State celebrates Roger Ebert

Chaz Hammelsmith Ebert speaks for her husband film critic Roger Ebert who was honored at the 17th Annual Gotham Awards at Steiner Studios, Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2007 in New York. (AP Photo/Evan Agostini)

April 21, 2010 9:29:58 AM PDT
Governor Pat Quinn gives the Chicago film critic's film festival two thumbs up by declaring Wednesday "Ebertfest Day" in Illinois. Roger Ebert's annual film festival opens Wednesday in Champaign and Urbana. The festival,, brings attention to what the film critic refers to as overlooked movies. It runs through April 25. Festival Schedule

Ebert is a native of Urbana and attended University of Illinois. The longtime film critic has hosted Ebertfest for 12 years.

The Chicagoan is perhaps best known for his TV show, Siskel and Ebert. He has battled cancer, which led to the loss of his voice, for more than 3 years.