Our hearts are heavy as we mourn the passing of Byron Pollock, devoted board member, passionate film lover, and dear friend of the Chicago International Film Festival.
Almost ten years ago, Byron came knocking on the Festival door. Already an ardent Festival fan, Byron expressed his wish to become more involved with the organization. He already loved the Festival, and, like a true evangelist, he wanted to make sure that the rest of Chicago could know and love the Festival in the way that he did. We had no idea how serious he was.
Byron’s singular enthusiasm and passion were contagious, as he brought so many people to the Festival, from recruiting new Board members to first-time audience members to fervent Festival supporters. He had a magical way of turning unsuspecting casual moviegoers into art-house film lovers and Festival devotees.
From the latest French drama to any film starring his favorite Italian actor, Toni Servillo, regular Festival attendees could find Byron at more than 25+ films each Festival, each film better than the one before and each Festival better than the year before.
Byron and his wife Judy loved to experience new cultures, traveling around the world, including to film festivals in Havana, Cuba and Cannes, France, as well as through the films they loved to watch.
Collaborator, champion, mentor, and friend, Byron will be deeply missed by all of us. Byron Pollock’s obituary can be found here.