Today we spoke to Mimi Plauché, Programming Director at the
DEADLINE • 8 July 2013
Two sections we are doing in particular this year is firstly a focus on comedy at the festival. The motivating factors behind this begin with seeing comedy as always being an integral part of film history but often seeing comedies underrepresented at festivals. Chicago is also a city that is known for its comedy. The Second City Chicago – the improv theater- has turned out some of the finest comedic talents working in the U.S Today, starting with Alan Arkin and Bill Murray to more recently Steve Carell and Tina Fey. So this also looks to tie in with the long history of performance in this city, comedic performance in particular. Secondly we are doing a spotlight on African cinema. One thing we have done with this program which has worked really well is we do community screenings and for this particular program we will present at the theaters in the different neighborhoods in Chicago.
Since the festival started 49 years ago, there has been a commitment to screening a diverse body of excellent international cinema, but there has always been a strong sense of discovery; finding new filmmakers and uncovering and presenting new trends in filmmaking today. We are a competitive film festival so we have always had a new directors competition which presents the work of first and second feature filmmakers with an award attached to it with the highest award being the Hugo – a symbol of discovery.
We are very international in scope so while we do have a selection of American independent films, really our focus is internationally. So, last year for example we had a total of 175 films and they were representing over 50 countries. So I guess that is one of the defining characteristics of the festival.
One of our main missions is to bring people together: whether is is filmmakers with audiences through post screening Q and A’s, round table discussions, panel discussions and masterclasses or filmmakers with industry. So, I think we are always thinking in terms of evolving is how we best serve our audiences but most importantly how we best serve the filmmakers and the films that are presented at the festival.
Mimi Plauché, Programming Director, Chicago International Film Festival to FilmFestivalLife, 26 June 2013
10 – 24 October 2013, Chicago, United States
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