Allen Rosss Papa

  • Allen Ross’s “Papa”

Art Institute graduate and instructor Allen Ross was a fixture in the Chicago film scene from the 70s, when he cofounded Chicago Filmmakers, until 1992, when he moved to Oklahoma and later Cheyenne, Wyoming.

Ross disappeared in 1995. In 2000 his body was found under the Cheyenne compound of the Samaritan Foundation, a religious group led by Ross’s common law wife Linda Greene. Greene died in 2002 without being charged. One of her followers, Julia Williams, was convicted in 2004 of helping Greene with Ross’s murder.

Chicago Filmmakers executive director Brenda Webb, who founded the group with Ross in 1973, worked with preservationist Bill Brand and archivist Carolyn Faber to preserve Ross’s consummate work, “The Grandfather Trilogy.”

A 65-minute program made between 1979 and 81, “The Grandfather Trilogy” consists of three shorts: Papa, Thanksgiving, and Burials, a portrait of Ross’s grandfather in Bowling Green, South Carolina.

Fred Camper writes that Ross’s “startling images make awkwardness and emptiness almost palpable… There’s something endearingly naive about his style, as if he believed that staring at something would somehow reveal its truths.”

Faber will introduce a screening of “The Grandfather Trilogy,” Sunday 2/20 at 7 p.m. at Cinema Borealis, 1550 N. Milwaukee Ave.