I was a fan of Roger Ebert's.
It started with his TV show when I was just starting out - dreaming of a life in the movies.
Then I met him.
He was already a Pulitzer Prize winning critic and a TV star when he approached me, 25 years ago at a party overlooking Cannes celebrating the premiere of a film that I had developed. The night had already been magical, but meeting and hearing words of praise from Roger Ebert at the Cannes Film Festival... I distinctly remember knowing, in that moment, that my dreams were really coming true.
I had the chance to remind Roger Ebert of that night in Cannes in a note I sent to him a couple of days ago. I had heard that the cancer had come back. And I wanted Roger to know how much that 25 year old moment still meant to me. I had seen him infrequently over the years at other events - and he'd written about other movies that I'd worked on - but we'd never spoken again. Even if he didn't read my note before he died - I'm glad I made the effort.
On behalf of all the other filmmakers whose work he championed - see the video below - I'm writing this post to honor the passion and sheer love of movies and moviemakers that Roger Ebert embodied. He will be missed.