Ebert’s passing comes just a couple weeks before his 15th annual film festival in Champaign.The festival was originally known as Roger Ebert's Overlooked Film Festival, but it’s commonly known as Ebertfest. In an April 2000 interview on WILL-TV, Ebert talked about how he was first approached by the University of Illinois’ College of Communications to start it.
“At first I thought, ‘Well, critics shouldn’t be doing this because then you’re asking favors of studios whose films you have to view. It could be a conflict.’ Then I thought why not put the shoe on the other foot, and instead of them doing me a favor, our festival could do a favor for overlooked films or overlooked genres.” - Roger Ebert
In a post on Twitter, organizers of Ebertfest mourned Roger Ebert’s passing with quote terrible sadness.This year’s Ebertfest goes from April 17th through the 21st at Champaign’s Virginia Theatre.