Film News: ‘The President’ is Top Film at the 2014 Chicago International Film Festival

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CHICAGO – The 50th Chicago International Film Festival announced its award winners in a ceremony at the city’s Sofitel Chicago Water Tower on October 17th. The Gold Hugo for “Best Film” went to “The President,” a dark satire from Georgia, France, UK, and Germany. This year’s jury members for the international feature film competition included Oscar-nominated actress Kathleen Turner and renowned German director Margarethe von Trotta. This festival also marked the introduction of its “Roger Ebert Award,” a celebration of rising new directors, which went to director Jorge Pérez Solano for his film “La Tirisia.”

Honored films include Niels Arden Oplev’s coming-of-age story “Speed Walking,” Abderrahmane Sissako’s luminous film “Timbuktu,” William H. Macy’s directorial debut “Rudderless,” Chicagoan Marie Ullrich’s “The Alley Cat,” and more.

StarInternational Feature Film Competition

The President
’The President’
Photo Credit: © Chicago International Film Festival

Gold Hugo for Best Film: “The President” (Georgia, France, UK, Germany), directed by Mohsen Mahkmalbaf

Silver Hugo – Special Jury Prize: “Refugiado” (Argentina, Colombia, France, Poland, Germany), directed by Diego Lerman

Silver Hugo – Best Director: Abderrahmane Sissako of “Timbuktu” (France, Mauritania)

Silver Hugo – Best Actor: Anton Yelchin, “Rudderless” (USA)

Silver Hugo – Best Actress: Geraldine Chaplin, “Sand Dollars” (Dominican Republic, Mexico)

Silver Hugo – Best Cinematography: John Christian Rosenlund, “1001 Grams” (Norway)

Silver Hugo - Best Screenplay: Ronit Elkabetz and Shlomi Elkabetz, “Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem” (Israel, France, Germany)

Gold Plaque for Best Art Direction: Mauro Radaelli, “Human Capital” (Italy)

Gold Plaque for Best Costume: Pia Myrdal and Anne-Dorthe Eskildsen, “Speed Walking” (Denmark)

Gold Plaque Special Mention for Originality: “The Owners” (Kazakhstan), Director: Adilkhan Yerzhanov

StarNew Director’s Competition

Photo Credit: © Chicago International Film Festival

Gold Hugo: Director Ronnie Sandahl of “Underdog” (Sweden)

Silver Hugo Director Asaf Korman of “Next to Her” (Israel)

Roger Ebert Award Director Jorge Pérez Solano of “La Tirisia” (Mexico)

StarDocufest Competition

Echo of the Mountain
’Echo of the Mountain’
Photo Credit: © Chicago International Film Festival

Gold Hugo: “Echo of the Mountain” (Mexico), directed by Nicolás Echevarria

StarOut-Look Program/Q Hugo Award

Photo Credit: © Chicago International Film Festival

Gold Q Hugo: “Xenia” (Greece), directed by Panos H. Koutras

Silver Q Hugo: “Something Must Break” (Sweden), directed by Ester Martin Bergsmark

StarShort Film Competition: Live Action

Photo Credit: © Chicago International Film Festival

Gold Hugo - Best Film: “Amazon” (Norway), directed by Marianne O. Ulrichsen

Silver Hugo - Live Action Short: “In August” (USA), directed by Jenna Hasse

Gold Plaque - Best Student Short “Skunk” (USA), directed by Annie Silverstein

Gold Plaque: “Artun” (Iceland/Denmark), directed by Guõmundur Arnar Guõmundsson

Silver Plaque: “The Immaculates” (France), directed by Ronny Trocker

Gold Plaque - Best Experimental Short: “Prehistoric Cabaret” (France), directed by Bertrand Mandico

Special Mention: “Washingtonina” (Greece), directed by Konstantina Kotzamani

StarShort Film Competition: Documentary

Photo Credit: © Chicago International Film Festival

Silver Hugo: “Love. Love. Love.” (Russia), directed by Sandhya Daisy Sundaram

Gold Plaque - Special Jury Prize: “Ghost Train” (Australia), directed by James Fleming and Kelly Hucker

Special Mention: “A Paradise” (Cuba), directed by Jayisha Patel

StarShort Film Competition: Animation

Photo Credit: © Chicago International Film Festival

Silver Hugo - Best Animated Short Film: “Coda” (Ireland), directed by Alan Holly

Gold Plaque - Special Jury Prize: “Symphony No. 42” (Hungary), directed by Réka Bucsi

Silver Plaque: “Drifting” (USA), directed by Joel Benjamin

Special Mention: “Man on the Chair” (South Korea), directed by Jeong Dahee

StarIntercom Award

The Intercom Awards honor a wide range of corporate-sponsored, educational, and branded films.

Gold Hugo: “The Art of the Pit Stop” (Germany) from Kemper Kommunikation GmbH

StarThe Chicago Award

Best Chicago/Illinois Based Film: “The Alley Cat” (USA), directed by Marie Ullrich

StarThe Founder’s Award

This is a special recognition from the Founder of the Chicago International Film Festival, Michael Kutza

Founder’s Award: Michael Keaton in “Birdman” (USA), directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu

Don’t forget to check out our coverage of CIFF 2014, featuring numerous recommended titles that are still playing.

Part One of HollywoodChicago’s CIFF 2014 Coverage
Part Two of HollywoodChicago’s CIFF 2014 Coverage
Part Three of HollywoodChicago’s CIFF 2014 Coverage

The 50th Chicago International Film Festival is October 9th-23rd, 2013. For more information and to purchase tickets, click on

By Nick Allen

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