Film News: ‘My Sweet Pepper Land’ is Top Film at 2013 Chicago International Film Festival

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CHICAGO – The 2013 49th Annual Chicago International Film Festival and Michael Kutza – Festival Founder and Artistic Director – announced the competition award winners at a ceremony in the ‘W’ Hotel City Center on October 18th. The Gold Hugo for Best Film went to “My Sweet Pepper Land,” from Iraq, France and Germany.

Kutza made the announcements along with Mimi Plauché, Head of Programming, Programmers Alex Kopecky and Penny Bartlett, plus members of the various juries who worked evaluating the competition. The W Hotel City Center is near Chicago’s financial district and the Sears (now Willis) Tower. The Festival’s highest honor is the Gold Hugo, named for the mythical God of Discovery.

StarInternational Feature Film Competition

My Sweet Pepper Land
’My Sweet Pepper Land’
Photo Credit: © Chicago International Film Festival

The Gold Hugo for Best Film: “My Sweet Pepper Land” (Iraq/France/Germany), directed by Hiner Saleem

The Silver Hugo – Special Jury Prize: “The Verdict” (Belgium), directed by Jan Verheyen

The Silver Hugo – Best Director: Jerome Bonnell of “The Verdict” (Belgium)

The Silver Hugo – Best Actor: Robert Wieckiewicz of “Walesa: Man of Hope” (Poland)

The Silver Hugo – Best Actress: Nadeshda Brennicke of “Banklady” (Germany)

The Silver Hugo – Best Cinematography: Jalio Faber for “Pioneer” (Norway)

Special Mention: Actress Piroska Molnár in “The Notebook” (Hungary/Germany/Austria/France)

Special Mention: “A Long and Happy Life” (Germany)

StarNew Directors Competition

’La Jaula de Oro’
’La Jaula de Oro’
Photo Credit: © Chicago International Film Festival

The Gold Hugo: Director Diego Quemada-Diez of “La Jaula de Oro” (Mexico)

The Silver Hugo Director Matiej Pieprzyca of “Life Feels Good” (Poland)

StarDocufest Competition

Trucker and Fox
’Trucker and Fox’
Photo Credit: © Chicago International Film Festival

The Gold Hugo: “Trucker and Fox” (Iran), directed by Arash Lahooti

Special Mention: “Mothers” (China), directed by Xu Huijing

StarAfter Dark Competition

Cheap Thrills
’Cheap Thrills’
Photo Credit: © Chicago International Film Festival

The Gold Hugo: “Cheap Thrills” (USA), directed by E.L. Katz

StarShort Film Competition

Photo Credit: © Chicago International Film Festival

The Gold Hugo – Best Short Film: “Misterio” (Spain), directed by Chema García Ibarra

The Silver Hugo – Live Action Short: “Needle” (USA), directed by Anahita Ghazvinizadeh

The Silver Hugo – Documentary Short: “Dream Girl” (Switzerland), directed by Oliver Schwarz

The Silver Hugo – Best Animated Short: “Yellow Fever” (Kenya/UK), directed by Ng’endo Mukii

The Silver Hugo – Best Student Short: “Aftermath” (USA), directed by Jeremy Robbins

Special Jury Prize – Animated Short: “Marilyn Myller” (USA), directed by Michael Please

Special Jury Award – Documentary Short: “The Village” (Brazil), directed by Liliana Sulzbach

Gold Plaque – Narrative/Live Action Short: “Butter Lamp” (France), directed by Hu Wei

Gold Plaque – Best Student Animated Short: “Tap to Retry” (Israel), directed by Neta Cohen

Gold Plaque – Best Experimental Animated Short: “Unicorn Blood” (Spain), directed by Alberto Vasquéz

Silver Plaque – Narrative/Live Action Short: “Rhino, Full Throttle” (Germany), directed by Erik Schmitt

Special Mention – Live Action Short: “Whale Valley” (Denmark/Iceland), directed by Gudmunder Arnar Gudmundsson

Special Mention – Animated Short: “Collectors” (Switzerland), directed by Marcel Hobi

StarIntercom Award

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

The Gold Hugo: “Wake Up Time” from Bengar Films

StarThe Chicago Award

Best Chicago/Illinois Based Film “Girl With Child” (USA), directed by Maria Abraham

StarThe Founder’s Award

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

The Founder’s Award: “A Thousand Times Good Night” from Erik Poppe

The 49th Chicago International Film Festival is October 10th-24th, 2013. For more information and to purchase tickets, click on senior staff writer Patrick McDonald

Senior Staff Writer

© 2013 Patrick McDonald,

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