick profile of our Publisher, Barbara Roche.

Reel Chicago Publisher Barbara Roche
Reel Chicago Publisher Barbara Roche

At the beginning of her career, Barbara, a native of Chicago’s south side, spent more than a decade working in nearly every capacity at Niles Studios, a legendary Windy City production house.

When the founder Fred Niles passed away and the studio closed down, she and former coworker Catherine Holzer launched Holzer Roche, an extras casting company that serviced pretty much all the great modern films to come out of Chicago, including Home Alone, Backdraft and Groundhog Day.

Among the directors who relied on the pair are John Hughes, Chris Columbus, Ron Howard and Joel Schumacher.

Barbara became Publisher of Reel Chicago last year, after its founder and her personal friend of four decades, Ruth Ratny, passed away.

Under Barbara’s guidance, the magazine has expanded to include coverage of the Los Angeles advertising and film markets, and launched a variety of special features.

During this transformation, she not only helped Colin Costello and I grow as writers, but also remained true to Ruth’s original vision, which often focused on the struggle and success of women.

Thanks to Barb, that’s the way it shall remain.

Click here to read about Brenda Robinson, the first woman to be featured in our Reel Women series.