Cinema/Chicago is the non-profit parent organization of the Chicago International Film Festival, North America’s oldest competitive international film festival. The 48th Chicago International Film Festival will take place October 11-25, 2012.
The Chicago International Film Festival was started in 1964 by filmmaker and graphic artist Michael Kutza to provide an alternative to the commercial Hollywood movies that dominated the city’s theaters. The Festival opened in 1965 at the Carnegie Theater, where King Vidor, Bette Davis, and Stanley Kramer were honored for their contributions to American cinema. Since then, the Festival has grown to become a world-renowned annual event. The Festival is dedicated to fostering better understanding between cultures and to making a positive contribution to the art form of the moving image.
The Festival has a rich history of discovering hundreds of ground-breaking directors such as: Martin Scorsese, John Carpenter, Taylor Hackford, Susan Seidelman, Victor Nunez (United States); Wim Wenders, Rainer Werner Fassbinder (Germany); Bertrand Tavernier (France); Peter Weir (Australia); Dariush Mehrjui (Iran); Mike Leigh, Alan Parker, Michael Apted, Peter Greenaway (Great Britain); Vincent Ward (New Zealand); Krzysztof Kieslowski, Krzysztof Zanussi (Poland); Dusan Makavejev (Yugoslavia); Victor Erice (Spain); Jan Troell (Sweden); and Maria Louisa Bemberg (Argentina), to name just a few!
Seeking out the best in international cinema, the Festival has opened windows to a world of film previously or otherwise unavailable in Chicago. In 2010, the Festival showcased the work of the world’s top filmmakers and fresh talent alike, presenting more than 150 films from 50 countries. The films are all Chicago premieres and many are world or U.S. premieres. Most of the films shown at the Festival will not gain a wide release, secure a U.S. distributor, or become available on video. Therefore, the Festival provides local audiences with a unique opportunity to discover a range of films that would otherwise be unavailable to them. In addition, at more than half of the screenings each year, filmgoers have the rare and exciting chance to meet directors, actors, and actresses who introduce their films and hold discussion sessions after the screenings. In 2010, our guests included Danny Boyle, Edward Norton, Forest Whitaker, Guillermo del Toro, Ed Burns, Alan Cumming, and David Schwimmer.