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Best Alternative Film Venue 

The Nightingale

1084 N. Milwaukee

nightingalecinema.org

Indie superproducer Ted Hope (American Splendor) is among the voices calling for the revival of old-school film societies as one way to rescue the cinematic experience from obsolescence in the face of online and mobile video. By fostering a sense of community and interaction among audiences and artists, film societies capitalize on the distinct value of going out to watch movies in a dark room with other people, making it competitive with the convenient but solitary small-screen experience.

If anyone in Chicago is nurturing this kind of scene, it’s the Nightingale, which presents art films, animation, and live events featuring local and international artists in a 120-year-old former tannery on Milwaukee Avenue. The Nightingale was founded by filmmakers and cinephiles Christy LeMaster, Patrick Friel, Ben Russell, JB Mabe, and Jennifer Fieber—many of the same folks who write for Cine-File (see Best Web site for Film Buffs). The Nightingale distinguishes itself with programming heavy on audience interaction and DJ-accompanied live video mixing of new works and classics like 2001: A Space Odyssey. Regular series include YouTube Assembly and White Light Cinema, and LeMaster has begun programming longer works at Cinema Borealis (1550 N. Milwaukee), the longtime screening loft of local projection guru James Bond.

LeMaster’s currently occupied with the Chicago Underground Film Festival, and the Nightingale has just two events scheduled for July: the Upgrade! Chicago multimedia screening series, July 13, and Bill Daniel’s “The Lost Pogo Dance Films, 1965-1987,” a collection of recently unearthed 16-millimeter music films featuring (mostly silent) footage of the Beatles, the Avengers, and Austin new wave bands, on July 25.

Critics' Picks

Best Dance Party

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Best Fashion Watching

School of the Art Institute, Columbia College continue

Best New Musical Group

Bin Laden Blowin' Up continue

Best Michael Jackson Cover

"Billie Jean" by Robbie Fulks continue

Best Mustache in a Local Band

Stavros "Steve" Giannopoulos of the Atlas Moth continue

Best Lawn Seat at Ravinia

Green Bay & Lake Cook 847-266-5100
The little hill that faces the main entrance to the Ravinia pavilion, Highland Park, Illinois continue

Best Microscene

No Coast Collective continue

Best Free Movie Series

Cinema/Chicago at the Chicago Cultural Center continue

Best Moonlighting Witch

Jackie Hoffman in Whining in the Windy City: Holiday Edition continue

Best Theatrical Hat Trick

Chris Sullivan in The Hairy Ape, The Mystery of Irma Vep, and The Illusion continue

Best New Play

Agon Trilogy continue

Best New Theatrical Form

One Thing, and Everything Else continue

Best Theater History Collection

Chicago Theater Collection at the Harold Washington Library Center continue

Best Puppeteer

Michael Montenegro continue

Best Place to See a Seven-Man Pyramid Cross the High Wire

Hephaestus: A Greek Mythology Circus Tale continue

Best Variety Show

Impress These Apes continue

Best Improv Group

Cook County Social Club continue

Best Stand-up Comedian

A tie between Beth Stelling and Junior Stopka continue

Best Sketch Show

The Best Church of God continue

Best Commentary on Modern Technology by a Choreographer

Julia Rhoads at Lucky Plush Productions continue

Best UnderĀ­appreciated Chicago Novel

Bertram Cope's Year by Henry Blake Fuller continue
(Sorry, no information is currently available for other years in this same award category.)