Via Zoom: Introducing Karen Cardarelli, Exec Director of FACETS

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CHICAGO – Karen Cardarelli has a plan. She was named Executive Director of Chicago’s FACETS Multi-Media in February of 2020, and during that time she has overseen its evolution. Currently, the Chicago International Children’s Film Festival is being presented through November 20th. Click CICFF for info/schedule/tickets.

The Chicago International Children’s Film Festival (CICFF) is the first Academy Award-qualifying (Live Action Short, Animated Short) children’s film festival in the world. Founded in 1984, it’s also the oldest children’s film fest in the country and the largest in the world, screening an average of 250 films from 50 countries. Chicago audiences, young and young at heart, have the opportunity to connect to the world through film, aimed at furthering the cultural influence of children’s film programming.

39th Chicago International Children’s Film Festival
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Karen Cardarelli – as stated in her interview below – connected to FACETS through her role as the co-founder of Emerald City Theatre in 1996, a theater that focused on developing the stage for children, including Little Theatre (the nation’s first theatre for the very young) and outreach to Chicago Public School students. In her tenure so far, she has guided FACETS through the crucial period of the pandemic challenges, and has emerged as a leader in progressing both the physical film theater on Fullerton Avenue in Chicago – which was founded in 1975 by the late iconic film scholar Milos Stehlik – and the cinema community in the Windy City.

As a cultural innovator, Ms. Cardarelli and FACETS are involved currently in launching the CHICAGO ALLIANCE OF FILM FESTIVALS (CAFF), which was announced during the FACETS “Screen Gems” fundraiser in September of 2022. The Alliance seeks to aid Chicago-area film festivals through sector building efforts focused on expanding audience, resources and expertise. The interview below focuses on CAFF.

In an interview via Zoom with Karen Cardarelli, the Executive Director of FACETS Chicago, her background, connection to the Chicago International Children’s Film Festival and CAFF is discussed…

Trailer, Chicago International Children’s Film Festival …

The Chicago International Children’s Film Festival runs through November 20th, 2022, through, and the theater at 1517 West Fullerton, Chicago (click link above for details). For information regarding the Chicago Alliance of Film Festivals, click CAFF. senior staff writer Patrick McDonald

Editor, Film Writer

© 2022 Patrick McDonald,

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