Category: Film

We’re excited to share there are some really cool updates coming soon about the expanded focus of ChicagoMade.




Chicago’s economy has always remained uniquely tied to creatives, makers, and blue collar dreamers. Generations of bold entrepreneurs with work ethic and collaboration defined by their Midwest roots have contributed to Chicago’s assent as a leading hub of creativity for industries such as music, film, architecture, food, fashion, and product design. These businesses are the entrepreneurial bedrock of the city’s ingenuity and continual rebirth that Chicago has been known for since the invention of the skyscraper, mail order shopping, and improve comedy. Perhaps most importantly, these locally-grown businesses give unique cultural identities to neighborhoods throughout the city and are increasingly jump starting neighborhood economies.


Despite creatives and makers being the backbone of thriving neighborhoods, too often they are not considered an important part of the economy or supported with the resources needed to unlock their potential for growth. Further highlighting the economic importance of creatives, more Chicagoans are moving towards this sort of employment – nearly all net new jobs created in the U.S. during the past decade have come from alternative work (freelancers, makers, etc.) – many of which in the creative jobs or industries. More importantly, 3.5x more dollars stay in local economies when spent with these local creative small businesses compared to national chain retailers, yet the average lifespan of these businesses is only 5 years. By establishing a baseline on the city’s creative economy, Chicago can align its fragmented creative industry ecosystem and empower these overlooked economic engines to sustain growth, help the neighborhoods they serve, and grow the city’s economy from the ground up.


So our expanded focus? Making sure creatives will be supported as the backbone of our neighborhood economies and as drivers of the city’s reputation as a global creative hub.


Stay tuned!

At SXSW 2015, Dynasty Podcasts host Jaime Black interviewed Chicago’s premier artists, industry makers and ambassadors, at the #ChicagoMade trade show booth and showcase, as well as at locations across SXSW Interactive and Music.


What follows is a roll out of those interviews, with updates posting regularly. Find the #ChicagoMade SXSW 2015 interview album below. All interviews hosted by Jaime Black for #ChicagoMade via Choose Chicago, DCASE, and World Business Chicago,  and produced by Audrey Sutherland.


CVU366 – ProbCause

Following his performance at the #ChicagoMade trade show booth, Chicago MC ProbCause shares his love for touring and performing in front of both new and returning audiences in other cities. The artist also names the acts he sees coming up in Chicago, and reveals details of his ZRO FOX collaboration with Psalm One.



CVU367 – Gemini Club

Prior to soundcheck at the #ChicagoMade SXSW showcase, Dynasty Podcasts regulars Gordon Bramli, Ryan Luciani, andDan Brunelle of Gemini Club (pictured above) return to the show following their Lollapalooza 2014 appearance. The trio open up about the latest behind the scenes action in the Gemini Club camp, from new music on deck to looking for the right deal to move forward with.



CVU368 – Dos Santos: Anti-Beat Orquesta

With only a few minutes to spare before their soundcheck at the #ChicagoMade showcase, the members of Dos Santos – Irekani Ferreyra, Alex Chavez, Daniel Villarreal-Carrillo, Jaime Garza, and Peter Maestro Vale – weigh in on the diverse sounds of Chicago’s music scene. The act also touches on their just-released full length, Dos Santos.



CVU369 – Twin Peaks

At the #ChicagoMade showcase, the Twin Peaks squad – Cadien, Connor, Clay, Jack, and Colin – reflect about life on the road, and how touring has become the new normal for the band. The group also reveals what they do when they have time off at home, and share their thoughts on graduating from the “baby band” label.



CVU370 – Mike Golden

Cross-genre Chicago singer-songwriter Mike Golden shares new details about the evolution of his musical identity, and the sound and focus of his newly-branded Golden project. The artist also gives a window for when new his new music is set to drop, and talks about the art of making bar and barbecue music.



CVU371 – Bernie Levv

Chicago talent Bernie Levv makes her Dynasty Podcasts debut, opening up about the intent and ambitions of her forthcoming full length, The Golden Hour. Levv also reflects on how Young Chicago Authors impacted her craft, and states why Chicago doesn’t have anything to prove to either of the coasts.



At SXSW 2015, Dynasty Podcasts host Jaime Black interviewed Chicago’s premier artists, industry makers and ambassadors, at the #ChicagoMade trade show booth and showcase, as well as at locations across SXSW Interactive and Music.


What follows is a roll out of those interviews, with updates posting regularly. Find the #ChicagoMade SXSW 2015 interview album below. All interviews hosted by Jaime Black for #ChicagoMade via Choose Chicago, DCASE, and World Business Chicago,  and produced by Audrey Sutherland.



