Saturday, May 24, 2014

PBS provides Canvas for "The Painter"

Chicago-based Amarok Productions brings tragic loss of innocence to life in its anti violence film screening in the prestigious PBS Shorts Showcase Film Festival. This event highlights films from around the world online as well as weekly on PBS-KVCR throughout Southern California. The Shorts Showcase offers Amarok the opportunity to get their message to millions of viewers world-wide through continuous exposure through television and online streaming. You can watch and vote for The Painter through July 31 at the Showcase’s website at: ( Winners will be announced at the Annual Gala held this fall at The Show in Rancho Mirage, California.

Filmed at Columbia College’s Media Production Center and featuring a cast of Chicago South Side youth, The Painter portrays a boy who lives in a world where violence surrounds him and his sole means of survival is to escape through his art. Amarok worked with two highly regarded Chicago organizations that help children living in high-risk neighborhoods: UCAN and Youth Guidance. Children from both organizations played roles in front and behind the camera.

“There is no single social issue in our cities more tragic than the killing of children and young people in high-risk neighborhoods. Children do not make choices about where they are born, and yet each day in America there are what equate to child soldiers struggling to survive due to the constant violence in their neighborhoods. We’d like to thank PBS for its support of The Painter allowing us to be one more outspoken voice asking ourselves as a nation 'What are we doing to help these innocent children?’” – stated writer/director Kevin Cooper .

Critically recognized by top tier festivals around the world, this film has screened at 12 international festivals and has been featured on Indiewire ( and We Are Movie Geeks ( The Painter was written and directed by Columbia College Chicago faculty member Kevin Cooper, produced by Deanna Cooper and executive produced by Emil Arab. In October of 2013, the film was recognized by the Illinois Film Office as the winner of their Annual Shortcuts Competition at the Chicago International Film Festival. For more information on the film, please

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