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Independent filmmaker’s work to be shown at Siskel Center

BATAVIA – An independent film, “The Happy Poet,” by Paul Gordon, who is formerly of Batavia, has been released on DVD, Netflix and Hulu and will be screened at the Gene Siskel Film Center at 8:15 p.m. Aug. 1. 

Gordon, 39, who now lives in Los Angeles, said this is the first time the film will play in the Chicago area, although it has been screened and honored at several film festivals, including the 67th Venice International, the Tokyo International, and the South by Southwest conferences and festivals in Austin, Texas.

Gordon’s 85-minute film won the American Independents Award at the Philadelphia International Film Festival, the Audience Award at the Oldenburg International Film Festival, and the grand jury prize for Best Narrative Feature at the Florida Film Festival in Maitland, Fla.

“It started playing in festivals almost three years ago, and it was really well received,” Gordon said. “It ended up taking a while to get distribution. I’m excited it is finally available on Netflix and DVD.”

The film, which Gordon calls in a subtitle, “An all organic, mostly vegetarian comedy,” is a story about Bill, a struggling poet who pours his heart, soul and last few dollars into starting a healthy food stand.

He surprises friends and customers with his dry wit and offbeat passion. 

Motivated by help from a rag-tag group of supporters and a budding romance with a poetry-loving customer, Bill strives to make a difference in the world, until surprising complications jeopardize his new friendships and threaten his dream of a hot dog-free future. 

“The Happy Poet” was well-received by critics.

“A genuine under-the-radar gem – the kind of quietly charming profound film that creeps up on you. Perfectly acted,” states a review by New York Magazine.

“A deadpan charmer,” commented Eric Kohn of Indiewire.

Movies shown at the Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N. State St., Chicago, are open to the public.

Tickets are $11 for general admission, $7 for students and $6 for film center members.

More information about the screening is available at

To learn more about “The Happy Poet,” visit

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