Siskel Film Center’s year-round celebrations

The Gene Siskel Film Center will host North America’s “largest showcase of European Union cinema” from March 3 – March 30. Screening 62 movies from 28 countries, it is the Center’s 20th annual celebration of motion pictures from across the pond.

Besides helping to “broaden peoples’ minds and perspectives,” says Associate PR Director Karen Durham, select films will be accompanied by special appearances, panel discussions and Q&A sessions.

Providing access to group discussions and filmmaker insight also serves as a great way to help moviegoers “get past the whole movie-with-a-subtitle situation,” she continues.

Connecting audiences with artists — and with one another — is part of what makes the Gene Siskel Film Center a successful community-minded venue.

In addtion to showing approximately 1,600 movies and welcoming about 200 directors annually, the center also hosts a series of celebrations to kick up the social aspect of moviegoing.

The annual “Hollywood on State” event is a catered, black-tie Oscar viewing party and Academy Awards telecast that fills the Center’s lobby, café and two HD theaters to capacity.

The Black Harvest Film Festival is a “vibrant showcase of new work from the African Diaspora” that takes place every August.

The annual gala in June occupies one of the city’s four-star hotels and honors the achievements of film greats. Past honorees in attendance have included Alan Arkin, George Lucas, Felicity Huffman, Robert Downey Jr., Jamie Foxx and Reese Witherspoon.

And for those who just want to watch a movie, the Siskel Center delivers in style and within budget.

Tickets for all films at the Center are $11 ($8 for the 2 p.m. Friday matinee). The snack bar is loaded with favorites, including a choice of white or red wine and a robust selection of beers.

Concessions are permitted in the theater, which is equipped with some of Chicago’s roomiest and cushiest chairs.

164 N. State St. · (312) 846-2800 ·

— Daniel Patton, Staff Writer

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