Roger Ebert’s Film Festival passes on sale now

Virginia Theatre marquee

Festival passes for Roger Ebert's Film Festival, to be held Wednesday, April 17, through Saturday, April 20, 2024, will go on sale Friday, Dec. 1, at 10 a.m. CT. Also known as Ebertfest, the four-day festival—named for the late Pulitzer Prize-winning film critic, University of Illinois journalism alumnus, and Urbana native Roger Ebert—will celebrate its 25th year with more audience participation and two new festival passes to provide flexible options to attend.

In honor of Ebertfest’s silver anniversary, organizers are inviting audience members to suggest films that are 25 years or older that they would like to see on the program. Entries can be submitted to

Individual festival passes range from $70 to $200. New this year is a 4-Film Pass for $70; choose between a 4-Film Evening Pass (final screenings on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday) or a 4-Film Saturday Pass (all films on Saturday). 

VIP sponsorship packages start at $1,800 and include VIP admission for two, lunch and dinner with the filmmakers, invitations to all festival special parties and events, and much more. All films are shown at the historic Virginia Theatre, 203 W. Park Ave., in downtown Champaign. Passes can be purchased at the Virginia Theatre website, box office, or charged by phone at 217-356-9063.

“Ebertfest was created for people who love movies as much as Roger loved movies,” Chaz Ebert said. “We want our audience members and special guests to truly feel like they are a part of a family as we reach this important milestone more than 10 years after Roger’s passing.” 

The festival celebrates films that encourage the FECK Principles (Forgiveness, Empathy, Compassion, and/or Kindness) and showcases them whether they are independent, international, or studio films, including overlooked formats and genres such as 70mm, documentaries, and musicals. It is hosted by Chaz Ebert and Nate Kohn, the festival director, in collaboration with the College of Media at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Roger’s alma mater. 

In 2024, the program will feature a diverse slate of films, including a prominent short film lineup. Watch for announcements of films and filmmaker guests over the next few months. The full festival program will be announced in March. 

Roger Ebert’s Film Festival relies on generous gifts from donors and sponsors. Gifts of all sizes are vital to the festival and can be made as an option among the funding choices at the College of Media’s website: (Click on the orange “Give Online Now” button, and select Roger Ebert's Film Festival Fund under “Champion Innovation in Media Research & Collaborations.”) For additional sponsorship options, visit the Ebertfest website:

For more information, please contact Molly Cornyn, project coordinator for Roger Ebert’s Film Festival, at