Illinois Film Office Announces Winner of Seventh Annual Shortcuts Competition

‘Parietal Guidance’ premieres at 2014 Chicago International Film Festival

CHICAGO, IL – The Illinois Film Office (IFO) announced the winner of Shortcuts, Illinois’ short film contest. The winning film, Lonnie Edwards’ Parietal Guidance was written and directed by Lonnie Edwards and stars his daughter, Alinah Edwards. The film will screen as part of the 2014 Chicago International Film Festival short films program tonight, Oct. 14, at 5:45 p.m. at AMC River East 21 in Chicago.

Parietal Guidance introduces us to a young girl, Alinah, as she walks through the city of Chicago, encountering many people along the way. The portrayal of Alinah is vulnerable, spirited and poised. As a single dad, Edwards spends a lot of time listening to his children tell stories about their days. Edwards was inspired by his children and how much they go through in a single day, some of which he doesn’t always hear about.

Edwards is a self-taught filmmaker, a board member of Chicago Artbeat Studios in the Austin area and a curator of charity events with Chicago-based theatre group Collaboraction. The film was shot over a six-day period throughout the Albany Park neighborhood, Hibbard Elementary School and the Brown Line.

“We find purity and fear enmeshed and transfixed within the complexities of helplessness, need for safety and the frailties of humanity,” Edwards said. He served as the film’s writer and director. The title, Parietal Guidance, is a play on words involving the parietal lobe of the brain that interprets information. In this case, the central character is attempting to analyze the world without much input from adults.

“This year’s films showcased a wide array of styles and themes,” IFO Managing Director Betsy Steinberg said. “We are thrilled that in its seventh year, Shortcuts continues to be an open platform for our vibrant community of local actors, director and writers.”

Shortcuts was designed to encourage filmmakers across the state to explore their creativity and showcase their skills. All Illinois residents 18 and over were invited to enter the competition. Also, all students of Illinois colleges and universities were eligible to submit entries regardless of residency.

“The Shortcuts competition has become a tradition to celebrate, support and encourage local talent,” said Adam Pollet, director of the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO).

Illinois’ film industry generated a record $358 million in spending in 2013 and created 4,200 full-time equivalent jobs in Illinois. In addition to studio and independent films and a thriving commercial production industry, 2014 has thus far hosted four full-time episodic television series. The four television shows, including NBC’s Chicago Fire and Chicago P.D., are expected to pour close to $150 million into our local economy.

The Illinois Film Office, part of DCEO, is dedicated to advancing Illinois’ reputation as a world-class film destination. The office actively pursues film projects and encourages the training and hiring of Illinois residents. More information on the Shortcuts contest and the Illinois Film Office can be found at