Ebertfest 2011 won't be short on bloggers

Ebertfest 2011 will be covered by a slew of bloggers, many of them from distant lands.

But Lisa Rosman, the official Ebertfest blogger for the past several years, won’t be among them. The Brooklyn, N.Y., resident and film writer won’t  attend the festival this year.

The Ebertfest website (www.ebertfest.com) will provide links to many Ebertfest 2011 bloggers, among them film critics and Ebert’s "Far-Flung Correspondents."

Among the critics:

— David Poland of the website Movie City News. He’s attended Ebertfest for as long as I remember.

— Christy Lemire, the first full-time film critic for The Associated Press and co-host of the new TV series, "Ebert Presents At the Movies."

— David Bordwell, a film professor at the University of Wisconsin, and his wife, Kristin Thompson, at Bordwell’s website on cinema, Observations on Film Art USA.

Also a perennial Ebertfest guest, Bordwell will be onstage after "Metropolis" opens the festival Wednesday night.

Other Ebertfest 2011 bloggers: Kartina Richardson, a filmmaker and founder of Mirrorfilm.org, a film commentary and video-essay site, and Tom Dark of Tom Dark Thoughts, a website that offers "rip-roaring true words."

New to the Far-Flung ranks this year are Pablo Villaca, one of Brazil’s best known critics; Krisha Shenoi from India; Olivia Collette from Canada and Anath White from Los Angeles, Ebert wrote in his latest blog entry.

Back again are Ali Arikan from Turkey; Michael Mirasol from the Philippines; Gerardo Valero from Mexico and Omer Mozaffar from Chicago, by way of Pakistan.

Mozaffar will moderate the Far-Flung Correspondents’ Ebertfest panel discussion, "International Perspectives in Film Criticism," from 10:30 to 11:45 a.m. Thursday at the Illini Union on the UI campus.

Far-Flung Grace Wang will arrive a little late, having just been in China as an associate programmer for the Toronto Film Festival, according to Ebert.

At 17 years of age, Sehnoi is the youngest of the "Far-Flungs." This will be his first time here.

Two Far-Flungs are missing in action this year: Seongyung Cho from South Korea, and Wael Khairy, who arrived late last year from Egypt.

Khairy weighed in on Ebertfest 2011, though, in the comments section of Ebert’s blog about Ebertfest 2011:

"One thing this blog entry doesn’t give justice is the unexpected wonderful twists and turns of any Ebertfest," Khairy wrote, accurately. "Last year alone, we had Vincent twirling his suit on stage, Thunder rocking the theater walls and turning the festival into a concert with the audience dancing and smiling, Roger’s pitch perfect timing of humor. And this was all within the two days I attended!!! More than anything I enjoyed meeting so many people with the same love for cinema."

As for Ebert, he’s one of the most visible and prominent "webizens" or online personalities.

So much so that Melissa Bell wrote about his online presence in her Washington Post blog (http://wapo.st/gZloqz), calling him an Internet rock star, with a Webby Award for Person of the Year to prove it.

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