Guillermo del Toro’s ‘Crimson Peak’ to Open Ebertfest

Crimson Peak,” Guillermo del Toro’s gothic romance drama, will open the 18th annual Roger Ebert Film Festival, host Chaz Ebert and festival director Nate Kohn announced Wednesday.

Del Toro’s latest film marks his ninth cinematic exploration of the supernatural genre. “Crimson Peak” follows Edith Cushing (Mia Wasikowska), a young author adjusting to life in the English estate of her new mysterious husband (Tom Hiddleston) and his intrusive sister (Jessica Chastain), who also resides at the mansion. Edith begins encountering spirits and struggles to comprehend the communications’ connection to her family’s dark history.

Del Toro, whose “genuine visual sense” was once praised by legendary film critic and journalist Roger Ebert, will attend this year’s festival as an honorary guest. One of the writer-director’s earliest films, “Cronos” (1993) — also of the supernatural genre — premiered at Cannes Film Festival in 1993 and went on to nab over 20 international awards. Known for experimenting with both the fantasy, horor and action genres, del Toro’s other notable works include “Hellboy” (2004), “Pan’s Labyrinth” (2006) and “Pacific Rim” (2013).

“I am so excited to welcome Guillermo to Ebertfest,” Chaz Ebert said. “In addition to his talent as a filmmaker, he is one of those gracious and gregarious filmmakers like Quentin Tarantino who likes to discuss movies and often finds new insights. I know our audience will love him.”

The Roger Ebert Film Festival, also known as Ebertfest, is a five-day film fest held at a historic theater in Ebert’s hometown of Champaign, Ill. The festival aims to continue the late journalist’s mission of championing quality films that are deserving of more recognition.

Ebertfest runs from April 13 to 17. Additional festival films will be announced in the coming months.

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