Sleeze Lake: Van Life At Its Lowest and Best

Animal Farm

The animals do not stay long at the ‘Animal Farm’. Animals arrive but never leave. Uncle Steve won’t let them. It’s a place where animals come to die.

YEAR 2019 RUNTIME 3 minutes LANGUAGE English COUNTRY United States PREMIERE Chicago Premiere

FILMMAKER James Hollenbaugh

Mike Osterhout & the Church of the Little Green Man

The Church of the Little Green Man is a conceptual art practice that emerged from the East Village performance art scene. This is Mike Osterhout’s church. His approach is raw, provocative, and gleefully absurd. In his heart, however, he thrives on human connections. His devotion to his community has allowed him to create a home for his congregation and a safe place to transgress in the Catskills.

“Not every church has a stripper pole, so I should have known this wouldn’t be straightforward. But, during that summer of 2017, when I first met Mike Osterhout, I didn’t know that the Church of the Little Green Man wasn’t a church at all.

I started out to make a movie about a faux-religion, but I ended up exploring the seminal performance art scene that emerged in the East Village in the nineteen eighties and tracing its legacy to a tiny church hidden in the Catskills. I started out to make a movie about an artist, but I discovered the power of art to build a community.” – Roderick Angle

YEAR 2019 RUNTIME 14 minutes LANGUAGE English COUNTRY United States PREMIERE Chicago Premiere

FILMMAKER Roderick Angle

It’s 1977 and the idealistic message of the hippie counter-culture has played a decade long game of telephone with America’s youth. Still searching for freedom and community in a post Vietnam world, groups of young people took to the open roads in shag-carpeted custom vans. They called themselves “vanners” and their culture was a strange cocktail of irreverence and hedonism.

On the south side of Chicago, the van proved the perfect escape vehicle from the steel mills and refineries. It was here that a van club called Midwest Vans Ltd. was born. On Memorial Day weekend in 1977, these blue collar outcasts set out to build their own personal utopia, free of rules and restrictions. They erected a ramshackle resort town around a small pond and called it “Sleeze Lake”. When over 20,000 people showed up to the party, all bets were off! Set among the foggy memories and ephemera of a subculture lost to time, Sleeze Lake tells the story of Midwest Vans LTD and the biggest party you’ve never heard of.

“Every shred of archival material, right down to the 8mm leader flash frames and film grain overlay used in the editing and graphics is directly from the archives of the members of Midwest Vans Ltd. It truly has their DNA throughout the entire film.

Andrew is actually a member of Midwest Vans Ltd and owns a 1973 Dodge Van, complete with port hole windows and a wood paneled interior straight out of a 70’s basement.” – Andrew J. Morgan and Nick Nummerdor

YEAR 2020 RUNTIME 60 minutes LANGUAGE English COUNTRY United States PREMIERE Chicago Premiere

FILMMAKER Andrew J. Morgan, Nick Nummerdor

Sleeze Lake: Van Life At Its Lowest and Best Q&A

Since graduating Columbia College Chicago in 2008, Andrew J. Morgan has been working professionally as a cinematographer, editor, and director on a number of projects. In 2009, he helped start Little Cabin Films with friend and business partner, Nick Nummerdor. As Co-Director and Producer of “Vannin’” (2013), Morgan saw his first feature film go from conception to successful distribution via streaming services such as Amazon Prime.

Most recently, he found himself as director of photography for shadow puppetry material to be included in the 2020 release of Monkey Paw Productions’ “Candyman”.

Nick Nummerdor is a filmmaker and skateboarder based in Chicago. His film, “Concrete Dreams”, a documentary following the decade-long struggle and ultimate triumph of one woman’s mission to provide a free public skatepark in Villa Park, IL recently gained distribution through skateboarder Tony Hawk’s RIDE Channel on YouTube. Nick is a former associate of Kartemquin films (Hoop Dreams), graduate of Columbia College, and worked as an outreach coordinator for “Minding the Gap”.

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“Hannibal Takes Edinburgh”, a film he produced and did sound on was executive produced by Judd Apatow and purchased by Netflix. His films “North Branch” and “Vannin’” are currently on Amazon Prime.

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Currently he’s producing a coming of age feature documentary titled “Skate or Die,” & editing a feature about female dog mushers in the midwest. www.nicknummerdor.com