Chicago International Film Festival 2013: Opening Night Gala and screening of The Immigrant
Last night the 49th annual Chicago International Film Festival kicked off with an Opening Night Gala and screening of James Gray's The Immigrant. Mayor Rahm Emmanuel, Chaz Ebert, Lana Wachowski and other notable locals walked the red carpet for the film starring Marion Cotillard, Jeremy Renner and Joaquin Phoenix.
UPDATE: Before the film began, I pushed through the scrum to ask Gray how he was feeling about the Chicago premeire of his latest feature. “I have a lot of terror," said the director, best known for We Own the Night (2007) and Two Lovers (2008). "It’s a fantastic honor. This whole thing is huge. I went to CIFF years ago, but this venue and audience are so much bigger. I’m just sort of freaked out right now.” He shouldn't have been worried; the crowd reacted overwhelmingly positively to The Immigrant.
CIFF's opening night was dedicated to Roger Ebert, who died in April at age 70. His widow, Chaz—who wears many hats including publisher of RogerEbert.com—paid her late husband tribute, explaining why he dedicated his life to film "because it allowed him to live out loud.”
CIFF runs through October 24, closing with the Coen Brothers' Inside Llewyn Davis.