Don’t Miss the Chicago International Film Festival Oct 10 – 21

Movie buffs, rejoice! Beginning this Wednesday is the 54th Chicago International Film Festival, a film lover’s fantasy. Over twelve days, from October 10 through October 21, attendees can see movies and documentaries from all over the world as well as network and learn from experts in the field.

Graphic artist and filmmaker Michael Kutza began the festival began in 1964 as an alternative to the commercial movies coming out of Hollywood. With that mission in mind, he reached out to not only local and national filmmakers and documentary producers, but to international creatives as well.

Since that beginning, the festival has continued to grow in scope and reputation, discovering and attracting top talents from all over the world. A few of the ground-breaking directors that have been introduced at the festival include Martin Scorsese, John Carpenter, and Susan Seidelman, from the U.S.; Wim Wenders and Rainer Werner Fassbinder from Germany; French filmmaker Bertrand Tavernier; Australian Peter Weir; and Maria Louisa Bemberg from Argentina. 

This year’s festival is no exception. Several emerging filmmakers as well as actors, editors, and directors will be in attendance. There are also tributes recognizing influential people in the industry, such as Oscar-nominated costume designer Ruth Carter, who was most recently recognized for her work on Black Panther. There will also be a tribute for Colleen Moore, a famed silent screen actress and co-founder of the festival.

The Chicago International Film Festival is not just meant for movie-watchers; it’s also meant for movie-makers. Industry Days is a subset of the festival that offers workshops on financing, distribution, documentary storytelling, and screenwriting, plus networking events and a competitive pitch session. With so many the directors and experts in the city, there will be plenty of opportunities to schmooze with those who have been there and are doing that.

The festival takes place at AMC River East 21, a couple of blocks east of Magnificent Mile.

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