The festivities kick off in mind-melting fashion on Wednesday, April 21 with a 70mm presentation of Alan Parker's Pink Floyd: The Wall. If your faculties are intact after that you may want to stick around to see Roy Andersson's You, The Living with actress Jessika Lundberg and Assistant Director/Production Manager, Johan Carlsson, in attendance.
Thursday brings audiences Munyurangabo with writer/director Lee Isaac Chung, co-writer/producer, Sam Anderson and co-producer Jenny Lund, The New Age with writer/director Michael Tolkin and a presentation of Apocalypse Now Redux with Sound & Film Editor Walter Murch.
Friday begins with 2008's Oscar winner for Best Foreign Film, Departures, with director Yôjirô Takita. Each year features a silent film accompanied by a live orchestra. Last year it was Josef von Sternberg's The Last Command. This year's choice is Dziga Vertov's Man with a Movie Camera with a performance by the splendid Alloy Orchestra. The day concludes with the wonderfully trippy Synecdoche, New York with producer Anthony Bregman and writer/director Charlie Kaufman on hand I'm sure to answer many, many questions afterwards.
Saturday begins a little earlier with Tim Fywell's adaptation of Dodie Smith's I Capture The Castle. Producer/Director Jennifer Burns will be joined by Vincent P. Falk, the mysterious Chicago staple known as Fashion Man. With his flashy suits and twirl shows for passing commuters and tourists downtown, his story is now the subject of Vincent: A Life in Color. One of Ebert's championed films of 2009. the unjustly overlooked Trucker is up next with Writer/Director James Mottern and star Michelle Monaghan on hand to talk about it. Finally, a drink to all my friends, all my friends, as the night closes out with Barfly and Director Barbet Schroeder.
That's not all though as the fest as one more film up its sleeve at noon on Sunday with Greg Kohs' terrific and heartbreaking, Song Sung Blue, about a Milwaukee couple known as Lightning & Thunder, who dedicated their adult lives to performing as a Neil Diamond tribute band. Kohs will be there along with Thunder herself, Claire Sardina, with the documentary that personifies the spirit under which Ebertfest was founded.
Full passes for the fest sold out as far in advance as January. But tickets for individual screenings go on sale Monday, April 5th. Having made the drive into Champaign from the Chicago suburbs for the very first time last year, it's almost impossible to stress what a must-attend this is for movie lovers everywhere.