Local filmmaker Ron Lazzeretti was set to direct his script The Merry Gentleman when he was hospitalized with a ruptured appendix and star Michael Keaton made his directorial debut with the film.  (Read all about it in the Reader profile I wrote last year on the occasion of the film’s Sundance premiere.) Keaton plays a suicidal hitman who befriends a relentlessly optimistic receptionist who’s fled an abusive marriage (Kelly Macdonald).  Before its theatrical opening next month, The Merry Gentleman makes its hometown premiere Tuesday at the Midwest Independent Film Festival. It’s at Landmark’s Century Centre, 2828 N. Clark St.  Reception at 6 PM.  Producers Panel on film scoring at 6:30, with Kartemquin Films’ new executive director Justine Nagan, Merry Gentleman executive producer Paul J. Duggan, entertainment lawyer Jerry Glover, and moderator Hillel Frankel of music licensor Movietrax.  Screening at 7:30 and 8.  $10 tickets include afterparty. Update: both screenings are sold out. Here’s the trailer: