chicago international film fest marqueeOne of the things that makes film such a compelling medium is its ability to cross cultural, lingual, and social boundaries to create a powerful message. Since the world doesn’t physically allow us to walk a mile in each others’ shoes, film has become a powerful tool, allowing us to defy physics by experiencing other cultures in ways we never thought possible. Experience the power of film this year at the 49th Annual Chicago International Film Festival.

For the last forty-nine years, The Chicago International Film Festival has honored this tradition through the promotion of a worldwide film community. With the mission of bringing light to previously unknown filmmakers’ works, the festival has previously showcased the debut films of such legends as Peter Weir, Tsai Ming-Liang, and Martin Scorcese. This long tradition of excellence is founded in the idea that a diverse cross-section in films can illuminate the common humanity in all of our stories.

In 2013, the tradition continues October 10-24, with a stellar selection of films that are sure to make visitors think, laugh, cry, and be entertained. The selections range from brand new films to heralded classics from around the world, and span all genres from comedy to drama to documentary. The films also are selected to give voice to stories, peoples and cultures that are too often ignored and pushed aside like women, LGBTQ, and people inhabiting South America and Africa. Along with the films are free panels and discussion on some of the issues presented.

Film Fest Audience  1

Notable works from both new filmmakers and seasoned professionals contribute to the diverse and multi-faceted display at the festival. I am especially excited about the film adaptation of Pulitzer prize winner and Chicago playwright, Tracy Letts’ masterpiece, August: Osage County starring Meryl Streep. But every category has standouts that would probably take me days to list. 

For a full schedule and film list, go here All film screenings are at the AMC River East 21, located on 322 E. Illinois St downtown. It’s easily accessible by CTA Red line and a number of busses. Prepare to experience unforgettable stories from around the world!