International film fest to light up Prisco Center

  • "Breakfast at Ina's," featuring Chicago restaurateur Ina Pinkney, is among the films to be shown at the Illinois International Film festival in Aurora this weekend.

    "Breakfast at Ina's," featuring Chicago restaurateur Ina Pinkney, is among the films to be shown at the Illinois International Film festival in Aurora this weekend. Courtesy of Fox Valley Park District

  • Michael Schindlbeck and Evelea Solgos play the lead roles for three performances of "Romeo and Juliet" at the Prisco Community Center on May 21-22.

    Michael Schindlbeck and Evelea Solgos play the lead roles for three performances of "Romeo and Juliet" at the Prisco Community Center on May 21-22. Courtesy of Fox Valley Park District

 
 
Updated 5/12/2016 10:12 AM

The Prisco Community Center in Aurora will be a moviegoer's paradise this weekend.

Dim the lights and settle into your seats for the Illinois International Film Festival that will showcase 38 films on Saturday and Sunday, May 14-15.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Films will be showing from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. each day, but this is a come-and-go-as-you-please event. A $13 ticket -- available at the door -- provides in and out privileges so guests can tailor their viewing schedules to suit their interests.

In partnership with the Fox Valley Park District's Premiere Theatre Company, this event supports new film producers and original films from around the neighborhood and around the world.

"Local, international and everything in between," said Kyle Donahue, performing arts manager for the park district. "It's nice to screen such a wide variety of films in one place, and like last year when we first hosted this event, we'll be welcoming people with all different cinematic interests."

Viewing sessions are as short as 30 minutes or as lengthy as two hours. Categories include dramatic (feature and short), comedy (feature and short), student film, experimental short, Sci-Fi short, animated short, documentary short and thriller feature, among others. Visit www.illinoisinternationalfilmfestival.com/ for a complete list.

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One example is the short documentary "Breakfast at Ina's," an engaging profile of a beloved Chicago restaurant and the woman who made it a legendary favorite for 33 years after overcoming polio and other personal challenges.

Many of the film sessions will allow time afterward for group discussion that will allow producers, performers and directors to gather viewer feedback.

Watching movies all weekend sounds too good to be true. But on Saturday and Sunday, it's definitely doable. Concessions (hint: popcorn) will be available for purchase both days. The Prisco Community Center is at 150 W. Illinois Ave., Aurora.

Spring Shakespeare

Premiere Theatre Company is putting the finishing touches on its performance of William Shakespeare's most famous love story, "Romeo and Juliet."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Show times are Saturday, May 21 Saturday, May 21, and 2 p.m. Sunday, May 22, at the Prisco Center.

Set in the war-torn streets of Verona, Italy, the classic story of two star-crossed lovers unfolds. As their feuding families try to tear them apart, true love shines through.

Rehearsals began in March for a dedicated cast of 13 local performers. Theater veteran Evelea Solgos will play Juliet, with newcomer Michael Schindlbeck as Romeo. The two leads are actually friends who attend West Aurora High School and are teaming up in the name of Shakespeare.

Tickets are $8 in advance and available online at seatyourself.biz/foxvalleyparkdistrict. Day-of tickets will also be sold at the door for $10.

• Jeff Long (jlong@fvpd.net) is the public affairs and communications manager for the Fox Valley Park District.

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