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Looking Fab at 50: The Chicago International Film Festival hits a milestone

The Chicago International Film Festival celebrates 50 years this October (9-23) with an Opening Night Gala at the Harris Theater on 205 E. Randolph Street, followed by a Golden Anniversary celebration at the Chicago Cultural Center.

“Since its founding, the singular goal of the Chicago International Film Festival has been to introduce Chicago and the world to new filmmakers, new stories and new perspectives,” notes Founder and Artistic Director Michael Kutza. “Five decades later, the festival has grown to become a highly respected annual event, showcasing films from more than 50 countries, with filmmakers from around the world in attendance. Each year we rigorously pursue the best in international cinema as well as the cutting-edge work of new talents in our steadfast commitment to share the most innovative and ambitious cinematic art with our audiences.”

In addition toshowcasing directors such as Martin Scorsese, John Carpenter, Wim Wenders, Liv Ullmann, Peter Weir, Mike Leigh, and William Friedkin, the festival has earned a reputation for its competitive categories and highlight programs including Black Perspectives, Cinema of the Americas, ReelWomen, Out-Look, After Dark, as well as the City & State program. 

“As we mark this great milestone, we also celebrate the Chicago International Film Festival’s position as one of the city’s most vibrant arts organizations,” says Film Festival Managing Director Vivian Teng. “Drawing people from all walks of life from across Chicago and beyond, the festival is a place where audiences come together in their common love of film to share in the art of visual storytelling and expand their worldview.”

This year’s festival screenings are slated for AMC River East 21 on 322 E. Illinois Street. Tickets—ranging from $7 for screenings and $150 for special events—go on sale in August. For more information, visit or call 312-683-0121.

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