Category Archives: indie films

THE END…A Thanks and a New Beginning!

And changed our name

by Lew Ojeda

Eight years ago, I co-founded this website with the hope of influencing, in some small way, how we look at movies and entertainment. I’ve long been a fan of the unusual in movies, music, TV and other media. The Underground Multiplex was to become an outlet for that expression and to give a voice to film independents often lacking in media. When we created content, we kept consciously in our minds the phrase “free media,” not just because we were not charging for anything we would have posted, but as a call for eliminating the restraints of corporatism on those creating content for the Internet and for larger screens.

During these years, we took every chance we could to get our message out. In so doing, we accepted tasks beyond our original intent of creating content and towards the goals of helping other creators get noticed and not get lost in the rush for the “brand new thing.” The life work of local artists, we felt, needed attention before the fog of obscurity hid them forever. Entertainment venues with glorious histories needed to be saved and those with sordid histories needed staff changes or to be closed.

We’ve hosted award-winning film programs centering on underrated, underappreciated and just plain bad-ass strange movies. We’ve presented primitive podcasts to give voice to independent artists and filmmakers, along with their admirers and tireless supporters. We’ve even attempted a radio comedy show and aired a few episodes.

We’ve accomplished a great deal, but I feel it’s also time to expand our reach, have a more concentrated approach with a fresh site and changes to what we do.

Our new website (currently under construction) and name will be THRILLO PAD PRODUCTIONS. The name comes from the location of where the two co-founders, myself and Tyler Pistorius, currently live.

Thrillo Pad Productions (TPP) will concern itself primarily with content production. Tyler is currently working on a short film and feature film. I am currently in post-production for the political comedy album, “Donald J. Trump: A Very White House Con Job.” My main concentration for TPP will be the production of “Vital Indie Media,” the vlog podcast centering on the unusual movies, music, TV shows and other ephemera in my collection. In the future, I will continue interviewing those who make a difference locally creating great art, music and movies.

So with this post we say goodbye to The Underground Multiplex and welcome to Thrillo Pad Productions. If you’ve been following us here on Facebook or on Twitter, please join us on our new Facebook page. We will announce there when the new website is up and running along with more social media connections so that you can join us in our further adventures!

It seems appropriate to make this announcement on Thanksgiving Day, because I give thanks to everyone who has made TUGM a great blog for the last eight years. Thank you all so very much and now let’s go on for many more years at Thrillo Pad Productions!

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A Few Updates on Midwest Independent Film Festival Sexual Harassment Story

by Legendary Lew

Yesterday, The Underground Multiplex reported on a damning post left on Facebook by film director Felix Piñeiro accusing an important person connected with a Chicago film festival of sexual harassment. The violations could have happened to as many as 20 different women.

Based on the detailed information given by Piñeiro about the festival, it was easy to determine that the fest in question is The Midwest Independent Film Festival.

After the post was published yesterday, our stats of viewership here boosted over tenfold, which tells me that many people out there are interested.

A few people had wondered about the veracity of my post. That’s a fair question. It’s why I followed up with a screenshot of the original post (Piñeiro’s original post was not set to “public” on FB, only to friends). You can find that pasted screenshot here.

I also want to let you know that I do have media contact and there’s at least one person very interested in doing a follow-up. This could happened if anyone directly involved in the sexual harassment allegations cares to step forward regarding the information brought forward in the post.

I’m also hearing that wheels are turning in regard to this explosive report.  People in the local Chicago film industry are paying attention to this and I’m hopeful that progress will be made.

As a peripheral part of the entertainment community, I know that these sort of reports spread like wildfire and that many here in Chicago do try to look out for each other. I imagine that if I were deeply involved in the community as an actor, performer or crew, the intensity of the discussion would deepen many times over.

Keep in mind that this update has to remain relatively vague, due to legal issues.  I will continue to keep you updated as much as I can with information that can be shared.

In the meantime, if you want to help. SHARE the original post. If the allegations brought up are true, it’s up to us to help the victims feel safe enough to come forward and tell their stories.

My contact is: lewojeda@gmail.com

Mediatrocities #21: Global Girls Film Festival, a Film Fest Curated by Formerly Homeless At-Risk Women

GGrilsFilmFestby Legendary Lew

Mediatrocities is back! It’s been awhile due to moving to a new home for The Underground Multiplex (we’re now in the Bowmanville neighborhood), an accident that destroyed my laptop containing many of my media files, plus life in general for those in the arts who need several jobs just to survive.

But, we’re still doing it. My commitment to promoting media normally unseen by too many who believe entertainment begins and ends at Netflix is unwavering. You can be certain to find more podcasts in the future with those folks contributing to Chicago unique media richness.

To that end, I present an interview with Devon Freitag, one of the curators of the Global Girls Film Festival, a festival of international short films chosen by formerly homeless teen residents from The Harbor in Park Ridge.

The Harbour’s Global Girls Film Festival programs will showcase 13 diverse and empowering films from 10 countries. The New View program offers seven visually and emotionally rich films that have touched the residents who have selected them and will likewise inspire the audiences that view them.

In the Hold Your Breath program, the young curators from The Harbour treat audiences to a compelling mosaic of experiences ranging from a girl exploring her sexual identity to a family fleeing from domestic abuse.

Here’s a testimony from Ellyonna, one of the curators of the Fest talking about her challenges of being homeless:

Check out this unique film festival Friday at The New 400 in Rogers Park.

Screening info:
Global Girls Film Festival
Date: Friday, October 9, 2015
Place: The New 400 – 6746 N. Sheridan, Chicago, IL
Admission: $ 8.50; Free for residents of The Harbor

Friday at 7:00pm New View
The vibrant characters in these powerful and poignant short films may change your view of the world while facing some demons of their own. You’ll delight in Lila’s magical way of bringing joy to strangers, then take a touching look at a young girl living with Tourette’s Syndrome (Flying Anne) and celebrate the humanity of a brave teacher who protects a young Sikh boy from harm (Kush). New View features seven films from seven countries: Lila (Spain & Argentina), Drawing Angel (USA), Flying Anne (Netherlands), How to be Alone (Canada), Call her Lotte (Germany), Granddaughter (Argentina), Kush (India).

Friday 9:00pm Hold Your Breath (93min)

Sometimes, every choice we make seems like a drama. This program of suspenseful and beautiful short films shares stories of heroism and challenges that resonate with women from all walks of life. You’ll discover a secret as two friends talk about a blind date (Happiness) and explore the fragile bond between a mother and a daughter who has self-harmed (Emily.) Then meet a maverick story-teller who goes AWOL from the High Council of Fairytales (The Maiden & The Princess) before cheering on a family finally escaping domestic abuse (Just Before Losing Everything). Hold your breath features six films from four countries: Cut Off (France), Happiness (USA), Emily (Australia), Guida (Brazil), The Maiden and the Princess (USA), Just Before Losing Everything (France).

For more information, contact The Harbor at 847-297-8540.
The Global Girls Film Festival is a program of The International Children’s Media Center (ICMC), which can be reached at press@icmediacenter.org