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Sept. 5-10: College to host ninth Lake County Film Festival

by Public Relations and Marketing | Published Aug 22, 2019

Film fans from throughout the Lake County and Chicago area are invited to the ninth Lake County Film Festival, hosted by the College of Lake County from Sept. 5-10.

Details on show times and room locations are at This year’s festival features eight narrative features, seven documentary features and more than 70 short films.

The opening night features “QWERTY,” a 2010 romantic comedy, at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 5 in the Room A010 Auditorium on the Grayslake Campus. Filmed mostly in Lake County (including CLC), the story follows introverted “word-nerd” Zoe, whose life is turned upside down when she meets her emotional match in irascible weirdo Marty. Pronounced “charming, winning and sweet” by the late Chicago movie critic Roger Ebert, the film was produced by Nat Dykeman, who is also the festival organizer.

Viewing independent films is an opportunity for area residents to see films that they don’t normally find at the multiplexes, Dykeman said. “Indie films offer a chance to see things outside your normal prism and learn new things about other cultures,” he added. “Unlike mainstream films that cost millions to produce, indies typically are made for thousands of dollars, usually by people who have poured their heart, soul, energy and time into them.”

This year’s narrative features include “Olympia,” a struggling-artist drama; “Rendezvous in Chicago,” a comedic feature on the stages of a relationship; “Rich Kids,” a drama on low-income troubled teens pretending to be rich; and “Romance Analyst,” a romance/drama about a depressed filmmaker who becomes enamored with her therapist.

Documentary features include “Art Paul of Playboy: The Man Behind the Bunny,” a profile of the magazine’s founding art director; “The City That Sold America,” a look at Chicago’s advertising industry in the early 20th century; and “Pizza, A Love Story,” an examination of  the Italian-American heritage in New Haven, Conn. that includes three iconic pizza joints.

The festival’s diverse selection of short films range in length from four to 50 minutes, Dykeman said. These include “Swipe Right,” a humorous look at modern dating; “Hook Up 2.0”, a sarcastic look at contemporary gender norms; and “Hitchhiking to the Edge of Insanity,” in which an idealistic writer and photographer set out to find their purpose via a terrifying road trip across the Sahara Desert in the early 1970s. Additionally, “Terrolun and Lunlun,” is a Japanese drama in which a socially withdrawn teenage boy who live in his parents’ garage meets a hearing-impaired, high-school-age girl.  The film’s director and producer, both from Japan, plan to attend the festival, Dykeman noted.

The festival’s closing night features “5/25/77,” at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 10 in the Room A011 Auditorium at the Grayslake Campus. Filmed in Lake County, the 2017 comedic drama chronicles filmmaker Pat Johnson’s epic story of growing up in rural Illinois, falling in love and becoming the first fan of the original “Star Wars” movie, now known as “Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope.” 

Dykeman said the support from CLC has been critical to making the festival successful. “The college’s auditorium and lecture halls are designed for films, and having excellent facilities, with clear sight lines, is a key component to make the festival a success,” he said.

For more information, including full descriptions of all films and their show times, as well as directions and ticketing information, visit Or contact the festival at (847) 757-1467 or via e-mail

The Fall Semester at CLC began Aug. 19, but more than 200 online and flexible-starting courses are still available. View a complete list


About College of Lake County:

College of Lake County is an innovative community college in Lake County, Ill. that transforms lives with its variety of accessible, quality education options. Offered at three campuses in Grayslake, Vernon Hills and Waukegan or online, College of Lake County provides affordable options in a state-of-the-art setting close to home. A large student network, with small class sizes, provides advantages to our students on a career-related program or a path toward a transfer degree. We’re proud to serve the diverse needs of our community and student body. Connect to your future today at College of Lake County.