"I was born at the center of the universe, and have had good fortune for all of my days." - Roger Ebert
Roger Ebert often talked and wrote, with great affection, about his hometowns of Urbana-Champaign, Illinois. He didn’t just grow up there – he went to high school at Urbana High and then to the University of Illinois before plying his trade in Chicago and beyond. Decades later, Ebert and his wife, Chaz, came together with other partners to bring Ebertfest to the “center of the universe”. After 17 festivals so far and the passing of Roger Ebert in 2013, there are no signs of it going anywhere.
To celebrate the 18th Annual Roger Ebert’s Film Festival/Ebertfest, Illinois Public Media/WILL produced Ebertfest 2016: Center of the Universe, a thirty-minute companion documentary about the history of the festival, plus a short preview of the 2016 event. This year’s Ebertfest takes place at the Virginia Theatre in Champaign, Illinois April 13-17. Ebertfest 2016.
Special thanks to the College of Media at Illinois, Chaz Ebert, Nate Kohn, Casey Ludwig, and Shatterglass Studios.