“It’s important to be able to look back and see the difference that you have made in your community,” says Alex Pissios, President and CEO of Cinespace Chicago Film Studios. “We try our best not only for ourselves but also those around us because it feels good when we know someone else is better off as well.”
Alex Pissios is the son of Greek immigrants, and he grew up in Chicago. When Alex Pissios was young, he wanted to be like his father: a special education teacher. There were several schools that Alex could attend for his educational needs, including The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where both parents earned degrees. Still, it wasn’t until after high school when a friend told him about Northern Illinois University’s campus ministry program. This program helped new students adjust during their first year on campus and prepare them academically so they can succeed later down the road if accepted into an honors college or do research work outside academia.
Cinespace Chicago is a film studio founded in 2011 by Mirkopoulos and Alex Pissios. They purchased 60 acres of the former Ryerson Steel complex, making them one of only two independent studios outside Los Angeles County with enough space to produce movies on their own terms.
Cinespace is bringing more than 15,000 jobs in the community and region by providing digital media employment opportunities for neighborhood members. Alex Pissios’s leadership has been instrumental to Chicago’s film-related spending, increasing over three billion dollars with their help.