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Stranger Than Fiction Film Festival

Film lovers should attend the Stranger Than Fiction Documentary Film Festival at the Gene Siskel Film Center January 5-February 1 and stay at the nearby and affordable Chicago Lake Shore Hotel in historic Hyde Park!


The Stranger Than Fiction Documentary Film Festival celebrates the art of the documentary, presenting the Chicago debuts of eight new documentary releases. Twelve different producing nations are represented in films offering perspectives from Chicago to Alaska, and from Israel and Japan to Mexico and Qatar.


The Stranger Than Fiction Documentary Film Festival opens and closes with films by Chicago directors. Director Karen Weinberg will be present for opening week screenings of “Keep Talking”, produced by Chicago’s own internationally renowned Kartemquin Films, and exploring the transformation of a Native American community when women take the initiative to preserve their ancient language. Director Jack C. Newell will be present for discussion of our closing film 42 GRAMS, following the inside story of a critically acclaimed but short-lived Chicago restaurant.


“Bobbi Jene” follows the American former star of Israel’s avant-garde Batsheva Dance Company as she returns home to rethink her career amid personal challenges. “Bueys” is a portrait of artist-philosopher Joseph Beuys, while “Shadowman” profiles the rocky career trajectory of Manhattan street artist Richard Hambleton, whose late-life embrace by the art elite proves a mixed blessing.

A struggle for marriage equality in Mexico is woven into a heartwarming and often humorous tale in “No Dress Cod Required”, while the esoteric leisure activities of oil-rich sheiks are seen in the elegantly dreamy “The Challenge.”

The Gene Siskel Film Center is located in the School of the Art Institute. For tickets and schedules, go online to and follow the prompts.

Make your Stranger Than Fiction Documentary Film Festival experience more enjoyable by staying at the Chicago Lake Shore Hotel, in historic Hyde Park, just a short walk away from the Museum of Science and Industry. Chicago Lake Shore offers free shuttle bus service to and from the Loop area and is close to bus and train services. The Lake Shore Café offers breakfast, lunch and dinner. AND Jazz and seafood buffet, Friday nights.