Arts film reel black and white

Published on October 3rd, 2012 | by Key Reads


Chicago International Film Festival Returns Oct 11-25


film reel black and white



By Pavithra Mohan



This fall marks the annual return of the longest-running competitive film festival in North America: The Chicago International Film Festival. Presented by non-profit organization Cinema/Chicago, the festival introduces to Chicagoans a collection of 175 bold, daring films from across the world over a period of two weeks.



Back in 1964, Chicago theaters were largely overrun by blockbusters and more marketable ventures. Chicago International Film Festival’s inception was rooted in filmmaker Michael Kutza’s desire to bring a different perspective and offset the commercialism of Chicago’s film culture. All screened films are making their Chicago premiere—often even a U.S. or world premiere—and many are works of art that would otherwise be lost to the public. Some featured films never even find a U.S. distributor, let alone receive a wide national release. This makes the film festival a rather unique opportunity for more obscure, undiscovered filmmakers to showcase their uninhibited talents.



This year’s opening night gala of Chicago International Film Festival debuts “Stand Up Guys”, starring Al Pacino, Christopher Walken, and Alan Arkin. The festival’s posited “centerpiece” is the Wachowskis’ epic undertaking, “Cloud Atlas”, which weaves together six different plotlines over a very convoluted time-space continuum.  On the closing night, the festival wraps things up with Denzel Washington starrer “Flight”.



An assortment of offerings from over 50 countries will be screened at The Chicago International Film Festival official theater, the AMC River East 21, with a handful of the best pictures competing for the festival’s ultimate honor—the crowning title of “Gold Hugo”. The showings are further embellished by conversations with acclaimed industry bigwhigs as well as a sprinkling of free speaker panels.


Tickets and passes to Chicago International Film Festival can be purchased by calling 312-332-FILM between the hours of 10 am-6 pm; these must be reserved at least 24 hours before a showing. Further details concerning online and in-person purchases can be found at


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