The roster for the 21st edition of Roger Ebert’s Film Festival, slated for April 10-13, has yet to be released, but Chaz Ebert — wife and steward of the legacy of the iconic critic (and pop culture figure) — disclosed some details today.
Ebertfest 2019 will celebrate the on-air partnership my husband Roger shared with his good friend, Chicago Sun-Times columnist-turned-head critic Richard Roeper, in their television series “Ebert & Roeper.” Richard, along with myself and Nate, have selected two soon-to-be-announced films for this year’s festival. And I promise you they will be a pleasure to watch. Afterwards, Richard will take to the stage where we will put him in the hot seat as the interviewee to share behind-the-scenes escapades about his partnership with Roger.
Chaz Ebert’s blog post also noted the festival will be dedicated to actor and Ebertfest supporter Scott Wilson, who passed away in October.
Scott attended the very first Ebertfest in 1999 when we featured his performance in Chip Rosenbloom’s 1997 family drama, Shiloh. The actor returned in subsequent years for screenings of Philip Kaufman’s Oscar-winning The Right Stuff, Joey Lauren Adams’ Come Early Morning and Phil Morrison’s Junebug.
The festival will honor Scott with a screening of Krzysztof Zanussi’s WWII drama A Year of the Quiet Sun, the Golden Lion winner at the 1984 Venice Film Festival. Maja Komorowska, the Polish actress who portrayed the refugee for whom Scott’s character falls, will join Scott’s widow, Heavenly Wilson, in a celebration of his life.
Passes for the full four-day festival are already on sale for $150, plus processing, with four-pass packs offered at a 15% discount. Additionally, a small number of U. of I. student passes will be made available priced at $100 each. The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Roger Ebert’s alma mater and the festival’s sponsoring partner, will also offer a limited number of $100 passes to students.
For those who never attended Ebertfest and aren’t sure what it’s all about, here’s a recap of last year’s edition: