New Dates April 20-23, 2022
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A Message from Chaz Ebert
  Chaz Ebert Explains the Rescheduling of the 22nd Annual Ebertfest
 
 
 

Dear Ebertfest Audience,

As we get closer to the date for the Roger Ebert Film Festival (Ebertfest), we are receiving many messages expressing concern about the Delta Variant of COVID-19. Transmission numbers are picking up again and are predicted to rise and peak in Illinois right when the festival is scheduled. As a result, filmmakers, sponsors and audience members are expressing hesitation about attending the festival next month. We thought the worst was behind us in May when we polled everyone and decided to hold an in-person event. But in light of the new circumstances we feel that the best option is to postpone Ebertfest. 

We are moving the festival from September 8-11, 2021 to the new dates of April 20-23, 2022.

It is truly difficult to come to terms with this decision after everyone at Ebertfest has put in so much effort to come back from the shutdown, especially after all of your support and patience, and with such a wonderful schedule planned for September.  However, we find it easier to make the decision to postpone knowing that everyone’s health and safety comes first. Also, by postponing the festival we can look forward to giving you the best Ebertfest possible. 

 
 

An April festival will bring back our special guests and keep the dialogue with filmmakers central to the Ebertfest experience. We also know that, by April, the Champaign Park District will have installed at the Virginia Theatre a new HVAC system with the very latest ventilation technology to kill pathogens and control allergens in the auditorium space. An April festival will also give us more time to work with the University to put in place testing and vaccination verification protocols, and make sure that everyone has the peace of mind to be totally immersed in our movies. 

In terms of the logistics around attending Ebertfest, nothing has changed but the dates. Sponsorship and passes will simply be moved over to our new times and we hope that all of you will join us for a safer and more engaging Ebertfest in the spring. We would like to thank all of our business partners for working with us as we make this change in our scheduling. The Festival’s official hotel, the Hyatt Place in Champaign, is automatically transferring all room reservations made under the Ebertfest Block to our new dates. Please call them at 217-531-2800 if you need to make changes to your reservations. The Virginia Theatre will retain your pass and seat allocation for the event. Their box office (217-356-9063) will refund anyone whose schedule doesn’t fit with our new dates in April, no questions asked.

I remind myself that April is only a short time longer to wait before we all come together again. Perhaps we were fated to stay in our original spring time slot after all. We look forward to telling you once again, The Balcony Is Open! 

See you in April!

Chaz Ebert and Nate Kohn

 
 

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