Actresses Virginia Madsen, Gina Gershon and Jennifer Tilly are among the guests at this year’s Roger Ebert’s Film Festival, also known as Ebertfest in Champaign. Festival host Chaz Ebert, widow of Roger Ebert, says the women are “three of Roger’s favorite actresses.” They are to appear onstage for question-and-answer sessions.
The annual festival honors Roger Ebert, the late Chicago Sun-Times film critic, University of Illinois alumnus and Champaign-Urbana native. Ebert, who died in 2013, founded the festival in 1999, as venue for films he believed were unjustly overlooked or deserved wider showing.
The festival runs April 10 to 13 at Champaign’s Virginia Theatre. It is run by the University of Illinois College of Media. The schedule of screenings can be found at ebertfest.com, along with reviews.
Join me in Cincinnati for this inspiring film festival Over-the-Rhine International Film Festival check out their site and schedule for more info! I’ll be attending and participating in a panel discussion on September 26th!!
The Over-the-Rhine International Film Festival, a four-day celebration of diversity, disability and difference, debuts September 26-30 with more than 65 juried films celebrating the shared human experience. Centrally located in downtown Cincinnati in the historic Over-the-Rhine neighborhood, the festival features five film tracks showcasing stories around diversity, freedom, identity, disability and faith; along with celebrity appearances, panel discussions and special events.
Some 20 Hollywood celebrities, including Academy Award and Golden Globe nominee, Virginia Madsen, Zach Anner of ABC’s “Speechless,” Merle Dandridge star of OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network’s “Greenleaf,” Drew Lachey, Member of “98 Degrees” band, and Tanika Ray, Co-Host of “EXTRA,” will participate.
More information on tickets, films and events is available at OTRFilmFest.org or by calling (513) 487-3939. Follow the festival on Twitter @OTRFilmFest and Instagram @OTRFilmFest and on Facebook at facebook.com/OTRFilmFest. You can buy your tickets here: https://otrfilmfest.org/tickets/
The 20th annual Sarasota Film Festival ended over the weekend with an awards presentation and red-carpet ceremony at the Sarasota Opera House, which featured appearances by Steve Guttenberg, Virginia Madsen and Rory Kennedy. The last three also participated in Q&A sessions at the Florida Studio Theatre.
Virginia Madsen expressed her thanks for the award, noting that independent films like the festival’s 1985, in which she appears, “are about 98 percent of what I do.” “Every director is very different in the way that they work,” Madsen said. “David [O. Russell] has a different style from Francis Ford Coppola and it’s very exciting to be able to go with that, ‘cause I don’t like just being left to my own devices ‘cause, man, I’ll milk it you give me a chance. I’d rather have a strong director. I prefer really working hand in hand because if they are a very good director, then you know what they want. And they’ve gotta figure out how to get it out of you.” “It’s usually the script first,” she stressed. “I work with a lot of first-directors ‘cause most of the movies I make are very small, independent films. So I have to look at their material and then be in conversation with them to see how they visualize the film. And since most of the time I’m more experienced, I sort of want to be able to help them to make this come to reality.”
Photos from three days that Virginia attended the Film Festival have been added to the photogallery. For more festival information, you can visit the official website at www.sarasotafilmfestival.com.
Actors Steve Guttenberg and Virginia Madsen spoke honestly and openly Saturday about the ups and downs of their careers in show business during two separate “In Conversation With” events as part of the 20th annual Sarasota Film Festival in the setting of Florida Studio Theatre’s Bowne’s Lab Theatre.
Virginia Madsen, who grew up in Chicago, told her audience for the Conversation that “acting was all I ever wanted to do… I was a performer, probably, from the time I was crawling.” Interviewed by SFF creative producer Joe Neumaier, Virginia Madsen said of herself as a child, “If I went to a movie, if it was 90 minutes, I’d then take 90 minutes when I got home to act out the entire film. My mother [with whom she years later collaborated on a documentary about women in their older years] was very patient.”
Spending her childhood fascinated by older, black and white movies, often silents, she was also drawn to the classic monster movies starring actors like Bela Lugosi and Lon Chaney. She’s appeared over the years in a few herself, including the acclaimed Candyman but says it can be hard to find good scripts in the genre today, adding that recent hits like Get Out and A Quiet Place might change that.
Virginia Madsen recalled the the rollercoaster rides of her career with candor. After starting out in David Lynch’s epic Dune, she then spent time filming Electric Dreams in Europe. “I was living the dream,” she said ruefully. “But it didn’t stay that way for a long time.”
Continue reading Virginia Madsen: In Conversation with at the Sarasota Film Festival!