Call Sheet: CHICAGO PD Star Joins Feature; Cone Wraps This Week

Call Sheet: CHICAGO PD Star Joins Feature; Cone Wraps This Week

CHICAGO P.D. STAR JOINS FEATURE: CHICAGO P.D. fan favorite Marina Squerciati joins Steppenwolf ensemble member James Meredith in the cast of relationship drama WRONG NUMBERS. Two people, four locations, set to film in Chicago this coming Spring. Duane Edwards will direct the screenplay from his friend Frederick Mensch, whose recent piece NIGHTINGALE for HBO led to a Golden Globe nom for actor David Oyelowo. There will be an invite-only reading of the screenplay this Wednesday at Soho House Chicago at 6:30 p.m. If interested in attending, feel free to shoot me an email at mac@screenmag.com today and I'll pass the note along to Duane and his team immediately.

In discussing what drew him to WRONG NUMBERS, director Edwards told SCREEN, "Frederick and I were looking for a project the really focuses on text and performance, and this script in particular is fast-paced, sexy, and suspenseful, and will work quite well as a piece of “chamber” cinema. Roman Polanski has done a couple of films like this over last few years (CARNAGE and VENUS IN FUR), and this film will give me a chance to work with a couple of great Chicago-based actors – Steppenwolf’s James Vincent Meredith and Marina Squerciati from Chicago P.D. -- in a film in which these two are on-screen virtually 100% of the time. With only two actors and four locations, we’ll keep our budget really low and hopefully everyone will make a little money. Like Frederick’s NIGHTINGALE, I think a small, tightly-focused production like this can really stand out in a crowded marketplace."

BIG WEEKEND FOR PRINCESS CYD: After three great weeks shooting around town, Stephen Cone's latest feature PRINCESS CYD will wrap this weekend. Cast includes Chicago-based actress Rebecca Spence (PUBLIC ENEMIES, Frank V. Ross’ TIGER TALE IN BLUE) alongside newcomers Jessie Pinnick (in the titular role) and Malic White, as well as frequent Cone collaborator Tyler Ross (Netflix’s THE KILLING) and the above-mentioned Steppenwolf Theatre Company ensemble member James Vincent Meredith. The follow-up to Cone’s acclaimed Henry Gamble’s Birthday Party, pic is a summer’s tale about a 16-year-old athlete visiting her novelist aunt in Chicago over the summer. While there, she falls for a local tomboy in the neighborhood, even as she and her aunt gently challenge each other in the realms of sex and spirit. Cone’s team includes DP Zoe White (Toronto pick CATFIGHT), producer Grace Hahn and Paskal Rudnicke Casting.

On filming in Chicago, Cone told SCREEN, "I transplanted this idea from the south and it fits Chicago like a (well-fitting) glove. I'll be honest, I'm not from here, I'm a suburbanite from the Carolinas, so I don't have a long list of Chicago ideas, or even city-based ideas. This film is becoming a genuine love letter to Chicago, however, and I think I've landed on the perfect thing to shoot here.

"I love shooting in Chicago because anything is possible, and there is an exhilarating sense of freedom and support." Frame that quote, friends! As PRINCESS CYD heads into post then off to the festival circuit, I'll keep you posted!

ADDING SOME MUSCLE IN OHIO: The Christian adventure, family-friendly film THE RELIANT is set to start shooting in Zanesville, OH on October 7th. The film stars Kevin Sorbo (of HERCULES fame), Brian Bosworth (all-time great college linebacker) and Eric Roberts (has done his fair share of ass-kicking on-screen over the years). The crash of the dollar precipitates widespread rioting and social unrest throughout the nation, leaving a lovesick 20-year-old girl struggling to care for her siblings in a stretch of woods bordered by lawless anarchy, wondering why a good God would let this happen. Co-producer Paul Munger will direct the screenplay from fellow co-producer Dr. Patrick Johnston. Click here to join this film's whopping 678 indiegogo backers in supporting this project through the end of the month.

SEND IN YOUR SCRIPTS: The third annual Missouri Stories Scriptwriting Fellowship Program is seeking Missouri-set screenplays and TV pilot script submissions for its competition fellowship program sponsored by the Missouri Film Office and the Missouri Motion Media Association. Participants need not live in Missouri to enter, but the scripts and pilots must be set in the Show-Me State. All entrants will receive feedback on their scripts from the reading judges and will have opportunities to connect with a community of film professionals and a network of program alumni. Up to three winners will be selected to attend the all-expenses-paid fellowship experience in Missouri, Feb. 19-22, 2017. The submission period runs through Nov. 28, 2016. The industry mentors for the 2017 fellowship will be announced in November. Visit www.MoFilm.org/MoStories for... well, mo'.

THE BEST WAY TO SUPPORT LOCAL FILMMAKERS... is to buy their films! Comedy WHO GETS THE DOG? starring Alicia Silverstone and festival fave THE ALLEY CAT are now on iTunes. Please buy them today. Every purchase makes a difference with indie films. Every single one. So please be one of em.

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