CHICAGO The 54th Chicago International Television Festival, presented by Cinema/Chicago, will celebrate extraordinary American and International television programming, web series and television commercials over a three-day period, March 20 22 at the AMC River East, 322 E. Illinois. Event tickets are now available at chicagofilmfestival.com .
The Television Festival will feature emerging talent from Chicago, as well as critically hailed audience favorites from the United States, Germany and Israel. The lineup includes a look at ambitious and diverse Chicago-made web series; a preview of an episode of ABC'S revival of "Roseanne" with actress Lecy Goranson ( Becky ) and Executive Producer Bruce Helford in attendance; episodes of the award-winning Israeli series "Your Honor" and prize-winning German series "The Vanishing," never before seen in the United States; a preview of an upcoming episode of "Chicago Fire" with the show creator and select cast members in attendance; and a celebration of the finest in international television commercial production.
Chicago International Television Festival Screening Schedule:
Tuesday, March 20
6PM - WOKE TV: CHICAGO-MADE WEB SERIES
With the launch of Showtime's "The Chi" and HBO's upcoming "Brown Girls," Chicago is emerging as a hotbed of new, exciting and racially diverse content. This collection of new Chicago-based web series shows an eclectic and fun array of stories about LGBTQ individuals, women, and people of color: Bea Cordelia and Daniel Kyri's heartfelt "The T" and Zach Payne's endearing "Kissing Walls" both examine love and relationships in the LGBTQ community, while Wendy Jo Carlton's "Easy Abby" follows the comic exploits of a Chicago lesbian. Becky Schultz and Leo Gilbert's production "Velvet" tells the story of two very different black women in an all-black office, and Addison Heimann's "Kappa Force" is the rollicking story of five diverse superhero sorority ladies investigating the murder of their youngest member. Representatives of each series will be on hand for a post-screening discussion.
8PM - Premiere: ROSEANNE ( ABC )
"Roseanne," the timeless sitcom that broke new ground and dominated ratings in its original run, returns with this special hour-long premiere. Featuring the complete original cast ( Roseanne Barr, John Goodman, Laurie Metcalf, Lecy Goranson, Sara Gilbert, Michael Fishman, Emma Kenney, Ames McNamara and Jayden Rey ), the revival will explore life, death and everything in between through the relatable, hilarious and brutally honest lens of the Conner household. With the inimitable Roseanne at its epicenter, fresh stories that tackle today's issues and even more laughs from a brilliant cast and crew that haven't missed a beat, audiences old and new will celebrate the homecoming of America's favorite working-class family. Actress Lecy Goranson ( Becky ) and Executive Producer Bruce Helford, who was also head writer on the fifth season of "Roseanne" and co-creator of "The Drew Carey Show," will attend the event for a post-screening discussion.
Wednesday, March 21
6PM - Premiere: YOUR HONOR
Dark, gripping and morally complex, the award-winning new Israeli TV series "Your Honor" tells the story of a high-powered judge ( Yoram Hattab ) who is forced to make tough decisions to protect his son who is involved in a hit-and-run accident in which a man is killed. When the identity of the victim is revealed, it sends the judge and his family reeling. This powerful drama from the writer of popular Israeli TV shows "Arab Labor" and "A Touch Away" shows even the most honorable men will bend in the face of danger. "Your Honor" was picked up for a U.S. remake on Showtime from the creators of "Criminal Justice" and "The Good Wife."
8PM - PREMIERE: THE VANISHING
Starring German star Julia Jentsch ( "24 Weeks," "Sophie Scholl: The Final Days" ) and directed by Hans-Christian Schmidt ( 2006 Chicago International Film Festival winner for "Requiem" ), "The Vanishing" follows Michelle, a resolute single mother on a mission to find her missing daughter, who disappeared one night in their small town along the German-Czech border. Uncovering a web of secrets and lies, kept under a tight lid by the whole community, Michelle is increasingly horrified by what she finds out about her daughterand herself. Called "nothing short of a sensation" and "a tremendous achievement" by one of Germany's largest newspapers ( "Sueddeutsche Zeitung" ), "The Vanishing" also won awards for best script and best actress at the recent Berlin Television Awards.
Thursday, March 22
6PM - CHICAGO FIRE ( NBC )
From renowned Emmy Award-winning executive producer Dick Wolf ( "Law & Order" ) and co-creator Derek Haas ( "3:10 to Yuma" ) comes the high-octane drama "Chicago Fire," an edge-of-your-seat view into the lives of everyday heroes committed to one of America's noblest professions. The firefighters, rescue squad, and paramedics of Chicago Firehouse 51 risk their lives week-in and week-out to save and protect the citizens of their incredible city. In this new episode, "Looking For a Lifeline," Casey ( Jesse Spencer; Chicago International Television Festival 2014 Artistic Achievement Honoree ) and Dawson ( Monica Raymund ) respond to a car accident, but become skeptical when a domineering husband continues to answer for his injured wife, while Kidd ( Miranda Rae Mayo ) uncovers something meaningful and important to Severide ( Taylor Kinney ) and Brett ( Kara Killmer ) discovers some potentially unsettling news. Joe Minoso, David Eigenberg, Christian Stolte also co-star, along with guest stars Nick Gehlfuss, Yaya DaCosta, Jon Seda, Marina Squerciati and Gary Cole. Co-creator Derek Haas and select cast members will attend the event for a post-screening discussion.
8PM - Commercials Screening
The festival culminates with an evening of celebrating the art of the television commercial as Cinema/Chicago announces the winners from this year's Commercial Competition. Nominees across a wide variety of categories will be shown on the big screen as the Festival honors the artistry and craftsmanship poured into commercials from all over the world. The public is invited to come and see some of the top spots from around the globe.
Tickets and more Information
Tickets to the Tuesday and Wednesday screenings are $10 each. Closing night passes to the Thursday presentations are $15, which provide access to both screenings. There is also a $50 VIP ticket available for Thursday, which includes a VIP reception, beginning at 6 p.m. in the Wine Room at Lucky Strike, followed by access to the Commercials Screening and awards celebration. Ticket reservations can be made by visiting http://www.chicagofilmfestival.com/television-festival/.
About Chicago International Television Awards
When the Chicago International Film Festival was founded more than 50 years ago by then Artistic Director Michael Kutza, advertising agency heads Leo Burnett, Fairfax Cone and Dick Needham suggested that, with budgets and craftsmanship equal to the feature films being screened, the Festival should showcase the art of television commercials and productions. Five decades later, this simple idea has evolved into an international celebration of the best in television, and encompasses television commercials, productions, series and the innovative realm of online television programming.
A component of the Chicago International Film Festival, the Television Festival was expanded into a stand-alone event in spring 2016, featuring an array of programming that highlights local work and innovative contributions from across the industry, as well as providing access to industry leaders.
Cinema/Chicago, the presenting organization of the Chicago International Film Festival, is a year-round non-profit arts and education organization dedicated to fostering better communication between people of diverse cultures through the art form of the moving image. In addition to the Chicago International Film Festival, Cinema/Chicago's programs include: International Screenings Program, Chicago International Television Festival, CineYouth Festival, and year-round Education Program. Celebrating its 53rd edition October 12-26, 2017, the Chicago International Film Festival is North America's longest-running competitive film festival.