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Afternoon Shift: Film criticism, Chicago film crews and 'The Girls in the Band'

Chaz Ebert and the Chicago Urban League are collaborating to help aspiring film critics. We talk with a panel of Chicago film crew insiders about the industry. Plus, we discuss the documentary 'The Girls in the Band' and women musicians in jazz.


  1. Chaz Ebert and Chicago Urban League help aspiring film critics

    This month the Chicago Urban League's education initiative is collaborating with Chaz Ebert, to help aspiring film critics. During the Urban League Black History Month Film Festival, students in the Columbia College Links Journalism Program have been invited to attend screenings and write reviews. The reviews get edited by professionals and may be posted on the website,

    Chaz Ebert is the publisher of Ebert Digital and president of Ebert Productions. She joins the conversation with Brenda Butler, the executive director of the Columbia College Links Program and Briana Williams, an 11th grade student at Oak Park River Forest High School. Williams has had two of her reviews published on

  2. #afternoonshift Chaz Ebert talking about creating film critics and her collaboration with the Chicago Urban League.
    #afternoonshift Chaz Ebert talking about creating film critics and her collaboration with the Chicago Urban League.
  3. Below the Line: Talking with some of Chicago’s film crew talents

    Many who believe in Chicago's ability to become the Hollywood of the Midwest say the proof of that claim lies in the abundance of local talent, but they’re not just talking about Chicago’s actors. They mean the people who handle the lights, the cameras, the props and more; the below the line crews. Today we’ve brought together a few people to talk about Chicago's film scene. 

    Location Manager for Chicago Fire, Kwame Amoaku, Costume Designer, Susan Kaufmann and Cinematographer, Peter Biagi, join us in studio.

  4. 'The Girls in the Band' comes to Chicago

    Nerdette Podcast co-host Tricia Bobeda brings us another set of Great Lady Nerds of History: the women of Big Bands. Not just singers; we’re talking about women behind the drum kit, wailing on the saxophone and more. We’ll hear an excerpt from her conversation with Judy Chaikin, director of the documentary The Girls in the Band.

    WBEZ’s Richard Steele joins us to discuss the documentary, the music of the era and some of your favorite women who play instruments.The documentary The Girls in the Band continues its run at the Siskel Center Wednesday and Thursday night.

  5. News Round-up

    This morning, teachers at Saucedo Scholastic Academy in Little Village voted to boycott the state’s annual standardized achievement exam, the ISAT. A caucus of the teacher’s union says 100 percent of teachers scheduled to administer the test at the school voted in a secret ballot to not participate. WBEZ education reporter Linda Lutton joins us with more details. 

    Plus, acceptance letters to top CPS high schools went out Friday. The first letters arrived in mailboxes over the weekend, others came yesterday and some today. Rebecca Labowitz, founder of the blog, created the digital outlet for parents as a vehicle to sound off and get advice from others trying to navigate the selective enrollment process. She  joins us to discuss

  6. Acceptance Letter... 3 Years Late
    Acceptance Letter... 3 Years Late
  7. Over the next few days the temperature is going to drop and more snow is expected. A wind chill advisory was issued for midnight tonight to noon tomorrow, with wind chills falling below zero. Gilbert Sebenste, a meteorologist at Northern Illinois University, is on the line to tell us what we can expect the rest of this week and next week.

  8. Loop and icy Chicago River
    Loop and icy Chicago River
  9. There has been a lot of talk around Chicago about where President Obama will be locating his presidential library and the city definitely has some competition from a few other places.But what if the library wasn’t an actual place? What if it were entirely digital? That’s the idea Bloomberg Views recently proposed. Editor David Shipley joins us to talk about the idea.