Though Roger Ebert passed away three years ago, his legacy continues to live on each year when Chicago cinephiles gather in Champaign, Illinois for Ebertfest. 2016 marks the festival's 18th year, and organizers and host Chaz Ebert have just announced the first wave of special screenings and festival attendees.
Chaz Ebert and Festival Director Nate Kohn select the films for the festival following Ebert's notorious rubrik of a so-called Eberfest film. Thanks to their efforts and deliberation, this year's festival will include special guests like Gil Robertson, president of the African American Film Critics Association, actress Nancy Allen, composer Renee Baker & The Chicago Modern Orchestra Project, filmmaker Paul Cox, crew veteran Angela Allen and director Michael Polish. Guiellermo Del Toro will also welcome audiences to the festival with a screening of his latest work, "Crimson Peak," on opening night.
Check out the fist round of programming below. The remaining 12 films set to screen will be announced in the coming weeks. Ebertfest will take place April 13-17, 2016 in Champaign, IL at the Virginia Theatre.
"Blow Out" (1981)
Directed by Brian De Palma, 108 Mins, 35MM
Special Guest Nancy Allen in attendance.
"Body and Soul" [silent film] (1925)
Directed by Oscar Micheaux, 102 Mins, DCP
Special Guests Composer Renee Baker & the Chicago Modern Orchestra Project in attendance.
"Force of Destiny" (2015)
Directed by Paul Cox, 109 Mins, DCP
Special Guest Director Paul Cox in attendance.
Directed by Michael Polish, 103 Mins, 35mm
Special Guest Director Michael Polish in attendance.
"The Third Man" (1949)
Directed by Carol Reed, 104 Mins, New 4K Restoration
Special Guest Angela Allen, an 87 year old legend in the British Film Industry who began her career working with director Carol Reed, will be in attendance.