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Film Tue May 06 2014

Chicago Critics Film Festival Returns May 9-15

ccff.jpgLast year, along with several of my fellow Chicago-based film critic associates — all member of the Chicago Film Critics Association — I embarked on an endeavor to do something that had never been done before. We created and put on the first-ever film festival programmed and run entirely by film critics. The programmers scoured festivals from Toronto, Sundance, SXSW and others to find what we considered the best of the best of the dozens of films we saw at each festival. We mixed up the program to include festival favorites, films still looking for distribution, and even a rarely seen but much loved classic, Sorcerer from director William Friedkin (who also attended). And for three glorious days last April, we actually managed to pull together a great line-up and got a few high-profile filmmakers to come out and do Q&As for our audiences.

The event was so successful that we decided to grow the experience for audiences this year and move the location from the Chicago suburbs to inside the city limits this year. The Second Annual Chicago Critics Film Festival will take place May 9-15 at the legendary Music Box Theatre, 3733 N. Southport Ave.

The idea behind the festival was also to answer the pleas of many film lovers who find themselves buried in film festival coverage in a given year and want to know how they can see some of these acclaimed works sooner rather than later (or maybe never).

Once again, we've got some great guests doing post-screening Q&As, including directors David Wain (They Came Together), Bobcat Goldthwaite (Willow Creek), Jordan Vogt-Roberts (American Ham) and Collin Schiffli (Animals), as well as actors Dick Miller (That Guy Dick Miller and A Bucket of Blood double-bill), Martin Starr & Jocelyn DeBoer (Dead Snow: Red vs. Dead) and David Dastmalchian (Animals). The festival features 23 Chicago premieres and two shorts programs, totaling 14 shorts between them. And I couldn't be more excited and proud to a part of this year's event once again.

Visit the CCFF website for full schedule details, passes and tickets.

And for the record, I don't make a dime off of this festival; none of us do actually. We're a part of this event because we believe in these films and really want you guys to have a chance to check out these great movies and interact with this exceptional talent. Hope to see you all come out and support great cinema.

 

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Feature Thu Apr 16 2015

From Chicago to Senegal by Way of the Drum: Interview with Local Filmmaker Mallory Sohmer

By Ana Sekler

Mallory Sohmer is a freelance documentary filmmaker from Chicago and a Columbia College alumna. She co-directed the new film, Drum Beat Journey, the story of four inner-city youth who travel to Petit Mbao, Senegal, to participate in a drumming workshop. The program used music as a vehicle to capture and connect with the young men in an engaging and original way. But this is not just a film about drumming; it's about stepping into another culture to learn about oneself.
Read this feature »

Steve at the Movies Wed Jul 01 2015

Terminator Genisys, Magic Mike XXL, The Little Death & Closer to God

By Steve Prokopy

Read this column »

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Events

Fri Jul 3 2015
Invasion USA @ Music Box

Fri Jul 3 2015
Recently Restored @ Film Center

Sat Jul 4 2015
Invasion USA @ Music Box

Sat Jul 4 2015
Yankee Doodle Dandy @ Music Box

Sat Jul 4 2015
Independence Day & The Burbs @ Empty Bottle

Sat Jul 4 2015
Chosen Few Picnic

Tue Jul 7 2015
Tell it to the Birds @ Millennium Park

Thu Jul 9 2015
Heather McAdams @ Sulzer Regional Library


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A/C is the arts and culture section of Gapers Block, covering the many forms of expression on display in Chicago. More...
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Editor: LaShawn Williams, ldw@gapersblock.com
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