The Chicago International Film Festival (CIFF) has unveiled the first 22 films for this year’s October event, with the Berlinale-winning Caesar Must Die (pictured) and ESPN doc Benji featuring among the doc titles.
The 48th CIFF will take place from October 11-25. “Our programmers have been working non-stop all year in search of the best films from around the world,” said Michael Kutza, CIFF’s founder and artistic director. “Chicago audiences will have the chance to see some of the most exhilarating films the world has to offer.”
The documentaries confirmed for the fest so far, with descriptions via CIFF, are:
As Goes Janesville
Director: Brad Lichtenstein, U.S.
The recession hits home in Janesville, WI, where the shutdown of a GM plant has devastated the town. Following laid-off employees struggling to make ends meet and local business owners trying to lure back investors, this intimate verité-style documentary supplies refreshingly human insight into America’s economic crisis.
Director: Coodie & Chike, U.S.
In 1984, all eyes were on Ben Wilson, one of Chicago’s top high school basketball prospects. But in his senior year, Benji’s story was suddenly cut short. Interviews with family and friends give fresh insight into Benji’s life and untimely end, illuminating one of sport’s most tragic “what if”s.
Caesar Must Die
Director: Paolo & Vittorio Taviani, Italy
The top prizewinner in Berlin, this docudrama from the legendary Taviani brothers depicts the preparations for a staging of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar by inmates in Rome’s Rebibbia Prison. The performers, many of whom are in jail for violent crimes, bring powerful new layers of meaning and emotion to the canonical play.
The Jeffrey Dahmer Files (formerly known as Jeff)
Director: Chris James Thompson, U.S.
By the time he was arrested, Jeffrey Dahmer had killed and dismembered 17 victims, mostly in his nondescript Milwaukee apartment. Using a mixture of archival footage, new interviews and recreations, this documentary paints a complex, intimate portrait of one of America’s most notorious serial killers.