Directer: Luke Boyce
Starring: Tilda Swinton, Richard Linklater, Oliver Stone, Spike Lee, Werner Herzog, Michael Phillips
Produced by Brett Hays & Nate Kohn
Executive Producer: Chaz Ebert
Executive Producer: Jennifer Shelby
EBERTFEST looks at the evolution of Roger Ebert’s Film Festival from the perspective of the 15th annual festival in 2013, which took place two weeks after Roger Ebert’s death. By examining that very special festival in minute detail, we use emotional trigger points to flashback to the festival’s origins in a 1997 event at the University of Illinois – a birthday party for HAL, the computer from Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey– and to flash forward to the most recent festival in 2014. We explain how the festival was a success from its inception, how it differs from most festivals and how its structure works to create families and communities of filmgoers and filmmakers that continue through successive festivals. We use observations from festival guests (Tilda Swinton, Oliver Stone, Ang Lee, Werner Herzog, Pablo Berger, Richard Linklater, Ann Hui, Haskell Wexler, Paul Cox, Tarsem Singh, Yojiro Takita, and many more) to underscore how the festival became an extension of Roger’s personality and philosophy – how it embodies his passion, eccentricities, empathy and finally his kindness. And how it continues to thrive to this day.