Michael Caplan gives the public a look at scenes from his documentary in progress Algren, the first full-length film about Nelson Algren, during a tribute to the chronicler of down-and-out mid-century Chicago in Columbia College’s Story Week Festival of Writers.  Caplan, a Columbia film professor, is making the film with Algren’s friend and collaborator, photographer Art Shay

They plan to release the film this year in time for Algren’s centennial.  According to Caplan’s Web site, “The central theme of the film is that Algren’s brutally honest portrayal of the American undercalss and his hard-nosed lifestyle became the pathway to unwavering compassion.”  Shay and Caplan appear at the Algren tribute, hosted by Algren Award-winner Joe Meno and featuring readings by Stephanie Kuehnert, J. Adams Oaks, Bayo Ojikutu and Billy Lombardo. The free tribute is Tuesday at 6 PM in the Cindy Pritzker Auditorium, Harold Washington Library, 400 S. State. St.  

Here’s the trailer for Caplan’s 2008 film A Magical Vision, about magician and educator Eugene Burger: