Ebertfest 2023 Announces Full Lineup Featuring Guests Lawrence Bender, Mykelti Williamson, Michael Morris and More | Festivals & Awards

The program for Ebertfest 2023 curated by Festival Director Dr. Nathaniel Kohn and Chaz Ebert is titled “Empathy at the Movies,” and includes 11 films, two short films, 20 guests, and three musical performances:


NINE DAYS (2020) This ultra-original fantasy drama considers the meaning of life as potential souls audition for the chance to be born.



TOKYO STORY (1953) This year’s Ebertfest audience choice winner was called “one of the greatest films of all time” by Roger Ebert, who wrote: “With no other director do I feel affection for every single shot. … It says, yes, a movie can help us make small steps against our imperfections.”

THE CABINET OF DR. CALIGARI (1920) This German Expressionist silent horror film depicts an insane hypnotist who uses a somnambulist (a sleepwalker) to commit crimes.


  • Musical accompaniment by the Anvil Orchestra

MY NAME IS SARA (2019) Sponsored by the Alliance for Inclusion and Respect and Mickey Shapiro This prize-winning docudrama shares the story of Sara Góralnik, a 13-year-old Polish Jew whose parents were killed by Nazis at the outset of the Holocaust. Passing as an Orthodox Christian, Sara is hired as a nanny by a Ukrainian farmer and his wife and must endure grueling work, while trying to protect her true identity and discovering her employers have dark secrets of their own.


  • Executive Producer Mickey Shapiro, son of the late Sara Shapiro
  • Director Steven Oritt

AMERICAN FOLK (2017) Folk musicians Elliott and Joni go on a road trip from LA to New York City in the days following 9/11, forging a bond through their love of music and encounters with memorable people.



TO LESLIE (2022) Inspired by true events, Leslie is a struggling single mom who wins the lottery only to waste it all on alcohol and drugs. Years later, she attempts to get her life back on track but the path to redemption may be more difficult than she can handle.