Opening Night of The International Chicago Film Festival Wows Audience With “The Immigrant”

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To introduce Chicago and the new filmmakers, new stories, and new points of view is the goal of The Chicago International Film Festival, and it lived up to its magnificent reputation in spectacular style.

The 49th Annual Chicago Film Festival kicked off with an extraordinary red carpet reception at the Chicago Theater (175 N. State St.). Electricity was in the air as limousine after limousine pulled up to the curb and a vibrant red carpet, numerous camera men, and a crowded sidewalk full of curious onlookers greeted one and all who attended this exciting black tie affair.

Topping last year’s outstanding achievements was no easy task, as 2012 showcased top talent from over 55 countries; highlighting 127 feature films, 21 documentaries, and 50 short- topic movies. Discovering new talent and spotlighting new filmmakers is symbolic of the film fest and was genuinely demonstrated last year with more than 40 filmmakers making their debut here in the windy city.

Hosted by accomplished voice professional Bill Kurtis, the on stage preliminary activities inside the Chicago Theater were quite entertaining; including a touching tribute to the late Roger Ebert. Man of the hour however, was Director James Gray, whose new film “The Immigrant” was about to premier in front of a captive, curious crowd.

This intriguing film involves Ewa Cybulski and her sister arriving at Ellis Island in 1921 and coping with harsh living conditions and questionable characters as they pursue their American dream.

If this engaging film is any indication of the rest of the film fest, then movie fans are in for a special treat, this festival promises to be an eye-opening, delightful exploration of superior skill; both in front of and behind the camera from across the globe…



About Irene Michaels

Over the past 25 years I have taken on the roles of a producer, publisher, insider journalist and fundraiser. My artistic interests began early in my teens working as a model and a dancer throughout the U.S. I formed my first modeling agency before I was twenty. While modeling I secured a re-occurring role in the popular daytime TV series General Hospital. Read more...