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2009 — 45th Chicago International Film Festival

Overview Movies A-Z Directors A-Z Countries A-Z

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Short Term 12 Short Term 12

Director: Destin Daniel Cretton

Denim, the supervisor for a residential facility housing 15 kids affected by child abuse, begins to realize that, in a lot of ways, he is no different than the children he tries to help.

Short Term 12 will be presented as part of the short film program, Shorts 3: Rediscovery: Information & Show Times

22 minutes

Shortchanged Shortchanged

Director: Raja Menon

Set in bustling contemporary Mumbai, Shortchanged is the comedic tale of three unlikely friends and flatmates whose attitudes couldn't be more different. Shulka is a reserved older man, Aman is a swaggering young go-getter, and Yadav is a thirtysomething pushover. When Yadav finds a new sense of self-confidence after stumbling into a petty crime, he tries to entice the others to join him, but his simple plan soon spirals out of control.

English, Hindi with subtitles, 97 minutes

Shorts 1: Illinoi[s]emakers Shorts 1: Illinoi[s]emakers

Director: See Individual Film Listing

It is quite literally always raining on one young man in Wet (USA). Team Taliban (USA) explores the impact of the War on Terror in American culture through the lens of professional wrestling. In Non-Love-Song (USA), two best friends try to connect on a deeper level for the first time before they are separated indefinitely. Amy tracks down leads and attempts to prevent a catastrophe in Good People (USA). The leader of an exertion-harnessing auxiliary of the municipal pedal power plant is beckoned off course in Cycle (USA). In Public Speaking (USA), Ronald Reagan helps a nervous youth conquer his fear. In An Evening with Emery Long (USA), Emery prepares for his first date with "office hottie" Della.

80 minutes

Shorts 2: Animation Nations Shorts 2: Animation Nations

Director: See Individual Film Listing

Esso Girl and Big Boy try to escape the wrath of Ronald McDonald in Logorama (France). Attached to You (Sweden) portrays a mother-son relationship from conception through adulthood. The misadventures of a plucky canine are chronicled in Horn Dog (USA). In Runaway (Canada), happy train passengers enjoy the revelry, oblivious to the fate that awaits them. Disaffected youth do special ops in Rabbit Punch (UK). Red Revenge (USA) is a woman's revenge story stemming from dreams from childhood. In Photograph of Jesus (UK), real-life archives become the stage where fact and fiction collide. In Cherry on the Cake (UK), the smaller Cherry feels, the smaller she gets-will she disappear completely? Please Say Something (Ireland) tells the tale of the troubled relationship between a very emotional cat and her husband, a workaholic mouse. Having been struck by a meteorite, Henry has to adapt to living precisely 91 centimeters from himself in Skhizein (France).

88 minutes

Shorts 3: Rediscovery Shorts 3: Rediscovery

Director: See Individual Film Listing

Ali Shan (Canada) endeavors to answer the question, "How do we dream?" A man seizes one last opportunity for intimacy with his ex-wife in The Handover (New Zealand). A teacher helps a student learn how to get off in Acting for the Camera (USA). Ten for Grandpa (Canada) tries to uncover whether Grandpa was a manipulative antihero or simply a victim of a McCarthy witch hunt. Short Term 12 (USA) is a film about kids and the grown-ups who hit them. A poetic exploration of memory and loss, Steel Homes (UK) takes the viewer inside the world of a self-storage warehouse. Happy 95th Birthday Grandpa (USA) presents a fleeting memory of childhood quarrels at grandpa's birthday. Careful with that Power Tool (New Zealand) shows the real reason why little boys shouldn't play with power tools. In Young Love (Australia), Erno is in tortuous pain, but he must keep moving as danger awaits him.

90 minutes

Shorts 4: Escape and Rebellion Shorts 4: Escape and Rebellion

Director: See Individual Film Listing

Almost everybody is going to die very soon in The Attack of the Robots from Nebula-5 (Spain). Rasmus leaves his parents a special present in Good Advice (Sweden). In Ciao Mama (Croatia), a young daughter tries to provoke her mother, forcing them both to re-examine their relationship. Ernesto Kely is going to create something and it might just explode in Ernesto Kely Takes Off (Spain). The picnic is over; the upper middle-class party prepares to go home, but who is missing in The History of Aviation (Hungary)? Lars and Peter (Denmark) captures the difficult emotions of a young boy and his relationship to his father in the face of great loss. The Illusion (Cuba) documents director Susana Barriga's journey from Cuba to London to visit her exiled father.

