Fall is just around the corner. Sure, the Autumnal Equinox is this Sunday, but another sign of the season came to light today. The Chicago International Film Festival has posted the full lineup and schedule for the 49th edition of its annual fall celebration of film, which kicks off on October 10.
Today's announcement of the films in competition and the posting of the schedule at the Festival website comes on the heels of many pieces of news in the recent weeks. While the Opening Night Film of the 49th Chicago International Film Festival has yet to be revealed, it was previously announced that the Coen Brothers' latest, "Inside Llewyn Davis", will close out the Festival. Alexander Payne's "Nebraska" will serve as the Festival Centerpiece.
This year's Festival will include 180 different motion pictures coming from 60 different countries. More than half of the films presented will be eligible to compete for the Silver and Gold Hugo awards, the honors bestowed on filmmakers by the jury of the Chicago International Film Festival each year. Programming Director Mimi Plauché commented on the selections.
"Whether by rising young filmmakers blazing trails in their nascent national cinemas or by long-admired auteurs, in toto the competitions present an impressive mosaic of contemporary international cinema," she said.
Thirteen different films representing 13 different countries will compete in the New Directors Competition. The Short Films Competition features 55 films competing in seven different categories, including "Spotlight Africa-From Earth's Center" and "Midnight Mayhem - Night Terrors", in addition to the regular animation category and the "City & State" category, which showcases films produced in Illinois or made by Illinois natives.
New to the Chicago International Film Festival is the Comedy Focus program. It joins returning out-of-competition sections such as Black Perspectives, OUT-Look, REELWOMEN, and Cinema of the Americas. This year's Festival boasts a total selection of 131 feature-length films.
Notable Special Presentations screening during the festival include "12 Years a Slave", "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom", "Kill Your Darlings", and Haskell Wexler's classic "Medium Cool." They join the previously announced "Blue is the Warmest Color", which steamrolled its way to the Palme d'Or at Cannes earlier this year.
Festival passes(groups of 10 or 20 film admissions) are on sale now at the Chicago International Film Festival website. The passes will be available for purchase until October 9.
Cinema Chicago members can purchase individual tickets to the 49th Chicago International Film Festival early during the member pre-sale, which begins tomorrow and runs until Friday, September 20. Tickets will go on sale to the general public September 21. Tickets can be purchased at Ticketmaster, by phone(312-332-FILM), or at the AMC River East 21 at 322 E. Illinois St. in Chicago. Beginning September 23, tickets can also be purchased at the Cinema/Chicago office at 30 E. Adams, Suite 800.
All of this year's Festival screenings will be held at the AMC River East 21. The 49th Chicago International Film Festival runs October 10-24.