The Crusader Newspaper Group

5th Annual Chicago South Side Film Festival returns this weekend to theatres with films that teach, embrace and share differences in today’s society

Chicago South Side Film Festival (CSSFF) brought back hybrid and live screening for filmgoers and filmmakers throughout the South Side of Chicago, which began the weekend of November 27 and continues until December 5.

This year, the founder of CSSFF, Michelle Kennedy, wanted to assure film lovers that this year’s festival will encompass something they will enjoy at their comfort level with film selections and with audience participation. Offering a hybrid festival for local audiences and virtual participants exemplifies how the pandemic has affected our society. The past year’s society events also gave the festival an opportunity to choose films that teach, embrace and share differences of opinions. The year’s festival has given the lead way for the organization to use their platform to be socially responsible to the ever-changing times.

Kicking off the festival on Saturday, November 27, at the IIT Art Auditorium was the world premiere of “Cicero/Mt Greenwood (1966/2016),” a film by Ben Creech. The short documentary film compares and contrasts two protest marches through the South Side neighborhood of Mount Greenwood. Though the protest marches occurred 50 years apart, they bear startling similarities. Also screened was “Daughter of Eve,” a mixed media documentary film that analyzes and aims to dismantle misogyny and gender hierarchy within the Christian faith by Zanah Thirus, who critics say is the future Ava Duvernay.

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Don’t fret, if you missed the first weekend of screenings and events. Chicago producer, director and writer Zanah Thirus will focus on the importance of post-production by facilitating a virtual workshop that gives indie filmmakers an overview on how to best manage the postproduction process on Saturday, December 4, from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.  She will enlighten on topics including – the post process + schedule, your team, postproduction checklist, and resources for indie filmmakers.

Keeping with the love of screening vintage African American films, the CSSFF will close the 2021 festivities with the 30th Anniversary screening of the late John Singleton’s “Boyz N The Hood,” on Sunday, December 5, from 12:00 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.

The Chicago South Side Film Festival is a not-for-profit arts organization founded by South Side native Michelle Kennedy. The two-fold mission of the CSSFF is to broaden, diversify and improve the quality of entertainment options on Chicago’s South Side, and to provide South Side filmmakers with opportunities to screen their work.

For the full schedule of screenings, events and workshop log on to

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Elaine 1
Elaine H. Bowen

Elaine Hegwood Bowen, M.S.J., is the Entertainment Editor for the Chicago Crusader. She is a National Newspaper Publishers Association ‘Entertainment Writing’ award winner, contributor to “Rust Belt Chicago” and the author of “Old School Adventures from Englewood: South Side of Chicago.” For info, 
Old School Adventures from Englewood—South Side of Chicago ( or email: [email protected].


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