Things we love about Illinois: Ebertfest

Roger Ebert statue in front of Virginia Theatre in downtown Champaign.(Photo by L. Brian Stauffer/UI Archives)
One of our favorite things about our favorite institution of higher education.


All things cinematic—including films, stars, writers and directors—converge on downtown Champaign’s Virginia Theatre each spring, courtesy of a native son who made “thumbs up” synonymous with good movies. The annual Ebertfest—a marathon of screenings, talks and panel discussions—was launched in 1999 by Roger Ebert, the late Pulitizer Prize-winning film critic of the Chicago Sun-Times and longtime co-host of the nationally syndicated television program, At the Movies. Ever the underdog’s champion, Ebert conceived the five-day event as a showcase for “overlooked” work.

Did we miss one? For more in this series, search “Things we love about Illinois.”