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5th Annual Chicago South Side Film Festival Makes In-Person Return This Weekend

NBC Chicago logo NBC Chicago 11/25/2021 Nina Florez
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The 5th annual Chicago South Side Film Festival is back in person this year, bringing hybrid and live screenings for filmgoers and filmmakers throughout the South Side of Chicago from Saturday to Dec. 5.

Executive producer and founder Michelle Kennedy said she believes that the films and documentaries that will be screened this year are great teaching tools and will spark important conversations.

Kicking off the festival this Saturday from noon to 2:00 p.m. at the IIT Art Auditorium is the world premiere of Cicero/Mt Greenwood (1966/2016) by Ben Creech, which, according to a release, is "a provocative film screening and conversation about race and activism."

Kennedy said that the importance of Chicago's South Side Film Festival for Black and brown underserved communities is evident as it gives them the exposure that she believes they've been missing in the city.

"We felt like the South Side was marginalized," Kennedy said. "South Side filmmakers were not getting a chance to showcase their work and South Side audiences were written off as unimportant and we decided to change that narrative and create something the South Side could be proud of. "

Along with various screenings, the Chicago South Side Film Festival is producing its first ever Acting Master Class facilitated by Simenon Henderson. The master class will give aspiring Chicago actors an opportunity to learn and hone their skills and will take place Nov. 28 from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Parkway Ballroom.

Another aspect of of this year's festival includes a virtual workshop with Chicago producer, director and writer Zanah Thirus. The event will give indie filmmakers an overview on how to best manage the post production process on Dec. 4 from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m.

CSSFF will close the 2021 festivities with the 30th anniversary screening of "Boyz N The Hood" on Dec. 5 from noon to 2:30 p.m. The film will be followed by a panel discussion of Black male representation in film featuring Derek Dow and Lonnie Edwards. 

CSSFF will be adhering to state and local health guidelines, which include face masks, social distancing and proof of COVID-19 vaccinations.

The Chicago South Side Film Festival is open to all and Kennedy encourages people to come out, enjoy and learn more about the surrounding communities through film.

For more information and tickets to any of these events, click here.

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