Who decides who is essential? Short film ‘The Unseen’ is screening in Chicago.

By Jana Reserva

Aug. 23, 2021

Since the initial lockdowns in April 2020, bars and restaurants across Chicago have been hit with capacity limits, closures, and indoor dining restrictions, with little in the way of financial relief offered.

“It’s easy for office workers and software companies like ours to say ‘stay home, we’re all in this together’ when we can keep doing our work from home,” said Tasmin Trezise, President of

“But it wasn’t like that for our customers, for thousands of small business owners that had these restrictions imposed. If you work in a restaurant, you can’t work from home.” makes scheduling and workforce management software for businesses in hospitality, healthcare, retail, and other frontline industries. They’re based in The Chicago Loop.

“The pandemic was tough for us and our employees too, but we didn’t have the city telling us which parts of our business we could and couldn’t operate.”

“You can’t pretend we were in it with bars and restaurants in the same way. But you can try and tell their story, about what they went through and what they’re still going through.” is sponsoring the Chicago screening of a short film that tells the story of four business owners struggling to stay afloat during the 2020 lockdowns. Though the last capacity restrictions for Chicago restaurants ended in June, Trezise believes the film is relevant now more than ever.

“We’re still trying to balance how to live with this virus. You see what’s happening in New York, with the vaccine mandate for restaurants. Is it fair that small business owners have to police this for the city?”

“I think it’s important to show the people that are actually affected by these decisions. We’ve been making software for them for years, we know them. They’ve worked hard to build bars, restaurants, to bring something to their communities, and they deserve to be heard.”

The Unseen is screening at Landmark Century Theatres in Lakeview next Tuesday August 31st at 8pm. The 30 minute film will be followed by a Q&A with director Nick Nikides. Tickets:

Jana Reserva is a content manager for

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