Ebert’s Overlooked Film Festival passes go on sale

By Nick Zombolas

In addition to being an adjunct professor for the college of communications, University alumnus Roger Ebert always makes it a point to return to Champaign-Urbana at least once a year for his annual film festival.

Passes went on sale Monday for the seventh annual Roger Ebert’s Overlooked Film Festival, said Nancy Casey, executive producer of the festival and associate dean of development in the college of communications. The festival is scheduled next year from April 20 to 25 at the Virginia Theatre, 203 W. Park Ave. in Champaign.

Festival passes for all 12 movie screenings are $85. Casey said about 1,000 passes will be sold. Last year, the passes sold out about one month before the start of the festival. About 250 individual tickets will be sold for each screening. Individual tickets are $9 and will go on sale on April 1.

Tickets and passes can be purchased by visiting the Virginia Theatre or by going to www.ticketweb.com.

“It’s really an international festival,” Casey said. “Filmmakers come from all over the world to be at the festival.”

Ebert selects the films shown at the festival and no submissions are accepted. The films include studio productions and independent films. Casey said Ebert is currently working on selecting the “overlooked” films that will be shown. Ebert will announce the films he has selected in March.

“I’m always excited to hear the films Roger selected,” Casey said.

As the festival has become increasingly popular, Ebert has received offers to hold the festival in Chicago and Los Angeles. Hhowever, Casey said Ebert plans to keep the festival in Champaign.

“The festival is a big success,” Casey said. “It’s exciting to take part in it every year.”