Lake County Film Festival March 2-6 brings suburbs dozens of otherwise unavailable films

Nat Dykeman’s mission to bring the film festival experience to the far north suburbs reaches new heights with the third annual installment of Dykeman’s brainchild, the Lake County Film Festival, which runs March 2-6.

“Our goal is to make stuff happen in Lake County,” said Dykeman, who owns Dog Ear Music & Movies in Libertyville.

“There’s nothing else like this here. I had to explain to people what a film festival was last year.”

The Lake County Film Festival has grown exponentially, from two films in 2004, to seven showtimes last year, to 19 features and 59 shorts in this year’s fest, including dozens of local productions alongside international and studio fare.

Dykeman has landed a major preview screening: “American Dreamz,” Paul Weitz’ (“American Pie”) satire about a detached president (Dennis Quaid) becoming a guest host on an “American Idol”-style TV show. With Hugh Grant, Willem Dafoe and Marcia Gay Harden. March 4 at 7 p.m. at Regal Lincolnshire.