CVU360 – Harper Reed
Chicago entrepreneur and tech star Harper Reed kicks off Dynasty Podcasts’ SXSW 2015 interviews, in a chat recorded at the #ChicagoMade trade show booth. Reed delves into the origins and ambitions of his new startup, Modest, shares his thoughts on the role of Chicago industry in the larger national conversation, and reveals exactly what he loves about Chicago in 2015.



CVU361 – Chaz Ebert
Chaz Ebert, of Ebert Digital, Ebert Productions, and The Ebert Company, reflects on her SXSW panel, The Future of Film Criticism: Diversify or Die, and details the efforts to diversify the voices at Ebert also shares her enthusiasm for Chicago as a cultural hub, and discusses the upcoming Ebertfest film festival.



CVU362 – TechNexus
In an interview recorded at the #ChicagoMade trade show booth, Terry Howerton of TechNexus discusses innovation and adaptation in Chicago’s startup scene, and reveals why he believes entrepreneurs should be solving harder problems.



CVU363 – Nusiki
Onsite at the SXSW trade show for their own booth, Tim Welch and Ben Hewitt of Chicago startup Nusiki open up about the purpose of the music-sharing app. The duo also reveal the backstory of their startup and how the project came together, and share why right now is such an exciting time to be at the intersection of music and tech in Chicago,



CVU364 – CIMMfest
Josh Chicoine of the annual Chicago music and film festival CIMMfest checks in at SXSW to reveal how he’s seen the Austin, TX festival change over the last ten years. Chicoine also previews components of next month’s CIMMfest programming, and discusses transitioning from his work as a musician in projects like The M’s and Cloudbirds, to developing and organizing a festival like CIMMfest.



CVU365 – Music Dealers
Music Dealers CEO and co-founder Eric Sheinkop returns to Dynasty Podcasts at SXSW, following his interview at the conference last spring to promote his recent book, Hit Brands: How Music Builds Value for the World’s Smartest Brands. Now, in 2015, Sheinkop reflects on recent Music Dealers accomplishments, including the company’s First $15 Million landmark, as well as their collaboration with Airbnb. He also offers his take on why Chicago is the perfect city to anchor Music Dealers, even as the company expands into new markets.



If you joined us in Austin this year, we want to say THANK  YOU for making our second appearance  at SXSW a huge success!


From March 15 – March 18 the ChicagoMade crew was stationed on the trade show floor at the Austin Convention Center promoting Chicago’s creative industries and the artists, entrepreneurs and visionaries who bring these industries to life. From film to fashion, to technology and music the response to Chicago’s presence was overwhelmingly positive.


Chicago Made SXSW 2015Adam Alexander Photography


Chicago Made SXSW 2015 Adam Alexander Photography


The ChicagoMade trade show booth offered meet-and-greet opportunities with “Chicago Ambassadors” — a “who’s who” from Chicago’s technology, music and film industries, along with performances by a variety of Chicago’s musical acts.


Chicago Made SXSW 2015 Adam Alexander Photography


The booth also featured lounge areas and a 12-foot high visual centerpiece produced from original artwork by rising Chicago artist Sam Kirk. Thousands of pictures were taken of the booth and we received a TON of compliments on the design. Check out the process for the artwork that Sam created below.



The ChicagoMade music showcase on Tuesday, March 17 was an epic night of performances by some of Chicago’s most notable rising musicians including: hip-hop artist Vic Mensa, buzzing rock and rollers Twin Peaks, indie-electronica four-piece outfit Gemini Club, pan-Latin American cumbia band Dos Santos Antibeat Orquesta and experimental hip-hop duo Leather Corduroys. The music showcase was hosted by legendary emcee Psalm One aka Hologram Kizzie. Check out what Stereogum had to say about Vic Mensa’s performance.


Chicago Made SXSW 2015 Adam Alexander Photography


Chicago Made SXSW 2015 Adam Alexander Photography


Dynasty Podcasts – a local podcast that spotlights Chicago-based creatives, conducted exclusive interviews with ChicagoMade ambassadors and artists on the ground at SXSW. Look out for the SXSW interview album coming soon!


We’ll see you at SXSW in 2016!

Legendary Chicago Gospel / Soul music singer and civil rights icon Mavis Staples is preparing to take the spotlight at SXSW 2015 in a new documentary that will chronicle her personal life, career and family group, The Staple Singers.


