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Roger Ebert’s Film Festival

Program Number: 1437RJ
Start and End Dates:
4/23/2014 - 4/27/2014; 4/15/2015 - 4/19/2015;
Duration: 4 nights
Location: Urbana-Champaign, Illinois
Price starting at: $799.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Film Festivals Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 11; 3 Breakfasts, 1 Brunch, 3 Lunches, 4 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian; Gluten Free; Kosher; Low Salt    

Celebrate the glory of the motion picture with fellow aficionados in central Illinois’ education capital. No other name draws to mind a film critic faster than Pulitzer Prize-winner Roger Ebert. Come and test your critical skills with rousing discussions of film, with a chance to view a number of selections hand chosen by film experts. Hobnob with the film industry’s on- and off-screen veterans as you see films with the mind’s eye of a critic instead of a carper.




Highlights

• Meet with actors, directors, producers, writers and the emcee, Roger's wife, Chaz.
• Discover your inner film critic as you review 12-14 films handpicked by film experts and Roger's fellow critics.
• Participate in academic panel discussions as you explore the depths of acting, artistry, angle and feel with top entertainment industry experts.



Activity Particulars

Light walking and standing in line; boarding and disembarking coach buses.



Despite Roger Ebert's passing in April 2013, the University of Illinois College of Media has said the Festival will continue indefinitely in Roger's honor. Films will be chosen by experts such as longtime festival director Nate Kohn and Roger's fellow critics.



Coordinated by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.




Urbana-Champaign

The sister communities of Urbana and Champaign are classic college towns rich in the cultural, recreational and educational resources of the University of Illinois. Residents and visitors alike enjoy the wealth of performing arts, sports, literary and fine arts resources in a vibrant social setting.



Accommodations
Comfortable hotel near the University of Illinois campus with indoor swimming pool and Jacuzzi.
Meals and Lodgings
   Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham Champaign
  Champaign, IL 4 nights
 Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham Champaign
Type: Hotel
  Description: The hotel has an indoor heated pool and Jacuzzi.
  Contact info: 101 Trade Centre Drive
Champaign, IL 61820 USA
phone: 217-398-3400
web: http://www.hawthorn.com/hotels/illinois/champaign/hawthorn-suites-by-wyndham-champaign/hotel-overview
  Room amenities: Rooms feature a remote-controlled color TV with cable channels, coffeemaker with complimentary coffee, and high speed wireless internet access.
  Facility amenities: Several restaurants, a full-service grocery store, ice cream shop, and a park are within walking distance of the hotel. The west side of the University campus is also within walking distance.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: $79.99 - $99.99 + tax Additional nights before and/or after the program are based on dates and space availability. Participants responsible for making their own before or after the program room reservations. Room rates may be higher than Road Scholar program rate.
  Check in time: 3:00 PM
  Additional nights after: $79.99 - $99.99 + tax Additional nights before and/or after the program are based on dates and space availability. Participants responsible for making their own before or after the program room reservations. Room rates may be higher than Road Scholar program rate.
  Check out time: 12:00 PM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Registration begins at 2:00 p.m. CDT at hotel. You will be staying at Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham Champaign that night.
  End of Program:
Program ends after last film on the last day; however, hotel check-out is by Noon CDT. You will be staying at Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham Champaign the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required.
  Parking availability:
Free parking is located at the Hawthorn Suites; outdoor surface lot, not a garage. Handicap accessible parking spaces located near hotel's front entrance; other parking spaces in surface lot across the street from the hotel.
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  Champaign, IL
  Nearest city or town:  Champaign-Urbana
  Nearest highway: I-57, I-72, I-74, Illinois Route 45 (Neil St.)
  Nearest airport:  Champaign-Urbana Willard Airport (CMI), Champaign, IL.
  From End of Program
  Location: Champaign, IL
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details
 

Champaign

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Hotel Shuttle
Hawthorn Suites Shuttle
phone: 217-398-3400

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

Complimentary to Hawthorn Suites hotel guests
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

Available 24 hours/day, 7 days/week 

 

Distance:

 

From airport, train station and bus stations to hotel is 2 to 5 miles.

   

Hawthorn Suites shuttle service available to and from train station, bus station, and Willard airport (Savoy) 24/7 as a complimentary service for Hawthorn hotel guests.

 

Chicago, IL

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
Illini Shuttle / Suburban Express
phone: 217-344-6700
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

Approx. $30 each way
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

Approx. 3 hours 

 

Distance:

 

Approx. 150 miles

   

Prices and availability subject to change without notice. For current information and to book online, visit www.illinishuttle.com.

 

Chicago, IL

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
Express Air Coach
phone: 765-743-3120
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

Approx. $45 each way
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

Approx. 3 hours 

 

Distance:

 

Approx. 150 miles

   

Serves O'Hare Airport only, not Midway. Prices and availability subject to change without notice. For current information and to book online, visit www.expressaircoach.com.

