Sun Feb 23, 2020 – 5:00 pm | Domenico’s
They Won’t Last
Directed by Portlynn Tagavi
USA | 16 min | 2019
After attending their friends’ perfect wedding, Christine is forced to consider the future of her own relationship when her hopeless romantic boyfriend Alex proposes. When Christine is unable to say yes, Alex makes it worse by giving her an ultimatum: either get engaged or break up right now.?
Having grown up caring for her terminally ill mother since the age of 4, Portlynn’s narrative focus is in dark comedies centered around the human denial of mortality and the humor that comes the sad parts of life.
Portlynn is a half Persian, half African American filmmaker who has just received her Masters in Directing at AFI where she developed her skills as a writer and director for narrative film. Originally from Houston Texas, Portlynn moved out to California in 2010 to study Character Animation at the California Institute of the Arts. During her studies, she interned with Pixar Studios where she developing her skills in visual language and narrative structure. Before attending AFI she spent three years working professionally as a Character and Story Artist for Fox, Paramount, Psyop, the Jim Henson Company (SPLASH AND BUBBLES) and DreamWorks (TROLLS: THE BEAT GOES ON!) before making the jump to live action directing. She is now currently developing future projects as well as teaching Story development part-time at CalArts.
Sun Feb 24, 2019 – 5:00 pm | Domenico’s
Rendezvous In Chicago
Directed by Michael Smith
U.S.A. | 69 min | 2018
RENDEZVOUS IN CHICAGO is a short comedic feature film comprised of three vignettes corresponding to the beginning, middle and end stages of a relationship: Paul (Kevin Wehby), a charming young man, attempts to pick up Delaney (Clare Cooney), a bookish grad student, in an otherwise empty wine bar. She turns the tables on him in a most unexpected manner. Rob (Matthew Sherbach) and Andy (Rashaad Hall) are enjoying the bliss of newly formed couplehood. Rob has planned to propose marriage as they walk from their apartment to the lakeshore nearby, but has he made the right decision? Julie (Nina Ganet) comes home from work early to find her boyfriend, Wyatt (Shane Simmons), in bed with another woman. After violently ejecting them from her apartment, Julie begins to fall in love with . . . you the viewer!
“One of the Windy City’s finest filmmakers.”
– Matt Fagerholm, RogerEbert.com
Michael Glover Smith’s debut feature, COOL APOCALYPSE (2015), won multiple awards at festivals across the U.S. and screened at Chicago’s prestigious Gene Siskel Film Center and Movies in the Parks’ Onscreen Local Film Showcase before being released on home video by Emphasis Entertainment. His second feature, MERCURY IN RETROGRADE, starring Roxane Mesquida and Najarra Townsend, won the top prizes at the 2018 Tallahassee Film Festival and the 2017 Full Bloom Film Festival and was the subject of a rave review by the Chicago Sun-Times’ Richard Roeper who wrote: “Smith has a deft touch for dialogue, creating six distinct characters who look and sound like people we know…a smart, funny, quietly effective and authentic slice of older millennial life.” Smith was a recipient of the Gene Siskel Film Center’s Star Filmmaker award in 2017 and made Newcity Chicago’s “Film 50” list in 2018. He teaches film history and aesthetics at several Chicago-area colleges and is the founder and sole author of the film blog whitecitycinema.com.