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Chicago International Film Festival Dedicates Opening Night to Roger Ebert

CHICAGO, IL (October 4, 2013) - Roger Ebert didn’t just write about the movies - he was the movies. Roger Ebert didn’t just live in Chicago - he was Chicago. The 49th Chicago International Film Festival is proud to dedicate this year’s Opening Night, Thursday October 10 at The Chicago Theatre (175 N. State St.), to the man who, for more than 40 years, was the beloved face (and the thumb) of film criticism.

The event will include a short video tribute to the Chicago Sun-Times’ Pulitzer Prize-winning movie critic and will precede the screening of the Festival’s Opening Night Film, The Immigrant, directed by James Gray and starring Academy Award®-winning actress Marion Cotillard (in her first English-language lead role), Joaquin Phoenix and Jeremy Renner. The event starts at 7 p.m., preceded by red carpet arrivals.  Ebert’s wife, Chaz Ebert and director James Gray are scheduled to attend.

Considering the Festival “an adornment to our city,” Roger Ebert credited the event for introducing him to the work of Martin Scorsese, Werner Herzog, Rainer Werner Fassbinder and Gregory Nava. Over the years he collaborated with the Festival on such projects as the special appearance of Kim Novak during a presentation of the restored Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo, and discussions with luminaries including George Cukor, Sydney Pollack and Alan Parker.

“Roger has been an integral part of the Chicago International Film Festival from its earliest days,” said Festival Founder and Artistic Director Michael Kutza. “He long supported our mission of introducing Chicago moviegoers to the newest and brightest filmmakers from around the world. He leaves a strong legacy not only through his website, RogerEbert.com, where a large roster of top critics continue in his footsteps, but in the works of many filmmakers who fell in love with the movies through his reviews.”

“Roger admired how Michael Kutza kept the film festival going all these years and I thank him for honoring Roger once more,” said Chaz Ebert, Roger’s wife and publisher of Rogerebert.com, the website she co-founded with her husband. “I would also like to thank the Festival for their support.”

Opening Night Ticket Information

Tickets for Opening Night of the 49th Chicago International Film Festival are on sale now and can be purchased online at www.thechicagotheatre.com or in person at The Chicago Theatre (175 N. State St.) box office (Monday to Friday, 12-6 pm). Film-only tickets are: Balcony, $25 for Cinema/Chicago members and $30 for non-members; Main Floor, $30 for Cinema/Chicago members and $35 for non-members.

VIP Ticket packages including a main floor seat and admission to the after-party at The Preston Bradley Hall of The Chicago Cultural Center (78 E. Washington St.) are priced at $150 per ticket and can be purchased online at www.chicagofilmfestival.com or by calling the Festival Hotline at 312-332-3456 (FILM).

Ticket, Festival Passes and Theater Information

Festival Passes are on sale through October 9. Pass options include:

Moviegoer (10 regular admissions): $95 for Cinema/Chicago members, $125 for non-members.

Passport (20 regular admissions): $180 for Cinema/Chicago members, $240 for non-members

Passes can be purchased online at www.chicagofilmfestival.com.

Tickets can be purchased online via Ticketmaster www.ticketmaster.com/chicagofilmfestival; by phone at 312-332-FILM (3456); or by visiting the Festival box office at AMC River East 21 (322 E. Illinois St.) or at the Cinema/Chicago office (30 E. Adams, Suite 800).

Apart from the opening night, all festival screenings will be held at the AMC River East 21 Theater (322 E. Illinois St.).

Opening Night Sponsors

Opening Night of the 49th Chicago International Film Festival is sponsored by Lead Partner Columbia College Chicago; Official Airline - American Airlines; Headquarters Hotel - JW Marriott Chicago and evening partners Casale del Giglio, Effen Vodka, Gibsons Restaurant Group, RL Restaurant, Michigan Avenue Magazine, ShutterBox Photobooth, Stella Artois, Tres Generaciones®, WBBM Newsradio 780 and 105.9FM and Lavazza Espression; evening patrons: Jeanne Randall Malkin, John and Jacolyn Bucksbaum, Paul and Ellen Gignilliat, and Penelope and Robert Steiner.

Festival Sponsors

Led by Presenting Partner Columbia College Chicago, the 49th Chicago International Film Festival's sponsors include: Official Airline - American Airlines; Headquarters Hotel - JW Marriott Chicago; Official Vehicle - Mercedes-Benz; Producing Partners: AMC Theaters, The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences; Major Partner: Intersites; Supporting Partners: DePaul University School of Cinema and Interactive Media, Stella Artois, Effen Vodka, WBBM Newsradio 780 and 105.9FM, Cultivate Studios; Participating Partners: State Farm, AARP, Tres Generaciones®, Comcast, Allstate, Spotlight Cinema Networks, Casale del Giglio, Second City Computers, Shutterbox Entertainment, Gibson’s Restaurant Group, RL Restaurant, Creative Technology and Lavazza Espression.

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About Cinema/Chicago

Cinema/Chicago is a not-for-profit cultural and educational organization dedicated to encouraging better understanding between cultures and to making a positive contribution to the art form of the moving image. The Chicago International Film Festival is part of the year-round programs presented by Cinema/Chicago, which also include the International Screenings Program (May-September), the Chicago International Television Competition (April), CineYouth Festival (May), Intercom Competition (October) and year-round Education Outreach and Member Screenings Program.

For images go to http://www.chicagofilmfestival.com/press/