Film at Gorton Center

The John & Nancy Hughes Theater is the cultural heart of Lake Forest/Lake Bluff. It houses a state of the art cinema system that allows Gorton’s film programs to be robust and growing. Gorton film series include (in alphabetical order):

Community Film Forum: Starting Fall 2018, Gorton will co-host a series of films about topics of interest to our community with a number of other local organizations. The films will be followed by panel discussion. Topics covered will include raising children, learning disabilities, anxiety, substance abuse issues, civil discourse, societal pressures and more. This series is supported by The Jannotta Family through the Gorton Producer Program.

Film Series at Gorton: A collection of classic films with a twist. Shown once again on the big screen, and with special guests, film discussions, trivia, costume contests and more. This series includes, among others, Summer Fridays, Ghoulish Feature Fest and the Fa La La Film Festival. This series is underwritten by the Hughes Film Endowment.

First Thursdays Film Series: On the first Thursday of every month at 11 and 7, Gorton screens the latest in independent cinema. From award-winning documentaries, to riveting dramas to artistically excellent cinematic short films, Gorton’s First Thursday series offers the very best of cinema every single month. This series is supported by The Sheffield Foundation through the Gorton Producer Program.

Kartemquin Presents: Kartemquin is a collaborative community empowering documentary makers who create stories that foster a more engaged and just society. In 2016 Kartemquin celebrated 50 years of sparking democracy through documentary. Kartemquin is internationally recognized for crafting quality documentaries backed by innovative community engagement. The organization’s films have received three Academy Award® nominations and won several major prizes, including five Emmys, two Peabody Awards, multiple Independent Spirit, IDA, PGA and DGA awards, and duPont-Columbia and Robert F. Kennedy journalism awards. Kartemquin is recognized as a leading advocate for independent documentary media, and has helped hundreds of artists via its filmmaker development programs that help further grow the field, such as KTQ Labs, Diverse Voices in Docs, and the acclaimed KTQ Internship. Gorton is proud to offer screenings of Kartemquin’s award-winning documentaries on select Fridays in the spring and fall.

Mountainfilm on Tour: Held each year on the last weekend of January, Mountainfilm on Tour is one of the highlights of our cinematic year. In 2022, the festival will take place on January 28th and 29th. Mountainfilm travels year-round and worldwide with a selection of current and best-loved films from the annual festival in Telluride. This year’s program features a full-length award-winning film After Antarctica, a series of Family-Friendly short films, the ecologically-focused and exhilarating Adventure Shorts, and the much anticipated Mountainfilm Medley of the festival’s finest films. This series is co-presented with Lake Forest Open Lands Association and is supported by the Butler Family Foundation and The Community Church of Lake Forest and Lake Bluff. Passes to the entire festival are available for purchase.

Oscar Shorts: For over a decade, ShortsTV has proudly brought the Oscar Nominated Short Films to audiences across the globe.This exclusive release features the year’s most spectacular short films across Live Action, Animation and Documentary, and for a limited time is available to watch on the big screen. Gorton screens these films in advance of the Oscars each February.

One Earth Film Festival: One Earth Film Festival is the Midwest’s premier environmental film festival, creating opportunities for understanding climate change, sustainability and the power of human involvement. It showcases top-issue, thought-provoking environmental films and leads audiences in interactive post-film discussions focused on solutions. Gorton is proud to be a location for this festival in late winter and early spring.

Our Film Partners