 
Driving Directions
  From I-57 (North or South Bound) Take the University Avenue exit. Drive East on University Avenue to Neil Street (approximately 1.5 miles). Turn right (south) on Neil Street and continue South on Neil to Kirby Avenue approximately 1 mile). The Hawthorn is located on your right after crossing Kirby Avenue, and just beyond the McDonald's restaurant.
  From I-72 East I-72 East becomes University Avenue. Drive East on University Avenue to Neil Street (approximately 1.5 miles). Turn right (south) on Neil Street and continue South on Neil to Kirby Avenue approximately 1 mile). The Hawthorn is located on your right after crossing Kirby Avenue, and just beyond the McDonald's restaurant.
  From I-74 (East or West Bound) Take the Exit # 182 (Neil Street). Turn Left at the top of the exit ramp if you have exited I-74 West Bound; Turn Right at the top of the exit ramp if you have exited I -74 East Bound so that you are going South on Neil Street. You will travel South on Neil through the downtown Champaign area to Kirby Avenue (approximately 2.6 miles). The Hawthorn Suites is located on your right after crossing Kirby Avenue, and just beyond the McDonald's restaurant.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Registration, Program Welcome & Orientation, Guest Speaker, First Film
(Wednesday, April 23)

Note: Approx. 2 films shown



   
 Afternoon: Registration and check in at 2:00 p.m. at Hawthorn Suites. Followed by program orientation and a private lecture by the Festival Director.
 Dinner: Dinner around 4:30 p.m. at Hawthorn Suites.
 Evening: Bus departs for first film at Virginia Theatre around 5:45 p.m. Theatre doors open at 6:00 p.m. Festival welcome and introductions begin at 7:00 p.m. First film typically begins around 7:30 p.m., followed by discussion with filmmakers. A bus trip back to the hotel will be offered shortly after the film ends, and a second and final trip will be offered shortly after the discussion ends.
   
Accommodations: Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham Champaign
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Panel discussions, Festival films
(Thursday, April 24)

Note: Approx. 3 films shown, 2 panels



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at Hawthorn Suites.
 Morning: Bus leaves around 8:30 a.m. for 2 panel discussions with film experts and critics, at the Illini Union on the University of Illinois campus.
 Lunch: Bus departs Illini Union for Virginia Theatre. A bus will take those who do not attend the morning panels directly to the theatre before lunch. Box lunches provided to all at an off-site location near theatre.
 Afternoon: Approx. 2 films shown at Virginia Theatre, follow by discussions with filmmakers.
 Dinner: Dinner provided at hotel or off-site location near theatre, depending on film schedule. Opportunity to return to the hotel for those who do not want to see the final film of the day.
 Evening: Final film of the day at Virginia Theatre. A bus trip back to the hotel will be offered shortly after the film ends, and a second and final trip will be offered shortly after the discussion ends.
   
Accommodations: Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham Champaign
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Panel discussions, Festival films
(Friday, April 25)

Note: Approx. 3 films shown, 2 panels



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at Hawthorn Suites.
 Morning: Bus leaves around 8:30 a.m. for 2 panel discussions with film experts and critics, at the Illini Union on the University of Illinois campus.
 Lunch: Bus departs Illini Union for Virginia Theatre. A bus will take those who do not attend the morning panels directly to the theatre before lunch. Box lunches provided to all at an off-site location near theatre.
 Afternoon: Approx. 2 films shown at Virginia Theatre, follow by discussions with filmmakers.
 Dinner: Dinner provided at hotel or off-site location near theatre, depending on film schedule. Opportunity to return to the hotel for those who do not want to see the final film of the day.
 Evening: Final film of the day at Virginia Theatre. A bus trip back to the hotel will be offered shortly after the film ends, and a second and final trip will be offered shortly after the discussion ends.
   
Accommodations: Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham Champaign
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Panel discussion(s), Festival films
(Saturday, April 26)

Note: Approx. 3 films shown, 1-2 panels



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at Hawthorn Suites.
 Morning: Bus leaves around 8:30 a.m. for 1-2 panel discussion(s) with film experts and critics, at the Illini Union on the University of Illinois campus.
 Lunch: Lunches provided off site.
 Afternoon: Approx. 2 films shown at Virginia Theatre, follow by discussions with filmmakers.
 Dinner: Dinner provided at hotel or off-site location near theatre, depending on film schedule. Opportunity to return to the hotel for those who do not want to see the final film of the day.
 Evening: Final film of the day at Virginia Theatre. A bus trip back to the hotel will be offered shortly after the film ends, and a second and final trip will be offered shortly after the discussion ends.
   
