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Columbia College Chicago

THE PAINTER—A CCC Collaboration

The Painter was awarded first place in the annual Illinois Film Office's Shortcuts Short Film Contest and invited to screen at the 49th Chicago International Film Festival in the Shorts 1: City & State Local Heroes category.

CA+S faculty members and partners in production, Kevin and DeAnna Cooper, Cinematographer Adam Jones, Production Designer Tom Kesling, in addition to other Columbia College faculty, staff, students and alumni worked on The Painter, a film that tackles the tough subject of how violence in Chicago is robbing youth of their innocence.

Commissioned by entrepreneur and the film’s Executive Producer, Emil Arab, and funded partly by Columbia College’s Faculty Development Grant, the short takes a glimpse inside the life of a child artist affected by violence, a child whose secret artwork reveals a tragic take on how violence affects children.

The Cooper’s production company, Amarok, worked with two highly-regarded organizations in Chicago: UCAN and Youth Guidance. Writer/director Kevin Cooper was compelled “Children in neighborhoods where there is regularly violence do not have a choice, but to live in a ‘war zone’ fighting for survival, often being scarred along the way...” shares Cooper. Producer DeAnna Cooper adds, “There are very few things as pressing as the violence that plagues Chicago.”

DeAnna Cooper is grateful for the collaboration, “We are really fortunate to have had the support of Columbia College and the creative contributions from Adam Jones as the film's Cinematographer and Tom Kesling as our Production Designer. It was such an inspiring group of people from full-time faculty to recent grads and adjuncts to student interns. The film is near and dear to our hearts because it was both a teaching-learning platform and also a film with a very specific theme about how violence is stealing away our youth."

Learn more: Reel Chicago and DNAinfo.com