Film News: Award Honorees at 53rd Chicago International Film Festival

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CHICAGO – The Chicago International Film Festival is a competitive fest, and the 53rd edition presented its awards on October 20th, 2017, at the AMC River East Theatre in Chicago. The winner of the Gold Hugo as Best Film was “A Sort of Family” (Argentina), directed by Diego Lerman.

The 53rd Chicago International Film Festival Awards Night was October 20th, 2017
Photo credit: Patrick McDonald for

The awards event was hosted by entertainment reporter Bill Zwecker of the Chicago Sun-Times and FOX32. Presenters included Artistic Director Mimi Plauché, programmers Anthony Kaufman and Sam Flancher, plus various jury members. Local treasures Chaz Ebert of and Festival Founder Michael Kutza joined in as presenters. The Festival’s highest honor is the Gold Hugo, named for the mythical God of Discovery.

StarInternational Feature Film Competition

“A Sort of Family,” Directed by Diego Lerman
Photo credit: Chicago International Film Festival

The Gold Hugo for Best Film: “A Sort of Family” (Argentina) Directed by Diego Lerman

The Silver Hugo – Special Jury Prize: “Félicité” (Senegal/France/Beligium) Directed by Alain Gomis

The Silver Hugo – Best Director: Joanna Kos-Krauze and Krzysztof Krauze of “Birds are Singing in Kigali” (Poland)

The Silver Hugo – Best Actor: Aleksandr Yatsenko in “Arrhythmia”(Russia/Finland/Germany)

The Silver Hugo – Best Actress: Jowita Budnik and Eliane Umuhire in “Birds are Singing in Kigali”

The Silver Plaque – Best Cinematography: Chayse Irvin for “Hannah” (Italy/France/Belgium)

The Silver Plaque – Best Screenplay: Mohammad Rasoulof for “A Man of Integrity” (Iran)

The Silver Plaque – Best Art Direction: Václav Novak for “The Line” (Slovakia/Ukraine/Czech Republic)

StarNew Directors Competition

“No Date, No Signature,” Directed by Vahid Jalilvand
Photo credit: Chicago International Film Festival

The Gold Hugo: Director Vahid Jalilvand of “No Date, No Signature” (Iran)

The Silver Hugo: Director Milad Alami of “The Charmer” (Denmark)

The Roger Ebert Award for New Directors: Director Laura Mora of “Killing Jesús” (Columbia, Argentina) – Presented by Chaz Ebert

StarDocumentary Competition

“The Other Side of the Wall,” Directed by Pau Ortiz
Photo credit: Chicago International Film Festival

The Gold Hugo: “The Other Side of the Wall” (Mexico), directed by Pau Ortiz

The Silver Hugo: “Mr. Gay Syria” (France/Germany/Turkey), directed by Ayse Toprak

StarGold Q Award (LBGTQ Films)

BPM,” Directed by Robin Campillo
Photo credit: Chicago International Film Festival

The Gold Hugo:BPM” (France), directed by Robin Campillo

The Silver Hugo: “God’s Own Country” (United Kingdom), directed by Francis Lee

StarChicago Award

“Princess Cyd” (USA) Directed by Stephan Cone
Photo credit: Chicago International Film Festival

StarShort Film Competition

“The Rabbit Hunt,” Directed by Patrick Bresnan
Photo credit: Chicago International Film Festival

The Gold Hugo – Narrative: “Night Shift” (USA), directed by Marshall Tyler

The Silver Hugo – Narrative: “A Gentle Night” (China), directed by Qui Yang

Special Mention – Narrative: “Fucking Bunnies” (Finland), directed by Teemu Niukkanen

The Silver Hugo – Documentary: “The Rabbit Hunt” (USA), directed by Patrick Bresnan

Gold Plaque – Documentary: “The Streets Are Ours: Two Lives Cross in Karachi” (USA), directed by Michelle Fiordaliso

Special Mention – Documentary: “The Painted Calf” (Spain), directed by David Pantaleón

Gold Plaque – Animated: “Drop by Drop” (Portugal), directed by Xá and Laura Gonçalves

Special Mention – Animated: “Beyond Fields of Paper” (USA), directed by Yiyi Ma

StarThe Founder’s Award

The Founder’s Award: “The Shape of Water” (USA), directed by Guillermo Del Toro – Presented by Michael Kutza

The 53rd Chicago International Film Festival takes place through October 26th, 2017. THE BEST OF THE FEST, celebrating the award winners of the festival, will be on Wednesday, October 25th. Click here for films, film schedules, information and to purchase tickets. senior staff writer Patrick McDonald

Editorial Coordinator, Writer

© 2017 Patrick McDonald,

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