Chicago International Movies and Music Festival (CIMMfest) 2015

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Musician Josh Chicoine and Filmmaker Ilko Davidov decided to create a new festival that was a fusion of Movies and Music, thus CIMMfest (Chicago International Movies and Music Festival) was born. It is now in it’s 7th year. Every year filmmakers, musicians, avid moviegoers and music lovers descend upon the Chicago scene to take part in the events of the CIMMfest. This year venues include over 99+ Films and bands from around the world. It takes place around the city in places like Wicker Park and Logan Square. The CIMMfest provides filmmakers and musicians the opportunity not only to collaborate, but to showcase and share their amazing talent. Chicago is the perfect city for this festival emphasizing a different perspective of joint ventures of movies and music. CIMMfest will take place April 16-19th, 2015. Co-Founder Josh Chicoine was gracious enough to share thoughts about his collaborative venture and involvement in the festival.

1.  How do you go about planning for CIMM (Chicago International Movies and Music Festival)?

JC: Complicated question. There is planning, but with no solid protocol.  The festival has evolved every year, so having a vision for success is probably the first step.  We have been working on the Milwaukee Ave footprint concept for a few years. We started with the dates then secured venue partnerships and holds afterwards.   We then launch our call for entries in the fall and start raising monies.  Fundraising and sales is much like programming.  We cast a big net and through many filters, fits, and starts, we end up with what the festival will look like.  It’s somewhat messy and we try to limit that, but a fest like ours has numerous musical genres from all over, finding audiences and partners takes us down many avenues.  Some opportunities bear fruit and others fall away.  We have a core festival that we then add on for as long as we can – until the print deadline.  Marketing keeps up with general messaging and becomes more program-specific the closer we get to the opening.

2. When CIMM first started what was the vision?

JC: The vision is very elementary. We show music-based films, connect as much live music to the films as possible, find intersections of film and live music wherever we could and let the chips fall where they may.  The vision wasn’t very far out past that particular year.  Maybe in year 3 when things were growing and we were still alive, the vision began to grow into something akin to what it actually is today.

3. How many movies and bands originally performed at the first CIMM compared to now?

JC: Approximately 20 films and 9 bands.  It was small.  Now, there’s over 100 films, shorts, and music videos.  Over 100 bands as well as some great of panels and presentations.  Lots and lots of entertainment!

4. Why highlight Movies and Music together?

JC: My co-founder, Ilko, is in the film industry and I am a musician.  I played in bands (M’s, Sabers, Cloudbirds) over the years and Ilko is a filmmaker with a big music focus. It’s just a part of who we are.  We collaborated with projects for years before CIMMfest and he came to me with the idea.  The idea is more prevalent in Europe, but we were both surprised that there wasn’t anything like this in the US.  At least not the focus on the interconnection.  So, we did this first because no one was doing it and then the bigger ideas followed – music as the great connector of people type thing.  Those bigger ideas are the ones that continue to drive the mission and spirit of everyone involved with CIMMfest.  The market has changed such that there’s a lot of innovation happening in that shared space, especially live.  3D Video mapping and live scoring to film is exciting to bands and we are a big platform for that stuff.  It’s a way of differentiating the festival and giving some focus programatically.  There are many opportunities and festivals in Chicago, but nothing like CIMMfest.

5.How can young people get involved in the CIMM?

JC: volunteer!  we have student passes and special priced tickets at http://cimmfest.org available as well.