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World Premiere of Buddy Guy Documentary The Torch to close 55th Chicago Intl. Film Festival

9/18/2019, 10:24 p.m.
The Jim Farrell-Directed Documentary Headlines the Festival’s City & State Program, Celebrating Illinois and Chicago-Made Cinema Announcement Comes Alongside the ...

The Jim Farrell-Directed Documentary Headlines the Festival’s City & State Program, Celebrating Illinois and Chicago-Made Cinema

Announcement Comes Alongside the Unveiling of the Festival’s Full Lineup, Including More Than 150 Films from Around the World

Mimi Plauché, Artistic Director of the Chicago International Film Festival, today announced at the annual press breakfast that the 55th edition of the Festival will close with the world premiere of Jim Farrell’s Buddy Guy documentary, The Torch. Chronicling legendary blues musician Buddy Guy’s dedication to mentoring a new generation of artists, the screening event will begin at 6 p.m. on October 27 at AMC River East 21 (322 E. Illinois St.). An after-party will follow the screening at Steak 48 (615 N Wabash Ave) at 8:30 p.m. Presented by Cinema/Chicago, the 55th Chicago International Film Festival will take place October 16 – 27 at the AMC River East. Farrell, Buddy Guy and producer Amy Briamonte are scheduled to attend the event.

In addition to the Closing Night announcement, Plauché and the programming team, comprised of Anthony Kaufman, Alissa Simon and Sam Flancher, unveiled the Festival’s full lineup of competition and special presentation features and short films.

Released by IFC Films, The Torch headlines the Festival’s annual City & State program, celebrating excellence in Chicago and Illinois filmmaking. This year’s programming includes titles such as the political chronicle The First Rainbow Coalition (dir. Ray Santisteban); modern teen noir Knives and Skin (dir. Jennifer Reeder); and a portrait of artist László Moholy-Nagy, The New Bauhaus (dir. Alysa Nahmias).

“Buddy Guy is a timeless Chicago icon, and we are honored to close the 55th Chicago International Film Festival with this celebration of his talent and his commitment to the enduring legacy of blues as an essential American art form,” said Plauché.

“Each year, we showcase the best films made in Chicago and Illinois,” said Kaufman. “From portraits of Chicago legends to stories of horror, coming-of-age, and even an avant-garde look at contemporary China, this edition of the City & State program is one of our most impressive and expansive.”

Featuring more than 150 films from around the world as well as appearances from top directors, producers, actors, designers, and more, the 55th Chicago International Film Festival continues to be the premier destination for film enthusiasts and experts alike. The longest running competitive film festival in North America, the Chicago International Film Festival is committed to selecting the world’s most exciting, compelling and groundbreaking feature films, documentaries and short films, including multiple Oscar contenders and winners, year after year. For the past five years, the Festival has been proud to showcase the Academy Award Winner for Best Picture.

Closing Night Gala

The Torch – Dir. Jim Farrell, U.S.

At 83, Chicago legend Buddy Guy remains the standard bearer for the blues, an icon determined to see the art form live on long after he’s gone. Enter guitar phenom Quinn Sullivan, who has been mentored by Guy since he was a kid. This stirring documentary, amplified by electrifying musical performances, charts the guidance Guy himself received from the likes of Muddy Waters and John Lee Hooker while observing the 8-time Grammy®-winner passing his wisdom to the next generation. Released by IFC Films. 107 min.