CHAMPAIGN – Wael Khairy of Cairo had to go through a lot to get to Roger Ebert's Film Festival in Champaign.
The 22-year-old film critic for Egypt's only English-language magazine on film traveled 16 to 17 hours to arrive here on Saturday, the second-to-last day of the festival.
CHAMPAIGN – Calling Charlie Kaufman the most creative screenwriter of his generation, Roger Ebert made the unusual move on Friday night of coming onto the Virginia Theatre stage to introduce him and hand him his "Golden Thumb" award.
CHAMPAIGN – Every year the Academy Awards are announced, Roger Ebert feels underwhelmed by the small group of finalists, usually from movies that have grossed a lot at the box office.
Most of us know Roger Ebert is a fabulous writer. Some of you might not know he's a visual artist too.
One of his sketches graces the cover of the 12th annual Roger Ebert's Film Festival program as well as the festival poster, souvenir mugs and T-shirts.
CHAMPAIGN – Japanese director Yojiro Takita – the first filmmaker in the 12th annual Roger Ebert's Film Festival to receive a standing ovation – enjoyed watching the festival-goers watch his movie on Friday afternoon at the Virginia Theatre.
Another Ebertfest guest won't be making the trip to Champaign because of the flight-stopping volcanic ash over Europe.
URBANA – A Roger Ebert film center here is now halfway to reality.
The University of Illinois College of Media needs about $5 million for a center to honor the Pulitzer Prize-winning film critic and local hero. Ebert and his wife Chaz gave the first million; this week the college announced an additional anonymous bequest for $1.5 million.
URBANA – When Roger Ebert's "farflung" correspondent Geraldo Valero of Mexico City was told he would stay in student housing during Ebertfest, he figured he would be sleeping in "student bunkers."
CHAMPAIGN – Saying he was "walking on air" after having met Roger Ebert for the first time, Gov. Pat Quinn opened the critic's 12th annual film festival by proclaiming Wednesday as "Ebertfest Day" in Illinois.
CHAMPAIGN – University of Illinois sophomore Beanz Ramirez spent his 20th birthday on Tuesday evening at the Cowboy Monkey, eating pizza with several friends.
It wasn't really a birthday celebration, though.