Cinedigm, the leading independent streaming company super-serving enthusiast fan bases, announced today that Fandor, the premier destination for cinephiles, will serve as a sponsor for Roger Ebert’s Film Festival, “Ebertfest,” at the University of Illinois, April 20-23, 2022. 

Ebertfest 2022 will be dedicated to the life and career of the iconic voice of comedy, Gilbert Gottfried, whose passing on April 12 shocked the entertainment community.  

Gottfried, the famed “comedian’s comedian” for his unfiltered stand-up comedy style, thrilled audiences for over 50 years on-stage, and in films like Beverly Hills Cop II (1987), Problem Child (1990), and Aladdin (1992). 

Gottfried will be honored at Ebertfest with a screening of Gilbert (2017), on Thursday, April 21, at the Virginia Theatre in Champaign, Illinois. Gilbert, directed by Neil Berkeley, presents a humorous and moving look at the surprisingly tender, real human behind the grating personality America laughed with for decades.  

Special guests Neil Berkeley, the Emmy-nominated filmmaker and director of Gilbert, Terry Zwigoff, the Oscar-nominated filmmaker and friend to Gottfried, and Chris Kelly, producer, entrepreneur, and Fandor advisor, will join for a post-screening discussion in celebration of Gottfried’s life.  

Chris Kelly is an entertainment, media, and technology leader, having served as a Fandor executive and current advisor, co-owner of the NBA’s Sacramento Kings, and executive producer of acclaimed independent films, including Jiro Dreams of Sushi (2011) and Olive (2011).  

Ebertfest was co-founded by producer and industry leader Chaz Ebert and the late esteemed film critic Roger Ebert, with the mission of joining audiences for explorations of films that need a well-deserved second look. Fandor is proud to be a sponsor at Ebertfest, which will celebrate films including The 39 Steps (1935), directed by Alfred Hitchcock; Ghost World (2001), directed by Terry Zwigoff and starring Thora Birch and Scarlett Johansson; and Nightmare Alley (2021), featuring a screening with special guest, director Guillermo del Toro

Said Chaz Ebert, “At this moment, we are adding to the list of people who will celebrate Gilbert’s life. We are also dedicating Ebertfest to the memory of Sidney Poitier. I am sure Gilbert would have appreciated the unlikely probability of this juxtaposition, but such is life.”