I'm Phil Ranstrom, Chicago documentary filmmaker.

Phil Ranstrom's Bio:

Phil Ranstrom is an Emmy Award-winning writer, producer, director with over 25 years of experience. He has worked for a variety of clients in the diverse fields of entertainment, news, public relations and marketing.  

He is currently completing his documentary film, PIEROGI BLUES, the story of how the blues migrated from Chicago to Warsaw, Poland. Phil Ranstrom applies his relationship to the culture of Chicago to the raw history of Europe proves the radical social, cultural and political changes the blues has inspired around the world and how it continues to thrive today.

He has also written, directed and produced:   

CHEAT YOU FAIR: THE STORY OF MAXWELL STREET 

Phil Ranstrom's feature-length documentary about the rise & fall of Chicago's Maxwell Street, the birthplace of the electric, urban blues, the teenage incarceration of rock & roll.  

Narrated by actor, Joe Mantegna, this Emmy Award-winning saga details the history of this unique, ethnic melting pot "where the only color that mattered was green" and cooperation was essential for the survival of the diverse immigrants and poor poeple who landed there.  Considered both the "Ellis Island of the midwest" and "the New Orleans of the north," this was the birthplace of the electric, urban blues, which became rock & roll.  

This film features the last recorded interview of Bo Diddley, one of the creators of rock & roll who developed his skills playing there.  Despite Maxwell Street's great impact on Chicago and the world of music, no formal history had ever been assembled until Ranstrom made this film, which was over 10 years in the making. Chicago Tribune writer, Rick Kogan, who was voted Chicago's Best Reporter in 1999 and inducted into the Chicago Journalism Hall of Fame in 2003 called the film "one of the most remarkable pieces of work I've ever seen."   

 

ELECTRIFIED: THE STORY OF THE MAXWELL STREET URBAN BLUES

2008 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah

 

UPTOWN CHRISTIAN SOLDIERS

Phil Ranstrom explores the lives of the Jesus People USA living in Uptown, Chicago.

 

I REMEMBER RIVERVIEW

Chicago's beloved amusement park closed in 1967 - it's legacy lives on.

 

RECLAIMING AMERICA

 American Agricultural Movement's protested at the Chicago Board of Trade in 1985, demanding the short-selling of their grain products in the future's market, which effectlvely put (smaller) family farms out of business.   

 

THE COCAINE EXPRESS

Ranstrom and two prize-winning journalists from The Chicago Sun-Times, photographer, Henry Gill, and writer, Rick Sol collaborate to tell the story of the investigation of the illegal drug trade in South American, The Cocaine Express consists entirely of B&W still photos and narration by the reporters and was a precursor to the work of Ken Burns.   This critically-acclaimed documentary was Ranstrom's first documentary out of college and was nominated for Chicago/Midwest Emmy Award for Best Investigative Report.

 

OTHER:

Phil Ranstrom has interviewed:

Tom Waits