Jesse Spencer and Taylor Kinney, stars of the NBC drama Chicago Fire, will appear at the Great Chicago Fire Festival on Saturday, October 4. Presented by Redmoon with the City of Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events and Chicago Park District, the free festival honors the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 with a celebration at 8 p.m. between the State Street and Columbus Drive bridges. For more information, visit www.chicagofirefestival.com.
As part of the Chicago International Film Festival, director Taylor Hackford will on hand to present his 1980 feature The Idolmaker at 2:15 p.m. on October 11. Later that day, Polish filmmaker Krzysztof Zanussi will present his award-winning film Family Life. On October 12, Oliver Stone will present a director’s cut of Natural Born Killers at 4 p.m. as well as Alexander: The Ultimate Cut at 7 p.m. In honor of the 25th anniversary of Roger and Me, Michael Moore will attend the 7 p.m. screening of his documentary on October 22 at Chicago’s AMC River East 21 on 322 E. Illinois Street. For details, visit www.chicagofilmfestival.com.
Funny web series, feature-length and short films from award-winning and first-time filmmakers will be screened at the 4th annual Chicago Comedy Film Festival (October 16-19) at Chicago’s Showplace ICON Theater on 150 W. Roosevelt Road. Among the selections is the feature film The Yank starring Fred Willard, Kevin Farley, Colm Meaney and Sean Lackey; and the short film Awkward Expressions of Love starring Jayma Mays, Ian Brennan and Trilby Glover. For tickets and the full festival lineup, visit www.ChicagoComedyFilmFestival.com.
Hofbrauhaus Chicago’s second annual Oktoberfest includes celebrity keg tappers on Fridays, food specials and freshly-brewed Oktoberfestbier every day, plus German entertainment through October 31at the area’s only micro-brewery, beer hall and restaurant in MB Financial Park at Rosemont—while in Evanston, Bach Week Festival’s annual benefit concert Bachtoberfest features special guest artist Howard Levy at 5:30 p.m. on October 12. For details, call 847-269-9050.
Also in Evanston is the Music Institute of Chicago’s Fifth Annual Jazz Festival: Celebrating the Music of Charlie Parker. Among the slated events are the Bird with Strings concert at 7:30 p.m. on November 7; a lecture and book-signing by Stanley Crouch of Kansas City Lightning: The Rise and Times of Charlie Parker at 4 p.m. on November 8; and a Bebop Extravaganza performance at 7:30 p.m. on November 8 at Nichols Concert Hall on 1490 Chicago Avenue. To learn more, visit www.musicinst.org. For tickets, visit musicinst.org/charlie-parker-jazz-festival.