Chicago Mob Movie Premieres at Film Festival

Film written, produced and directed by recent Columbia grads

A group of Columbia College students are set to take the film world by storm after premiering their feature film at the Chicago International Film Festival over the weekend.

"Chicago Overcoat" is based around the organized crime syndicate referred to as the Chicago Outfit.

The whole idea for the movie was conceived by Brian Caunter and John Bosher, just three years out of film school.

"It started off with note cards and a Sharpie marker in Brian's apartment, and we were duct taping them to the wall, making our own little outline," said Bosher, who is the producer and screenwriter for the film.

The pair got their big break when big names started agreeing to appear in the film, starting with Frank Vincent of "The Sopranos" fame.

"The big thing that really took the script in another direction was casting Frank Vincent. We decided to hand craft the script for Frank," said Caunter, who directed and co-wrote the script.

Vincent plays an aging hitman who's brought out of retirement for one more job. He says he was thrown off at first by all of the youth behind the film, but quickly realized he was dealing with pros.

"The work is as good as any other work. They're really terrific kids," Vincent said.

Other big name actors in the film include Mike Starr, Stacy Keach, Armand Assante and Kathrine Narducci, who also appeared in "The Sopranos."

"The story goes that when these veteran stars were called to the set, they called their agents back and said, 'These kids are babies, what have you got us into?' But after a full day of filming, they called back and said, 'These kids know what they're doing,'" said Columbia College president Warwick Carter.

Caunter and Bosher used some of the same Chicago scenes that they used for their short films in college, giving the film additional grit.

"The movie is like a work of art as far as the cinematography. It looks like a Michael Mann movie," Narducci said.

"We grew up watching crime dramas and gangster movies, and learning film in Chicago and with the Family Secrets trail approaching in the summer of '07, it just seemed like a smart bet for us," Bosher said.

The movie will be screened at various film festivals and talks are in the works with distributors to determine an official release date.

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