Accommodations: Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham Champaign
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Closing remarks during brunch, group discussion, final Festival film
(Sunday, April 27)

Note: Approx. 1 film shown



   
 Morning: Check out of hotel by Noon.
 Morning: Van(s) depart for Virginia Theatre in late morning for final Festival film. Participants may drive their own cars to the theatre so that they can depart for home after the final film, or they may choose to ride to the theatre in the vans and return to the hotel after the final discussion after the film.
 Brunch: Private brunch buffet, group discussion led by special guest speaker and closing remarks at Hawthorn Suites.
 Afternoon: Final Festival film and discussion at Virginia Theatre. Program ends. Independent departures.
   
Meals Included: Brunch

Free Time Opportunities
 
  Champaign, IL University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
The University of Illinois is a world leader in research, teaching, and public engagement, distinguished by the breadth of its programs, broad academic excellence, and internationally renowned faculty. Illinois alumni have earned Nobel and Pulitzer Prizes and Olympic medals, have orbited the earth, and lead international corporations. The campus offers rich experiences beyond the classroom, from the best performing arts to Big Ten sports. For additional information, visit www.uiuc.edu
  Champaign, IL
General information about the Champaign area, including places of interest. For additional information, visit www.visitchampaigncounty.org/
  Arcola, IL
Arcola and Arthur, Illinois (45 miles Southwest of Champaign exit 203 off of Interstate 57) are home to the fourth largest Old Order Amish community in the nation. Both towns also have numerous antique and specialty shops. For additional information, visit www.arcola-il.org
  Amish Interpretive Center
The Illinois Amish Interpretive Center is the first museum in Illinois dedicated to the Old Order Amish culture. It traces the history of the Amish religion and provides a glimpse into the lives of Illinois Amish. The Center provides to the public a rich source of authentic, factual information about the Amish community in Illinois through exhibits of contemporary and historical objects and artifacts. The Amish Interpretive Center is located near Arcola. For additional information, visit www.amishcenter.com
  Allerton Park
The 1500-acre woodland, garden, meadow, and prairie landscape that surrounds the Allerton Mansion was once the private estate of Robert Henry Allerton. What was once the private oasis for a single family is now a vibrant teaching, recreational, and learning sanctuary for nearly 100,000 users every year. Allerton Park and Retreat Center is a unique cultural and environmental asset of the University of Illinois and serves as a bridge between the public and the educational and research resources of the University’s faculty. Located 28 miles southwest of Champaign in Monticello IL For additional information, visit www.allerton.uiuc.edu
  Rockome Gardens
For nearly half a century, Rockome Gardens' unique stonework and sprawling gardens have attracted vacationing families from all over the world. By combining a touch of whimsy with serious craftsmanship and setting the result amid the natural beauty of the Midwest. Rockome Gardens is located near Arcola. For additional information, visit www.rockome.com
  Springfield, IL
Springfield, Illinois is the state capital and also the home of the 16th President, Abraham Lincoln. Springfield has many Lincoln historical sites. Springfield is 90 miles Southwest of Champaign off of Interstate 72 (Interstate 72 ends at Springfield). For additional information, visit www.visit-springfieldillinois.com
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List


Life Itself: A Memoir


Author: Roger Ebert


Description: Summary written in 2011: Roger Ebert is the best-known film critic of our time. He has been reviewing films for the Chicago Sun-Times since 1967, and was the first film critic ever to win a Pulitzer Prize. He has appeared on television for four decades, including twenty-three years as cohost of Siskel & Ebert at the Movies. In 2006, complications from thyroid cancer treatment resulted in the loss of his ability to eat, drink, or speak. But with the loss of his voice, Ebert has only become a more prolific and influential writer. And now, for the first time, he tells the full, dramatic story of his life and career. Roger Ebert's journalism carried him on a path far from his nearly idyllic childhood in Urbana, Illinois. It is a journey that began as a reporter for his local daily, and took him to Chicago, where he was unexpectedly given the job of film critic for the Sun-Times, launching a lifetime's adventures. In this candid, personal history, Ebert chronicles it all: his loves, losses, and obsessions; his struggle and recovery from alcoholism; his marriage; his politics; and his spiritual beliefs. He writes about his years at the Sun-Times, his colorful newspaper friends, and his life-changing collaboration with Gene Siskel. He remembers his friendships with Studs Terkel, Mike Royko, Oprah Winfrey, and Russ Meyer (for whom he wrote Beyond the Valley of the Dolls and an ill-fated Sex Pistols movie). He shares his insights into movie stars and directors like John Wayne, Werner Herzog, and Martin Scorsese. This is a story that only Roger Ebert could tell. Filled with the same deep insight, dry wit, and sharp observations that his readers have long cherished, this is more than a memoir-it is a singular, warm-hearted, inspiring look at life itself.





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