3rd Annual Ebert Symposium

The 2020 Chaz & Roger Ebert Symposium will be presented as a virtual series this fall, bringing together filmmakers and scholars to discuss a variety of issues relevant to the media industry.

The series, which is free and open to the public, will premiere on Thursday, October 8, with a panel moderated by Ebertfest co-founder Chaz Ebert and Ebertfest director Nate Kohn. Each event will be broadcast on both the Ebertfest YouTube channel and Facebook page at 5 p.m. CST on their respective dates. See details about each panel below; more information will be added as guests are confirmed. To submit discussion questions to the panelists, please fill out this form in advance of each event.


The Movie Industry in a Time of Change


The panel will examine the film industry in a time of great change, from the global pandemic wrought by COVID-19 to the protests following the death of George Floyd and concomitant efforts to dismantle systemic racism in the United States.

Moderated by Chaz Ebert and Nate Kohn, the filmmaker panel will examine how movies get made, who gets to make them, and how movies get to be seen and exhibited in light of recent challenges. Panelists include Michael Barker, co-president and co-founder of Sony Pictures Classics; Neal Block, head of distribution and marketing for Magnolia Pictures; filmmaker Melissa Haizlip; Darrien Michele Gipson, executive director of SAGindie; filmmaker Malcolm D. Lee; filmmaker Mary Mazzio; Nina Shaw, founding partner in the entertainment law firm of Del Shaw Moonves Tanaka Finkelstein & Lezcano; and filmmaker Christine Swanson.