44th Chicago International Film Festival

Beginning this Thursday is the 44th Chicago International Film Festival, a film lover’s fantasy. Over 175 films are shown from October 16 through October 29. This is also a great event for budding filmmakers. In the movie industry “it’s not just what you know, it’s who you know” is more than a cliche. With 70 of the directors in the city there will be plenty of opportunities to schmooze those who have been there and are doing that.

What makes this year’s festival even better is the “Festival Village”. Many of the films are being shown within a few blocks of each other, and local businesses are providing exclusive deals for festival attendees. For example, Joe’s will serve up a slice of their fantastic key lime pie, see-and-be-seen spots Le Passage & Manor invite you in for free, and Pops for Champagne offers 2 for 1 champagne and admission.


The festival opens with the comedy “The Brothers Bloom” at the Harris Theater, and both director Rian Johnson and actress Rachel Weisz will be in attendance. Get Tickets

Film legend Sidney Poitier and Chicago favorite Jennifer Hudson are being honored at Chase Auditorium at the 2008 Black Perspectives Tribute. Get Tickets

More highlights:

  • Director Darren Aronofsky will attend the Gala Presentation of his film, The Wrestler, at AMC River East 21 on Friday, October 17 at 8pm.
  • Director Mike Leigh will be honored with a Career Achievement Award prior to the screening of his film Happy-Go-Lucky at AMC River East 21 on Friday, October 17 at 7pm.  Leigh is an Oscar®-nominated director whose credits include Vera Drake, Topsy-Turvy, and Secrets & Lies.
  • Director Danny Boyle will be in Chicago for the screening of his film, Slumdog Millionaire at AMC River East 21 on Sunday, October 19 at 5:30pm.
  • Director Charlie Kaufman will be in attendance for the Gala Presentation screening of his film, Synecdoche, New York, at AMC River East 21 on Sunday, October 19 at 7:30pm. 
  • Both Director Sean McGinley and actor Colin Hanks will be in town for the screening of The Great Buck Howard at AMC River East 21 on Friday, October 24 at 6:15pm. 
  • The World Premiere and directorial debut of Jada Pinkett Smith’s The Human Contract, will screen as a Gala Presentation and as part of Black Perspectives at AMC River East 21 on Tuesday, October 28 at 7:30pm. 
  • Culminating this year’s Festival will be Good, directed by Vicente Amorim and starring Oscar® nominee Viggo Mortensen, at the Harris Theater, on Wednesday, October 29 at 7pm.

For the complete schedule visit the Film Festival’s website.






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