Featuring powerful live performances and conversations with friends and contemporaries including Bob Dylan, Prince, Bonnie Raitt, Levon Helm, Jeff Tweedy, Chuck D, and more, Mavis! reveals the struggles, successes, and intimate stories of her journey. Through 60 years of performing, crossing musical genres and societal shifts, Mavis has transformed herself along the way but has never forgotten the importance of family. At 75, she’s making the most vital music of her career, and her message of love and equality is needed now more than ever. The film, aptly dubbed “Mavis!,” makes its World Premiere at SXSW 2015 on Sunday, March 15 at the Paramount Theatre in Austin, Texas at 11AM.


Get your bibs ready and grab your plates because SXSW is serving up a tasty selection of films in 2015! Chicago Chef Curtis Duffy is preparing to take center stage in a new documentary about the beginnings of Grace, which recently received three Michelin stars – the top rating in the Michelin Guide Chicago 2015.


Beyond the glistening surface of the restaurant lies a story about personal strife, professional achievements, and the woes of building a restaurant. The film, aptly dubbed “For Grace,” makes its World Premiere at SXSW 2015 on Friday, March 13 at the Alamo Ritz in Austin, Texas at 9:15PM. The film was directed and produced by Chicago Tribune dining reporter Kevin Pang and Mark Helenowski and features music by Chicago band The Hudson Branch.



Follow “For Grace” @ForGraceFilm


Follow Chef Curtis Duffy @CurtisDuffy


Follow Kevin Pang @Pang


Follow Mark Helenowski @MarkHelenowski

Stop by the Chicago Made booth during the SXSW tradeshow March 9 -12 to receive complimentary Chicago Maker card sets and you could win a trip for two to Chicago.


On the back of two lucky card sets, we’ve placed a golden ticket. Find one of these tickets and you’ve instantly won. Just hand the golden ticket to one of the Chicago Made booth representatives to collect your prize.


You could win:


  • 2 round-trip tickets from United Airlines
  • 2-night stay at ACME Hotel Company Chicago
  • Gift certificates to Chicago music venues Lincoln Hall, Schubas & Metro



  • 2 round-trip tickets from United Airlines
  • 2-night stay at Hotel Palomar Chicago
  • 2 tickets to the 5th Annual North Coast Music Festival
  • Dining certificate to a hip Chicago restaurant

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Chicago Maker card sets are complimentary. Open to legal residents of the 50 United States and Washington D.C., 21 years and older. Winner subject to Official Rules. See Official Rules for prize details. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed, administered by, or associated with SXSW. Void where prohibited. Sponsor: Choose Chicago.

The Chicago Made crew commissioned renowned Chicago street artist/installation artist/video artist/musician, Chris Silva to create the look of Chicago Made. Here’s a time-lapse video featuring the making of this work. The video also features music by Silva’s band, This Mother Falcon.

Chicago is just a little over a week away from its first ever coordinated presence at South By Southwest. And while there’s no shortage of Chicago talent to be found at the music portion of SXSW (see the Chicago Made showcase for a strong showing of hometown acts), it’s worth noting that the annual Austin festival’s film and interactive portions boast their own share of Chicago names.


From Sunday, March 9th through Wednesday, March 12th, the Chicago Made SXSW Trade Show Booth will feature an array of meet and greets and performance sessions from Chicago interactive, film, and music talent and industry. Among them are Miles Benjaminand Brian Schopfel, both formerly of Eyes & Ears Entertainment, which recently folded intoThe Uprising Creative. The duo have extensive experience in innovative digital promotional campaigns for an expansive array of artists, and are both worth connecting with for their insights into the interactive and music industries.


Miles Benjamin SXSW


Also appearing at the trade show booth is Eric Sheinkop, CEO at music licensing powerhouse Music Dealers. Sheinkop recently co-authored the book Hit Brands: How Music Builds Value for the World’s Smartest Brands, which explores the role of music in moving business forward. Another local music author, Martin Atkins, will also be holding court at the Chicago Made booth. Atkins, the Music Business Department Chair of SAE Chicago, is currently at work on his third book, Band:Smart, which follows in the vein of his comprehensive tour industry guide, Tour: Smart. And elsewhere, on the film side of things,Collin Shiffli and David Dastmalchian, director and writer, respectively, of SXSW 2014 film selection Animals, will also be visiting the trade booth. Animals follows a struggling couple who battle addiction while living in their car outside of the Lincoln Park Zoo.


Colin Shiffli


For a full schedule of the Chicago Made Trade Show Booth, check out


Photos: Eric Sheinkop, Miles Benjamin, Colin Shiffli