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Introducing the films of Ebertfest 2012

27 March 2012 12:21 PM, PDT | | See recent Roger Ebert's Blog news »

Something nice happened to us while we were preparing the schedule for Ebertfest 2012, which plays April 25-29 at the Virginia Theater (above) in Champaign-Urbana, Ill. We'd invited Patton Oswalt to attend with his "Big Fan. He agreed and went one additional step: "I'd like to personally choose a film to show to the students, and discuss it." That sounded to me like a splendid idea, embodying the spirit of this festival, which combines the love of good films with volunteerism. This is a rare festival where no business takes place. No films are bought or sold. No deals are signed. It's simplicity itself: We join in a classic 1920 palace, 1,600 of us, and watch a film as it should be seen, on a vast screen with perfect sound. Then we talk about them afterwards. The festival and the theater come to us through the work of countless volunteers from the University and the community of Champaign-Urbana. »

- Roger Ebert

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