Chicago International Film Festival announces full lineup


“The French Dispatch” opens, “King Richard” closes the 57th edition of the oldest competitive festival in North America, October 13-24, 2021

Featuring tributes to Sir Kenneth Branagh and Rebecca Hall; world premieres of “Mayor Pete”, “Punch 9 For Harold Washington” and more; visionary adventure on the big screen “Dune” and historical epic “The Last Duel”

The Chicago International Film Festival recently announced the full lineup for its 57th edition, which will run October 13-24, 2021. This year’s festival is expanding citywide, with screenings at AMC River East 21, Music Box Theater, Gene Siskel Film Center, drive-in screenings at ChiTown Movies in Pilsen and neighborhood pop-up screenings at the historic Parkway Ballroom in Bronzeville. The program includes nearly 90 feature films and 70 short films, four world premieres, one international premiere, 17 North American premieres and 17 American premieres, and features cinemas from countries such as France, Turkey, Colombia, Sweden. , Japan, Canada, India, Chile, and Egypt, representing all continents, including Antarctica. The 57th Chicago International Film Festival opens at the Music Box Theater with Wes Anderson’s “The French Dispatch”, a love letter to reporters featuring a star cast, and “The Velvet Underground,” the evening of opening of the Drive-In presentation at ChiTown Movies in Pilsen, with a special virtual Q&A with director Todd Haynes.

The closing night film is “King Richard,” the inspirational journey of Richard Williams (Will Smith), a father determined to raise two of the extraordinarily gifted athletes of all time – Venus and Serena Williams. Based on the true story that will inspire the world, “King Richard” follows the journey of Richard Williams, an undeterred father who helped raise two of the most extraordinarily gifted athletes of all time, who would ultimately change the sport of tennis forever. Driven by a clear vision for their future and using unconventional methods, Richard has a plan that will take Venus and Serena Williams from the streets of Compton, Calif., To the world stage as legendary icons. The deeply moving film shows the power of family, perseverance, and unwavering faith as a way to achieve the impossible and make an impact on the world. Twice Oscar nominee Will Smith (“Ali”, “The Pursuit of Happyness” and “Bad Boys for Life”) plays Richard, under the direction of Reinaldo Marcus Green (“Monsters and Men”). The Centerpiece Film is “C’mon C’mon,” a powerfully resonant and hopeful portrayal of our time starring Joaquin Phoenix and directed by Mike Mills. The Festival will also host the Chicago premieres of Denis Villeneuve’s highly anticipated “Dune”; Pablo Larrain’s portrait of Princess Diana, “Spencer”, with Kristen Stewart; and “The Last Duel” from visionary director Ridley Scott, a gripping tale of betrayal and revenge against the brutality of 14th century France. The full program is available in the digital festival program.

World Premieres The Festival presents world premieres of four films including “Mayor Pete,” Jesse Moss’ behind-the-scenes look at the campaign of the first openly LGBTQ presidential candidate; “Punch 9 For Harold Washington” by Joe Winston, telling the story of Chicago’s first black mayor, among other titles. The Festival will host the international premiere of “The Last Execution”, a political thriller based on the true story of Werner Teske from director Franziska Stünkel. 25th Anniversary of Black Perspectives Founded in collaboration with Spike Lee to showcase the excellence and diversity of films by African Americans and the African diaspora around the world, this year’s Black Perspectives program, which celebrates its 25th anniversary, presents nine feature films and six short films, including the closing night film “King Richard” and a special presentation of “Passing”. Other features include Jaymes Samuel’s action-packed revenge western “The Harder They Fall”; “Citizen Ashe,” a profile of revolutionary tennis star and civil rights activist Arthur Ashe of co-directors Sam Pollard and Rex Miller; and “Oscar Micheaux – The superhero of black cinema” by Francesco Zippel, among other titles. Over its 25-year history, the Black Perspectives program premiered the film debut of acclaimed director Ava Duvernay, and featured the work of such luminaries as Lee Daniels, George Tillman, Maya Angelou, Steve McQueen and Ousmane. Sembene, and paid tributes to film artists including Viola Davis, Forest Whitaker and Sidney Poitier. Local Stories in the Spotlight Showcasing the best and the brightest local productions, the City & State program of the 57th Chicago International Film Festival includes six feature films and eight short films. “Punch 9 for Harold Washington” – In this epic tale of American politics, race and triumph through thick and thin, director Joe Winston chronicles the captivating rise, surprising reign and enduring legacy of the first Afro mayor -American from Chicago, Harold Washington.

Imbued with archival footage capturing a 1980s Chicago plagued by corruption and discrimination, “Punch 9” features candid interviews with Jessie Jackson, Vice Mayor Richard Mell and others on the front lines and in behind the scenes of power as he follows the charismatic politician’s astute maneuvers, stinging betrayals and unlikely victories. Inspiring and fascinating, Washington’s trip continues to resonate with a city and nation facing the same lingering social issues. International Competitions The Festival is the oldest competitive festival in North America, and in its 57th year, the tradition of presenting American audiences with bold and accomplished new films from around the world continues with a list of titles representative of styles, stories of their countries. , and cultural.

Drive-In Screenings Building on the success of last year’s Drive-In Screenings program, the Festival will present titles at ChiTown Movies in Pilsen. Virtual Screenings and Programs The Chicago International Film Festival is proud to offer virtually 50 titles to audiences in Illinois and six other Midwestern states, including Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri and Wisconsin, through the Festival’s online streaming platform and the Festival’s apps for Roku and Apple TV. There is a charge for virtual screenings and streaming films can be viewed in the comfort of your own home from Thursday, October 14 at noon CT until Sunday, October 24, 2021.

Tickets Festival passes are on sale now, with individual tickets going on sale September 21 for Cinema / Chicago members and September 24 for the general public. Passes can be purchased at Festival Sponsors and Partners The main sponsors of the 57th Chicago International Film Festival are: Goldman Sachs, Xfinity; Festival sponsors: Baker Tilly, Cinespace Chicago Film Studios, ComEd, Dark Matter Coffee, Goose Island, Hamilton Watch, Heineken 0.0, Panavision, Light Iron, SAGindie and the Chicago Film Office, among others. This program is also supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts, a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency, and a CityArts grant from the City of Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, among other additional support. Refer to the Festival Sanitary Protocols webpage for the most up-to-date information. For more information, visit the website at Facebook: Twitter: @ChiFilmFest Instagram: @ChiFilmFest Hashtag: #ChiFilmFest


About Monty S. Maynard

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