#5. Champaign


If celebrated film buff Roger Ebert instilled anything on his native Urbana, it’s that there’s no better way to pass some time than getting lost in a movie. His passion for a good visual story remains in the form of theaters, acting troupes and even his own event, Roger Ebert’s Film Festival.

Initially titled Roger Ebert’s Overlooked Film Festival, Ebertfest sheds light on non-mainstream flicks that would otherwise not be seen by the local audience. Held each April at the historic Virginia Theatre in Champaign, IL, Ebert himself selects all the movies in the course of his reviewing process. He also appears at his eponymous festival, and producers, directors and actors featured in the films answer audience questions.

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