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The Ebertfest is the creation of Roger Ebert (TV and Chicago Sun-Times film critic) and the College of Communications at the University of Illinois. Each April, the Ebertfest is held at the Virginia Theatre, an old time movie palace in Champaign, Illinois.
Originally called Roger Ebert's Overlooked Film Festival, the festival endeavored to screen films that had not been given enough attention attention by the public, film critics, or even distributors. Although "Overlooked" has been dropped from the official festival name, the mission to screen quality work of all formats and from all genres still continues.
Unlike typical film festivals it does not accept submissions. Roger Ebert selects films for the festival which in his opinion are excellent. All films are selected from those that Ebert sees in the course of his normal reviewing work.
In most years the festival has included a film in the 70 mm format. The films screened in the past have included: 2001: A Space Odyssey, Patton, and the French film Playtime. These films were all chosen primarily due to their use of the 70mm process, which Ebert feels is overlooked.
Each year a silent film is shown with live orchestral accompaniment (usually by the Alloy Orchestra). The films selected are generally well-known (for example, Nosferatu), but Ebert feels that silent films in general are overlooked by the majority of moviegoers. The festival also strives to include a musical film for the same reason.
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