The Chicago Film Critics Association today announced the complete lineup of screenings and special guests for the sixth annual Chicago Critics Film Festival, to be presented next month at the Music Box Theatre. Unique among the film-fest world as a slate that’s programmed and presented by a major critics’ group, this year’s CCFF brings another seven days’ worth of new and undistributed movies to Chicago.
The opening night film on Friday, May 4, is the supernatural drama Fast Color, starring Gugu Mbatha-Raw as a woman concealing extraordinary abilities; Mbatha-Raw will be in attendance, along with co-writer and producer Jordan Horowitz. Other notable titles include Hal, a new documentary about film editor–turned–director Hal Ashby, whose string of ’70s landmarks included Harold and Maude, The Last Detail, Coming Home and Being There; Searching, a thriller by writer-director Aneesh Chaganty that takes place entirely on computer screens as a father (John Cho) looks for clues to find his missing daughter; and A Kid Like Jake, adapted by Daniel Pearle from his play about well-meaning progressives (Claire Danes and Jim Parsons) obsessing over their preschool child’s gender identity (Chicago’s About Face Theatre mounted the stage version in 2015).
Seven of the 25 titles on the list were previously announced, including First Reformed, the latest from Paul Schrader (the writer of Taxi Driver and Raging Bull screenwriter and director of Affliction), starring Ethan Hawke as a conflicted pastor. The festival announced today that Schrader will be in attendance for his screening on May 7. Comedian and actor Bo Burnham (The Big Sick) will also be in attendance for a Q&A following the previously announced screening of his feature directing debut Eighth Grade, which serves as the festival’s closing night film on May 10. Not everything in the festival is new, though: Look for a 25th-anniversary, 35-millimeter screening of Jurassic Park on Sunday, May 6.