CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — The 2020 Chaz & Roger Ebert Symposium’s virtual conversations with filmmakers, executives and others involved in a changing media industry continue Nov. 5 with an executive from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Christine Simmons, the academy’s chief operating officer, will be featured in a panel discussion of inclusion and equity in film and media. Simmons oversees the academy’s equity and inclusion initiative, known as Aperture 2025, and has been involved with rule changes governing the Oscars.
The “Representation in Media” discussion will stream at 5 p.m. CST on both the Ebertfest YouTube channel and Facebook page, which also include recordings of previous symposium events.
Also part of the discussion, moderated by media scholar Angharad Valdivia, will be three University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign alumni involved in the media industry:
- Keri Carpenter, a TV producer and writer who has worked on the series “America’s Next Top Model” and “E! News” and created diverse content for brands like La Mer and Target.
- Samantha Chatman, a consumer investigative reporter for the weekday morning newscasts on WLS-TV in Chicago.
- Troy Pryor, a producer and actor – and former Illinois linebacker – whose work has appeared in productions for ABC, HGTV and Warner Brothers Entertainment. He also works to build Chicago’s artistic community through mentoring and production deals.
Valdivia, the moderator, is a professor in the U. of I. Institute of Communications Research and of media and cinema studies.
Full bios of the panelists can be found on the symposium webpage, along with videos of the two previous discussions: “The Movie Industry in a Time of Change” and “Documentary Film and Social Change.”
All three Ebert Symposium events explore the media industry in a time of change, shaped in part by the global pandemic and the racial justice movement.
The Ebert Symposium is a collaboration between the College of Media and Chaz Ebert. Roger Ebert, who died in 2013, was an Urbana native, Illinois journalism alumnus and Pulitzer Prize-winning film critic for the Chicago Sun-Times. Roger Ebert and his wife Chaz Ebert were co-founders of RogerEbert.com and, with the College of Media, of Roger Ebert's Film Festival, or "Ebertfest."