Filmmaker, Daniel Nearing- Source: govst.edu
University Park, IL—(ENEWSPF)–December 24, 2016. Daniel Nearing, filmmaker and founder of the Independent Film and Digital Imaging MFA program at Governors State University, has been named Chicagoan of the Year in Film by the Chicago Tribune. Announced December 22 and calling his work “supple, hypnotic” and “challenging,” he was selected by the Tribune’s staff critics to represent the best of the arts in Chicago in 2016. He is the only filmmaker recognized this year.
This honor comes shortly after Nearing’s October designation as the first Independent Film Initiative Filmmaker in Residence at the Chicago Film Office, an award that included $10,000 toward financing his next film, use of the Chicago Cultural Center, and the opportunity to mentor within the Chicago film community.
An experienced documentary filmmaker, Nearing first gained critical acclaim in 2010 with his mostly black and white feature Chicago Heights (later retitled The Last Soul on a Summer Night), an adaptation of Sherwood Anderson’s Winesburg, Ohio. Roger Ebert called the film “brilliant” and Nearing’s style “meditative.” Ebert named it to his list of Best Art Films of 2010.
Nearing followed that up with Hogtown, an exploration of the city and its lives set against the backdrop of the 1919 Chicago race riots. Suspended in a timeless Chicago, Nearing allows the contemporary skyline to hover behind an otherwise stylized, seemingly period piece. Hogtown has been shown worldwide, won multiple awards, and was called “the most original film made in Chicago about Chicago to date” by Bill Stamets of the Chicago Sun-Times.
Nearing is a 2015 Guggenheim fellow, and he recently completed a residency at the MacDowell Colony in New Hampshire, a prestigious artists’ colony that has housed the likes of Thornton Wilder, Alice Walker, Aaron Copland, and Jeffrey Eugenides.
His current project, Sister Carrie, will continue his exploration of race and identity in Chicago and serve as the final part in his Chicago-based trilogy. Nearing hopes to see it completed before spring of 2018.
Regarding the Tribune’s recognition, Nearing said, “It’s a great honor and a direct reflection on the nurturing culture for creativity at GSU. Even now, in these difficult times, the university is standing strong in its commitment to delivering instruction in the fine arts to many students who might not otherwise afford higher education.”
Governors State University serves more than 5,900 undergraduate and graduate students with 62 degree and 24 certificate programs that prepare them for success in business, industry, healthcare, the arts, and education. As a state university, GSU is committed to providing high-quality, accessible, and responsible higher education opportunities. GSU is located 30 miles south of Chicago in University Park, IL and offers the most affordable undergraduate tuition and fees in the state. GSU is committed to embracing diversity and academic excellence.
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