June 20, 2019

After seven years away, The Lake County Film Festival is finally returning and will take place from September 5 – 10, 2019 in Grayslake, Waukegan, & Lake Forest, giving, the county’s residents their yearly fix of independent movies. 

The College Of Lake County Grayslake campus is once again the main headquarters for the festival, where all films will be shown at least once. Ali O’Brien, Vice President of Community & Workforce Partnerships at CLC, expressed that “the college is looking forward to hosting the festival as part of our commitment to grow and support cultural enrichment across the county. The LCFF is a great example of partnering together to celebrate the arts, local talent, and independent films.”

New for 2019, the LCFF is thrilled to be holding an eight-hour mini-festival in the John & Nancy Hughes Memorial Theater at The Gorton Community Center in Lake Forest on Sunday, September 8th from Noon to 8 P.M. The Gorton Community Center hosts classic films and curated independent films from sources like The Chicago International Children’s Film Festival, Mountainfilm and Kartemquin. Jamie Hall, Director of Film at the Gorton Center said, “We could not be more excited to showcase these wonderful films and host their filmmakers in our theater! Bringing the community together to engage in the thrill, fun, and emotion of quality independent films is at the heart of our film program and we are so proud to be a part of a festival with a rich history of connecting audiences to quality film and their creators.”

For opening night, the festival is excited to show a special presentation of the romantic drama/comedy QWERTY. An award-winning screenplay before filming in and around Lake County (and on The College Of Lake County Campus, including the very auditorium the film will be screened in), QWERTY went on to play dozens of festivals around the country, and pick up more than a handful of awards, yet never had a public screening in Lake County. “It couldn’t be more appropriate to have this screening–not only at the location of the film’s climax but as part of the festival where, 3 years earlier, many of the key players met and conspired to make a film together.” said director Bill Sebastian, “Lake County Film Festival and the College of Lake County were both key components to QWERTY’s inception and creation, and we’re excited to have this homecoming.” Come out and see the film Roger Ebert called “charming, winning and sweet”. 

The closing night film at is Patrick Read Johnson’s 5-25-77. Decades in the making, 5-25-77 tells Johnsons’ true story of growing up in Lake County and having a passion for watching, discussing and making films and being the first person to see Star Wars. LCFF audiences were the first to see footage of 5-25-77 in 2005, and we are excited to finally present the full feature to our audiences, and Patrick thinks it’s “a great thing to be able to bring this movie home”. 

Tickets for The 2019 Lake County Film Festival are the same price they were ten years ago. “It’s been ten years since Congress has passed an increase in the federal minimum wage, which is a record”, said festival director Nat Dykeman, “so I decided to keep ticket prices the same as 10 years ago.” Tickets are $7 for an individual movie and $15 for a day pass. A full festival pass will cost $30 before August 15th, and $35 after August 15th. 

This year’s festival is also offering two new ways to watch films. First, all short programs will have a shorter run time of 45 minutes with an admission price of only $3. Also, this year’s festival will introduce the “Films For All Program”, an idea modeled after the “Museums For All” program run by the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Anyone receiving food assistance can gain admission to any screening for $1 by simply presenting their EBT card.

For more information about The Lake County Film Festival, visit

For more information about The College Of Lake County, visit

For more information about The Gorton Community Center, visit

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Press Contact:
Nat Dykeman

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