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Contact: Megan Vidis
Waitress Uses Tip Money To Fund Her First Film
Flamboyant â€œSuit Manâ€ Subject of New Documentary
Vincent: A Life in Color
A fixture on Chicagoâ€™s bridges for eight years, Vincent Falk twirls for the passing riverboats in his neon-colored suits soaking up the applause from the floating tourists.Â Jennifer Burns, a waitress at Smith & Wollensky Steakhouse located on the Chicago River, would watch Falkâ€™s one-man show through the restaurantâ€™s windows while slinging steaks to customers.
â€œI would watch Vincent twirling on the State Street Bridge and I could see the look of sheer joy on his face,â€ said Burns. â€œI thought to myself, whatever else you have to say about this guy, he has figured out what makes him happy and he does it, regardless of what anyone else thinks.â€
In 2005, the aspiring filmmaker Burns decided to investigate Falkâ€™s story. She rounded up a video crew, whipped out her credit cards and began the process familiar to many independent filmmakers. Her resulting documentary, â€œVincent: A Life In Colorâ€, took four years and almost $30,000 of Burnsâ€™ own money to complete.
â€œI basically financed the film from the tips I made waitressing,â€ said Burns. â€œIt was a huge financial gamble for me.â€
Roger Ebert thinks the gamble paid off, calling the filmÂ â€œbeautifully photographedâ€.Â He selected it for inclusion in Ebertfest -his film festival for overlooked cinematic gems- where it will screen on Saturday, April 24 at 2:00 in Champaign, For ticket information, visitÂ www.ebertfest.com. The film has also been screened atÂ eight other film festivals
With close-set eyes and quirky behavior, it is easy to make assumptions about Falkâ€™s mental acuity. But the story Jennifer Burns unravels will surprise many people. Born with glaucoma, Falk was abandoned as a baby and spent his early life in an orphanage. Taken in by loving and supportive foster parents at the age of 8, he went on to study computer scienceÂ atÂ the University of Illinois-Champaign and a twenty-three year career as a programmer at Cook County where he was known for an almost photographic memory.
And although the bridges of the city are his primary catwalks, his garish ensembles have also garnered him guest spots on WMAQ-5, WGN-TV, and occasional sightings through the ABC 7 studio window.
â€œVincent: A Life In Colorâ€ will have its Chicago premiere at the Gene Siskel Film Center on May 7 with an opening night gala which including drinks and hors dâ€™oeuvres afterwards at Smith & Wollensky and continues to run until May 13th. Ticket information is available at:Â https://www.vincentalifeincolor.com
Gene Siskel Film Center
Tickets to each screening are $10/general admission. Other ticket prices are $7/student and $5/Film Center members. All tickets may be purchased at the Film Center Box Office. Both general admission and Film Center member tickets are available through Ticketmaster, 800-982-2787,Â http://www.ticketmaster.com, and all Ticketmaster outlets. The Film Center and its box office are open 5:00-9:00 pm, Monday-Friday; 2:00-9:00 pm, Saturday; and 2:00-6:00 pm, Sunday.
For more information about the Film Center, call 312-846-2800 (24-hour movie hotline) or 312-846-2600 (general information, 9:00 am-5:00 p.m., Monday-Friday), or visitÂ http://www.siskelfilmcenter.org.
About Zweeble Films
Zweeble Films was founded in 2005 by Jennifer Burns as a production company dedicated to making films cast and crewed locally in Chicago.Â Although her first film, â€œVincent: A Life In Colorâ€ is a feature-length documentary, Burns has two dramatic screenplays in the works.Â Next up for Zweeble Filmsâ€¦a romantic comedy.
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