STERLING – A film festival initially slated to take place over 2 days in Rockford, the Quad Cities and at Sauk Valley Community College will have a different and more streamlined look thanks to COVID-19.
The Northwest Illinois Film Festival inaugural Shorts-A-Palooza will be held at Midway Drive-in, 91 Palmyra Road, and will feature Moline filmmakers Kelly and Tammy Rundle’s Fourth Wall Film documentaries “A Bridge Too Far From Hero Street” and “Riding the Rails to Hero Street.”
Justin Jackola, who filmed "Hunter’s Creed" in Savanna, also will show his trailer for the film, for which distribution is set to begin within a few months.
"A Bridge Too Far from Hero Street" tells the story of World War II paratrooper William “Willie” Sandoval's involvement in the largest air assault in history.
The film's companion piece, "Riding the Rails to Hero Street" explores immigrants’ journeys from Mexico to the Quad Cities in segregated communities known as Cook’s Point in Davenport, Holy City in Bettendorf, and the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad train yard in Silvis.
The families of Hero Street experienced both acceptance and discrimination in their new community, around the time of the Great Depression, the families were removed from the rail yards and some moved box cars or built new homes on Second Street in Silvis.
Only a block-and-a-half long, Second Street (renamed Hero Street, USA) in Silvis lost six young men in World War II and two in the Korean War, more than any other street in America.
Hero Street has also provided nearly 200 service members since Mexican-American immigrants settled there in 1929, and the Rundles' multipart documentary project is in memory of the Hero Street Eight: Frank Sandoval, Tony Pompa, Claro Soliz (Solis), Joseph Sandoval, Peter Masias, William Sandoval, Joseph Gomez, and John Munos.
In addition to the Rundles. filmmakers with ties to northwest Illinois include FreshFilms from Augustana College, Don Hatton ("Blacklight") from Rockford, and Mark Schimmel ("The Musician"), who recently worked on a Quibi project ("The Now") filmed in the Quad Cities.
Other notable Illinois Indie filmmakers participating include Sean Miller, Addison Wright, Patricia Frontain, Tim Morgan, Grace Hahn and Sadie Rogers.
The festival was scheduled to happen in May, and was going to include feature films, short films, documentaries and panel discussions.
Over the last 2 years, three feature films have been completed in northwest Illinois: “Hunter’s Creed," “Blacklight” and “Without Grace”, as well as episodes for Quibi’s “The Now”, HBO’s “Lovecraft County”, and Fourth Wall Film’s “Hero St.”
For more information, email email@example.com or go to filmnwillinois.com.