By Stephanie Rudnick
Stephanie Rudnick

credit: Julian Jones for “Animator”

Chicago’s very own Julian Jones’ brilliance was featured in the feature film “Animator” that debuted earlier this month at the Black Harvest Film Festival at the Gene Siskel Film Center in Chicago.

His mom Roberta Jones, wrote and produced the film that was shot entirely in Chicago. She enlisted Julian, whose hobby is animated storytelling, to create all of the animations for the film. The Chicago Sun Times’ Richard Roeper heralded “Animator” saying “this is a well-paced, good-looking film with some absolutely gorgeous animation and fine performances from the two leads and the supporting cast.”

Read more about it below, and in the meantime CONGRATULATIONS JULIAN!

08/10/2018, 10:57am

At Black Harvest Film Festival, Chicago the setting for 5 fine films

Now under way at the Gene Siskel Film Center, the 24th Annual Black Harvest Film Festival continues through Aug. 30 with screenings of movies about African Americans and the African diaspora and post-show discussions with their makers. Here’s a look at five worth seeing, all made in Chicago:

‘Animator’

8:30 p.m. Aug. 17, 8:15 p.m. Aug. 21

“Animator” | PROVIDED PHOTO

In this fictional gem, writer and producer Roberta Jones and director Logan Hall spin the intriguing story of a man who strikes a Faustian bargain, becomes drunk on selfish wish-fulfillment and loses sight of what matters.

Levenix Riddle is outstanding as Neal, a talented but struggling illustrator who is given the ability to control his destiny (and the fates of others) through mystical powers handed down through generations of West-African griots, or storytellers.

Quite simply put, if Neal draws something in his notebook and signs his name to the illustration, that thing will happen.

When his buddy laments how a beautiful co-worker doesn’t even notice him, Neal draws a picture of the two kissing — and it happens.

Low on funds, Neal draws a pic of himself withdrawing a thick stack of cash from the ATM — and bingo, the cash is there when he actually goes to an ATM.

Mackenzie Chinn does fine work as Neal’s love interest, Tina, who is startled and not altogether happy when Neal reveals his secret to her. Things take a dark turn and reach the point of possible tragedy, and now Neal faces a life-and-death decision.

This is a well-paced, good-looking film with some absolutely gorgeous animation and fine performances from the two leads and the supporting cast. Rating: ★★★

…read more

Via:: MKTG Blog