Mike Houlihan of the Irish American Movie Hooley FILM FESTIVAL

How long have you been an IFP Chicago member?

I have been an IFP Chicago member, on and off, since 2005.

Why did you join IFP Chicago?

I joined IFP Chicago to connect with not only the Chicago filmmaking community but to avail myself of the many resources IFP Chicago makes available to members.

What does it mean to you to be a filmmaker in Chicago? How does Chicago inform/influence your work?

Chicago plays a role in every film I make, all of them have been shot in Chicago, beginning with my first feature, Tapioca, which we shot on the streets of Chicago in 2006. I'm a very proud Irishman from the Southside of Chicago and I was shaped by the neighborhood I grew up in, my Southside pals from high school and my ever expanding family of friends and artists here in Chicago. Other than the dozen years I spent in New York City acting from 1973-85, my entire career has been here in the great city of Chicago.

What projects are you currently working on?

I'm currently working on The First Annual Irish American Movie Hooley, a film festival I have founded with my company, Hibernian Transmedia NFP and the Gene Siskel Film Center. I encourage all IFP members to submit their Irish American films for potential premiere with our festival in September. More information on the Hooley festival is available at http://hiberniantransmedia.org/movie-hooley/. Send me your movies!

Hibernian Transmedia also produces a couple of Irish American radio shows each week in Chicago, The Skinny & Houli Show on WCEV1450AM and The Houli's Hooley on WSBC1240AM, broadcasting every Saturday and also available by podcast. I continue to co-host The Skinny & Houli Show every week on WCEV 1450AM every Saturday from 3-4PM and podcast at http://skinnyhouli.com.

I also have a few film projects in development through Hibernian Transmedia. I'm working on a book right now about my work with the Chuy Garcia Campaign for Mayor last winter, which introduced me to a multitude of Chicago political characters. I hope to have the book, Get the Money, My 82 Days on the Campaign Trail in Chicago, out by the end of this year. I've been a columnist for the Irish American News since 1996 and continue to write my column, Hooliganism every month in that paper and online at www.mikehoulihan.com.

What was the last movie you saw?

The last movie I saw was One for the Ditch, a very funny documentary by Paddy Hayes about irrepressible Irishman Mike Malloy, who survived over twenty attempts on his life in depression-era New York. He's the Rasputin of the Bronx. One for the Ditch is under consideration to premiere in Chicago this September at the First Annual Irish American Movie Hooley.

Interview conducted July 2015