Ebertfest canceled over coronavirus concerns

People+gather+for+the+Ebert+Film+Festival+at+the+entrance+to+Virginia+Theatre+on+April+10.+

The Daily Illini File Photo

People gather for the Ebert Film Festival at the entrance to Virginia Theatre on April 10.

By Ethan Simmons

The 2020 Roger Ebert’s Film Festival has been canceled due to coronavirus concerns, festival director Nate Kohn announced Thursday.

Originally set for April 15-18, 2020, the festival is now slated for April 14-17, 2021, at Champaign’s Virginia Theatre. 

Passes for the 2020 film festival are valid for next year’s event, and the Virginia Theatre will help to reimburse pass holders who cannot attend the rescheduled festival. 

The University announced Wednesday after Friday, March 13, all University-backed events with more than 50 attendees are suspended indefinitely. The film festival, commonly known as “Ebertfest,” is sponsored by the University’s College of Media and Chaz Ebert. 

“I love everything about Ebertfest, as did our co-founder, my late husband Roger,” Chaz Ebert told Craig Chamberlain of the Illinois News Bureau. “The audience and our filmmakers help make our festival so special and so beautiful that it hurts to cancel it, but we must put concern for health and welfare foremost.”

This year’s Ebertfest was going to show Ari Aster’s “Hereditary,” Francis Ford Coppola’s “The Cotton Club Encore” and the Farrelly brothers’ “There’s Something About Mary.”

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