Click here to close now.


News Feed Item

Ebert Digital teams with Chicago Urban League to give young film critics a voice

High school and college journalism, film students given a shot at having reviews of the Urban League's Black History Month Film Festival documentaries posted on

CHICAGO, Feb. 4, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Carrying on her husband's legacy of cultivating young writing and filmmaking talent, Chaz Ebert has teamed up with civil rights and empowerment group the Chicago Urban League to give aspiring film critics the opportunity to comment on cinema by or about African-Americans and post their views on, the preeminent movie review site.

High school students interested in film criticism taking part in the Urban League's education initiatives, as well as those involved in the Columbia Links journalism program at Columbia College, are being anointed critics during the League's Black History Month Film Festival. The lineup includes three feature-length documentaries and one short documentary. The screenings are free and open to the public, and will be held every Tuesday in February at 6 p.m. at Urban League headquarters, 4510 S. Michigan Ave. A panel discussion will follow each screening.

Film instructors at local colleges and universities have also been asked to recruit writers interested in film criticism.

Editors at will select reviews to post on the site. Students will be encouraged to comment on the panel discussions following the films as part of their critique.

Chaz Ebert says, "The African-American Film Critics Association just gave the Roger Ebert Award to Justin Chang, an Asian American film critic at Variety. I would like to see the development of more writers who can express a diverse world view, and I am happy that is partnering with the Urban League to encourage it. I am especially pleased that the young people the films are intended to inspire will have an opportunity to review them and have their opinions heard."  

The festival opens Tuesday night with "American Promise," which captures the lives of two African American boys navigating the prep school process from age 5 past their high school graduation. The film earned a Jury Award at the Sundance Film Festival last month.

Next week, Mrs. Ebert and Chicago Urban League President and CEO Andrea L. Zopp will team up for a joint appearance on the Cliff Kelly Show on WVON 1390 AM Radio. Ebert also will talk about the new documentary film "Life Itself," based on Roger Ebert's autobiography, which premiered last month at the Sundance Film Festival.

Established in 2012, the Chicago Urban League's Black History Month Film Festival is presented annually as a forum to engage the community in honoring the achievements of African Americans, examining current community challenges and exploring strategic solutions that can lead to an empowered future.

"We want young people to think critically about how African Americans are portrayed in films and to discuss in an open forum their social impact and importance," Zopp said. "Roger Ebert had a lot of fans in the African American community, and he supported Black cinema early and often. I'm delighted that Chaz Ebert reached out to us to share his enduring legacy with a new generation of film critics."

Mrs. Ebert will also talk about "Life Itself," her marriage to Roger, and future plans on Chicago's "Windy City Live" television show at 11 a.m. on February 11. Later that day, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Roger Ebert's alma mater, will honor him with the Illinois Prize for Lifetime Achievement in Journalism at the University Club in Chicago.  The award recognizes individuals whose work has consistently served as a beacon for other journalists and set the highest standards of excellence in the field.

Here is the remaining film festival lineup:

Tuesday, February 11, 2014 6:00 PM

The Central Park Five, by directors Ken Burns, David McMahon and Sara Burns, recounts the 1989 case of five black and Latino teens who were arrested, charged and wrongly convicted of brutally attacking and raping a white female jogger in Central Park. The case and the public and media scrutiny of black and Latino youth that followed and the tragic aftermath is explored in this film.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014  6:00 PM

Dark Girls, directed by Bill Duke, is a fascinating and controversial documentary film that goes beneath the surface to explore the prejudices that dark-skinned women face throughout the world. It delves into the roots of classism, racism and the lack of self-esteem within a segment of cultures that span from America to the most remote corners of the globe.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014 6:00 PM

Chi-Raq, a short documentary that delivers a decisive blow with an intimate and slightly graphic look at the youth-driven violence plaguing the Chicago area.

About the Chicago Urban League
Established in 1916, the Chicago Urban League works for economic, educational and social progress for African Americans and promotes strong sustainable communities through advocacy, collaboration and innovation. For more information, visit

