Top Genre Picks at the 2023 Chicago Critics Film Festival!

There’s lots to see at this year’s Chicago Critics Film Festival, and we offer our list of what must be seen during this year’s event!

Chicago Critics Film Festival LogoMusic Box Theatre
Chicago, IL
May 5-11, 2023

The Chicago Critics Film Festival offers a selection of well-loved and upcoming works that will no doubt amaze. What’s offered to showcases the best of the best. Not only is this event recognizing the art of cinema and film criticism, but also they celebrate milestones too! For example, The Right Stuff is getting an anniversary screening!

What I present here are my top picks. Reviews will be posted in the coming days of some of these. And for more information, please follow the CFCA and the festival on Twitter at @chicagocritics or Facebook.

A DISTURBANCE IN THE FORCE movie poster

A DISTURBANCE IN THE FORCE

Anyone who has wondered why a certain Star Wars Holiday Special was made way back when it will get some answers in this documentary by Jeremy Coon and Steve Kozak. There’s no advance spoilers to mention here, as I’m just as curious as to who is truly responsible. It did set a tradition for the entire canon though, and Life Day is hugely celebrated in this galaxy far, far, away.

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Seattle’s The Museum of Pop Culture May Calender is Nearly All Hands On!

The Museum of Pop Culture (MoPOP) in Seattle, WA recently announced the reopening of its popular hands-on Sound Lab exhibition, and their May schedule of events is huge!

The Museum of Pop CultureThe Museum of Pop Culture (MoPOP) recently announced the reopening of its popular hands-on Sound Lab exhibition. This news is terrific because its a sign that the pandemic is abating, and they are welcoming visitors far and wide.

Also announced is the Ruth E. Carter: Afrofuturism in Costume Design exhibit will open June 18, featuring more than 60 works from films such as Black Panther, Do the Right Thing, Selma, Malcolm X, and more. Also coming are the following events:

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Two Top Quick Picks from Spark Animation Festival

This festival is not to be missed and more than half the programming are available to watch world-wide.

Spark AnimationBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

October 28 – November 7, 2021

Vancouver, BC‘s Spark Animation Festival has always been on my radar for years. To finally get to see the short and feature length films offered here meant this organization finally made the call to fully stream all of their programming. This includes the works theNFB has scheduled in this event and include past favourites which I saw at Fantasia.

Last year’s show (pardoning the pun) sparked my interest in watching more of their selections. The timing of this event falls in October, sometimes before Fan Expo Vancouver, which, for a short time, ran in November. The option to attend in-person is often tough because of my budget on how often I can make trips to the mainland.

From the handful of pieces I saw as midnight rolled in, the two annual programs that deserve full attention are:

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Upcoming Animated Feature Films in 2021

The following is a guide to works from not only streaming services but also theatrical (film festivals included!); this list includes works with known release dates:

Pompo: The Cinéphile Anime Film Delayed From March 19 To June 4 Due to  COVID-19 - News - Anime News NetworkBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

We’re a little more than past the halfway point in 2021 and its amazing how time flies. There’s a lot more animation feature films being released than I realized, and had to compile a list of what’s still to come this year. We don’t have to be limited to the theatrical releases either. There’s a tiny selection coming to streaming services only. The bigger name films will no doubt have its run on the big screen before arriving on the smaller one a month or two later, if not at the same time.

In the same token, the film festivals that are operating also have a “virtual” component where they’re making their selection available to stream too. If it’s available to play in your part of the world, I advise checking these works out!

This list includes movies with known release dates:

Pompo: The Cinephile

Kadokawa Animation
Aug 7, 2021 at Fantasia Film Festival 2021

Based on the manga of the same name, this movie is not only a crash course for beginners on how movies get made but also a love letter to the art. We all see it through the eyes of a young girl, Pompo, and this work is sure to please and enlighten.

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Victoria, BC’s Bathing in Summer Bliss with the Free-B Film Festival

 

Free-B Film FestivalThe organizers behind Victoria Film Festival is pleased to announce that the Free-B Film Festival is back in business! (under current BC Health Guidelines). It’s changed location so everyone can enjoy a clear view of the screen, and make out behind the bleachers (for those who are vaccinated) like Danny and Sandy from the movie Grease–the ultimate Summer movie–and have fun in the final days of summer. The new venue is at the Royal Athletic Park at 1014 Caledonia Ave.

Summer lovin’ is a blast, but to be safe, the company suggests bringing a blanket and booking a space well in advance. There’s only 500 seats available. Doors open at 8 pm.

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