Edgeville Buzz

Filmmaker’s Onion City Fest Will Stream Worldwide From Edgewater – And This Year It’s Free!

Since taking over the Onion City Experimental Film and Video Festival (OCFF) in 2001, The Chicago Filmmakers have developed the event into an artistic powerhouse. With COVID-19 threatening to cancel the 2020 program however, it was decided to postpone the event and offer its audience a free virtual experience which begins this week.

OCFF was established 30 years ago by the Experimental Film Coalition. After the Chicago Filmmakers took over the festival, video was added to the program as well. It has since become a premiere international experience that provides viewers a glimpse into the world of experimental film and video.

The festival, which was originally planned to begin in March, will now take place from June 18-21 and June 25 to 28. The screenings that normally take place at the Chicago Filmmakers Edgewater home (5720 N. Ridge) will instead be presented as a virtual event this year that will be live streamed via Zoom.

“Postponing was a very difficult decision,” said OCFF programmer Emily Eddy. “but I know we made the right choice for the health and safety of our audience and artists. The virtual experience will be a unique opportunity to build a global audience for the festival, anyone will be able to view this important film and video artwork without making the trip to Chicago.”

The Chicago Filmmakers are encouraging viewers to watch the programs on the day when they are released to preserve the festival experience and fully engage in the Q&As. To interact live with the films’ directors after the showing you must register for that portion at OnionCityFest.com. Registration ends 30 minutes before the start of the film or video. If you are unable to view any of the fest’s line-up, a recorded version will be available for one week after the presentation on their website.

Because the event is free, there is no need to buy a ticket. The audience may donate however so that the Chicago Filmmakers may continue their mission of showcasing a wide variety of contemporary experimental works that are focused on artistic excellence but also with an eye towards representing differing styles, forms, and nationalities.

“Onion City is one of a handful of festivals in the Midwest that focuses specifically on experimental film & video made by artists,” Eddy added. “It’s a very unique opportunity to view these films, and I hope that the audience will see these works as a way to expand their definition of what cinema can be.”

You can view the program’s full schedule, make a Paypal donation, or buy a limited edition OCFF t-shirt on their website. All donations are tax-deductible and will benefit OCFF.


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