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Ebertfest Film Festival Announces Newly Revised Dates: September 8-11, 2021

We are announcing that we are rescheduling Ebertfest 2021 to September 8-11, 2021, to give us the best chance to come together in person to watch great films on the big screen. We came to this decision after much thought and consultation. Not having Ebertfest this year was a great loss to all of us. When we postponed our 22nd film festival to April of next year, our priority was the wellbeing of everyone in the Ebertfest family. Our dilemma is that we still find ourselves in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, and while we hope for either a vaccine or more effective treatments soon, the future still remains far from certain.

Some of you have joined us for the online films and panels we programmed in order to continue our connection with you, and we will inform you as we plan other virtual Ebertfest cinema events. However, we believe that the heart of Ebertfest remains the community that our audience, our filmmakers, our sponsors and our critics build each year when we come together in person. Nothing can replace the communal feeling of watching a film in the Virginia Theatre as part of what Roger called “the perfect audience.” Next year, we want to give the festival every opportunity to happen in the format that we all love.

Instead of our April dates, Ebertfest will go ahead as a fully in-person event at the Virginia Theatre--with all precautions--from September 8-11, 2021. Pass Sales for Ebertfest 2021 will begin online on January 4th, 2021.

We hope that our new dates will give everyone the confidence that they will be able to join us. We also hope that by giving as much advance notice as possible everyone can make adjustments to their schedules to be with us in the fall of 2021. Like never before, the pandemic has meant that many of the art and cultural events that enrich and fulfill us have been placed under threat. We have worked tirelessly to make sure Ebertfest weathers the storm. But we need the support of everyone to make sure that Ebertfest comes back as strong as ever

As we begin planning for Ebertfest 2021, we hope that you and your families are staying safe and well. We look forward to seeing you at the 22nd Ebertfest Film Festival, September 8-11, 2021. Please check this space for additional notice as our pass sales go online starting January 4, 2021. Until then, here are some memories from the past for you to enjoy...

The Alloy Orchestra at Ebertfest. Photo by Timothy Hiatt.
The Martin Luther King Jr. Community Choir of Champaign-Urbana performing at Ebertfest 2019. Photo by Timothy Hiatt.
Ebertfest co-director Nate Kohn. Photo by Timothy Hiatt.
Jeff "The Dude" Dowd abides on closing night of Ebertfest 2018. Photo by Timothy Hiatt.
Producer Sandra Schulberg, actress Tommye Myrick and Sacha and Dominique Jenkins, the children of filmmaker Horace Jenkins, attend the Ebertfest 2019 screening of "Cane River." Photo by Timothy Hiatt.
Gina Gershon, Chaz Ebert and Jennifer Tilly at Ebertfest 2019. Photo by Timothy Hiatt.
The epic critic's panel headed by Leonard Maltin at Ebertfest 2018. Photo by Timothy Hiatt.
The Opening Night Gala for Ebertfest 2019 was hosted by University President Timothy Kileen (left) and his wife Dr. Roberta Johnson. Opening speeches were also given by Chancellor Robert Jones (right) and College of Media Dean Tracy Sulkin (center). Photos by Timothy Hiatt.
Burl McLiechey, the sixth-generation great-grandson of Sojourner Truth, join Chaz Ebert and Cal Calloway at Ebertfest 2018. Photo by Timothy Hiatt. Assistant Editor Nell Minow, "Maya Angelou And Still I Rise" filmmaker Rita Coburn and "The Curvy Critic" Carla Renata at Ebertfest 2019. Photo by Timothy Hiatt.
Filmmaker Gregory Nava with a poster of Ebertfest selection "Selena" signed by Jennifer Lopez. Photo by Timothy Hiatt.
Chaz Ebert surrounded by some of the Ebert Fellows at Ebertfest. Photo by Timothy Hiatt.
Chaz Ebert

Chaz is the CEO of several Ebert enterprises, including the President of The Ebert Company Ltd, and of Ebert Digital LLC, Publisher of, President of Ebert Productions and Chairman of the Board of The Roger and Chaz Ebert Foundation, and Co-Founder and Producer of Ebertfest, the film festival now in its 24th year.

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