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The Reel Critic Talks the Chicago International Film Festival 

Written by on October 6, 2023

Pictured above: Jurnee Smollett stars in film We Grown Now, featured at CIFF 59.

The 59th annual Chicago International Film Festival returns Oct. 11. In this week’s segment, Reggie “The Reel Critic” Ponder dives into all the things you need to know before it kicks off.

The festival will run from October 11 to October 22, and is set to feature more than 100 films and 60 short films from across the world. Reggie “The Reel Critic” Ponder highlights a few standout films, such as Rustin, directed by the award-winning director George C. Wolf, which shines a spotlight on Bayard Rustin, the organizer of the March on Washington. He also discussed compelling films Bike Vessel, All Happy Families and American Fiction.

A. Philip Rand (played by Glynn Turman) and Bayard Rustin (Colman Domingo) in a scene from the film Rustin.

Discover the wide variety of film categories, including stories centered around women, LGBTQ+ themes, comedy and a spotlight on the Black experience under the “Black Perspectives” banner. Reggie “The Reel Critic” Ponder breaks down more that attendees can expect going into this year’s CIFF. Visit for more information and tickets. 

Check out more reviews and interviews from Reggie Ponder here, and follow him on Twitter and Instagram

Audio production by Reggie Ponder

Written introduction by Blake Hall

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