The Call Sheet

The Call Sheet

MIDWEST WINS AGAIN! Always good to see a film that was supposed to shoot down south find its way over to our neck of the woods… The Lionsgate feature “House of the Rising Sun” is currently filming in Grand Rapids. The crime thriller stars former “Prison Break” star, Dominic Purcell, Amy Smart and Danny Trejo (“Machete,” “Heat”). Director and Michigan native Brian Miller (who also filmed “Caught in the Crossfire” and “Things Fall Apart” in MI) was able to guide the production back home when his New Orleans-based producer dropped out of the mix. Jim Summers and the good folks at Fletcher Camera are handling the production’s cinematography needs.

IN DEVELOPMENT WITH TEAM DENIRO: Chicago natives and stage/film actors Phil Donlon and Joe Sikora are currently developing “Lords of the Levee,” a series based on the book “Bosses in Lusty Chicago” written by Herman Kogan, father of the Chicago Tribune’s Rick Kogan. Nick Pileggi (“Goodfellas,” “Casino”) is writing the show with creators Donlon and Sikora (whom you can also check out on HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire”). The production company is Robert DeNiro’s Tribeca Enterprises. Hoping to shoot in Chicago in mid-2011 it’s in, very early stages, I’ll have more for ya on this one this spring.

“SHAMELESS” RETURNS TO CHICAGO: William H. Macy, Emmy Rossum and everyone’s favorite Evanstonian Joan Cusack star in the Showtime drama “Shameless,” which will be back in Chicago to shoot toward the end of January and is set to premiere on the cable network January 9th. And here’s another reason we love Showtime…

IT’S SHOWTIME FOR CHICAGO OVERCOAT: Beverly Ridge Pictures’ feature length gangster film “Chicago Overcoat” will be making its television premiere on the Showtime Network this month! For a complete listing of dates and times go to the Showtime website at

HORROR IN WISCONSIN: Shooting recently wrapped on the thriller “House of Purgatory” up in Green Bay. West coast imports Brian Krause (“Charmed”) and Anne Leighton (horror-thriller “Cyrus,” filmed in MI) star alongside Chicago actors Laura Coover, Marika Englehardt and Torey Adkins. Writer-director is Tyler Christensen. “Four teenagers go looking for a legendary haunted house that gives you money back for every floor you can complete”… oh yes, these kids are definitely going to get bloodied. Run, you silly teens, run!

MORE WISCONSIN GOODNESS: The Tony Shalhoub award-winning comedy “Feed the Fish” opens this month in Chicago at the Davis Theater. The film recently took home the “Best Feature” award at the Midwest Independent Film Festival’s Best of the Midwest Awards earlier this month. I can personally assure you, you will thoroughly enjoy this comedy and I can also assure you that by going to the Davis Theater and buying a ticket and planting your butt in those seats, you will be helping to keep “Feed the Fish” in that theater for weeks to come! Visit for trailers, updates and showtimes!

CHICAGO DOC LANDS AT SUNDANCE: The Kartemquin Films documentary “The Interrupters” will have its world premiere at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival. The film, from acclaimed director Steve James (“Hoop Dreams” and most recently, “No Crossover: The Trial of Allen Iverson” with ESPN Films) and bestselling author Alex Kotlowitz (“There Are No Children Here”) will be part of the Documentary Premieres category, which Sundance created this year for “master filmmakers debuting their new docs about big subjects.” The Interrupters is Steve James’ fifth film to screen at Sundance and his sixth documentary to be produced with Kartemquin Films.

Is your film heading into production? Please drop me a note at and tell me all about it. I’ll do my best to include it in “The Call Sheet.”

Mike McNamara is the Co-Founder of The Midwest Independent Film Festival, Mike pays his rent as an actor in Chicago in theatre, commercials, television and film. More from Mac at