For This year’s Edition (October 14 to 25), the festival will move online, with single screenings ranging from $10 to $75 and ticket packages from $50 to $220. If that sounds steep for watching a movie at home, keep in mind that many of these titles won’t show up in theaters for months, and the fest always features some of the most impressive local premieres of the year. Here, four of the films we are most excited to see.
Kate Winslet and Saoirse Ronan star in this historical drama about the close friendship between renowned paleontologist Mary Anning and a young woman named Charlotte Murchison. It’s the second feature by director Francis Lee, whose previous effort, God’s Own Country, was one of the most critically acclaimed movies of 2017.
2 One Night in Miami
Actress Regina King makes her feature-length directorial debut with this adaptation of Kemp Powers’s popular stage play, which fictionalizes the legendary 1964 meeting of Cassius Clay, Malcolm X, Sam Cooke, and Jim Brown. Their conversation explores racial injustice and social unrest— subjects clearly still relevant in America today.
3 Fireball: Visitors From Darker Worlds
Now in his late 70s, maverick German filmmaker Werner Herzog continues to bring a poetic perspective to a wide range of fascinating subjects. Recent efforts have considered Mikhail Gorbachev and family surrogates in Japan. With this work, codirected by Clive Oppenheimer, Herzog meditates on astronomical phenomena and their effect on the human imagination.
4 The Road Up
Jon Siskel and Greg Jacobs made one of the most beloved Chicago-centric docs of the last decade with Louder Than a Bomb, capturing the annual slam poetry competition. This follow-up feature looks at the Cara Program, a local job-training organization, focusing on a mentor named Jesse Teverbaugh as he works with people who have struggled with incarceration, addiction, and homelessness.