Ebertfest Opening with Jean-Luc Godard’s ‘Goodbye to Language’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Jean-Luc Godard’s “Goodbye to Language 3D” will be the opening film on April 15 at the 17th Annual Roger Ebert Film Festival, also known as Ebertfest.

The festival, which is hosted by Chaz Ebert and runs for five days in Champaign-Urbana, Ill., will also include a special screening of Robert De Niro’s “A Bronx Tale” and include appearances from that film’s producer, Jon Kilik, and star and screenwriter Chazz Palminteri.

“Godard is a director of the very first rank; no other director in the 1960s has had more influence on the development of the feature-length film,” Roger Ebert once wrote of Godard. “Like Joyce in fiction or Beckett in theater, he is a pioneer whose present work … is gradually creating and educating an audience that will, perhaps in the next generation, be able to look back at his films and see that this is where their cinema began.”

“Goodbye to Language” stars Heloise Godet, Kamel Abdeli, Richard Chevallier, Zoé Bruneau, Jessica Erickson and Christian Grégori. The experimental film premiered last year at Cannes, where Godard’s own dog, Roxy Mieville, was lauded for scene-stealing work.

Ebertfest is presented in association with the University of Illinois College of Media. Champaign-Urbana was Roger Ebert’s home town. Individual tickets will go on sale April 1.

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