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‘Mississippi Damned,’ ‘Vincere’ Big Winners at 45th Chicago International Film Festival

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CHICAGO – The winners for films in competition at the 45th Chicago International Film Festival were announced in a ceremony on Saturday night at the famed Pump Room at the Ambassador East Hotel. Michael Kutza, Founder and Artistic Director of the Chicago International Film Festival, Mimi Plauche, Head of Programming, and Jesse Berkowitz, Documentary and Short Film Programmer, proudly announced the winners.

Major trophies went to “Mississippi Damned,” “Fish Tank,” “Vincere,” “Hipsters,” “Backyard,” “Cooking History,” “Racing Dreams,” “Wet,” and more.

Mississippi Damned filmmakers and cast members celebrate Gold Hugo win at Chicago International Film Festival Awards Ceremony on Saturday October 18th.  Photographed from left to right - Morgan Stiff (producer), Tina Mabry (writer/director), Jossie Thacker (Actress), Chastity Hammitte (actress).
Mississippi Damned filmmakers and cast members celebrate Gold Hugo win at Chicago International Film Festival Awards Ceremony on Saturday October 18th. Photographed from left to right - Morgan Stiff (producer), Tina Mabry (writer/director), Jossie Thacker (Actress), Chastity Hammitte (actress).
Photo credit: Chicago Film Festival

There were competions held in International Feature Film, New Directors, Documentary, and Short Film Categories, along with a special Chicago Award for a local filmmaker.

The biggest prize at the fest, the Gold Hugo, went to “Mississippi Damned,” “for its powerful and uncompromising portrait of the compounding frailties and difficulties of a struggling black community.” The film also won Best Supporting Actress (Jossie Harris Thacker) and Best Screenplay (Tina Mabry).

The Silver Hugo for Special Jury Award went to Andrea Arnold’s “Fish Tank,” “for its aesthetic boldness in taking us into a grim public-housing environment and showing us the transcendent spirit of a young girl that struggles to overcome the adult lies that engulf her.” The film also won Best Supporting Actor for Michael Fassbender, who makes it two years in a row, having won an acting award last year for “Hunger”.

The Italian film “Vincere” walked away with several major awards including Best Director (Marco Bellocchio), Best Actress (Giovanna Mezzogiorno), Best Actor (Filippo Timi), and Best Cinematography (Daniele Cipri).

The Gold Plaque for Best Art Direction went to “Hipsters” and the Silver Plaque went to “Backyard”.

In the New Directors Competition, winners included “Gigante” (Gold Hugo), “Made in China” (Silver Hugo), and “Partners” (Gold Plaque).

Docufest Competition winners included “Cooking History” (Gold Hugo), “Racing Dreams” (Silver Hugo), and “Soundtrack For a Revolution” (Gold Plaque in Direction).

Short Film Competition winners included “The History of Aviation” (Gold Hugo), “Good Advice” (Silver Hugo), “Skhizen” (Silver Hugo for Animated Short), “Photograph of Jesus” (Gold Plaque for Experimental Short), “Cherry on a Cake” (Gold Plaque for Best Student Short), “The Illusion” (Gold Plaque for Best Essay Short), “Short Term 12” (Special Mention for Best Ensemble), and “Attached to You” (Special Mention for Animated Short).

The Chicago Award went to “Wet,” “a beautiful metaphor for isolation and loneliness. It is thought-provoking, quizzical, and original.” Special mention went to “Girls on the Wall” and “An Evening With Emery Long”.

Over the course of the festival, tribute awards were handed out to Martin Landau, Uma Thurman, Willem Dafoe, Patrice Chereau, Lee Daniels, and Gabourey Sidibe.

Award-winning films will replay in the “Best of the Fest” section of the schedule on Wednesday, October 21st. Head over to the official site for showtimes and details and don’t miss our continuing coverage of the fest.

HollywoodChicago.com content director Brian Tallerico

Content Director

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