The remaining films have been announced, along with the schedule and additional guests, for this year’s Roger Ebert’s Film Festival hosted by Chaz Ebert, also known as “Ebertfest,” coming April 13-17. The annual festival will be at the Virginia Theatre, 203 W. Park Ave., Champaign, and the U. of I. campus.
The newly announced films are “Disturbing the Peace” (2016), a documentary that follows Israelis and Palestinians in a transition from fighters to peace activists; “Grandma” (2015), starring Lily Tomlin in the title role; “L'inhumaine” (1924), a groundbreaking French science fiction silent film; “Eve’s Bayou” (1997), about a Louisiana family and its secrets; “Radical Grace” (2015), a documentary about three activist nuns; and “Love & Mercy” (2015), a biopic on the life of Beach Boys leader Brian Wilson.
The previously announced films are “Crimson Peak” (2015), directed by Guillermo del Toro, which will open the festival; “Blow Out” (1981), a Brian De Palma film; “Body and Soul,” a 1925 silent film that marked the debut of actor Paul Robeson; “Force of Destiny” (2015), directed by Ebertfest favorite Paul Cox; “Northfork” (2003), directed by Michael Polish; and “The Third Man” (1949), a mystery-thriller starring Orson Welles and Joseph Cotten, in a new 4K restoration.
Details on the newly announced films and guests, as well as the schedule of film screenings, can be found on the Ebertfest website. The schedule of panel discussions will be announced soon.
This year’s festival is the 18th annual, and each year it attracts major filmmakers, stars, historians, critics and film-lovers from all over the world. The films are selected from lists Roger Ebert drew up over the first 15 years of the festival, before his death in 2013, as well as others selected by his wife, Chaz Ebert, and festival director Nate Kohn, based on Roger Ebert’s established criteria.
All of the festival films will be screened at the 1,500-seat Virginia Theatre, a downtown Champaign movie palace opened in 1921 and restored to its early grandeur though extensive renovations prior to the 2013 festival. The festival is an event of the College of Media, and panel discussions and other events are held on the U. of I. campus.
Festival passes are available for $150, plus processing, with only 1,000 available. Passes may be purchased through the festival website, the theater website, or the theater box office (in person or call 217-356-9063).
Individual tickets for each screening will go on sale April 1, and are $15 ($13 for students and seniors).
Additional information can be found at the festival website.