The Chicago Film Critics Association, a group of over 50 Chicago-area print, online and broadcast critics that has been celebrating and promoting the art of film for over 20 years, is pleased to announce the first annual Chicago Critics Film Festival, a three-day collection of more than 20 features and short films comprised of recent festival favorites and as-yet undistributed works, all receiving their Chicago premieres and covering a wide variety of genres. The festival is set to take place at the Muvico Theaters Rosemont 18 from April 12-14, 2013.
This will be the first time a film-critics group has ever hosted its own film festival. One of the film critic’s jobs is to spotlight works that do not have the benefit of big promotions, and that is the idea behind this festival. The CFCA plans to make this the first of an annual series sharing films we genuinely love and exposing a wider audience to features, documentaries and short films that either do not yet have theatrical distribution or could use an extra push.
Oscar-winning director William Friedkin will make an appearance Sunday evening to sign copies of his newly published memoir “The Friedkin Connection” and participate in a Q&A following a screening of one of his classic films. The inaugural festival will kick off with Oscar-nominated actress-filmmaker Sarah Polley (“Away from Her,” “Take This Waltz”) on hand to present the local premiere of her latest film, “Stories We Tell” and For the closing night spot, the festival is proud to present the Sundance favorite “The Spectacular Now,” co-starring Golden Globe nominee Shailene Woodley.
Other films already confirmed for the festival include the coming-of-age comedy “The Kings of Summer” (featuring Chicagoan Nick Offerman from “Parks and Recreation”), “I Declare War,” a trippy action-comedy in which a children’s war game is seen exclusively through the eyes of its participants, the Slamdance award-winner “The Dirties,” “The Institute,” a documentary about an Alternate Reality Game in which the real and the fictional merge together in unexpected ways, the romantic drama “Leave Me Like You Found Me” (with director Adele Romanski scheduled to attend), the off-beat superhero tale “Sparks” and the inspirational documentary “When I Walk.” In addition, two programs of short films are scheduled that will feature selections from around the world, including entries from students at Chicago’s Columbia College. Other films and guests will be announced soon.
The festival will be held at the Muvico Theater in Rosemont, just a few short miles from O’Hare airport and conveniently connected to the city of Chicago by public transportation. The theater will be donating two screens for the duration of the festival and will also provide its adjacent Bogart’s Bar & Grill for meals and post-screening VIP events.
Ticket pricing for the festival passes is as follows:
$100 – Full Festival Weekend Pass (with VIP closing party & Saturday night party)
$80 – Saturday/Sunday Festival Daily Pass (Movies & After-Parties)
$50 – Saturday or Sunday Festival Pass (Movies & After-Parties)
$25 – Opening Night Double Feature — Stories We Tell & Grow Up, Tony Phillips w/Q&As
Tickets for individual screenings and events will also be available. Tickets and passes can be purchased starting on March 7. Individual tickets will go on sale March 25.
MUVICO THEATERS ROSEMONT 18
All festival screenings and events will be held at the Muvico Theaters Rosemont 18. Located in Rosemont. IL off of River Road and 294, the Muvico Theaters Rosemont 18 is Chicago’s premiere movie-going experience featuring elegant stadium seating and state of the art Sony 4K digital projection.
All official festival gatherings will be held at Bogart’s Bar and Grill, located on the second floor of the Muvico Theaters Rosemont 18. Muvico is also easily accessible by public transportation; just a short walk from the Blue Line River Road exit.
CFCA Case Statement
The CFCA has always been dedicated to supporting and celebrating quality filmmaking that has something to say about our world, our lives, and our society. In the past, while it supported and fought for the continued role of film critics in the media, the CFCA’s primary public interaction was through the announcement of its annual film awards each December. In 2012, however, the CFCA moved aggressively to expand its presence on the Chicago arts scene and to promote critical thinking about cinema to a wider base. Last year, in addition to re-launching a late-winter awards ceremony, CFCA members presented numerous film screenings at theaters like the Gene Siskel Film Center, Studio Movie Grill in Wheaton, and Muvico Theaters in Rosemont. CFCA members also team-taught a new Young People’s Film Criticism Workshop at Facets Multimedia that emphasized not just film analysis and criticism, but also writing skills to middle- and high-school students, many of whom were attending the course on lower-income scholarships. With this film festival, we intend to take the next step.