The 46th Chicago International Film Festival (CIFF 2010) Award Winners Announced
Russia, Mexico, Norway, Germany and USA win top awards in Chicago …
CHICAGO, October 16, 2010 – Michael Kutza, Founder and Artistic Director of the
Chicago International Film Festival, Mimi Plauché, Head of Programming, and Associate
Programmers Joel Hoglund and Penny Bartlett proudly announce the winners of the 46th
Chicago International Film Festival competitions. The Festival’s highest honor is the
Gold Hugo, named after the mythological God of Discovery.
International Feature Film Competition
Gold Hugo for Best Film to HOW I ENDED THE SUMMER (Russia) for the brilliantly
acted and dynamically staged exploration of human nature under pressure. Director:
Special Jury Prize shared by:
Silver Hugo Special Jury Prize to A SOMEWHAT GENTLE MAN (Norway) for a
hilarious and deeply serious adventure into crime and, if necessary, retribution. Director:
Hans Petter Moland
Silver Hugo Special Jury Prize to WE ARE WHAT WE ARE (Mexico), a film as
dazzlingly unpredictable as it is cunningly constructed, a Hammer horror as directed by
Buñuel. Director: Jorge Michel Grau
Silver Hugo for Best Actor to Youssouf Djaoro of A SCREAMING MAN (France /
Belgium / Chad) for a performance that ignites like a quiet fire.
Silver Hugo for Best Actress to Liana Liberato of TRUST (USA) for a moving
performance beyond her years, which is at the same time innocent, stubborn and
Silver Hugo to BROTHER & SISTER (Argentina), a delicious ensemble concoction of
rock-solid and seasoned performances led by Antonio Gasalla and Graciela Borges.
Director: Daniel Burman
Silver Hugo for Best Screenplay to Mahamat-Saleh Haroun of A SCREAMING MAN
(France / Belgium / Chad), a simple and profound story of a threatened father and son
relationship in a time of violent change.
Gold Plaque to Márta Mészáros in recognition of her long and distinguished career in
the international cinema on the occasion of LAST REPORT ON ANNA (Hungary).
Silver Plaque to THE MATCHMAKER (Israel) for the lighthearted but touching way it
describes a coming of age in an Israel torn between memory and desire. Director: Avi
The International Feature Film Competition Jury includes Denis Dercourt (France), John
Russell Taylor (UK), Regina Taylor (USA), Valery Todorovsky (Russia) and Lucy Virgen
New Directors Competition
Gold Hugo to SHAHADA (Germany). In a world packed with narratives that overlap,
SHAHADA pinpoints in precise moments the forces in its character’s complicated lives—
work and love, immigration and Islam. The story is specific to Germany and Europe
today, but universal in its implications. SHAHADA is especially inspiring as the first
feature of a young director, Burhan Qurbani, fresh from film school. Director: Burhan
Silver Hugo to NORMAN (USA). NORMAN, Jonathan Segal’s bittersweet debut, is a
witty variation on the American teen movie, adding death, cancer and mourning to
drama club and first love. The father-son bond between Richard Jenkins and the
splendid young Dan Byrd as Norman is especially touching and funny.
Director: Jonathan Segal
Gold Plaque to ERRATUM (Poland). A Polish feature by first-time director, Marek
Lechki, ERRATUM chronicles a man’s journey in which he struggles with regret from the
distant and recent past. Through insightful and emotionally poignant encounters, the film
offers hope that it’s never too late to address life’s mistakes, big and small. Director:
The New Directors Competition Jury includes Zbigniew Banas (Poland / USA), Ray
Pride (USA), Lisa Nesselson (France / USA) and Reiner Veit (Germany).
Gold Hugo to BEAUTIFUL DARLING (USA), an elegant character study that unfolds
almost as a mystery as it explores the public face and private thoughts of an enigmatic
heroine. The film navigates the contrasts of its subject—beauty and decay, fame and
obscurity, masculinity and femininity—to moving and thoughtful effect. Director: James
Silver Hugo to THE MINUTEMEN (USA), a strong vérité film that challenges our
perceptions of a controversial issue. The film catalyzes us to consider the meaning of
patriotism, immigration and freedom.
Director: Corey Wascinski
Gold Plaque to MOVING TO MARS (UK / Thailand), a lyrical film that captures the
complex realities of what it means to lose everything, be displaced, and then begin
anew. The film’s characters are compelling and insightful and their journey inspires a
precarious hope. Director: Mat Whitecross
Silver Plaque to SEX MAGIC (USA) for achieving something that is difficult to do in the
documentary medium: It brings us into a potentially shocking world with confidence and
sly humor. Directors: Jonathan Schell, Eric Liebman
The Docufest Jury includes Tod Lending, Heather Ross and Matt Tyrnauer.
Short Film Competition
The Gold Hugo for Best Short Film goes to DEEPER THAN YESTERDAY (Australia),
which combines outstanding cinematography, camerawork and editing to successfully
create an ominous tone and a claustrophobic feel while also allowing for a formal
exploration of shape, geometry and texture. The film also fluidly moves from lightness to
violence; confusion to wonder; and ultimately to a quiet sense of release. It expertly
marries a distinctive style, complex tone, and carefully reserved storytelling and
performances. Director: Ariel Kleiman
The Silver Hugo is awarded to THE SWIMMERS (Cuba), a lighthearted look at life for a
local boy’s swim team in search of a place to practice. The jury applauds the warmth and
humor that transcends the difficult circumstances that face the boys and their troubled
nation. Its simple and direct storytelling, carefully considered use of color, and excellent
use of location give it a charm and gentleness that are strongly affecting. Director:
The jury awards a Gold Plaque to GRANDMOTHERS (Brazil) for its stellar
cinematography, its deft rendering of period details, and for handling difficult subject
matter with both humor and heartfelt emotional impact. Through its editing and differing
shooting styles, the film blurs the distinction between narrative and documentary, which
adds weight to the themes of history, memory and reality. Director: Michael Wahrmann
A second Gold Plaque goes to THE DESCENT (Israel) Focused on three family
members dealing with loss, it is a beautifully shot film wrought with emotion and tension.
Deeply rooted in symbolism, it captures Israeli landscapes that are otherworldly and
unexpected. The arid light and stark surroundings complement the grief and raw feeling
of the characters. Director: Shai Miedzinski
A Silver Plaque for Best Animation goes to STANLEY PICKLE (UK). Its clever use of
stop-motion animation wonderfully complements its comic, but bittersweet, story about
loneliness, isolation and freedom. Director: Victoria Mather
The Short Film Jury includes Mimi Brody, Jamie Ceasar, Patrick Frie and John Noble.
The Human Condition 60 Second Film Competition
First Prize of $1,000 goes to I.D., directed by Sam Firth.
Second Prize of $500 goes to BUBBIE AND ZAYDIE, directed by Zev Franck.
Third Prize, Audience Choice Award of $250 to be announced.
The Human Condition Jury includes John Russell Taylor (UK), Katleem Aftab (UK), Bill
Plympton (USA), Emily Munro (UK), Leonardo Garcia-Tsao (Mexico), Izza Genini
(Morocco), Patrick Duynslaegher (Belgium), Bob Scarpelli (USA), Gunnar Almer (Sweden)
and Wieland Speck (Germany).