SOURCE Ebert Digital

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

Latest Stories
The Internet of Things (IoT) is growing rapidly by extending current technologies, products and networks. By 2020, Cisco estimates there will be 50 billion connected devices. Gartner has forecast revenues of over $300 billion, just to IoT suppliers. Now is the time to figure out how you’ll make money – not just create innovative products. With hundreds of new products and companies jumping into the IoT fray every month, there’s no shortage of innovation. Despite this, McKinsey/VisionMobile data...
DevOps has often been described in terms of CAMS: Culture, Automation, Measuring, Sharing. While we’ve seen a lot of focus on the “A” and even on the “M”, there are very few examples of why the “C" is equally important in the DevOps equation. In her session at @DevOps Summit, Lori MacVittie, of F5 Networks, will explore HTTP/1 and HTTP/2 along with Microservices to illustrate why a collaborative culture between Dev, Ops, and the Network is critical to ensuring success.
The IoT market is on track to hit $7.1 trillion in 2020. The reality is that only a handful of companies are ready for this massive demand. There are a lot of barriers, paint points, traps, and hidden roadblocks. How can we deal with these issues and challenges? The paradigm has changed. Old-style ad-hoc trial-and-error ways will certainly lead you to the dead end. What is mandatory is an overarching and adaptive approach to effectively handle the rapid changes and exponential growth.
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo in Silicon Valley. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place Nov 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 17th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading in...
Containers are all the rage among developers and web companies, but they also represent two very substantial benefits to larger organizations. First, they have the potential to dramatically accelerate the application lifecycle from software builds and testing to deployment and upgrades. Second they represent the first truly hybrid-approach to consuming infrastructure, allowing organizations to run the same workloads on any cloud, virtual machine or physical server. Together, they represent a ver...
SYS-CON Events announced today the Containers & Microservices Bootcamp, being held November 3-4, 2015, in conjunction with 17th Cloud Expo, @ThingsExpo, and @DevOpsSummit at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. This is your chance to get started with the latest technology in the industry. Combined with real-world scenarios and use cases, the Containers and Microservices Bootcamp, led by Janakiram MSV, a Microsoft Regional Director, will include presentations as well as hands-on...
As more intelligent IoT applications shift into gear, they’re merging into the ever-increasing traffic flow of the Internet. It won’t be long before we experience bottlenecks, as IoT traffic peaks during rush hours. Organizations that are unprepared will find themselves by the side of the road unable to cross back into the fast lane. As billions of new devices begin to communicate and exchange data – will your infrastructure be scalable enough to handle this new interconnected world?
As operational failure becomes more acceptable to discuss within the software industry, the necessity for holding constructive, actionable postmortems increases. But most of what we know about postmortems from "pop culture" isn't actually relevant for the software systems we work on and within. In his session at DevOps Summit, J. Paul Reed will look at postmortem pitfalls, techniques, and tools you'll be able to take back to your own environment so they will be able to lay the foundations for h...
DevOps Summit, taking place at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, and Javits Center in New York City, is co-located with 17th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait...
As a company adopts a DevOps approach to software development, what are key things that both the Dev and Ops side of the business must keep in mind to ensure effective continuous delivery? In his session at DevOps Summit, Mark Hydar, Head of DevOps, Ericsson TV Platforms, will share best practices and provide helpful tips for Ops teams to adopt an open line of communication with the development side of the house to ensure success between the two sides.
The enterprise is being consumerized, and the consumer is being enterprised. Moore's Law does not matter anymore, the future belongs to business virtualization powered by invisible service architecture, powered by hyperscale and hyperconvergence, and facilitated by vertical streaming and horizontal scaling and consolidation. Both buyers and sellers want instant results, and from paperwork to paperless to mindless is the ultimate goal for any seamless transaction. The sweetest sweet spot in innov...
The IoT is upon us, but today’s databases, built on 30-year-old math, require multiple platforms to create a single solution. Data demands of the IoT require Big Data systems that can handle ingest, transactions and analytics concurrently adapting to varied situations as they occur, with speed at scale. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chad Jones, chief strategy officer at Deep Information Sciences, will look differently at IoT data so enterprises can fully leverage their IoT potential. He’ll sha...
Developing software for the Internet of Things (IoT) comes with its own set of challenges. Security, privacy, and unified standards are a few key issues. In addition, each IoT product is comprised of at least three separate application components: the software embedded in the device, the backend big-data service, and the mobile application for the end user's controls. Each component is developed by a different team, using different technologies and practices, and deployed to a different stack/...
Chris Van Tuin, Chief Technologist for the Western US at Red Hat, has over 20 years of experience in IT and Software. Since joining Red Hat in 2005, he has been architecting solutions for strategic customers and partners with a focus on emerging technologies including IaaS, PaaS, and DevOps. He started his career at Intel in IT and Managed Hosting followed by leadership roles in services and sales engineering at Loudcloud and Linux startups.
Containers have changed the mind of IT in DevOps. They enable developers to work with dev, test, stage and production environments identically. Containers provide the right abstraction for microservices and many cloud platforms have integrated them into deployment pipelines. DevOps and Containers together help companies to achieve their business goals faster and more effectively.