ST. CHARLES –  The AfterImage Film Festival will feature about two dozen films from Sept. 26 to 29 in St. Charles, many of which premiered at some of the world’s most prestigious festivals including Sundance, South by Southwest, Berlin and Telluride, officials announced in a news release.

The movies will be shown at Classic Cinemas Charlestowne 18 Theatre. Tickets will be available in August through its website at

Making its debut, the AfterImage Film Festival is run by volunteers of the Geneva Film Festival with the intent to make it an annual event in the Fox Valley, festival director Andrew Carlin said.

“We’re beyond thrilled with how this first year is shaping up,” Carlin stated in a news release. “The films we’ve confirmed for the festival are so good. It’s not a stretch to say that more than one of these selections could be an Oscar contender in 2020. We’re honored to be able to introduce these films to audiences in the Fox Valley.” 

Carlin, a Geneva resident, said although the corporate address of the festival is Geneva, volunteers are from all over the Fox Valley.

“All feature-length films are 90 minutes and short films are like 20 minutes and under,” Carlin said, sharing descriptions of some of the movies to be showcased.

Feature-length documentaries

• “Jay Myself” is about acclaimed photographer Jay Maisel, who bought a six-story, 72-room building on the Bowery in 1966. The site served as his home, studio and repository for a collection of items that inspire his photographic work. But now it must be emptied out following its sale in the largest private real estate deal in New York City history. As Maisel prepares for this monumental move, he reflects on his life and work for the camera of photographer and filmmaker Stephen Wilkes, whom he mentored.

• “Cold Case Hammarskjöld” is about United Nations secretary-general Dag Hammarskjöld and the plane crash in 1961 that killed him and most of the crew. Hammarskjöld was advocating for Congo’s independence, so the crash was seen as an assassination. With the case still unsolved 50-plus years later, Danish filmmaker Mads Brügger purports to unearth the shocking truth. The film premiered at Sundance 2019.

• “Mike Wallace Is Here” is an exposé of "60 Minutes" newsman Mike Wallace – who turns his hard-hitting, no-holds-barred journalistic style loose on himself. Wallace interrogated the biggest figures of the 20th century during 50 years on the air. His aggressive reporting style and showmanship redefined what America has come to expect from broadcasters. The film premiered at Sundance 2019.

Feature length narratives

• “Lost in Paris” stars filmmakers Dominique Abel and Fiona Gordon as a small-town Canadian librarian and a strangely seductive, oddly egotistical vagabond. When Fiona’s orderly life is disrupted by a letter of distress from her 88-year-old Aunt Martha – Oscar winner Emmanuelle Riva – Fiona flies to Paris and arrives only to discover that Martha has disappeared. The film premiered at the Telluride Film Festival.

• “Summer 1993” is about 6-year-old Frida, who must adjust to life in the Spanish countryside of Catalonia with her aunt and her family after her mother’s death. It premiered at the Berlin Film Festival.

Documentary short films

• “All Inclusive” is about mass entertainment on the high seas. Premiered at Sundance 2019.

• “Guns Found Here” is a nonfictional tragicomedy about tracing a gun involved in a gun crime back to its owner. Premiered at South by Southwest 2019.

• “The House is Innocent” involves a couple trying to overcome their home’s macabre past.

• “The Next Edition” involves the students of Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High in Parkland, Florida, channeling their fear while maintaining their journalistic integrity, as they publish the first edition of their school newspaper in the aftermath of the deadliest high school shooting on record. 

Narrative short films

• “Green” involves an undocumented Turkish pedicab driver who unwittingly draws police attention. He endangers his brother, his community and himself. It won the Short Film Jury Award: U.S. Fiction at Sundance 2019.

• “Runner” is about a Chicago woman who goes for a job and sees something she can’t run away from.

• “The Climb” features Kyle and Mike, who go for a weekend bike ride, but Mike has something to say that might ruin the ride. Premiered at Sundance 2019.

• “Three Pages” involves an unassuming middle-aged accountant who learns he has only weeks to live. Rather than tell everyone, Martin is determined to learn the three pages of a Bach adagio for piano, a piece he had abandoned trying to learn as a child.

• “Guaxuma” memorializes a friendship in sand from the Brazilian beaches of the filmmaker’s childhood. It won the Grand Jury Prize for Animated Shorts at South by Southwest 2019.

If you go

WHAT: AfterImage Film Festival

WHEN: Opening night screening Sept. 26, followed by two days of screenings Sept. 27 and 28 and matinee selections Sept. 29

WHERE: Classic Cinemas Charlestowne 18 Theatre, 3740 E. Main St., St. Charles

COST & INFO: Price varies; tickets available in August through; information at

AUGUST PREVIEW: See accompanying story below.

Geneva to roll sneak preview of films Aug. 23

GENEVA – The AfterImage Film Festival organizers know that trailers are a favorite part of going to the movies, so they will present a preview from 6 to 8 p.m. Aug. 23 at Playhouse 38 in Geneva.

Audiences will see trailers of all the independent films to be presented at the festival in
September. The preview event will be free to the public and suitable for all ages.

Local Chicago films include South by Southwest Audience Award Winner “Saint Frances,” as well as the short films “Runner” and “SEARED: The Journey of a Chef.”

Playhouse 38 is at 321 Stevens St., suite P, at the rear of the building bordering Wheeler Park. There are no advance tickets for the preview, with seating on a first-come basis at the 80-seat theater. Beer and wine will be available for purchase. There will be a raffle to win two complimentary tickets to a film of one’s choice during the festival.