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Office Christmas Party

Another reminder that allowing your cast to madly improvise instead of actually providing a coherent script with a scintilla of inherent logic often leads to…

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Ballad of Narayama

"The Ballad of Narayama" is a Japanese film of great beauty and elegant artifice, telling a story of startling cruelty. What a space it opens…

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Ebertfest 2014 Video Captures the Festival Magic

The infectious excitement, familial atmosphere and cinematic euphoria of Ebertfest is captured in this wonderful 14-minute video from the talented crew at Shatterglass Studios. Shot this past April at the 16th annual installment of Roger Ebert's Film Festival in Champaign-Urbana, the video features exclusive interviews with guest filmmakers Steve James, Spike Lee, Oliver Stone, Ramin Bahrani, Haifaa al-Mansour and many others. There's also some lovely footage of the highly anticipated unveiling of the bronze Roger Ebert statue sculpted by Rick Harney, as well as some priceless onstage riffs from actor Patton Oswalt, the best of which are saved for the end credits. Recalling his near-nude scene with Charlize Theron in Jason Reitman's "Young Adult," Oswalt refers to his torso as "a living tribute to Walter Matthau's face."

Ebertfest 2014 Final from Shatterglass Studios on Vimeo.

Passes for Ebertfest 2015, slated to run from Wednesday, April 15th, through Sunday, April 19th, are currently available at the official site of the festival's main venue, The Virginia Theatre, 203 W. Park Ave, Champaign, IL, as well as at the Ebertfest site. They can also be purchased by calling the theater box office at 217-356-9063. Passes cost $145 and cover every screening scheduled for the festival. Only one thousand passes will be sold. Panel discussions and other related festival events are free and will be held at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Presiding over Ebertfest are Co-Founder, Producer and Host, Chaz Ebert, and Festival Director, Nate Kohn. The festival is sponsored by the University of Illinois College of Media.

Individual tickets for each screening will go on sale Wednesday, April 1st, 2015, and are $14 ($12 for students and seniors). Visitors interested in becoming volunteers or sponsors can contact the festival's associate director, Mary Susan Britt, at 217-244-0552 or via e-mail at marsue@illinois.edu. 

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