47th Chicago Int’l Film Festival To Open With LAST RITES OF JOE MAY

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Dennis Farina in “The Last Rites of Joe May “, distributed by Tribeca Film. Photo Credit: Jay Silver


CHICAGO, IL—Cinema/Chicago today announced that the 47th Chicago International Film Festival will officially open with THE LAST RITES OF JOE MAY, showcasing a tour-de-force performance from longtime film and Chicago theater actor Dennis Farina (GET SHORTY, SNATCH, MIDNIGHT RUN). Acclaimed indie director and Festival veteran Joe Maggio will walk the red carpet with Mr. Farina and actors Gary Cole (OFFICE SPACE, PINEAPPLE EXPRESS) and Jamie Anne Allman (“THE KILLING”, THE NOTEBOOK) to present the Chicago Premiere of the film at the Harris Theater in Millennium Park (205 E Randolph Street—Chicago) on Thursday, October 6th 2011 at 6pm, with the official presentation to begin at 7pm. Additional surprise guests will be announced.

THE LAST RITES OF JOE MAY represents the best of Chicago filmmaking, featuring outstanding Chicago actors, led by a commanding, nuanced performance from Dennis Farina, and steeped in colorful characters and the neighborhood flavor of the city,” said Mimi Plauché, the Chicago International Film Festival’s Head of Programming.

Said director, Joe Maggio, “Before I even made my first film, I remember thinking of all the great filmmakers who had premiered at the Chicago Film Festival, and dreamed of showing a film there. Now to be selected as the opening night film – it’s a tremendous honor. It’s especially gratifying to be returning to Chicago, a city that showed us so much generosity during production and really made the whole film possible.”

“As a major Chicago institution, the 47th Chicago International Film Festival is proud to showcase a production of Steppenwolf Films, which is of course associated with Chicago’s renowned Steppenwolf Theater Company. With this opening night film, we also want to celebrate the vitality of Chicago’s filmmaking community. This year’s Fest will feature a diverse selection of features, shorts and documentaries shot in Chicago as well as conversations with those Chicago artists who have left their mark. We are bringing to Chicago what the world is watching. And the world is going to be watching us for the two weeks of the Festival,” said Michael Kutza, Founder and Artistic Director of the Chicago International Film Festival.

Opening Night of the 47th Chicago International Film Festival is sponsored by presenting partner
Columbia College Chicago and evening partners American Airlines and Lincoln. The full line-up of films programmed to screen at the 47th Chicago International Film Festival will be announced on
September 19, 2011.

Despite all evidence to the contrary, aging short-money hustler Joe May (Dennis Farina) always believed he had a glorious future ahead of him. Now in his sixties, Joe is released from the hospital after a long battle with pneumonia and is forced to confront the harsh reality of his legacy: everyone he knew had assumed he was dead, and life had gone on around him without missing a beat.

Returning to his old neighborhood, he finds his car gone, all his worldly possessions pawned by his landlord, and the apartment he’s lived in his entire adult life rented out to single mother Jenny and her eight-year-old daughter Angelina. Joe reluctantly moves in with the new tenants of his home.

Even as Joe doggedly pursues his comeback, he finds the odds stacked drastically against him. Joe’s one lifeline is his burgeoning friendship with his co-tenants. So when things turn ugly between Jenny and her boyfriend, Joe is determined to take a stand for his unlikely new family, and perhaps take one last shot at redefining his legacy.

THE LAST RITES OF JOE MAY will be released by Tribeca Film. Written and directed by Joe Maggio the film stars Dennis Farina, Jamie Anne Allman, Meredith Droeger, Ian Barford, Chelcie Ross, and Gary Cole. It is produced by Stephanie Striegel and Bill Straus in association with Chicago’s Steppenwolf Films.

Tickets for Opening Night of the 47th Chicago International Film Festival are on sale now and can be purchased online at the Festival Store: or by phone at 312-332-FILM. Film-only tickets are $35/balcony and $40/main floor seats. VIP Ticket packages including a main floor seat and admission to the after party at The Sidney Yates Gallery of The Chicago Cultural Center (77 E. Randolph St., 4th Floor) cost $150/ticket. Follow us on Facebook or Twitter!

Led by Presenting Partner, Columbia College Chicago, the 47th Chicago International Film Festival’s sponsors include: Premiere Partners – American Airlines, Lincoln; Producing Partners – DePaul University’s School of Cinema and Interactive Media, AMC Theaters; Major Partners – Allstate, Intersites; Supporting Partners – Applitite, Barefoot Wines, Brugal Rum, Kodak, Louise, Second City Computers, and the Festival’s Headquarters Hotel, JW Marriott Chicago.

Cinema/Chicago is a not-for-profit cultural and educational organization dedicated to encouraging better understanding between cultures and to making a positive contribution to the art form of the moving image. The Chicago International Film Festival is part of the year-round programs presented by Cinema/Chicago, which also include the International Screenings Program (May-September), the Hugo Television Awards (April), CineYouth Festival (May), Intercom Competition (October) and year-round Education Outreach and Member Screenings Program.

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