Steppenwolf company member Austin Pendleton (A Beautiful Mind) co-stars in Kirt Gunn’s Tennessee-shot drama Lovely by Surprise, which has an exclusive Chicago engagement Friday in two free screenings at Chicago Filmmakers.

Lovely, which won a special jury prize at the Seattle International Film Festival, stars Carrie Preston (Doubt) as a novelist whose decision (upon the advice of her ex-boyfriend Pendleton) to kill off her protagonist opens up a meta-fictional Pandora’s Box.

“Lovely by Surprise” screens Friday at 7 and 9:30 PM at Chicago Filmmakers, 5243 N. Clark St., 2nd Floor.  RSVP required.