DeKALB – For Daihee Cho and Sarah Stuebing, Wednesday night at the Egyptian Theatre was a moment in the spotlight.
Cho and Stuebing were just two of the “Wired: The DeKalb Documentary” stars to walk a red carpet during the film’s premiere and kick off to the second annual Sycamore Film Festival. Both Northern Illinois students said they were excited to see the film for the first time.
“I’m curious to see how [DeKalb] is portrayed,” said Stuebing, a lifelong resident.
“My dad graduated from NIU, and that’s all I really know about the area, so I’m really excited to see it,” Cho added.
While the festival started Wednesday in DeKalb with roughly 600 people attending the premiere, it will return to the Sycamore Theater on State Street from Friday through Sunday with 34 more films.
The festival will continue with a student filmmaker program at both Sycamore and DeKalb high schools Friday morning.
The students will view the films and choose their favorite for the Student Choice Award, which will be presented to the winning filmmaker at 5:30 p.m. Saturday during the awards ceremony at the Jane Fargo Hotel.
The rest of the films will begin at 3:45 p.m. Friday at the Sycamore State Theater and will run until 11:30 p.m. Films will run from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. until the final screenings at 5:45 p.m.
Similar to last year, there will be more than films for patrons to enjoy.
Saturday will feature two panel discussions. The Films on War panel will feature the 25th anniversary of the film “Good Morning, Vietnam” with major members of the cast and crew who will be joined by veterans, a New York Times journalist and a Sept. 11 survivor.
The second panel will be a filmmaker discussion featuring Marie Rowe, who worked on “Good Morning, Vietnam,” “Rain Man” and “Avalon;” James Hampton, actor in “The Longest Yard” and “Teen Wolf;” and Mari Deese Hampton, who is appearing on TNT’s “Dallas.”
A concert headlined by New York cult-favorite The Fleshtones will also take place at Blumen Gardens from 7 p.m. to midnight Saturday.
Shela Lahey, organizer of the event, said the selection committee chose 34 films out of 100 submissions from around the world including England, Mexico, Argentina, Spain and all around the United States.The shortest film is one minute and seven seconds while the longest film is two hours and one minute.
Lahey said the diverse collection of documentaries, feature films and shorts provides something for everyone.
“We’re very excited for it,” Lahey said. “We think it is going to be so much bigger than last year.”