The Call Sheet

The Call Sheet

KICK ME GOOD: “Kick Me” is a nightmare action comedy about the violent indignities that befall a mild-mannered high school guidance counselor who reaches out to a troubled kid… and ends up running for his life. It happens. It’s the feature debut for writer-director Gary Huggins, whose debut short “First Date” premiered out at Sundance a few years back. Set to shoot in Kansas City this summer with Kim Sherman (2012 Sundance pick “V/H/S”) producing. Side note: Huggins is a former member of one my all-time favorite bands, the Jayhawks… “Tomorrow the Green Grass” is an album you must own, by the way...

QWERTYMANIA: Do you love Scrabble? Who doesn’t? When else can you break out words like QAT, ZAX and JONQUIL? “QWERTY” is an Illinois-made feature about love and Scrabble that just kicked off its spring festival run at the prestigious Dallas International and Nashville Film Festivals. Up next: “QWERTY” heads to the Seattle True Independent Film Festival then off to Hawaii for the Big Island Film Festival. From director Bill Sebastian (“Midlothia”), Chicago screenwriter Juliet McDaniel and Illinois producers Nat Dykeman and Jeremy Truelove. Trailer and all sorts o’ goodies at

DOUG AND AMI TAKE IOWA: Doug is a bachelor farmer. His life is a lonely passage through predictable routines. Ami gets paid to have sex. Her life is a selfish wake of discontent and faceless men. Set against the backdrop of rural America, the story of Doug and Ami honestly explores the tension between religion and guilt, infatuation and love, and regret and hope. Director Joe Hubers will be shooting “Doug and Ami” in Iowa and South Dakota this July and August. Cast includes Chicago theatre stalwart Cora Vander Broek. Follow this feature at

WE GREW UP WHERE? Set to shoot in Chicago this summer, the low-budget “We Grew Up Here” follows a musician who goes searching for his ex-girlfriend and hometown after both disappear. Director Kevin Pickman is teaming up with producers Stefeni Tormanen and Andrew Neel on this indie feature starring Eric Michaels and Kate Schell from the band Paper Thick Walls. More at and hey if you need some new music in your life, check out Paper Thick Walls at

HEAD GAMES HIT THE CARPET: “Head Games” is a revealing documentary about the concussion crisis in sports. Athletes and parents share their personal struggles in dealing with concussions from the professional to youth levels. From acclaimed director Steve James (“Hoop Dreams,” “The Interrupters”) and award-winning producer Bruce Sheridan, “Head Games” takes a deeper look at the devastating and long-term effects of concussions in all sports. Inspired by events from the book “Head Games” written by Christopher Nowinski, the film offers eye-opening insight and current science on head trauma from the nation’s leading medical professionals. Red carpet world premiere coming up May 15th at Park West in Chicago; tix and trailer at

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. Follow the fest at Mike pays his rent as an actor in Chicago in theatre, commercials, television and film. More from Mac at