THE TWENTIETH ANNUAL INSTALLMENT OF EBERTFEST, the film festival co-founded by Pulitzer Prize-winning critic Roger Ebert and his wife Chaz Ebert at the University of Illinois, College of Media, is slated to run from Wednesday, April 18th, through Sunday, April 22nd, next year. Passes for the festival go on sale today, Wednesday, November 1st, and will be available at the official sites of Ebertfest and its main venue, The Virginia Theatre, 203 W. Park Ave., Champaign, Ilinois. They can also be purchased by calling the theater box office at 217-356-9063. Passes cost $150 plus processing and cover every screening scheduled for the festival. Only 1,000 passes will be sold. Panel discussions and other related festival events are free and will be held both at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and at the Hyatt Hotel.
Presiding over Ebertfest are co-founder and producer Chaz Ebert and festival director Nate Kohn. "I can't believe that next year will commemorate the twentieth anniversary of our festival," said Chaz. "It's been a labor of love from the very beginning, and I always look forward to meeting the wonderful audiences—both new and returning—every year. Time and again our distinguished guest filmmakers have told me how much they've loved their experience at the festival and cannot wait to come back. To celebrate our twentieth year, I encourage readers and festivalgoers to share their own ideas of how we can make this anniversary installment extra-special."
From rare archival prints of iconic classics to the latest and greatest works of modern cinema, Ebertfest's lineup has it all. Though the official titles for 2018 will not be announced until several weeks prior to the festival, cinephiles can simply search through the archives to get a sampling of the phenomenal guests and screenings offered each year.
A few past visitors to the festival include Nancy Allen, Steven Apkon, Ramin Bahrani, Renée Baker, Michael Barker, Seymour Bernstein, Charles Burnett, Michael Butler, Veronica Cartwright, Arthur C. Clarke, Paul Cox, Billy Crudup, Hugh Dancy, Guillermo del Toro, Caleb Deschanel, Keir Dullea, Robert Forster, Andrew Harvey, Michael Hausman, Werner Herzog, Isabelle Huppert, Norman Jewison, Charlie Kaufman, Kris Kristofferson, Neil LaBute, Brie Larson, Ang Lee, Spike Lee, Kasi Lemmons, Richard Linklater, Guy Maddin, John Malkovich, Andrew Miano, Bennett Miller, Gregory Nava, Norman Lear, Tim Blake Nelson, Jeff Nichols, Bill Nighy, Patton Oswalt, Chazz Palminteri, Rebecca Parrish, Father Michael Pfleger, Michael Polish, Alan Polsky, James Ponsoldt, Alex Proyas, Bob Rafelson, Alan Rickman, Gil Robertson, Gary Ross, Paul Schrader, Jason Segel, Michael Shannon, Timothy Spall, Oliver Stone, Tilda Swinton, Rita Taggart, Anna Thomas, David Warner, Paul Weitz, Haskell Wexler, Scott Wilson, Irwin Winkler, Shailene Woodley and Terry Zwigoff.
Here is a look back at wonderful memories from Ebertfest 2017...
Roger Ebert's 19th Annual Film Festival // A Retrospective Documentary from Shatterglass Studios on Vimeo.
Join in the Ebertfest conga line next year and meet filmmakers, critics and movie buffs from around the world. There simply isn't a cinematic labor of love quite like it. Individual tickets for each screening are $15 ($13 for students and seniors).
For questions about the festival write to firstname.lastname@example.org.