CMP's 'Crip Camp: A Disabled Revolution,' 'A Concerto Is a Conversation' nominated for Oscars

ByHosea Sanders WLS logo
Friday, April 23, 2021
CMP helps put 2 films on road to Oscars
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ABC7's Hosea Sanders talked to the CMP team that helped put two films on the road to the Oscars!

CHICAGO -- Chicago native Paul Raci was a big winner at the Film Independent Spirit Awards Thursday night, taking home Best Supporting Actor in "Sound Of Metal."

The powerhouse producers at CMP won for "Immigration Nation," as well as "Crip Camp," which they partnered with Barack and Michelle Obama to make.

On top of it, it's also up for an Academy Award!

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ABC7's Hosea Sanders talked to the CMP team that helped put two films on the road to the Oscars!

CMP started as Chicago Media Project in 2014.

"It was a lawyer and a filmmaker walking into a theater and this feels good, let's keep doing it," said Steve Cohen, CMP co-founder and board chair.

Now, acclaimed composer Kris Bowers is getting set for the Oscars.

He co-directed "A Concerto Is a Conversation," which is a tender tribute to his grandfather.

"Crip Camp" is also nominated, which is about the disabled claiming their voice.

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CMP helped support both films.

"It's really looking for that magic, that marriage of a great story well told that pulls on your heartstrings and invites you into the lives of other people," said Paula Froehle, CMP co-founder and CEO.

The team won an Oscar for "Icarus" in 2018. But this year it's a Zoom event.

"Last time we spent the evening at the Elton John Gala, we had the full Oscar experience," Froehle said. "We've sent out our popcorn and our chocolate Oscar statues, and have our fingers crossed to celebrate, perhaps, two wins."

It's Chicago's reputation as the "City of Broad Shoulders" that makes it the perfect place for MCP to do what it does.

"It's that Chicago spirit of just rolling up your shirt sleeves and just helping things get made," Froehle said. "Lifting people up onto our shoulders so that their voices can shine."

Next, they plan to come out with "Empire of Ebony," about a landmark African American success story.

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"That publishing company created this thriving community that everybody who is Black may know about from Chicago, but many people who are white don't know about how it existed, how it thrived and how important it was," Cohen said.

"All originating out of the heart and soul of Chicago," Froehle added.

"And if we have our way, there's going to be one heck of a Chicago world premiere here," Cohen said.