The Roger Ebert Film Festival, co-founded and hosted by Chaz Ebert and also known as ‘Ebertfest’, has announced the first three films and special guests of the highly anticipated 20th Anniversary of celebrating overlooked films, genres and less seen formats.
The 20th Annual Roger Ebert’s Film Festival, co-founded and hosted by Chaz Ebert, announces today that THE 13th, BELLE and DAUGHTERS OF THE DUST will be screened throughout the festival’s five days. Special guests Director, Writer and Producer Ava DuVernay (THE 13th), Director Amma Asante (Belle) and Director Julie Dash (DAUGHTERS OF THE DUST) will be in attendance and participate in panel discussions open to the audience following their screenings.
“What an honour to have these Three Queens of Cinema grace our festival,” said Chaz Ebert. “Ava DuVernay first met Roger outside of the practice arena for the Academy Awards when she was 8 years old. She was accompanied by her aunt whose death later inspired Ava’s poignant independent film, “I Will Follow”, that Roger gave Thumbs Up. Now she is directing a 100 million dollar movie. But why I am especially thrilled to have her at our 20th anniversary is because of all of the good work she is doing in Hollywood to assure that women and people of color are having opportunities that were not available before. She didn’t stop at her own success, she reached out and invited others to come along.”
The 20th Anniversary of Ebertfest will be held April 18-22, 2018 at the 90-year-old Virginia Theatre in Champaign, IL with related talks and panel discussions to be held at the Hyatt Place in Champaign. This year’s event will be dedicated to its namesake and co-founder, Roger Ebert, and to the festival’s cherished friend, Mary Frances Fagan. Dubbed Ebertfest’s “Guardian Angel” by Roger Ebert, Fagan worked for American Airlines and made essential travel for filmmakers possible through generous support over two decades.
Visit Ebertfest.com for tickets, additional festival updates, background and schedules.