TITAN today, with Etc. to follow

Roger Ebert’s Film Festival has all but wrapped for 2014, but does that officially conclude the local cinema madness of Champaign-Urbana? No ma’am or sir! We have at least two attractions on deck, one starting within the hour and the other in a week’s time. To make the experience more interesting, your humble editor will have a small hand in both!

This afternoon, Sunday, April 27, 3:30 p.m., local filmmaker Andrew Stengele will debut his 18-minute dramatic short THE THINKING MOLECULES OF TITAN at the Art Theater Co-op, 126 W. Church St., Champaign. Adapted from an unfinished Roger Ebert science-fiction story as we reported previously, TITAN tells how University of Illinois research scientists and graduate students must wrap their heads around a significant change in the signal broadcast by a man-made probe on the surface of the moon Titan. This free show will conclude with a discussion moderated by Jason Pankoke and featuring director/co-writer Stengele, producer Anne Lukeman, and actress Lindsey Gates-Markel. The film also stars Joel Higgins, J. Malia Andrus, Donna Sant, and Mike Trippiedi.

We now shift to next weekend when the UIUC students in Media and Cinema Studies (MACS) 464 will stage their annual class project, a film festival. This year’s concept, the “Etc. Film Festival,” is a combination of panels, screenings, and parties in the archetypal mold to be held in various campus locations. A near-final schedule sent to C-U Blogfidential by 464 instructor Alex Mobley details concurrent events taking place at Ikenberry Commons and Krannert Art Museum between 10:30 a.m. and 9 p.m. on Saturday, May 3, and at KAM and the University YMCA between 2 and 8 p.m. on Sunday, May 4. The event is free admission and sponsored by MACS, the Undergraduate Library Media Commons, the YMCA, and Papa John’s.

The itinerary includes presentations of THIS IS SPINAL TAP (“mockumentary” panel, 5/3, 4 p.m., IC), LARS AND THE REAL GIRL (5/4, 2 p.m., KAM), early shorts by the likes of Wes Anderson and Martin Scorsese (“student film” panel, 5/3, 1 p.m., KAM), and work from both the undergraduates in MACS 100 (“student film” panel, 5/3, 11 a.m., KAM) and the Illini Film & Video club (“student film” panel, 5/3, 2 p.m., KAM). Pankoke will participate in the “film criticism post-Ebert” panel (5/3, 10:30 a.m., IC, SDRP Building, Room 2009) and possibly appear at KAM later the same afternoon.

~ Jason Pankoke

[Updated 5/2/14, 11:40 p.m. CST]

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