From WILL - News Headlines -

Overlooked’ Still a Priority at Ebert’s 13th Annual Film Fest

The word 'overlooked' is no longer part of the title in Urbana native Roger Ebert's annual film festival.

But the director of the 13th annual event at the Virginia Theater in Champaign says it's still a large part of the mission. Nate Kohn says attendees may be surprised with some of the names attached to the screening, including the Friday night movie, a love story that will be accompanied by Director Norman Jewison.

"Very few people are familiar with the film 'Only You', and yet it stars Robert Downey Jr. and Marisa Tomei, pretty prominent names," said Kohn. "I think that's a good example. Most people cite 'In the Heat of the Night' as (Jewison's) best-known film."

Jewison has been nominated for five Academy Awards, winning an honorary Oscar in 1999. Other guests appearing with their work including actress Tilda Swinton, and directors Richard Linklater and Tim Blake Nelson.

Kohn says usually, Friday afternoon is reserved for annual viewing of a silent film accompanied by the Alloy Orchestra. But he says Fritz Lang's vision of the future from 1927, with missing footage, will be among the festival's biggest highlights Wednesday evening.

"Because 'Metropolis' was just recently restored to its full length, some missing footage was found in Argentina..." said Kohn. "We thought it was signifcant enough to move it to the opening night film."

'Metropolis' is among those listed in Ebert's 1998 'Great Movies' essay. Meanwhile, free panel discussions will be held at the University of Illinois' Illini Union beginning at 9 Thursday, Friday, and Saturday morning.

Kohn admits the traffic presents a challenge with the Illinois Marathon going on at the same time Saturday. But he says coordinators worked with Champaign police so transportation could flow as smoothly as possible.