AU symposium nava ebertfest

Gregory Nava speaks from the Virginia Theatre stage during the 2018 Ebertfest.

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CHAMPAIGN — A major film director has been added to the lineup for the second annual Chaz and Roger Ebert Symposium at the University of Illinois.

Gregory Nava, director of the Latino films “El Norte,” “My Family” and “Selena,” has been honored at Ebertfest in the past.

The event, which will focus on inclusion and diversity in the media, is set for 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 27 at the I Hotel and Conference Center, 1900 S. First St., C. It is free and open to the public, though online registration is encouraged.

The creator of the PBS series “American Family,” which followed the lives of a Latino family in Los Angeles, will close out the event.

Nava, 70, won an Academy Award nomination for the screenplay of “El Norte,” the 1983 film about two young people who flee Guatemala due to ethnic and political persecution only to find new problems in the U.S.

Stacy Smith, founder and director of the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative at the University of Southern California, will lead the symposium as keynote speaker.

Panel discussions throughout the day will feature academics, journalists and media experts addressing the present and future of diversity in film, journalism, advertising and communication.

“El Norte” and “Selena” have both been screened at Roger Ebert’s Film Festival, otherwise known as Ebertfest.

Updates also will be posted on the event’s Facebook page.