High school student and filmmaker launches CU International Film Festival

High school student Max Libman has looked at the world through a camera lens since he can remember. He began making his own films before the age of ten, and at age twelve began writing a screenplay based on his great-grandmother’s life under the Nazi regime. He submitted the script to a scriptwriting contest and his short film Ein Stern (AStar) was chosen as one of the winners and filmed in German with English subtitles. This short film has been viewed by thousands of people and has inspired conversations with diverse groups of all ages.

Seeing the power of cinema, Libman combined his love for films and his desire for community action to launch this project: CU International Film Festival (CUIFF). The inaugural festival takes place this Saturday, October 29, 2022 at the Spurlock Museum of World Cultures in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois. The festival’s mission is to foster a broad community showcasing films that entertain, educate and uplift. It offers a collection of varied films from all over the world, bringing together filmmakers and moviegoers. The festival includes a gala on the Hollywood red carpet, a presentation of short films and awards ceremonies. More than two hundred participants are expected. Short films have been submitted from coast to coast and around the world, including Germany, India,

Iran, Italy, Spain, Uzbekistan and United Kingdom. Judges rated these films, and the top-ranked films were sent to a panel of jurors. Jurors include national film critic and Chicago Sun Times columnist Richard Roeper, writer and director Ty Stickler of Creative Artists Agency in Los Angeles, and Emmy-nominated filmmaker Neil Berkeley.

Libman has also formed an advisory board of various professionals to support the festival’s mission. The advisory board includes Ed Begley Jr., a Hollywood actor and environmental activist; New York Film Academy director Angeliea Stark; Herman David, fellow of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and co-founder of Santa Clarita Studios; and, Anna Librae, British producer of several UK TV series.

Festival and ticket information can be found on the CUIFF website at www.cuiff.org. For more information, Libman can be contacted at [email protected]