CHAMPAIGN, Ill. Roger Ebert will kick off his 2001 film festival, fittingly, with a special screening of "2001: A Space Odyssey" and the U.S. premiere of "Stanley Kubrick: A Life in Pictures."
The third annual Roger Eberts Overlooked Film Festival will run April 25-29 at the University of Illinois and at two historic Champaign theaters, the Virginia and the Art. Open to the public, the festival draws film fans from across the country and dozens of film-industry professionals, including actors, directors, distributors, producers and writers. Last year, 12,000 people attended the festivals films and academic panel discussions.
Hosted by Ebert, the festival is a special event of the UI College of Communications.
This years first film, a newly minted 70 mm print of Stanley Kubricks "2001" (1968), begins at 7:30 p.m. April 25 at the Virginia Theater, 203 W. Park Ave., Champaign.
Star of the film, Keir Dullea, will be on stage to discuss the film with Ebert, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and 1964 graduate of the UI. Ebert also is the film critic for the Chicago Sun-Times and co-host of "Ebert & Roeper and the Movies," a nationally syndicated television program. Arthur C. Clarke, co-author of the "2001" screenplay, will participate in the festival by phone. The movie "2001" has special significance for the UI since it depicts the university as the fictional birthplace of HAL 9000, the spacecraft Discoverys troubled onboard computer.
The second festival-opening film, a 1999 documentary produced by Jan Harlan, Kubricks brother-in-law, also will be followed by a discussion. Participants in that discussion will include Ebert, as host, and Dullea, Harlan and Frederick Ordway, special effects coordinator on "2001." Harlan also is executive producer of "A.I. Artificial Intelligence" (2001), "Eyes Wide Shut" (1999), "Full Metal Jacket" (1987) and "The Shining" (1980).
Ebert and his festival guests will be onstage before and after each film to join the audience in discussions about the films. He also will do a book signing and hold a news conference. The book signing for "Roger Eberts Movie Yearbook 2001" is from 12:30-1:30 p.m. April 26 in the Illini Union Bookstore, 809 S. Wright St., Champaign. He will be available to speak with members of the news media in the bookstore after the signing.
In all, 14 films will be screened over the course of the festival. The others: "Everyone Says I Love You" (United States, 1996); "Girl On the Bridge" (France, 1999); "Jesus Son" (Canada/United States, 1999); "The King of Masks" (China, 1996); "Maryam" (United States, 2000); "Nosferatu" (German, 1922); "On the Ropes" (United States, 1999); "Panic" (United States, 2000); "A Simple Plan" (United States, 1998); "Songs From the Second Floor" (Sweden, 2000); "Such a Long Journey" (United Kingdom/Canada, 1998); and "3 Women" (United States, 1977).
Other special invited guests who will take part in the festival, including the four free public panel discussions, include:
Henry Bromell, director of "Panic." For that film, Bromell was nominated for the Grand Special Prize at the Deauville Film Festival (2000). His other works include the television series "Northern Exposure" (executive producer and writer), and "Homicide: Life on the Street" (co-executive producer).
Billy Crudup, star of "Jesus Son," earned the Outer Critics Circle Outstanding Newcomer Award for his performance in Tom Stoppards "Arcadia." He also starred in "Inventing the Abbotts," "Sleepers" and "Almost Famous." Crudup has won several awards, including the Best Actor Award at the Paris Film Festival (1999) for "Jesus Son."
Elizabeth Cuthrell, producer and screenwriter of "Jesus Son." She also played a role in the film and in "Mob War."
Jean Doumanian, producer of "Everyone Says I Love You." She also produced "Mighty Aphrodite" (1995) and "Small Time Crooks" (2000), and was executive producer of "Saturday Night Live." She played herself in "Light Keeps Me Company" (2000).
Jane Gillooly, director of "Dragonflies, the Baby Cries," a 10-minute short that will precede "Nosferatu," and producer of "Leonas Sister Gerri" (1995).
Pamela Godfrey, vice president of Worldwide Publicity for Warner Home Video. She also was the publicist for "The Whole Nine Yards" (2000) and production spokeswoman for "Battlefield Earth" (2000).
Sturla Gunnarsson, director of "Such a Long Journey." Gunnarsson has won several awards, including the Most Popular Canadian Film Award at the Vancouver International Film Festival (1998) for "Such a Long Journey."
Stefan Larsson, star of "Songs From the Second Floor."
Shauna Lyon, producer of "Maryam." For the last four years she has been the producer and managing director of Baronstorm: The Eddie Adams Workshop, an annual photojournalism event. Lyon also has been the studio manager for celebrity and documentary photographer Eddie Adams. She founded and manages Streetlight Films, the production company that produced "Maryam."
Alison MacLean, director of "Jesus Son." MacLean also directed many television series episodes, including "Homicide" and "Subway Stories: Tales From the Underground." She has directed and written for movies, including "Crush and Kitchen Sink," and has won awards for her work, including the Little Golden Lion Award and OCIC Award at the Venice Film Festival (1999), both for "Jesus Son."
Tyrene Manson, star of "On the Ropes." Manson will participate by phone.
Larry Meistrich, founder and chief executive officer of The Shooting Gallery, the New York independent movie studio that made such films as "Sling Blade," "24 Hour Woman," "The Minus Man" and "You Can Count on Me," which won the Grand Jury Prize at last years Sundance Film Festival.
Brett Morgen, co-director of "On the Ropes," the most recent filmography he has directed and produced. Other projects include "On Tour," a 1997 TV series, and "Ollies Army."
Lars Nordh, star of "Songs From the Second Floor."
Bill Paxton, star of "A Simple Plan." Paxton also starred in such films as "American Pie II" (2001), "Vertical Limit" (2000), "A Bright Shining Lie" (1998), "Titanic" (1997) and "Twister" (1996). His notable TV appearances were in "Tales From the Crypt," "The Hitchhiker" (1983) and "Miami Vice" (1984).
Ramin Serry, director of "Maryam," his feature film writing and directorial debut. Serry wrote, directed and edited "My Sisters Wedding," which was shown at several European film festivals and at the International Tournée of Iranian Short Films.
Holly Sorensen, the senior vice president of production at The Shooting Gallery. She produced the film "The Auteur Theory."
Wu Tianming, director of "King of Masks." Wu was designated the head of Xian Studios in 1984. As a producer, he was behind the highly acclaimed film "Red Sorghum" (1987) and "King of the Children" (1988). Wu has directed other films, including "The Old Well."
David Urrutia, producer and screenwriter of "Jesus Son." He also played in the film.
George Walton, star of "On the Ropes."
Dates, locations and topics for the free public panel discussions:
Thursday, April 26
9:30-11:30 a.m., second floor, General Lounge, Illini Union, 1401 W. Green St., Urbana, "The Dynamics of Independent Film Distribution The Big Picture," moderator Ebert.
2:20-3:30 p.m., Virginia Theater, "Stanley Kubrick: His Life and His Work," immediately following the Kubrick documentary, moderator Ebert.
Friday, April 27
9-10:30 a.m., Music Room, Levis Faculty Center, 919 W. Illinois St., Urbana, "Lost in the Multiplex: The Overlooked Midsize Film," sponsored by the Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities, moderator Christine Catanzarite, associate director of IPRH.
11 a.m. 12:30 p.m., same room in Levis, "Sex and Gender in Film and the Film Industry," moderator Andrea Press, associate director, UI Media Studies, Institute for Communications Research.
Festival passes are on sale at the Virginia Theater box office, and can be purchased online at the festival Web site: www.ebertfest.com.