Chicago Onscreen 2022
Our Chicago community is strong, resilient and deeply interconnected across the city's 77 Community Areas and 50 wards. Every day, Chicagoans from all over the city show up for their neighbors, support their friends and offer help where it is needed in their community. Join us for screenings of our 17 2022 Official Selections, in parks across the city, and witness the intangible and instrumental connections that keep our city running on a human level.
2022 OFFICIAL SELECTIONS
Change the Name
An intimate portrayal of Black youth organizing on the west side of Chicago, Change The Name follows a group of 5th graders from Village Leadership Academy as they embark on a campaign to rename Stephen A. Douglas Park after freedom fighters Anna Murray and Frederick Douglass. Over the course of the three-year grassroots campaign the students tackle bureaucratic Chicago Park District systems, underestimations of their capacity to make real change as well as a pandemic and global uprising..
Directed by Cai Thomas
Changing the Disciple
Born and raised in the South Side of Chicago, Shango Johnson was influenced by gang life at an early age. Becoming a gang leader helped Shango realize that he had to escape if he wanted to have a happy and fulfilling future. After finding his love for yoga and faith, he left his violent past behind to help the youth of Inglewood flourish and to find meaning to his new life.
Directed by Kamelya Alexan
A sailor lost at sea is suffering from scurvy and memories of good health. She lands on the elusive orange island where she is greeted with sand and sun and vitamins.
Directed and Animated by Katie Kapuza
Conversations Between Shifts
Ben Basem forms a year-long time capsule of his mother, Jeanette Alvarez-Basem, a veteran nurse who works between Chicago and Northwest Indiana. Jeanette leads a double life as a nurse and family member, and finds herself fighting labor injustices while trying to process the sudden loss of her mother.
Directed by Ben Basem
An exchange student living in Madrid sets out to buy a loaf of bread, but finds herself lost in translation, making unexpected connections on her journey.
Directed by Manuel Sirgo
Don't Worry About It
After her father's death, a young woman's obsessive-compulsive disorder spirals out of control. She enters an intensive therapy program, where she must learn to deal with his death and OCD before it takes over her life.
Directed by Melissa Kong
College freshman Tori arrives at college shortly after the pandemic and still carries trauma from her conservative high school. Tori is a transgender athlete and faces crippling gender dysphoria in various social situations, such as changing in locker rooms and making new friends. As a result, Tori was content to lead her life in isolation, changing alone outside and keeping to herself. Yet, when she meets fellow teammate and first-year Amanda, she finds herself letting her guard down, and through their growing relationship, each individual can confidently step into their newfound identities for the first time.
Directed by Rey Tang
Six Englewood artists and activists – Chelle Rashad of Imagine Englewood If, jazz legend Ernest Dawkins, Joy Smith of Joyful Soundz, principal of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Academy of Social Justice Jasmine Thurmond, and Lyana Funches and Pha’tal of Think Outside the Block – get their long overdue close-up in Collaboraction’s new documentary showcasing the life and vibrancy of Englewood.
Directed by Anthony Moseley
For the Left Hand
At age 10, aspiring pianist Norman Malone is paralyzed on his right side after being attacked by his father. Over the next several decades he masters the left-hand repertoire in secret, before a chance discovery of his talent leads him towards making his concert debut. Aged 78, he will perform the greatest work in the canon: Ravel’s Piano Concerto for the Left Hand.
Directed by Leslie Simmer + Gordon Quinn
Swallowed by a grotesque monster, Gut Feelings is the story of two misfits who meet in the belly of a beast.
Directed by Vanessa S. Valliere + John Gregorio
Handpan Journey follows the only woman manufacturer of the Handpan drum on a musical journey of inspiration, ingenuity and craft as she hand-makes beautiful instruments with a magical sound.
Directed by Manuela Hung
It's Different in Chicago
It's Different In Chicago is an anthology documentary that tells the story of how House music and Hip Hop culture complemented and competed with each other leading to deep revelations about the different segments within the Black community of Chicago.
Directed by David Weathersby
Nuestra Herencia is a film project that explores histories, gardens, and legacies. This project aims to become a ten-part film series on immigration, gardening and farming, and remembering featuring crafted portraits of elders of El Paseo Community Garden. We are weaving together ten short documentary films with interviews and footage uniquely recognizing the individual lives of our elders and their stewardship to the garden and engagement as long-standing residents of the Pilsen neighborhood.
Directed by Erin Babbin
Ray & the Agave
At the Garfield Park Conservatory on Chicago's westside, a rare agave blooms, and the man who has cared for the plant for decades must come to terms with its imminent death and his own grief and loss.
Directed and Produced by James Kozar
Recovery of the Fallen
A lone man wanders a barren landscape on a foreign planet, salvaging items off of bodies that have fallen to the surface. Recuperación de los Caídos was shot and produced in the Canary Islands under the advice and mentorship of director Werner Herzog.
Directed by Curtis James Matzke
Room Rodeo is a drama-documentary hybrid where a wide-eyed boy takes matters into his own hands in order to prove he is the great grandson of a legendary Black cowboy. His dad stands him up. He acts out. Now, with a history project due, 10-year-old Jamil is on punishment in his room. If only his dad would tell him about his great grandpa, rodeo star Billie P – like he promised. But just when Jamil’s dad calls and things begin to look up, the cool kid from class calls with a humiliating declaration: Black cowboys aren’t real. Now, Jamil must drum up the courage to discover the truth on his own – all from the confines of his room. With some help from a dubious heirloom, Jamil puts aside whispers of doubt to transport himself into a world rich with history and affirming images where he claims authorship of his story.
Directed by Daniel Kayamba
Teacher in the Window
On March 16th, 2020, Chicago Public Schools halted in-person learning in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic. Thousands of students, parents, and teachers suddenly faced a new reality: online learning. For 5th-grade teacher Karen Van Zytveld, this meant engaging with her students while seated behind a laptop in her living room. For three months, Karen was challenged to adapt her lessons in creative ways, all while worrying about the health and safety of her students throughout the city.
Directed by Henry Van Zytveld