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Chicago Film Fest Dedicates Opening Night To Ebert


The Chicago International Film Festival is dedicating its opening night to late film critic and Urbana native Roger Ebert.

The festival opens Thursday night in downtown Chicago with a screening of the Joaquin Phoenix and Marion Cotillard movie "The Immigrant.''

Festival officials say they're dedicating the opening night to Ebert, who died in April after a long battle with cancer.

Ebert, a University of Illinois graduate, was the Chicago Sun-Times movie reviewer for decades. He also was long-affiliated with the festival.

Ebert's widow, Chaz Ebert, and "The Immigrant'' director James Gray are scheduled to attend.

Festival founder Michael Kutza says Ebert leaves a "strong legacy'' because his reviews made filmmakers fall in love with the movies.