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2011 — 47th Chicago Film Festival

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Beating Hearts Beating Hearts

Director: Matthew Garrett

A harrowing take on family ties, true love and murder. A gruesome scene unfolds at the hands of a little girl and an older man in a seemingly peaceful home by the sea. Beating Hearts reverses the typical horror structure by opening with the blood-spattered act of violence while the rest of the narrative resides in the stillness and quiet of the aftermath.

11 min

Belly Belly

Director: Julia Pott

Oscar is coming of age, against his better judgment. In doing so he must experience the necessary evil of leaving something behind, but he can still feel it in the pit of his stomach. Belly features a beautiful hand-drawn animation style, a distinctive color palette and an unsettling, offbeat mood.

8 min

Best Intentions Best Intentions

Director: Adrian Sitaru

One morning, Alex receives a devastating phone call: his mother has just been hospitalized after suffering a stroke. Desperate to control the situation but overwhelmed by conflicting advice from friends, family and medical staff, he attempts to take matters into his own hands. Unfortunately things do not go as planned. This daring addition to the Romanian New Wave, based on the director’s real life experience, brims with emotional impact and authenticity.

Romanian with subtitles, 105 min


The 47th International Communications Media competition (INTERCOM) recognizes the incredible creativity found in corporate, industrial, and educational filmmaking. Showcasing select winners from this year’s competition, the program is headlined by IBM’s They Were There. Directed by Errol Morris (Tabloid, The Thin Blue Line) and scored by Phillip Glass, this fascinating documentary celebrates 100 years of breakthroughs and innovation at IBM, told by the employees and leaders who made it all happen.

60 min

BirdBoy BirdBoy

Directors: Alberto Vazquez and Pedro Rivero

A terrible industrial accident changes Little Dinki's life forever. Now Dinki's fate may ride on the wings of her eccentric friend Birdboy, a misfit who hides in the Dead Forest, lost in his fantasies... a beautiful, haunting tale told with stark, stylized animation based on a graphic novel.

Spanish, with subtitles, 13 min

Bitter Lemon Bitter Lemon

Director: Nazmun Nakeb

Experience the point of view of a traffic policeman as he complains about how the people of Dhaka have made breaking the rules a way of life. 3 minutes put to perfect use in this immersive micro-doc.

3 min

Black Perspectives Tribute: An Evening with Anthony Mackie Black Perspectives Tribute: An Evening with Anthony Mackie

In just one decade, Anthony Mackie has built an impressive acting resume with standout roles in Half Nelson, The Adjustment Bureau, Notorious, and Academy Award® Best Picture winners Million Dollar Baby and The Hurt Locker. Mackie has won two Black Reel awards, a Gotham Award, and has been nominated for two Independent Spirit Awards and a Screen Actor’s Guild Award. Mackie’s contributions to cinema have earned him the Festival's Artistic Achievement Award; he now joins an illustrious list of African American artists who have been honored by the Festival. Join us as we celebrate this gifted actor with film highlights from his most memorable performances, followed by a conversation about his career.

Hosted by Robin Robinson (Anchor, Fox News Chicago).

7:30pm Tribute
Chase Auditorium | 10 S Dearborn St

9:30pm After-party
theWit Hotel | 201 N State St

Bol Bol

Director: Shoaib Mansoor

A box office hit in Pakistan and India, this story from the heart of Lahore features a family bursting with vitality but teetering on the brink of poverty and a patriarch whose rules and value system reflect the religious zealousness of the society around them. When Hakeem’s eldest daughter can’t take it anymore, she rebels, spiraling the family out of any remaining sense of stability. This searing family drama amplifies the socio-religious issues of contemporary Pakistani society.

Urdu with subtitles, 165 min

Bollywood Choreography: Master Class with Sue Gangwani Bollywood Choreography: Master Class with Sue Gangwani

Choreographer Sue Gangwani’s Bollywood Master Class* will take you through the basic movements of Bollywood dance. Classes will begin with a warm-up, intro to hand and body movements, along with footwork technique. The class will conclude with a full on energetic, exhilarating Bollywood choreography! Sue has trained & studied the Indian Classical dance form (Oddissi), with renowned Guru Mayadhar Raut. She has performed, competed and choreographed award winning performances. She is Junior National champion in Indian classical dance and recipient of National award from the Indian Prime Minister. Sue founded TaalFusion dance company as a contemporary bridge between the Eastern and the Western classical styles, and bring Bollywood fusion to the community. *Classes for professional dancers will require dance experience and a higher level of training.

Bonsai Bonsai

Argentina / Chile / France / Portugal
Director: Cristián Jiménez

To read Flaubert and Proust with your girlfriend after a passionate bout of lovemaking…what more could a young intellectual want? How about, years later, being asked by a veteran novelist to type out the handwritten notes for his next novel? Julio is in literary heaven. But life, like literature, can be surprising, and very soon Julio is forced to live up to the lies he has been spinning. Bonsai presents a charming Chilean spin on Proust’s Remembrance of Things Past.

Spanish with subtitles, 95 min

Bride Can Bride Can

Australia / Iran
Director: Ronak Taher

A witty deconstruction of women’s life in traditional Iranian society, emphasizing gender oppression and lack of control over their already determined fate. Bride Can uses surprising juxtapositions of imagery to criticize objectification of women in Iran.

7 min

Buddha Mountain Buddha Mountain

Director: Yu Li

In this charming youth drama shot American-indie style from China, three friends have given up on their future, spending their time partying and working odd jobs. When their apartment complex is marked for demolition, they end up renting a room from a former Peking Opera singer who is still grieving over her son’s death. Their two worlds collide at first, but the four, each broken in their own way, discover a family of sorts united by their differences.

Mandarin with subtitles, 101 min

Bullhead Bullhead

Director: Michael Roskam

Jacky is a cattle farmer tied into the livestock underworld that uses illegal growth hormones to enhance their meat. Following the assassination of a local police officer investigating this illegal trade, a series of events force Jacky to deal with a brutal incident from his past. What begins as a crime thriller slowly unravels into an intense character-driven film that holds no punches.

Dutch, French with subtitles, 129 min

The Bully Project The Bully Project

Director: Lee Hirsch

A beautifully cinematic, character-driven documentary, The Bully Project follows five kids and families over the course of a school year. Stories include two families who have lost children to suicide and a mother awaiting the fate of her 14-year-old daughter who has been incarcerated after bringing a gun on her school bus. With an intimate glimpse into homes, classrooms, cafeterias and principals’ offices, the film offers insight into the often cruel world of the lives of bullied children.

90 min

Bunny Drop Bunny Drop

Director: _ Sabu

Daikichi spies a young girl standing apart from the family at his grandfather’s funeral. She turns out to be the old man’s love child and nobody wants anything to do with her. Feeling sorry and curious, Daikichi volunteers to take her in, without really understanding the demands of being a parent. As the two get to know each other and establish a routine, Daikichi must figure out how to balance his life, work and childcare in this charming film about parenthood.

Japanese with subtitles, 115 min

Butter Butter

Director: Jim Field Smith

A tale of competition at its most cutthroat, Butter surveys the raw ambition of Laura Pickler (Jennifer Garner), the wife of Bob Pickler (Ty Burrell), Iowa’s long-reigning champion butter carver. For 15 years, Laura has relished her high-profile role as the beautiful, loyal helpmate to her affable, artistically gifted husband. But when Bob is pressured to retire and allow someone else a chance at glory, an indignant Laura decides to enter the competition herself. In the tradition of Best In Show and Election, Butter can be enjoyed as a straightforward, albeit merrily twisted, comedy about American life and culture.

English, 91 min