Audience Development
10:40 a.m. - 11:50 a.m.


Brian Hieggelke | Newcity

Brian and Jan Hieggelke are the founders of Newcity, the preeminent cultural publishing company in Chicago (and Sâo Paulo, Brazil), which they launched in 1986. In 2014, they launched a sister film production and boutique distribution company, Chicago Film Project, to pursue opportunities that have three characteristics: superior quality, commercial viability and some kind of Chicago DNA. Their second film, Jennifer Reeder’s “Knives and Skin,” had its world premiere at the Berlinale in 2019, followed by its North American premiere at Tribeca in spring 2019 and is playing festivals worldwide in advance of its more general release.

Their first film, "Signature Move" (2017), world premiered at SXSW before playing more than 150 festivals worldwide and racking up numerous awards, including the prestigious Grand Jury Prize for Best US Narrative Feature at Outfest. After a limited theatrical run in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and several other markets—in which it was the #1 film opening weekend in the US on a per-theater basis—the film launched on SVOD and TVOD platforms and is currently holding a 100 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

In addition, Chicago Film Project produced writer-director Hugh Schulze's "Dreaming Grand Avenue" in 2018, which is currently in post-production.