Ebertfest announces ‘Blow Out’ screening, diversity panel

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Actress Nancy Allen is headed to Champaign in April for an Ebertfest screening of “Blow Out,” the 1981 thriller directed by Brian De Palma.

In keeping with the festival’s mission of promoting overlooked movies, the event will bring fresh attention to the film called De Palma’s best by Roger Ebert, the late Sun-Times film critic who founded the fest.

The “Blow Out” screening was one of several events announced Monday for the April 13-17 Roger Ebert’s Film Festivalat the Virginia Theatre. The schedule also will include a panel discussion on the hotly debated issue of diversity in Hollywood, ledby African American Film Critics Association president Gil Robertson.

Also new to the lineup:

• “Body & Soul,” the 1925 silent film starring Paul Robeson. Renee Baker and the Chicago Modern Orchestra Project willaccompany the screening in a reprise of their presentation last October in Chatham.

• “Force of Destiny,” a new film by Australian director Paul Cox, an Ebertfest favorite.

• “Northfork,” a 1950s fablethat earned four stars from Ebert in 2003. Director Michael Polish will attend.

• “The Third Man,” the 1949 classic that Ebert said “most completely embodies the romance of going to the movies.” Angela Allen, an associate of the film’s director, Carol Reed, will attend.

Previously announced was the opening event, a screening of “Crimson Peak” with directorGuillermo Del Toro in attendance. Look for the remaining selections of the 12 film lineup and more festival guests to be announced at a later date.

Festival passes are on sale for $150 at ebertfest.com.

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