Byline: Dann Gire Daily Herald film critic firstname.lastname@example.org
Fall has arrived and you know what that means, right?
As sure as the leaves turn red, pumpkins pop up and cooler weather invades the Midwest, movie festivals aren't just on their way.
They're already here.
This weekend alone, film lovers can choose from four different film fests -- including the Elgin Short Film Festival and Naperville's Independent Film Festival.
They join an impressive list of other film fests in Chicago and the suburbs, making the autumn of 2010 a season any movie lover could fall for.
Ready to experience new movies from kitchen-sink amateur indies to slick studio productions? Me too!
Here comes a selected list of film fests on the fall calendar.
The Naperville Independent Film Festival
Naperville's Independent Film Fest, under founders Edmond and Glessna Coisson, Gary Pradel and Daniel Nigg, runs from Saturday, Sept. 18, through Saturday, Sept. 25. It will offer 100 features and shorts from 19 states and 10 nations.
Pretty impressive for a festival just turning three.
Opening night will be at the Ogden 6 Theaters in Naperville. An awards night Sunday will be at the Hollywood Palms Cinema in Naperville.
About 40 movie professionals will conduct panels and workshops this weekend. Plus, Oscar-winning actress Patty Duke is scheduled to appear at the fest.
Tickets for individual screenings are $3. The opening and wrap events cost $20 and closing award ceremony tickets are $40.
Go to naperfilmfest.org for schedules and tickets.
The Elgin Short Film Festival
In its sophomore outing, the one-day Elgin fest starts and ends Saturday night, Sept. 18, at the Hemmens Cultural Center, 45 Symphony Way, Elgin.
The red carpet arrival of host WGN's Dean Richards and awards finalists will be at 6:30 p.m.
The five film finalists for awards will begin at 7 p.m. First prize is $1,000. A special Hattie Hemmens Award of $500, named for the center's benefactor, will be presented to the short that best portrays Elgin.
A red carpet reception will take place following the screenings.
Gala tickets cost $20; screening tickets are $5. They're available at the Hemmens box office or hemmens.org/filmfest2010.
The Chicago International
Reel Shorts Film Fest
The preview was Thursday night, but the actual festival runs through Sunday, Sept. 19, so you can still catch it at the Film Row Cinema at Chicago's Columbia College, 1104 S. Wabash Ave., eighth floor.
General admission costs $7; a fest pass is $20. Go to projectchicago.com for tickets and schedules.
The Lebowski Fest Chicago
Lebowski Fest was started by Will Russell and Scott Shuffitt in their hometown of Louisville, Ky., in 2002 as a tribute to the Coen brothers' movie "The Big Lebowski."
The two spawned the idea while bored at a tattoo convention. They began quoting lines of dialogue. When other vendors joined in, the light bulbs went on.
In 2003, the 2nd Annual Lebowski Fest attracted 1,200 fans from 35 states, as well as an appearance by Jeff "The Dude" Dowd, who inspired the film's main character.
This floating one-movie film fest, with concerts and a burlesque show attached, opens today at the Portage Theater, 4050 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago. A 35 mm print of "The Big Lebowski" will be shown.
Saturday, you can bowl like the Dude at the famous Diversey Rock and Bowl, 2211 W. Diversey Ave., Chicago.
Tickets cost $22 for today, $30 for Saturday. Go to lebowskifest.com.
Northshore Short Film Fest
Ten shorts for $10!
And all the money goes …