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Thank You for Your Interest in the Naperville Independent Film Festival!

The first Naperville Independent Film Festival was held in September of 2008. Actors Karen Black and Gary Sinise were among those in attendance, golden statuette awards were given out and the fest was enthusiastically received. So a second fest was planned for 2009 – and here we are today.

NIFF was founded in 2007 when just the right combination of people had a chance meeting that grew into a team united behind one goal:  To help independent filmmakers hone their craft.

Through the years, NIFF has presented films from all over the world and provided a showcase for the actors, directors, camera crews and production staff of independently-produced movies. The festival also gives film-goers the opportunity to see productions unavailable anywhere else and sometimes the first glimpse of future industry success stories!

We hope you will attend some – or all! – of shows during the fest. You’ll have the chance to meet some of the filmmakers and talk with other film aficionados. You’re welcome at our Opening Night and Awards Ceremonies as well. While you may not ever attend the Academy Awards, you can still experience a bit of the glamour and excitement here with NIFF! Consider also joining our volunteer staff and help us make next year’s event ever better.

Founders of the Naperville Independent Film Festival

Edmond Coisson


Edmond was born in Torre Pellice, Italy. He grew up with his mother and father and two sisters, in a farming community. He first became fascinated by a TV drama at the age of 7. He went to the only theater in town, every Sunday afternoon. Sometimes, watching the same film for weeks. As a teen, he had a few parts in local theater, where he was involved in summer plays. He wrote his first screenplay at age 17. He traveled all over Europe, working as a waiter, welder, carpenter, plasterer, and factory worker. Studied drafting and worked for Fiat; got a barbers license, and also did some bartending. He moved to Los Angeles, CA., in 1981, to work on the Princess Cruise Line.

His passion for film, acting and writing never went away. After moving to Illinois in 1983, he became more active in films, but his heart was still in writing. He attended the Screenwriters Group of Chicago, and he and his wife, Glessna, went to the Screen Writers Awards in L.A. each year. They started their own production company, Our Path Productions, and made short stories, documentaries, and feature films. While entering a film festival on the internet, they commented that they should have their own film festival. A year later, that dream came true.

Edmond has recently been writing and directing. After two years spent working on a screenplay, Edmond just finished directing the feature film Precious Mettle, which he co-wrote with Glessna and with Leonard Brink. This is a drama filled with intrigue, corruption, addictions, redemption, forgiveness, revenge and justice.

Glessna Coisson


Glessna Coisson was born in Wyandotte, Michigan, and moved to the suburbs of Detroit. After graduation from Allen Park High School, she met her first husband. They had two children, Stephanie and Jeff. Because of their jobs in marketing and sales, they lived in 6 different states, including Missouri, Wisconsin, Ohio, and Oregon, and settled in Naperville, Illinois.

After 23 years of marriage she became a widow at age 42. After meeting her second husband, Edmond, she became involved with the movie industry, because of his work in films. They began making short stories, documentaries, and feature films, with their own production company, Our Path Productions.

They began entering film festivals, and she jokingly said "we should start our OWN film festival," and they laughed. Four months later, she said it again, and they didn't laugh. The wheels started turning and many people saw her vision. This is how the Naperville Independent Film Festival (NIFF) was born on April 10th 2007, and 18 months later the first NIFF Event took place on September 24th 2008. 

Glessna's busy lifestyle, aside from NIFF, includes working at Our Path Productions as Producer and as co-writer in the feature film Precious Mettle, with just wrapped production in Naperville and Aurora this past June 23rd, and is now in post-production.

Gary Pradel

Founding Member

Gary Pradel is a Naperville native who started making movies at the age of ten. He started working for video production companies when he was still in High School.

After College he worked for Video Impressions of Aurora, working his way up to Producer/Director. Later, Gary worked for NETG in Naperville, where he produced interactive training videos.

It was at NETG where Gary started learning about computers, mostly because video production technology was moving from analog to digital. His knowledge of computer programming and project management grew, even though his heart was still in filmmaking.

Gary continues to work on independent productions including documentaries and short films. He loves to encourage independent movie makers and their visions.

Daniel Nigg

Founding Member

Daniel was born in Switzerland. After receiving his degree he embarked on a six month, 50,000 mile "see the world" backpacking adventure through North America. He immigrated to the U.S. in the late seventies. 

He discovered his interest for the creative arts growing up in Switzerland, freelancing as camera assistant, sound and lighting technician. He worked on documentaries and in television field production. In 1990, Daniel moved to Naperville with his family and started his own commercial video production and media marketing company, NIGGMEDIA.

A chance meeting with Edmond Coisson in early 2007 led to a partnership with the Naperville Independent Film Festival. To help promote the Film Festival, Daniel continues to produce documentaries, shorts, commercials and promos. With his lifelong passion for the creative arts, he is excited for all filmmakers and the opportunity to get their film screened at the Naperville Independent Film Festival.

Some of Our Volunteers

Al Eisley
Film Jury Coordinator

Annette Larsen
Co-Marketing Director

Bob Mackey
Music Video Coordinator

Don Gingold
Webmaster & Master of Ceremonies

Karen Glazik
Interviewer & Videographer

Lambros Galanes
Technical Support & Special Events

Mary Ellen Fieseler
Volunteer Coordinator

Nicole Marchluk
Marketing Assistant

We Love Our Volunteers!

This Festival couldn't function without the dedicated efforts of our all-volunteer team. THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!

Hey! Do you like films and film making and the glamour of show business? Why not volunteer with us? 

Just email and we'll be in touch.

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