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BTN LiveBIG: Ebertfest celebrates cinema at Illinois

HAL 9000 is not real. Despite its fame from 2001: a Space Odyssey, the Arthur C. Clarke novel-turned-Stanley Kubrick film (both in 1968), the talking sentient computer that could interact with astronauts in space never actually existed. Hal was not really built in Urbana, Illinois, in 1997 either. But he did lead to the birth of the Ebertfest film festival at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In 1997, the University of Illinois hosted a five-day festival, Cyberfest, to honor Hal’s fictional birth year. Nate Kohn, a professor at the University of Georgia, who holds a Ph.D in Communication from