Ebertfest: Roger Ebert’s Film Festival

Embrace your inner critic as you review films, meet entertainment professionals, participate in an academic panel and enjoy all the glitz and glamor of the Roger Ebert’s Film Festival.
Rating (5)
Program No. 1437RJ
5 days
Starts at

At a Glance

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 the late 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 a critic's eye.

Best of all, you'll ...

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

General Notes

Despite Roger Ebert's passing in 2013, the University of Illinois College of Media has said the Festival will continue indefinitely in Ebert's honor. Selections are often made from lists of films Roger Ebert has reviewed. Newer titles are chosen by Co-founder and host, Chaz Ebert and festival director, Nate Kohn. Films are announced in March. Due to the nature of this program, listening devices are not available.
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Life Itself: A Memoir
by Roger Ebert
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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