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2013 — 49th Chicago Film Festival

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A Pact A Pact

Germany and France
Director: Denis Dercourt

A dark psychological thriller, A Pact tells the twisted story of a contentious love triangle. As teenagers, Paul tricked Georg into handing over his girlfriend Anna to him. Georg agrees, on the condition that he can have her back whenever he wishes. After decades of silence, when Anna and Paul have a family together, Georg suddenly re-appears. Strange things start happening to Paul, and it soon becomes clear that Georg has not forgotten the pact.

German with English Subtitles, 83

The Painter The Painter

Director: Kevin Cooper

A boy, barely 12 years old, lives in a world where violence surrounds him and his sole means of survival is to escape through his art. In this dangerous world where innocence is destroyed, will the painter survive?

Part of: Shorts 1: City & State - Local Heroes

English, 14

Panel 1: Documentary: Ethics and Aesthetics Panel 1: Documentary: Ethics and Aesthetics

Documentary filmmakers have a unique relationship to their subjects, with a responsibility to accurately tell their stories. But they also must consider film form and crafting an engaging narrative for the audience. How do directors strike the right balance between these considerations; is such a distinction even valid?


Mosco Kamwendo, Director, Comrade President

Damon Vignale, Director, The Exhibition

Susanna Helke, Director, American Vagabond

Austin Peck and Anneliese Vandenberg, Co-Directors, Tough Bond

Cecilia Peck, Director, Brave Miss World

Moderator: Bruce Sheridan, Professor and Chair, Cinema Art + Science, Columbia College Chicago

This is a FREE event! Tickets must be obtained from box office.


Panel 2: Outlook Panel: Beyond Labels Panel 2: Outlook Panel: Beyond Labels

As gay issues and subjects become more and more a part of everyday mainstream culture, has it become redundant to classify films as “gay” or “lesbian”? Is it more legitimate to shun these labels, or are there actually advantages to embracing these identifiers? A panel of filmmakers and experts discuss these concerns, considering both films in the Festival and broader contexts.


Moises Sepulveda, Director, Illiterate

Pablo Paredes, Screenwriter, Illiterate

Karen Fahlen, Director, Stockholm Stories

Susanna Helke, Director, American Vagabond

Moderator: Nick Davis, Associate Professor of English and Gender Studies, Northwestern University

This is a FREE event! Tickets must be obtained from box office.


Panel 3: Meet the Critics Panel 3: Meet the Critics

A group of Chicago’s most respected and forward thinking film writers will discuss their views on recent changes and developments in film criticism styles and platforms, the evolving place of film journalism in the industry, and the role that critics can play in shaping a film’s exposure and marketability.


Ben Sachs, The Reader

Brian Tallerico,

Erik Childress, eFilmCritic / WGN Radio

Tasha Robinson, Senior Editor, The Dissolve

Michael Phillips, The Chicago Tribune

Ignatiy Vishnevetsky,

Moderator: Alison Cuddy, WBEZ Chicago

This is a FREE event! Tickets must be obtained from box office.


Panel 4: Comedy: Improvising Cinema Panel 4: Comedy: Improvising Cinema

Chicago’s groundbreaking improvisational comedy scene is lauded all over the world. Bringing together the worlds of improv and film takes a host of talented individuals - but what exactly are the key ingredients that make the magic happen? Come hear from a panel of writers, producers, directors, and actors who have worked - often in multiple capacities - with film and improv, and find out what they think makes it all come together.


Susan Messing, Actress and Comedian, The Annoyance Theater and iO Theater

Frank V. Ross, Director, Tiger Tail in Blue

Denis Declue, Writer, About Last Night

Jimmy Carrane, Comedian and Host of “Improv Nerd”

Moderator: Ron Falzone, Columbia College Chicago

This is a FREE event! Tickets must be obtained from box office.


Panel 5: After Dark: The Horror Renaissance Panel 5: After Dark: The Horror Renaissance

With the popularity of horror and genre films at a seemingly all-time high, opportunities for genre programming and distribution are also growing. Join a panel of programmers, filmmakers and distributors who will discuss the current surge in popularity of both independent and studio-produced horror and genre films, and consider how film festivals, exhibitors, filmmakers, and distributors can make the most of this (blood) thirsty new audience for horror.


Ti West, Director, The Sacrament

Michael Winton, Director of Marketing and Publicity, IFC Midnight

John McNaughton, Director, The Harvest

Lisa Holmes, Home Entertainment Director of Sales, Music Box Films

Moderator: Julian Grant, Columbia College Chicago

This is a FREE event! Tickets must be obtained from box office.


Panel 6: Spotlight Africa: Producers Without Borders Panel 6: Spotlight Africa: Producers Without Borders

Many of the films - both features and shorts - in this year's Spotlight Africa program are co-productions. Through the experiences of our visiting filmmakers, we look at how creative co-producing can enhance Africa's increasingly vibrant and diverse filmmaking culture, and what can be done to strengthen and support these important international film industry connections.

