By Indiewire | Indiewire April 3, 2007 at 9:59AM
Roger Ebert's recovery from cancer surgery has been a "long and unexpected ordeal" but he plans to attend his annual festival for overlooked movies. "I think of the festival as the first step on my return to action," Ebert wrote in a column celebrating his 40th anniversary as film critic at the Chicago Sun-Times. The column was posted Tuesday on his website. Ebert said he'll watch the ninth annual Overlooked Film Festival, which begins April 25 at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, from the audience, with colleagues taking over onstage duties. He cannot speak due to a tracheostomy, a procedure that opens an airway through an incision in the windpipe. Megan Reichgott reports.