CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Roger Ebert’s Film Festival, co-founded and hosted by Chaz Ebert, announced today that its 22nd annual event has been rescheduled as a result of a spike in variants of the COVID-19 virus in Illinois.
The festival, also known as “Ebertfest,” has been rescheduled for April 20-23 at the Virginia Theatre in downtown Champaign.
“It is truly difficult to come to terms with this decision after everyone at Ebertfest has put in so much effort to come back from the shutdown,” Chaz Ebert said. “However, we find it easier to make the decision to reschedule knowing that everyone’s health and safety comes first.”
Chaz Ebert said rescheduling the festival would deliver the best possible experience for its audience. “An April festival will bring back our special guests and keep the dialogue with filmmakers central to the experience of the festival,” she said. “The Champaign Park District will have completed the installation of a new HVAC system at the Virginia Theatre with the very latest ventilation technology to kill pathogens in the auditorium space.”
The Virginia Theatre will automatically transfer all pass and seat reservations for the event to the new dates. The theater’s box office, 217-356-9063, will provide a refund to anyone who cannot attend the rescheduled event.
This year’s screenings were to include Azazel Jacob’s “French Exit,” the Farrelly brothers’ “There’s Something About Mary” and Ramin Bahrani’s “The White Tiger,” all previously announced.
Sponsored by the U. of I. College of Media and Chaz Ebert, the festival presents celebrated films and other cinematic works overlooked by audiences, critics or distributors.
Roger Ebert was an Urbana native, U. of I. journalism graduate and Pulitzer Prize-winning film critic for the Chicago Sun-Times who died in 2013. He co-founded the festival with his wife, Chaz, in 1999.