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Additional guests and events announced for 2008 'Ebertfest'
Craig Chamberlain, News Editor
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Additional events and guests – among them actor Timothy Spall – have been announced for the 10th annual Roger Ebert’s Film Festival, or “Ebertfest,” coming April 23-27 to Champaign-Urbana and the University of Illinois.
Spall, who has been seen most recently in the films “Sweeney Todd” and “Enchanted,” will be a guest for the opening-night showing of Kenneth Branagh’s “Hamlet,” in which Spall played the role of Rosencrantz. The actor also is known for his role as Peter Pettigrew in the “Harry Potter” films and for voicing the scavenger rat Nick in the animated film “Chicken Run.”
Ebert also has announced that Richard Roeper, his Chicago Sun-Times colleague and partner on the weekly movie review program “Ebert & Roeper,” will participate in some of the onstage discussions following screenings, as will Chicago Tribune film critic Michael Phillips and Time magazine critic Richard Corliss.
Other onstage participants, in addition to those previously announced, will include film expert Mary Corliss; film scholars David Bordwell, Hannah Fisher and Kristin Thompson; RogerEbert.com editor Jim Emerson; Movie City News editor David Poland; Sony Pictures Classics co-president Michael Barker, and Sports Illustrated writer and U. of I. alumnus Bill Nack.
Added to the previously announced schedule of film screenings are two panel discussions on the U. of I. campus, both free and open to the public:
• On April 24 (Thursday), “What Does the Future Hold for Independent Film?” moderated by Nate Kohn, the director of Ebertfest and a professor of journalism and mass communication at the University of Georgia, 9:30-11 a.m. in the Pine Lounge of the Illini Union, 1401 W. Green St., Urbana.
• On April 25 (Friday), “Today’s Writer/Director – It’s Not Just Business, It’s Personal,” moderated by Eric Pierson, a professor of communication studies at the University of San Diego, 9-10:15 a.m. in the Pine Lounge.
On April 26 (Saturday), Hadjii, the writer-director of the film “Somebodies,” shown at the 2006 Ebertfest, will be signing copies of his book “Don’t Let My Mama Read This: A Southern Fried Memoir,” from 9-10:30 a.m. in the General Lounge on the second floor of the Illini Union.
Tickets for individual films will go on sale April 4 through the Virginia Theatre box office; phone 217-356-9063; fax: 217-356-5729. The price will be $10 each for regular admission and $8 each for students and senior citizens.
For additional details, check the Ebertfest Web site.