101 minutes

Shorts 5: Best of the American Black Film Festival Shorts 5: Best of the American Black Film Festival

Director: See Individual Film Listing

A family faces up to the pain of the past and the uncertainty of the future in Osvaldo's (USA). In The Roe Effect (USA), Dawn must choose between the girl she loves and an unwanted pregnancy. Michael Taylor Jr. attempts to prove his manhood to his father in Cuts (USA). In Popous Pane and the Kids He Loves to Hate (USA), a family's lies bring two long-lost brothers together. Chains (Canada) captures one woman's attempt to spring life into a world surrounded by darkness. Teenager Tisha struggles with an unplanned pregnancy in Premature (USA).

88 minutes

A Single Man A Single Man

Director: Tom Ford

Iconic fashion designer Tom Ford

99 minutes

Skhizein Skhizein

Director: Jeremy Clapin

Despite being struck by a 150,000-ton meteorite, Henry is miraculously uninjured. Henry's perception, however, has been drastically altered, and he must now adapt to living precisely 91 centimeters away from himself.

Skhizein will be presented as part of the short film program, Shorts 2: Animation Nations: Information & Show Times

13 minutes

Soundtrack for a Revolution Soundtrack for a Revolution

Directors: Bill Guttentag and Dan Sturman

Relive the American civil rights movement through the soul-stirring folk songs that fortified protestors struggling for equality. This powerful doc pairs modern renditions by Wyclef Jean, John Legend, TV on the Radio, the Roots, and others with footage from the bitter days of segregation and emotional present-day interviews with the people (including Harry Belafonte and Congressman John Lewis) who fought and lived through it.

82 minutes

Spy(ies) Spy(ies)

France / UK
Director: Nicolas Saada

With explosive tension and stark cinematography, Spy(ies) is an intense throwback to classic '70s thrillers. French heartthrob Guillaume Canet stars as a bright but underachieving airport worker who gets his hands on the wrong bag-and finds himself thrust into a dangerous world of international agents and life-threatening secrets. This sexy spy flick also echoes the real-life anxieties of French society and plays on the unjust social prejudices wrought from a world of fear.

French with subtitles, 99 minutes

Steel Homes Steel Homes

Director: Eva Weber

A poetic exploration of memory and loss, this poignant documentary takes viewers inside the world of a self-storage warehouse, uncovering the hidden treasure and secrets behind the locked doors.

Steel Homes will be presented as part of the short film program, Shorts 3: Rediscovery: Information & Show Times

10 minutes

Storm Storm

Germany / Denmark

At the International Criminal Tribunal at The Hague, prosecutor Hannah Maynard takes on the trial of a general accused of atrocities committed in Bosnia. But when her principal witness crumbles on the stand, the rushed search for new evidence uncovers a story that political forces on all sides want swept under the rug. Justice is not a foregone conclusion in this globe-hopping courtroom drama.

English, German, Bosnian, Serbian with subtitles, 107 minutes

Straight to the Heart Straight to the Heart

Director: Stéphane Géhami

Amid the low-rent neighborhoods of Montreal, the true nature of a career criminal is slowly unveiled in this grittily realistic, romantic character drama. BenoÎt is a car thief perpetually running from the police, his family, his ex-lovers, and a 13-year-old hood who badly needs a father figure. But after he falls for the lovely Sylvie while trying to boost her car, can BenoÎt commit to turning his life around?

French with subtitles, 109 minutes

Surprise! Surprise!

Like to feel that pulse-quickening thrill of the unknown? The Chicago International Film Festival is here to help with a super-secret surprise film event. Will it be the first Chicago showing of a hotly anticipated Hollywood blockbuster? Maybe the first look at a foreign film making waves around the world? A treasured classic brought back to the big screen? You won't know what you'll see until the lights go down. Are you excited yet?! Well here's the best part: It's FREE! The only catch is that you've gotta sport some of our snazzy Festival apparel to get in. So you get to look awesome and see a great film. I mean, come on, does it get any better?

Sweet Rush Sweet Rush


Treasured director Andrzej Wajda follows up his Oscar®-nominated Katyn with this poignant meditation on nostalgia and loss. A married woman (Wajda regular Krystyna Janda) feels more than maternal affection for a young man who reminds her of the two sons she lost in WWII, only their drama is but a movie being staged within this movie, and perhaps the real story is Janda herself….

Polish with subtitles, 84 minutes