Dean Richards, WGN-TV’s entertainment reporter and critic, will host the first annual Elgin Short Film Festival (ESFF) on Saturday, Sept. 26 beginning at 7 p.m. at Hemmens Cultural Center, 45 Symphony Way, Elgin.
Richards, whose entertainment reports and reviews are seen and heard on WGN-TV and radio programming, will serve as master of ceremonies and judge for the competition.
More than 50 short films have been submitted for judging – a number than far exceeds the expectations of committee members.
“We are very excited that this event has attracted filmmakers from not only the Chicago area, but as far away as Hollywood, California.” said Pete Garlock, chairman of the ESFF committee. “We had no idea what the response would be, expecting a conservative number of submittals for the first year. It is a very pleasant surprise to us to receive such high quality films on such varied subject matter. We know that the audience will be impressed with the films they will be viewing.”
The festival provides an opportunity for filmmakers to showcase their talents while competing for cash prizes. Awards will be given at large. To be considered, films are required to have content typical of a PG13 rating.
A judging committee will select five finalists for the Sept. 26 event screening. Audience members will participate in voting to determine first, second and third place film winners.
A red carpet arrival of Richards and film finalists will begin outside of the Hemmens center at 6:30 p.m.
Tickets are $5 and can be ordered on-line at www.hemmens.org or purchased at the Hemmens box office at 847-931-5940. The event is presented by the Hemmens Cultural Center and The City of Elgin, the event is sponsored in part by the Palmer Foundation, The Cultural Arts Commission and Beaux Arts.