As some of you may already know, I've been a big supporter of Gen Art for a long time now. Aside from being heavily involved in their annual film festival in New York City (this year I was a programmer), I'm real close friends with the folks who work there and feel their footprint on the indie film community is invaluable. Gen Art, in case you're not aware, is a company (based in New York) that helps promote emerging talent in film, music and fashion all year round. Not only do they host a very cool film festival in NYC in the spring, but they also host a mini-fest in Chicago ... and part one of this post is dedicated to that.

Beginning tonight with the very cute and quirky 500 Days of Summer, the Gen Art Chicago Film Festival will continue through to June 27 and feature other buzzed-about festival films like Mercy, Patriotville and Shrink. Other than opening night, which will set you back $25 for the movie and after party (open bar!), the other three nights will run you a fairly inexpensive $20 for a short, feature and after party w/ open bar. So if you're in Chicago, please head down to the festival and support these small films, as well as Gen Art. You can find out more information on the festival right here.

In addition to the festival, Gen Art is hosting a benefit in New York City tomorrow to help raise money to keep the company afloat while they navigate their way through some tough economic waters. I know -- yet another company hit hard by the recession. But understand that companies like Gen Art -- who make their living and invest everything they have in supporting emerging talent -- don't really exist anymore. And so they need our help.
The benefit will be hosted by folks like Zac Posen, Adrian Grenier, Nick Cannon, Georgina Chapman, William H. Macy, Adrien Brody, Rebecca Taylor, John Leguizamo, and Alan Cumming. Aside from a silent auction, they'll also be selling pieces of art that were donated by some of today's top artists. It's going to be a great time, and if you're interested please head over here for more info on how to get involved and help out.

And for all things Gen Art, feel free to visit their official website at any time.

Gen Art Chicago Film Festival from Gen Art Film on Vimeo.