Jahmil X.T. Qubeka, Director, Of Good Report

Joel Karekezi, Director, Imbabazi: The Pardon

Hakim Belabbes, Filmmaker

Moderator: Donald Smith, Associate Professor, Cinema Art + Science, Columbia College Chicago

This is a FREE event! Tickets must be obtained from box office.


Panel 7: Documentary: Current Fundraising Models Panel 7: Documentary: Current Fundraising Models

A group of documentary filmmakers and funding organizations discuss current trends in fundraising and best practices and strategies for effective documentary financing models.


Kathy Im, Director of the Media, Culture and Special Initiatives Program of the MacArthur Foundation

Cynthia López, Executive Vice President/Co-Executive Producer of the POV documentary series

Rahdi Taylor, Film Fund Director, Documentary Film Program, Sundance Institute

This is a FREE event! Tickets must be obtained from box office.


Papusza Papusza

Directors: Joanna Kos-Krauze and Joanne Kos-Krauze and Krzysztof Krauze

From the celebrated directors of My Nikifor comes a stunning account of the life of Papusza, Poland’s first celebrated Roma poet. Jowita Budnik gives a masterful lead performance, fully inhabiting the poetess over five decades as she finds and refines her voice against the backdrop of the Nazi invasion, subsequent Communist persecution, and eventual excommunication from her Roma community. Exquisitely filmed with painterly precision, this ravishing biopic pays tribute to a beloved but under-recognized literary figure.

Roma Language and Polish with English Subtitles, 131

The Parachutist The Parachutist

Director: Tom Tagholm

Explores the beginnings of a romance between a very old woman and a very young man.

Part of Shorts 4: Our Lovers' Story

English, 15

Peach Juice Peach Juice

Directors: Brian Lye, Callum Paterson and Nathan Gilliss

A teenage boy develops a seriously awkward sexual attraction.

Part of Shorts 2: Animation - Cel Division

English, 8

Perfect Drug Perfect Drug

Director: Toon Aerts

An attempted burglary doesn’t go as planned with some extraordinary consequences.

Part of Shorts 3: Midnight Mayhem

Japanese, 14

Philomena Philomena

Director: Stephen Frears

Philomena focuses on the efforts of Philomena Lee (Judi Dench), mother to a boy conceived out of wedlock and given away for adoption in the United States. In following church doctrine, she was forced to sign a contract that wouldn’t allow for any sort of inquiry into the son’s whereabouts. After starting a family years later in England and, for the most part, moving on with her life, Lee meets Martin Sixsmith (Steve Coogan), a BBC reporter with whom she decides to discover her long-lost son.


Pieces Of Me Pieces Of Me

Director: Nolwenn Lemesle

Teenager Erell (Blue Is The Warmest Color’s Adèle Exarchopolous) connects with the people in her life from behind her camera, documenting her friends and family, including her ailing mother and moody father. After years in which Erell had been left alone to run the household and care for her mother, her older sister Sarah suddenly returns. With her sister around, Erell begins to find her own voice without the safety of her camera in this refreshingly honest coming-of-age drama.

French with English Subtitles, 89

Pioneer Pioneer

Director: Erik Skjoldbjærg

In this gripping, white-knuckle thriller, the Norwegian government has enlisted an American diving company to guide their efforts to tap into the North Sea’s immense oil deposits. Petter and a Norwegian team of divers take on the extremely perilous task of guiding the pipeline 500 meters below the surface. When a sudden accident leads to disaster, Petter must come to terms with the tragedy while attempting to uncover where responsibility lies, quickly running afoul of a sinister conspiracy.

Norwegian with English Subtitles, 106

Places Where We Lived Places Where We Lived

Director: Bernardo Britto

A man wakes up with a weird feeling to find his parents are selling his childhood home.

Part of Shorts 2: Animation - Cel Division

Japanese, English, 7

Pouters Pouters

Director: Paul Fegan

Rivals since childhood, Rab and Danny do battle with pigeons and pride.

Part of Shorts 6: Nature or Nurture?

English, 17

The Priest's Children The Priest's Children

Croatia and Serbia
Director: Vinko Bresan

Troubled by his small island’s dwindling population, the young and dogmatic Father Fabijan teams up with the local pharmacist and newsstand vendor to take family planning into his own hands. Soon the picturesque island town is awash with pregnant women and shotgun marriages, and word of the island’s fertility turn it into a vacation spot for foreign tourists. The unintended consequences of the plan soon spin out of control in this irreverent, hilarious dark comedy.

Croatian with English Subtitles, 93

Purgatorio Purgatorio

Mexico and USA
Director: Rodrigo Reyes

By turns beautiful, brutal, and eye-opening, Rodrigo Reyes's documentary offers a thoughtful portait of the US-Mexico border. His wide-ranging aesthetic inquiry incorporates interviews with border-crossers, coroners, dog-catchers, police, and others on both sides, tying these disparate stories together through stunning imagery that depicts the border as an almost mythic place. Purgatorio is less concerned with polemics than it is with considering the human implications of defining and enforcing a line between two nations.

English and Spanish with English Subtitles, 80