Oct. 5, 2000
Vol. 20 No. 2

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    Doc Films to screen 17 films from festival

    By Jennifer Leovy
    News Office

    For the first time in a decade, Doc Films has been selected to screen films for the Chicago International Film Festival, which will celebrate its 36th year by showing nearly 150 feature-length films, documentaries and short films from 52 countries. The festival’s run begins today and continues through Thursday, Oct. 19.

    Highlights of this year’s Festival will include the U.S. premiere of Robert Altman’s Dr. T and the Women, a tribute to filmmaker Joe Dante (The Howling, Gremlins), and the presentation of a Lifetime Achievement Award to Lord Richard Attenborough.

    As part of an arrangement with festival organizers, Doc will show 17 films and present several special events. Screenings at the University will begin at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 6, with a presentation of A Time for Drunken Horses, co-winner of the Camera d’Or for Best First Film at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.

    All Doc presentations will take place at Max Palevsky Cinema in Ida Noyes Hall, 1212 E. 59th St. Special six-ticket passes will be available for $40 at the Reynolds Club Box Office and at select Hyde Park locations for the duration of the festival, and single tickets for regular screenings will be available at the Doc Films ticket office prior to show times. The cost will be $6 for students with a University Chicago Card, $8 for festival members, and $10 for nonmembers. Doc Films passes will not be accepted for admittance to festival screenings.

    Doc Films also will take part in the tributes to Attenborough and Dante. At 2 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 8, Doc Films will present a special screening of Dante’s The Second Civil War, along with a post-film tribute that will include a discussion between the director and Jonathan Rosenbaum, film critic at the Chicago Reader. At 5:30 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 9, the group will host a free screening of The Grey Owl, followed by a discussion with Attenborough and David Robinson, a British film historian and critic, titled “Other People’s Lives.”

    Hank Webber, Vice President for Community Affairs, who helped facilitate the arrangement, said he believes the partnership between Doc Films and festival organizers will give Chicago film audiences plenty of reasons to take notice.

    “It establishes a bridge between two of the city’s most venerable film institutions,” said Webber. “The partnership is really a natural pairing.”

    As the oldest, continuously running undergraduate film society in the nation, Doc Films has nourished the cinematic appetites of multiple generations of Chicago students. Founded in 1932 as the Documentary Film Group, the group began with students projecting 16-mm documentaries from the back of crowded classrooms. Through the work of its volunteers, the organization has grown in size and scope to become one of the most important film resources in Chicago.

    “We have worked with Doc Films in the past, and we’re excited to renew the collaboration,” said Michael Kutza, Chicago International Film Festival founder and artistic director.

    Kutza added that the agreement with Doc Films has been enjoyable for the festival staff. “It’s especially enticing because we’re bringing the full-blown festival experience to the students.”

    The Chicago International Film Festival is the oldest competitive film festival in North America. Since it’s inception in 1964, every year it has introduced Chicago audiences to major North American and world premiere screenings and has played host to filmmakers from around the world.

    Doc Films co-chair Maren Hozempa said she believes the festival’s high profile with film audiences will strengthen Doc’s reputation in the city and throughout the region. “In some ways, we’re one of the best-kept film secrets in Chicago,” Hozempa explained.

    She pointed out that Max Palevsky Cinema–the site of all Doc Films screenings–is a state-of-the-art theater, equipped with variable speed 16 and 35-mm projectors and full Dolby Digital and Dolby Theater Sound audio systems.

    “We want audiences to know that they can come to Doc and experience movies the way the filmmakers intended,” she continued.

    The festival’s offerings at Doc will cover a wide array of new international and domestic releases. The following are among the highly anticipated films scheduled for screening. The historic rock ’n’roll documentary, Gimme Shelter, will be shown in a new 35-mm print with a remastered soundtrack at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 10. Amores Perros, a Mexican film that layers animal, human and mechanical violence, will be screened at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 11. Legacy, a documentary about a family’s struggle to emerge from poverty on Chicago’s South Side, will be screened at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 12. The Werckmeister Harmonies, a fable of moral decay by Hungarian filmmaker Bella Tarr, will be shown at 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 14.

    For more information about the 36th Chicago International Film Festival, visit http://www.chicagofilmfestival.com/, or call the festival office at (312) 332-FILM. To find out more about the screenings at Doc Films, see the Chronicle Calendar, visit http://www.docfilms.uchicago.edu or call Doc’s 24-hour film line at (773) 702-8575.