National Sweetheart Pageant Runners-Up, 2015
National Sweetheart Pageant Facebook page
March 01, 2016

Miss America Ban Could Mean End To Hoopeston Pageant

A clarification in the language from the Miss America organization may mean Hoopeston can no longer hold its National Sweetheart Pageant, held during Labor Day weekend.  The competition has gone on since the 1940's. Its co-directors, Cliff and Michelle Crabtree, say they're looking into what it would take to become affiliated with the organization.


Outside the Virginia Theatre in Champaign, hours before the start of the 17th annual Ebertfest.
Jeff Bossert/Illinois Public Media
February 22, 2016

Five More Films Added To ‘Ebertfest’ Lineup

Highlights include directors Michael Polish and Paul Cox attending screenings of their films "Northfork" and "Force of Destiny," plus the 1949 classic "The Third Man."


Pens to Lens logo
Champaign-Urbana Film Society
February 04, 2016

Pens To Lens Accepting Screenplay Entries

The annual Pens to Lens screenwriting competition is accepting entries from area K-12 students from now through February 29.  Illinois Public Media's Brian Moline spoke with two members of the C-U Film Society board, AJ Christensen and WILL-TV's Tim Meyers about this year's event.


Director and University of Illinois graduate Ang Lee, left, and Guillermo del Toro
Chris Pizello/Associated Press
January 21, 2016

Filmmaker Del Toro Attending 18th Ebertfest With ‘Crimson Peak’

Writer/Director Guillermo Del Toro will be the opening night guest at the 18th annual Roger Ebert's Film Festival, April 13th at Champaign's Virginia Theater, accompanying his 2015 film "Crimson Peak." Further films will be announced in the coming weeks.


Work is underway to to convert Champaign's McKinley YMCA pool space into a roller rink for the Twin City Derby Girls.
Jamie Kozma/Twin City Derby Girls
January 19, 2016

Roller Derby Team Leases Champaign’s McKinley Building

The Twin City Derby Girls now has secured a downtown Champaign site for its future practices and bouts - but it will take about $20,000 and some construction work.  Last month, the roller derby team secured a 3-year lease for the former McKinley YMCA building on Church Street.


Bruce (middle) discussing protocol with Rob James-Collier (Tomas, left) and Kevin Doyle (Mr. Mosley, right).
Courtesy of Masterpiece
January 04, 2016

Downton Abbey Historical Adviser On Season Six, Filming And More

Downton Abbey season six, the final season, premiered in the U.S. yesterday to great acclaim. It wouldn’t look the way it does or be so historically accurate, however, if it weren’t for Alastair Bruce. The cast and crew of Downton Abbey, Masterpiece’s smash hit about the Crawley family and their servants call Bruce, the show’s historical advisor, “The Oracle” because he knows everything about the customs and protocols of the time period. 


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