Documentary started with 'strange diversity'

CHAMPAIGN -- Chicago filmmaker Greg Jacobs and his wife were driving by the Metro concert hall one Saturday night in 2005 when something caught his attention: the line of people waiting to get into the Louder Than a Bomb poetry slam finals.

It was made up of teens of all shapes, sizes and colors.

Officials trying to coordinate traffic on busy weekend

CHAMPAIGN -- It's not exactly a "Clash of the Titans," but distance runners and film buffs converging this weekend figure to increase traffic concerns throughout Champaign-Urbana.

But organizers from both the Illinois Marathon and Ebertfest have been working together and with local police to minimize traffic problems.

Ebert brings Linklater, Welles film to town

CHAMPAIGN -- Looking for an actor to play Orson Welles, film director Richard Linklater visited a tiny theater in New York City and there found a giant talent, British actor Christian McKay.

McKay was portraying Welles in the one-man play "Rosebud: The Lives of Orson Welles" when Linklater dropped by.

2011 Roger Ebert's Film Festival schedule

Here's the schedule of events for Roger Ebert's Film Festival

(At past festivals, most of the people who waited in "rush lines" to get into sold-out screenings succeeded. So take your chances or check out the Encore festival at the Art Theater.)

Ebert couldn't resist adding a 13th entry to his annual film festival

Not too long after announcing the 12-movie lineup for the upcoming Roger Ebert's Film Festival, Ebert added another movie: "Natural Selection."

It will be shown at 10:30 p.m. Wednesday, after the festival opener, the silent classic "Metropolis," with live accompaniment by the Alloy Orchestra, a staple at the festival, now in its 13th year.

Art's Encore fest will re-show Ebert highlights

Can't get tickets to one of the movies at Roger Ebert's Film Festival?

The Art Theater in downtown Champaign will have the Eberfest-related Encore festival, running from next Friday through May 5.

Sanford Hess, operator of the Art Theater, said he and other moviegoers here had to miss some Ebertfest daytime screenings in the past.

Nelson a man of constant talents

CHAMPAIGN -- In the hit Coen brothers' movie "O Brother, Where Art Thou?", actor Tim Blake Nelson makes an indelible impression as Delmar O'Donnell, a major doofus and an escapee from a chain gang.

In fact, he's so convincing you might think Nelson is, well, intellectually challenged.

Not so.

Ohio town in documentary reminds Ebert of Urbana

Unlike many documentary filmmakers, Turner and Bill Ross did not use a narrator for "45365," a feature-length documentary (their first) about Sidney, Ohio.

"There are different approaches to documentaries; ours is not to use narration or interviews in any overt way," Turner Ross said last week.

Jewison visiting C-U for annual film festival

CHAMPAIGN -- Director Norman Jewison was a little shocked when Roger Ebert chose his "Only You," a light romantic comedy, for his film festival in Champaign.

"I didn't know it was that overlooked," Jewison said.