U of I's College of Media is the official sponsor for Ebertfest, and anyone interested in helping out as a volunteer or offering a donation is asked to contact Mary Susan Britt, associate director of the festival, at 217-244-0552 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Given the fact that Roger Ebert passed away last April and is so very much much missed, tickets for this event, something that meant a great deal to him, will probably sell extremely quickly. The Ebertfest organizers will offer a total of one thousand passes for sale, with individual tickets not available until April 1.
Roger Ebert was born and raised in Urbana, and he graduated with a journalism degree from the University of Illinois. He was a sportswriter for the Champaign News-Gazette while still in high school, and he served as the editor of both his high school and college newspapers.His film criticism for the Chicago Sun-Times put him at the top of the nation's list of movie critics, and his partnership with Gene Siskel from the Chicago Tribune made TV stars and household names of both men.
Ebert was the first film critic to win a Pulitzer Prize for his work. He was awarded that prize in 1975.
Ebertfest began in 1999 as Roger Ebert's Overlooked Film Festival, with films ranging from Tron to Shiloh and Battleship Potemkin that first year. The "overlooked" part was dropped from the name beginning in 2008, and Roger Ebert's Film Festival is now most often referred to as simply Ebertfest.
The selections for the 2014 festival will not be announced till March. Last year, you would've found films like Days of Heaven, The Ballad of Narayama, and Julia, with star Tilda Swinton offering an "Ebertfest Dance-Along."