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Movie time: Chicago International Film Festival begins next week

Movie time: Chicago International Film Festival begins next week

Film fans will be happy to know that Chicago will become a hot spot to see a variety of movies during the next two weeks.

The Chicago International Film Festival, which is celebrating its 57th year, kicks off Oct. 13 and runs through Oct. 24. On the roster this year are a mix of movies ranging from dramas and comedies to documentaries, as well as films from international locales, world premieres and more.

Special features of the fest will include drive-in opportunities; films about local Chicago notables; the 25th anniversary of the Black Perspectives program; various Honors events; and an Industry days program.

“Despite the pandemic, film and TV production continues to flourish in Chicago and beyond, and Industry Days remains a vital place for people from all corners of the industry to come together, both virtually and in-person,” said Chicago International Film Festival Senior Programmer Anthony Kaufman.

During a virtual festival press conference, fest personnel said the event includes nearly 90 feature films and 70 shorts. There will be about 50 films available to view virtually as well.

Among highlights of the festival is the screening of "The French Dispatch" which opens the festival on Oct. 13 while "King Richard," a film starring Will Smith, about  Richard Williams, father of tennis' greats Venus and Serena Williams, closes the festival.

The Chicago International Film Festival is the longest running competitive film festival in North America.

Screenings will be held at various places across Chicago including AMC River East 21, Music Box Theatre, Gene Siskel Film Center, drive-in screenings at ChiTown Movies in Pilsen and Bronzeville’s Parkway Ballroom.

Virtual screenings will be available to people in the states of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri and Wisconsin. The virtual screenings will be accessible via the fest's streaming platform and through Apple TV and Roku apps.

Those with an interest in the Windy City and food and politics won't want to miss the world premieres of "Love Charlie: The Rise and Fall of Chef Charlie Trotter," the late culinary great who changed the food industry as well as "Punch 9 for Harold Washington," who was the city's first Black mayor.

Among special honors at the fest will be the presentation of the Achievement Award to actor/director Sir Kenneth Branagh and the showing of his "Belfast" on Oct. 21. Branagh will be in attendance at the event.

The roster of movies being screened throughout the fest includes "The Other Side of the River," "Mayor Pete," "The Beta Test," "For the Left Hand," "The Last Execution," "Passing," "Whether the Weather Is Fine," "The Velvet Underground" and others.

FYI: For festival passes, visit For general information on the fest, visit


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Entertainment Editor/Features Reporter

Eloise is A&E Editor and a food, entertainment and features writer for The Times, subjects she has covered for over two decades in and around the Region. She was the youngest of eight in a Chicago household filled with fantastic cooks and artists.

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