(Chris Pizzello / Associated…)
Roger Ebert may already be on the mend from a hairline fracture in his left leg, but there's news Thursday that may be enough to get him out of bed and dancing: His annual film festival, Ebertfest, received a $20,000 grant from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
The purpose of the grant is to "strengthen the connection between festival audience and filmmakers" and will go toward paying the expenses surrounding the Q&A portions of the festival.
"The grant will ensure that Ebertfest continues to bring a rich experience to attendees, and we cannot thank the academy enough for believing in Roger's mission of sharing his love of film with our community of film lovers from around the world," Mary Susan Britt, associate director of Ebertfest, said in a statement.
The money was made available through the academy's Film Festival Grants program.
Next year's Ebertfest will be the 15th event featuring five days of films selected by Ebert himself, with Q&As with the filmmakers taking place in Champaign, Ill., home of Ebert's alma mater, the University of Illinois. The movies have ranged from big studio films to small pictures without a distributor.
In past years, guests have included directors Richard Linklater and Ang Lee as well as actors Michael Shannon and Tilda Swinton.
The lineup for next year's festival is expected to be announced in March.
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