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Chicago Public School Students Experience the Festival

Chicago (September 17, 2013) - Cinema/Chicago’s Education Outreach Screening Program will screen a number of Festival films during the 49th Chicago International Film Festival, providing eight complimentary screenings to Chicago Public School (CPS) students during the Festival beginning at 10 am, October 11-23 as part of its year-round Education Outreach Program.

This year’s Outreach Screening highlights include the documentaries Tough Bond, which provides an intimate look at the lives of four street children in Kenya who huff glue to numb themselves to hunger while surviving on scraps; and Alice Walker: Beauty In Truth, which tells the extraordinary story of one of America’s greatest living writers, from her childhood in a family of Georgia sharecroppers to a distinguished career as an activist and author. The Chicago-made feature narrative The Girls On Liberty Street follows teenager Brianna, and her last week at home before she leaves for the Army, creating a portrait of a young woman in transition. The feature film Wolfschildren, a remarkable story inspired by true events, follows 14-year-old Hans and his younger brother Fritz, orphaned after WWII, on the long and difficult journey to Lithuania where family friends might take them in. The International Shorts Program presents a compilation of numerous short films from around the world, including documentary and animated shorts from Africa, Germany and the United States including Illinois.

Discussions with students will be conducted after each screening with visiting filmmakers (including Tough Bond directors Austin Peck and Anneliese Vandenberg, The Girls on Liberty Street director John Rangel and select cast members; and Wolfschildren director Rick Ostermann) and moderated by local film critics and arts- community leaders.

“Our Education Outreach Screenings Program during this year’s Festival is outstanding,” says Rebecca Fons, Education Program Manager at Cinema/Chicago. “The films we’ve selected for Chicago Public School students present stories from as far away as Africa and as nearby as the suburbs of Chicago. They present students with a variety of stories, languages and cultures and give them access to films they would not otherwise be able to see. We frame the films and post-screening discussions so that students can relate the content of the films to their personal story. The Festival’s Education Outreach Screening Program will be a real highlight to the many programs we offer students and teachers year-round.”

During the 2013-2014 school year, more than 7,000 (up from 5,000 in 2012) CPS students and teachers will participate in Cinema/Chicago’s Education Outreach Program. Prior to all Cinema/Chicago Education Outreach Screenings, study guides are provided to prepare educators and students for the content and themes of each film, ensuring that the discussion can take place long after the students have left the theater. “In addition to our twenty-year-old Outreach Screening Program, we have exciting new initiatives being developed, including our Student Film Council, which will bring high school students from around the city together to experience and attend the numerous film festival that take place during the school year in Chicago and engage in conversations with directors, producers and film festival programmers.”

Education Outreach Screenings - 49th Chicago International Film Festival
All screenings take place at 10 am at the AMC River East 21 (322 East Illinois Street) Any seat reservations or additional screening information requests should be directed to Education Program Manager Rebecca Fons at: rfons@chicagofilmfestival.com , 312.683.0121 x 112

Friday, October 11: Tough Bond
Tuesday, October 15: The Girls on Liberty Street
Wednesday October 16: Wolfschildren
Thursday October 17: Chasing Fireflies
Friday, October 18: International Shorts Program
Monday, October 21: Something Necessary
Tuesday, October 22: Alice Walker: Beauty in Truth
Wednesday, October 23: CineYouth “Best of the Fest”

The 2013-2014 Education Outreach Program’s Lead Partner is Columbia College Chicago. The Education Outreach Screenings Partners are Allstate and Cynthia Stone Raskin. Foundation support is provided by the Illinois Arts Council Agency and the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events. The Program is made possible by the following Supporting Donors: Cynthia Stone Raskin, Richard Ehrie, Catherine Siegel, Keith Hebeisen, Jill and Ron Rohde, Fred and Judy Adler, Byron Pollock, Shelley Gorson and Alan Salpeter, Ethel Gofen, Frank and Marisa Nardi

Festival Sponsors
Led by Presenting Partner Columbia College Chicago, the 49th Chicago International Film Festival's sponsors include: Official Airline - American Airlines; Headquarters Hotel - JW Marriott Chicago; Producing Partners: AMC Theaters, The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences; Major Partner: Intersites; Supporting Partners: DePaul University School of Cinema and Interactive Media, Stella Artois, Effen Vodka, WBBM Newsradio 105.9, Cultivate Studios; Participating Partners: State Farm, AARP, Tres Generaciones®, Comcast, Allstate, Spotlight Cinema Networks, Casale del Giglio, Second City Computers, Shutterbox Entertainment, Gibson’s Restaurant Group, Creative Technology.

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About Cinema/Chicago

Cinema/Chicago is a not-for-profit cultural and educational organization dedicated to encouraging better understanding between cultures and to making a positive contribution to the art form of the moving image. The Chicago International Film Festival is part of the year-round programs presented by Cinema/Chicago, which also include the International Screenings Program (May-September), the Chicago International Television Competition (April), CineYouth Festival (May), Intercom Competition (October) and year-round Education Outreach and Member Screenings Program.