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‘Widows’ filmed in Parkway Gardens and ‘The Hate U Give’ get fest treatment

Mimi Plauché, Artistic Director of Cinema/Chicago and the Chicago International Film Festival, recently announced that two of the year’s most highly anticipated films, “The Hate U Give” (directed by George Tillman, Jr.) and “Widows” (directed by Steve McQueen), will receive gala presentation screenings during the 54th Chicago International Film Festival, running  Oct. 10-21, 2018 at AMC River East, 322 E. Illinois St.

“The Hate U Give” will be shown Thursday, Oct. 11; “Widows” will be shown Saturday, Oct. 13.

“We are very proud to present the Chicago premieres of films by two immensely talented directors who also have history with our Festival,” said Plauché. “Both George Tillman, Jr. and Steve McQueen are past Festival honorees, and McQueen’s debut feature, “Hunger,” was the recipient of the 2008 Gold Hugo Award. Tillman’s “The Hate U Give” is a beautifully crafted, compelling drama that deals with the pressing social issues of gun violence and police brutality and their impact on individuals and society. McQueen’s “Widows,” shot in Chicago, is a taut, edge-of-your seat thriller bound up in the city’s complex political and social landscape.”

“It has been an honor to celebrate the talents of these two directors as their careers have evolved,” added festival founder and CEO Michael Kutza. “I have fond memories of being floored by Steve’s talent from the moment I saw “Hunger,” and the team of George and Bob Teitel continuously impresses our audiences with their deft filmmaking. It pleases me enormously that their work will be showcased at this year’s Festival.”

The Hate U Give

“The Hate U Give,” directed by George Tillman, Jr. (who was honored in 2013 at the 49th Chicago International Film Festival), tells the story of Starr Carter, a young woman who is constantly switching between two worlds: the poor, mostly Black, neighborhood where she lives and the rich, mostly white prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Now, facing pressures from all sides of the community, Starr must find her voice and stand up for what’s right.

“The Hate U Give” is based on the critically acclaimed New York Times bestseller by Angie Thomas and stars Amandla Stenberg as Starr, with Russell Hornsby, Regina Hall, Issa Rae, KJ Apa, Algee Smith, Sabrina Carpenter, Common and Anthony Mackie.  One of the producers is Robert Teitel, who served on the jury for the 2013 Chicago International Film Festival.


“Widows” is directed by Academy Award®-winner and 2016 Festival honoree Steve McQueen (“12 Years a Slave”) and co-written by bestselling Chicago-based author Gillian Flynn (“Gone Girl”).  The film is a blistering, modern-day thriller set against the backdrop of crime, passion and corruption, telling the story of four women with nothing in common except a debt left behind by their dead husbands’ criminal activities. Set and filmed in Chicago amid a time of turmoil, tensions build when Veronica (Oscar® winner Viola Davis, also a Festival honoree), Linda (Michelle Rodriguez), Alice (Elizabeth Debicki) and Belle (Cynthia Erivo) take their fate into their own hands and conspire to forge a future on their own terms.

LINDA (MICHELLE RODRIGUEZ) looks on as Veronica (Viola Davis) discusses a financial possibility in the Chicago-filmed movie “Widows,” premiering at the 54th Chicago International Film Festival.

“Widows” also stars Liam Neeson, Colin Farrell, Robert Duvall, Daniel Kaluuya, Lukas Haas and Brian Tyree Henry.

Festival and Ticket Information

The 54th Chicago International Film Festival is North America’s longest-running competitive film festival and runs from October 10 through October 21, 2018, at the AMC River East, 322 E. Illinois St., and features more than 150 films, with a vast diversity of offerings, with numerous competitive categories and several highlight programs such as Black Perspectives, Cinemas of the Americas, International Comedy, Spotlight: Italy, Women in Cinema, Out-Look, After Dark and the City & State program (showcasing films made in Chicago and throughout Illinois.)

Discounted parking is available at the venue. For more information about general ticket and Gala presentation prices and festival passes, visit www.- or call  312-683-0121.

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