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Roger Ebert's Film Festival Still Set for Mid-April

Roger Ebert - P 2013
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Roger Ebert

Ebertfest will go on as planned despite the death of its founder/programmer on Thursday.

Ebertfest is still scheduled to go on as planned in the wake of founder/programmer Roger Ebert's death.

Organizers said on Ebertfest's website that the 15th edition of the annual film festival is still set for April 17-21 in Champaign, Ill.

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"All of us at Ebertfest are very saddened by the news of our dear friend Roger’s passing," the statement read. "He was a remarkable man who influenced journalists and film lovers the world over."

Among those scheduled to appear are Jack Black, Shailene Woodley, Tilda Swinton, director Richard Linklater and cinematographer Haskell Wexler.Terrence Malick's 1978 film Days of Heaven is scheduled to open the fest.

Ebert, longtime movie critic at The Chicago Sun-Times, died Thursday at age 70.

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In early December, he described his latest ailment as “a slight and nearly invisible hairline fracture involving my left femur” that immobilized him. “I didn’t fall. I didn’t break it. It just sort of … happened to itself,” he said. On April 3, he revealed that what he thought was a fracture was cancer and that he was undergoing radiation treatment and cutting back on his work.

Seven years earlier, Ebert was forced to give up co-hosting duties on his movie-review series after losing part of his jaw to thyroid cancer, rendering him unable to speak.