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OTV: Our Fourth Season is Our Biggest Yet

by Aymar Jean Christian

Aymar Jean Christian

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Two people talk as part of the MCA's 2018 screening of Open TV Tonight.

Photo: Jackie Rivas.

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OTV | Open Television is back at the Museum of Contemporary Art for its fourth year premiering original indie TV from Chicago!

While this year's screening of Open Television Tonight is sold out, there are still ways to see these new series premieres: check out the MCA’s waitlist policy for a chance to see the screening in person or livestream the event from the comfort of home.

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OTV is expanding the art of television beyond the series we might watch on our preferred streaming services—which often cost millions of dollars to make. Similar to indie film, indie TV may be shorter or lower-cost than the usual Hollywood fare, but these lower barriers to entry allow more artists to tell their stories free from corporate control. Chicago is quickly emerging as a hub for indie TV because of our city’s strong base of writers, directors, actors, designers, and visual and music artists. Combined with our collaborative spirit and freedom to deviate from industry trends that might preoccupy artists from New York and Los Angeles, Chicago’s indie TV scene is diverse, intimate, artistic, innovative, and above all, honest.

Open Television Tonight has seen the premieres of series like Fatimah Asghar and Sam Bailey's Brown Girls, which went on to earn an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Short Form Comedy or Drama Series; Ricardo Gamboa's Brujos, praised by The New York Times and AV Club; and Deja Harrell's Seeds, nominated for best writing by The Streamy Awards, the premier award for original new media.

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Full video recording of the 2018 presentation of Open TV Tonight at the MCA.

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Since last year's premiere, Open Television Tonight's featured artists have graduated to their own exciting initiatives: Karan Sunil of Code-Switched has relocated to Los Angeles where he is a staff writer for the CBS show The Red Line; Deja Harrell of Seeds has recently relocated to Los Angeles and is working with an agent to shop the show to different television networks; and Karla Barry of Yogma is entering into production for season two and has produced a number of OTV programs since, including Good Enough and FOBia.

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This year OTV is presenting four fresh series featuring queer people and women of color learning to navigate love, work, and chosen family:

Damaged Goods Description

Damaged Goods: Barely surviving the city of Chicago, four messy young adults experience a complete loss of identity, propelling them onto a path of uncertainty.

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FOBia Trailer

FOBia Description

FOBia: An Indian immigrant woman adapts to life in America with her American roommate and Indian neighbor while dealing with cultural misunderstandings and general mayhem.

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The Right Swipe Trailer

The Right Swipe Description

The Right Swipe: When best friends India and Margo start a business fixing dating app profiles for men, they discover how much their own love lives are infiltrated. The Right Swipe is a romantic comedy web series exploring the challenges of dating at various intersections of marginalized identity.

OTV: Our Fourth Season is Our Biggest Yet video still

Good Enough Trailer

Good Enough Description

Good Enough: Attempting to hold it all together, a group of Chicago-based friends face their flaws and learn to love themselves as a string of messy decisions unravel during Sunday supper.