Alcohol and Creativity: An Interview With Beckie Stocchetti of Chicago Filmmakers and Tied House Film Festival

Alcohol and Creativity: An Interview With Beckie Stocchetti of Chicago Filmmakers and Tied House Film Festival

Last week we were lucky enough to travel to 5243 N Clark Street to visit Beckie Stocchetti & Steve Mosqeuda of the Chicago Filmmakers and Tied House Film Festival respectively. Let me break it down for you:

Chicago Filmmakers is a 37 year-old media arts organization that fosters the creation, appreciation and understanding of film and video as media for artistic and personal expression, as well as media of important social and community impact.

Tied House Film Festival is the first ever film festival devoted to the art of drinking. New short films from local and regional filmmakers will be served, all loosely based on the five stages of intoxication: euphoria, excitement, confusion, stupor, and coma. The films may not be about alcohol intoxication per se, but will explore the state of intoxication however personally defined.

Throw in FREE CRAFT BEER at tonight’s (6/28 7pm) PM festival and there you have a match made in heaven! As mentioned we conducted a full interview with Beckie and Steve about their project together and projects apart and you can take a listen to that full episode of the CinemaJaw Podcast here. Below is our ChicagoNow exclusive interview.


CinemaJaw: What got you interested in film, and how did you get involved with Chicago Filmmakers?

Beckie Stocchetti: I’ve always been interested in film, and when I went to college decided to study film as a way to connect and communicate across cultures. After spending a year abroad working on a few film projects in India and Taiwan, I came back to school eager to investigate ways to turn filmmaking into a career.  I received my degree in Cinema and Media Studies from the University of Chicago and worked for Kartemquin Films in Outreach and Distribution for a few years.  Then I moved away to Hawaii and became involved in film festivals, working for the Hawaii International Film Festival, and programming/theatre management, working as the Assistant Curator at the Honolulu Academy of Arts.  I decided to move back to Chicago after a brief stint as Assistant Theatre Manager at the IFC Center in NYC and Chicago Filmmakers had an opening at just the right time! It was serendipitous.

CJ: Chicago Filmmakers sounds like such a  great resource for, well… Chicago filmmakers. Beckie can you tell us a little bit abut what services CF offers?

BS: Chicago Filmmakers is a hub for independent filmmakers in Chicago.  We strive to provide resources for people interested in breaking into the film industry here and also act as a community resource for more established filmmakers in the city. We offer a wide range of courses in filmmaking – from intro to Digital Filmmaking, Screenwriting courses, DSLR workshops, Youth Programs/Summer Camps, Advanced Production courses, Directing and Acting classes, Documentary mentorship programs, to Producing and Budgeting workshops.  We also run a weekly screening series providing exhibition for local and independent films; a bi-monthly networking event; equipment and space rental; a grant for independent Chicago digital media makers; Fiscal Sponsorship services; and a distribution project of 16mm work from the past 30 years. We also produce the Reeling International LGBTQ Film Festival and the Onion City Experimental Film and Video Festival.

CJ: What movie, in the last 5 years has inspired you the most?

BS: This is a really hard question for me to answer! I’ve spent most of the last 5 years watching movies, so I can say there have been a lot of inspirations. At the risk of sounding cheesy, the movies that inspire me the most right now are the works coming through Chicago Filmmakers.  There is amazing talent in Chicago – established and burgeoning – and every day I am reminded why I am proud to be a part of this community. If I had a list of inspiring Chicago Filmmakers it would include: Doug Ischar, Mike Gibisser, Steve Gast, Dundahdah Bartholomew, Dinesh Sabu, May Tchao, Joseph Lewis, Frank Rinaldi, Hilary Bachelder, and Brian Ashby – to name a few.  These are just some of the people that i see devoting their time, energy, and resources to create beautiful, intelligent, creative, and courageous work.

CJ: You guys have partnered with Haymarket Pub to put on the Tied House Film Festival. Can you tell us what the concept is? We hear its a DOOZY!

BS: So! The Tied House Film Festival is a showcase of short films exploring the connection between creativity and alcohol.  Who doesn’t love that, right? We screen any genre that investigates, extrapolates or involves one of the six stages of intoxication: euphoria, excitement, confusion, stupor, coma, and death.  Films are 10 minutes max and we offer a great time, free beer, and fun prizes. Chicagoans are the greatest types of people – we love creativity and beer – and this is a film festival celebrating that perfect union.

CJ: How did this THFF get started, and how did your partnership come about?

BS: The Tied House Film Festival was entirely the brain-child of Steve and Sean at Drinking and Writing Brewery.  Three years ago, they thought up the idea to have a film festival based on their mission – to explore the link between creativity and alcohol – and then reached out to us to access the Chicago film scene. We’ve been in love ever since.

CJ: Which of the 5 stages of intoxication got the most films?

BS: I’m going to have to go with Stupor – figures, right?

CJ: Here at CinemaJaw, we love boozin at the movies. Do you have any good drinking at the movies stories?

BS: When I lived in Hawaii we would host movies on the beach in Waikiki.  Some of the best nights of my life were spent drinking wine in the sand watching flicks and then hopping onto a surf board for a full moon ride. This makes me sound much cooler than I actually am.

CJ: That is a GREAT answer! So, whats next for you guys?

BS: Good Question! You tell us! Okay, seriously, sign up for our newsletter to keep posted on the crazy amount of activity we’ve got goin on.  We’ve got some stellar programs lined up over the next few months – sneak peek include an OUTDOOR screening series, a filmmaker support group, and totally new classes.

CJ: One more time – What is the best place for people to go to get info on THFF and Chciago Filmmakers?

BS: Yay!! Be sure to check out: AND

CJ: Thanks!


If you have a chance tonight and tomorrow you should go to the Tied Hose Film Festival and say hi to Beckie and Steve, two great people doing great things for film, beer and creativity in Chicago. There is an $8 suggested donation and FREE BEER (just in case you missed that small point). It is not to be missed! And once again if you want to hear the full episode with Beckie and Steve please take a listen here!


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