Wednesday, October 04, 2017

CIFF>> Roger Ebert Award to be Presented at 53rd Chicago Int'l Film Festival

Prestigious Prize to be Awarded to Exceptional Emerging Filmmaker on Oct. 20
CHICAGO - The Chicago International Film Festival today announced that it will present the fourth annual Roger Ebert Award at the Festival’s Awards Night Ceremony on Friday, Oct. 20.  This award is presented to an emerging filmmaker with a fresh and uncompromising vision, selected from films in the New Directors Competition.
“One of Roger’s favorite things in life was discovering and championing the work of bold, audacious emerging directors,” said Chaz Ebert of her late husband, the legendary, Pulitzer Prize-winning critic for the Chicago Sun-Times. “His relationship to Chicago International Film Festival began in the 1960s, and thanks to the Festival, he was among the first to write about such auteurs as Martin Scorsese, Wim Wenders and Bertrand Tavernier.”
“Roger had an immeasurable and lasting impact on our Festival,” added Founder and President Michael Kutza. “He first covered us as a newsman and critic and became a supporter, jury member and presenter, and his enthusiasm for adventurous new work was contagious. Many international directors received their first American press attention thanks to Roger’s tireless commitment to highlighting the work of young talent.”
The Roger Ebert Award is made possible by the Roger & Chaz Ebert Foundation.
In 2014, fourteen films were eligible for the Award and the winner was Mexican director Jorge Pérez Solano (La Tirisia). In 2015, the prize was awarded to Ida Panahandeh, the Iranian director of Nahi. Last year, the Roger Ebert Award was presented to Hungarian feature Kills on Wheels, directed by Attila Till. This year 16 films will compete for the prize.
About Roger Ebert
Roger Ebert was an American film critic born on June 18, 1942, in Urbana, Illinois. His career began in 1966, writing for the Chicago Sun-Times' Sunday magazine. In 1975, he became the first film critic to win a Pulitzer Prize. That same year Ebert teamed up with fellow movie critic Gene Siskel on a television show where they debated the quality of the latest films. The show proved a hit, and Siskel and Ebert became household names. They worked together until 1999 when Siskel passed away. Ebert died on April 4, 2013, at age 70, in Chicago, Illinois.
Roger Ebert fearlessly championed movies by the new and adventurous. He supported directors with challenging visions that, without his encouraging words, may never have seen the projection light of a movie theater. Ebert helped launch filmmakers of all kinds, embracing cinema’s ability to allow audiences to enter—and empathize with—the lives of all types of people. It was a vision and a mission that he shared with the Chicago International Film Festival. It was at the Festival, seven months after being appointed the “Chicago Sun Times” film critic, where he saw the movie, “I Call First,” from a young director named Martin Scorsese. Since then he continued to play an integral role at the Festival, serving as jury and presenter.
Ebert and his wife Chaz developed the movie review website in 2002, and Chaz continues as it's publisher and CEO.  Their Roger Ebert Film Festival (Ebertfest) in Urbana-Champaign, Illinois is nearing its 20th anniversary. 
Ticket and Event Information
The 53rd Chicago International Film Festival is October 12-26. Screenings take place at the AMC River East 21 (322 E. Illinois). The complete lineup and schedule will be announced September 18. Tickets are now on sale. Tickets are available by calling 312-332-FILM (3456), online at, at the Festival Box Office at AMC River East at 322 E. Illinois Street, and at the Festival Pop-Up Box Office at 400 S. Dearborn.
About Cinema/Chicago
Cinema/Chicago, the presenting organization of the Chicago International Film Festival, is a year­ round non-­profit arts and education organization dedicated to fostering better communication between people of diverse cultures through the art form of the moving image. In addition to the Chicago International Film Festival, Cinema/Chicago's programs include: International Screenings Program, Chicago International Television Festival, CineYouth Festival, and year-round Education Program. Celebrating its 53rd edition October 12-26, 2017, the Chicago International Film Festival is North America's longest-running competitive film festival.
Festival Sponsors and Partners
The 53rd Chicago International Film Festival's sponsors include Official Airline: American Airlines; Premiere Sponsors: AARP, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Wintrust Community Banks; Participating Sponsors: Chicago Line Cruises, TV5Monde, Wansas Tequila; Education Sponsors: Allstate Insurance Company, HBO; Event Partners: AMC Theaters, Sound Investment AV; Hotel Partners: Ambassador Chicago, Conrad Chicago, The Whitehall Hotel; Platinum Media Partners: National CineMedia (NCM); Gold Media Partners: WTTW11, WBBM, WXRT; Silver Media Partners: WBEZ, Firewatch Films; Special support provided by Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the National Endowment of the Arts, the Illinois Arts Council Agency, Illinois Film Office, Chicago Film Office, and the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE).

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