Director William Friedkin poses for portraits after interviews for his film “Killer Joe” in Venice, Italy, Thursday, Sept. 8, 2011. (AP Photo / Joel Ryan, File)

Before his Hollywood career, Friedkin worked for WTTW and WGN

Born in Chicago on Aug. 29, 1939, he began working in local TV productions as a teenager. By age 16 he was directing live shows.

Paul Reubens stars in “Pee-wee’s Big Adventure.” (Credit: Warner Bros.)

Paul Reubens, who found fame as the quirky man-child character Pee-wee Herman, has died, according to an announcement on his verified social media.

Actors Sheryl Lee Ralph, left, and Lisa Ann Walter, members of the cast of “Abbott Elementary,” participate in a rally in support of the actors and writers strikes at Love Park in Philadelphia on Thursday, July 20, 2023. (AP Photo / Tassanee Vejpongsa)

In Chicago, hundreds of strikers — many wearing black SAG T-shirts — marched and chanted at Millennium Park and Grant Park, “We’re union/United/Never be divided.” A small brass band played “This Land Is Your Land.”

Art Johnston and Pepe Peña in the documentary “Art and Pep.”

Art Johnston and Pepe Peña, owners of the iconic gay bar Sidetrack in Northalsted, are the subjects of a new documentary. The film follows their love story — spanning 50 years — and the history of the Sidetrack bar amid the fight for LGBTQ+ rights in Chicago.

Costume designer Ruth Carter appears on “Black Voices” on June 2, 2023. (WTTW News)

Ruth Carter is a groundbreaking costume designer known for her long collaboration with Spike Lee and her work on the “Black Panther” movies. She is the only Black woman to have two Academy Awards.

On Monday night, the final installment of “Surviving R. Kelly” began airing on Lifetime. R. Kelly, (C), here appears at a hearing in 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. (E. Jason Wambsgans / Getty Images)

“Surviving R. Kelly Part III: The Final Chapter” is a two-part look at the legal fallout Kelly has faced. 

An image from “Jeanne Dielman, 23, quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles.”

The latest edition of the revered “Greatest Films of All Time” list by Sight and Sound magazine was unveiled this month, sparking discussion about representation in film and which movies are often either included or left out in prestigious lists.

Actor and director Isaiah Washington. (WTTW News)

Actor and director Isaiah Washington’s new film “Corsicana” explores the life of a Black law enforcement officer with some very notable stripes.

Michael Kutza, CEO Emeritus, of the Chicago International Film Festival. (WTTW News)

Michael Kutza was just 22 years old when he launched the Chicago International Film Festival. Decades later, he looks back on a life among the movie stars. 

“Tagged” follows a street artist who gets caught up in a murder investigation. (Credit: Kernel Productions)

“Tagged” follows a street artist named Lex who gets caught up in a murder investigation after the vape shop owner who hired him to create a mural suddenly disappears. The film was released June 27 by Kernel Productions, a grassroots film production company based in Bucktown. 

Naperville resident Scott Potter was a filmmaker who dedicated his craft to highlighting underrepresented stories. (Courtesy of Sarah Potter)

After the sudden, unexpected death of her husband, Scott, Naperville resident Sarah Potter has made it her mission to complete his documentary about a rare but serious neurologic condition that can cause paralysis while also exploring her own loss and a future she never imagined.

The new Netflix movie “Passing” centers around two Black women who can both “pass” as white but take different paths, one choosing to live as white, the other Black. (Courtesy Netflix)

The new Netflix movie “Passing” centers around two Black women who can both “pass” as white but take different paths, one choosing to live as white, the other Black. The film is an adaptation of the 1929 novel by Chicago author Nella Larsen.

(StockSnap / Pixabay)

Cinespace Studios, which helped spark a boom in movie and television production in Chicago, has been sold to a private equity firm that tapped a former Netflix executive to lead the operation on Chicago’s West Side.

The Chicagoan’s unwavering journey to his orchestral debut at the age of 79 is the subject of the film  “For the Left Hand” airing Friday, November 5 at 9:00 pm and Sunday, November 7 at 4:00 pm on WTTW. (Courtesy Kartemquin Films)

Norman Malone never abandoned his dream of becoming a concert pianist – despite a violent attack by his father that left his right side paralyzed at the age of 10. A new documentary chronicles the Chicagoan’s path from child prodigy to high school music teacher to his orchestral debut at age 79.

Movie industry worker Hailey Josselyn, wearing a t-shirt of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSA), holds a candle during a vigil to honor cinematographer Halyna Hutchins in Albuquerque, N.M., Saturday, Oct. 23, 2021. Hutchins was killed when actor Alec Baldwin fired a weapon on a film set that a crew member told him was safe. The tragedy has led to calls for fundamental change in Hollywood: the banning of real guns on sets. (AP Photo / Andres Leighton, file)

A shocked and saddened industry was reminded this week, many productions still use guns — real guns — when filming. And despite rules and regulations, people can get killed, as happened last week when Alec Baldwin fatally shot cinematographer Halyna Hutchins after he was handed a weapon and told it was safe.

Harry Shum Jr. plays AV tech whiz James in “Broadcast Signal Intrusion” (Courtesy Dark Sky Films)

Longtime WTTW fans may remember that back in 1987, our airwaves were hijacked by an unknown TV “pirate.” Now nearly 34 years later, it’s inspired a new film playing Thursday at the Chicago International Film Festival.