Call Sheet: Birthday Suits and Summer Shoots

Call Sheet: Birthday Suits and Summer Shoots

PUT ON YOUR BIRTHDAY SUIT Holli Hopkins McGinley, Ed Flynn and Aemilia Scott of Recursive Pictures are looking to film their debut feature BIRTHDAY SUIT as early as this summer, in and around Chicago. Scott will direct her screenplay, which was shortlisted for the Sundance Screenwriting Labs, with Hopkins McGinley, Flynn and the amazing Dana Scott heading up the production team.

On the evening of her 55th birthday Elaine realizes that she's become invisible to society. So she takes off her clothes and doesn't put them back on. Hence the title.

"You couldn't ask for a stronger female-driven film than BIRTHDAY SUIT," producer Hopkins McGinley told SCREEN. "We have an amazing female writer/director at the helm and two experienced and passionate female producers behind it, with a script that centers around a strong middle-aged woman. I think we've reached a point where women have proven that they can spend a lot of money at the box office and they want to see more stories about themselves on the screen."

Hopkins McGinley, Flynn and Scott (Aemilia, that is) have had a prolific run with their short film work, including UNKNOWN UNKNOWN, directed by Flynn, which premiered at Slamdance last year, and Aemilia's FOR A GOOD TIME, which premiered at the prestigious Aspen Shortsfest this past spring.

Shoot date will naturally be dictated by finalizing financing for the feature. The current target is this August and September but might push to early summer 2017. Hopkins McGinley and the team are actively seeking investors; if interested in talking with Holli about investing (no cast or crew submissions, please), please email her at

LEGEND LANDS IN LOCAL INDIE: The upcoming Chicago feature SIGNATURE MOVE is thrilled to announce that Shabana Azmi, one of the greatest actors in Indian history, a pioneer in India’s art-house Parallel Cinema movement and a legend of Bollywood, has signed on to play "Parveen," the mother of "Zaynab," one of the leading roles in the film. In a career span of thirty-five years, Azmi has played the lead in more than 140 films in Hindi and twelve international films. She has also won every single award for acting in India, including five times, the most in history, being awarded India’s most prestigious prize, the National Film Award Best Actress.

Azmi joins SIGNATURE MOVE's Chicago cast headed by Fawzia Mirza, who co-wrote the script with Lisa Donato. As SCREEN reported earlier this year, Jennifer Reeder will direct the film this summer with Mirza, Brian Hieggelke of Chicago Film Project and Eugene Sun Park of Full Spectrum Features producing. To follow the film into production - and you can still contribute cash to this effort! - please visit

NOW ON VOD: OUT OF THE HEART is a gritty detective-genre film filmed in Illinois. A family film of sorts, in that an entire family of filmmakers teamed up to bring this feature to the screen, including director Michael Mayo, screenwriter William Mayo and producer Bob Mayo. It tells the story of personal renewal where religious cynicism is transformed to faith and sacrifice; disenfranchisement is transformed to hope; and extremism is illustrated for its latent harm. Religious stereotype, intolerance, and society’s misplaced obsession that confuses celebrity with character are also woven into the story line. Rent or buy OUT OF THE HEART right here.

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