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2013 — 49th Chicago Film Festival

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Sable Fable Sable Fable

Director: Stephen Lloyd Jackson

The lives of several couples intertwine through a complex web of love and infidelity in this intimate exploration of race and contemporary relationships. At the center of this romantic network is blogger Dark Mark, whose profile as a writer is growing as his penetrating essays on race relations earn him a regular magazine column and a book contract. When he leaves his girlfriend Vanessa for his white editor, a twisted, tragic fate awaits him and those he loves.


The Sacrament The Sacrament

Director: Ti West

A chilling new thriller from acclaimed genre auteur Ti West (House Of The Devil) and producer Eli Roth, The Sacrament follows three reporters to remote Christian commune Eden Parish, where the residents’ sunny disposition hides dark secrets. When the Parish turns menacing, the reporters find themselves helpless in the middle of nowhere. Brilliantly written and acted by a fantastic cast of indie film all-stars, The Sacrament pushes at the boundaries of the “found-footage” format to create a different kind of horror movie.


Sadourní’s Butterflies Sadourní’s Butterflies

Argentina / Italy / United Kingdom (England)
Director: Dario Nardi

Thrown in jail for a violent crime of passion, dwarf and former circus performer Sadourní finds re-assimilation difficult upon his release. Quickly realizing that society holds his height against him, Sadourní goes to tortuous extremes for a “treatment” that will alter his physical appearance, allowing him to fit in and to gain the attention of the woman he loves. A surrealistic melodrama reminiscent of Fellini and Jodorowsky, Sadourní’s Butterflies endows its strange, magical subject with hallucinatory beauty.

Spanish with English Subtitles, 94

Salvo Salvo

Director: Fabio Grassadonia and Antonio Piazza

Mafia hitman Salvo is solitary, callous, and ruthless. His deep-rooted cold-bloodedness is tested, however, when, on a job, he comes across his target’s sister, a blind woman named Rita. Disturbed by her unseeing stare, Salvo cannot bring himself to silence the potential witness. In choosing to spare her, he must become her protector. The once amoral Salvo must risk his life to save hers in this masterfully executed story of love and redemption.

Italian with English Subtitles, 104

Script to Screen: You be the Development Director Script to Screen: You be the Development Director

Want to be part of the development process? Attend a table reading of the new screenplay Midterm Breaks by Ron Falzone and directed by Jack C. Newell, featuring a cast of well-known local actors. Your opinions will help to develop this script as it moves toward production here in Chicago.

This is a FREE event! No ticket required.

Event Location:
Columbia College Chicago
Media Production Center, 1600 S. State

Scud - Q Hugo recipient Scud - Q Hugo recipient

Coming to filmmaking relatively late after two decades in the business world, Hong Kong-based filmmaker Scud has quickly established himself as a fearless presence in world cinema with taboo-defying films such as Permanent Residence (2009), Amphetamine (2010), and Love Actually... Sucks! (2011). His sensual, surreal films mix sadness and sexuality, unabashedly exploring gay erotics.

The award will be presented at the Q Hugo Film Awards.

Scud is the first recipient of the Q Hugo and will be presenting his newest film, Voyage, at the Festival on 10/20 and 10/22.

Sea Pig Sea Pig

Directors: Andrew Gilchrist and Jesse Allen

A man’s recurring sexual fantasies about a mermaid tear his world apart.

Part of Shorts 3: Midnight Mayhem

English, 11

Sex, Drugs, and Taxation Sex, Drugs, and Taxation

Director: Christoffer Boe

The true story of an unlikely friendship between a radical libertarian and a hedonistic capitalist, this unconventional biopic follows two outsiders who bond despite antithetical worldviews. Simon Spies was one of Denmark’s most powerful tycoons whose enormous appetite for sex and drugs was legendary. Mogens Glistrup was a right-wing provocateur who built a political career on anti-tax activism. Director Christoffer Boe (Allegro) traces their remarkably colorful, volatile history together in this hugely entertaining story of two larger-than-life figures.

Danish with English Subtitles, 110

Shorts 1: City and State - Local Heroes Shorts 1: City and State - Local Heroes

A lonely teenage girl in Ecuador travels by bus with her toddler to visit her mother in Girl With Child. Fatal Vittles is a dark, whimsical cautionary tale about 26 things to never, ever eat. The failure of a relationship is told from two sides in How To Abandon Ship. On a dark night, an injured couple is stuck on a remote road in the dead of winter, but the help on its way is not quite what they expected in AB-. A young girl’s feelings about her parents’ breakup come to the surface when she gets her ears pierced in Needle. A man undergoes diagnosis and treatment in a strange hospital in KOFN. Fox The Gambler is a tale of bowling and battling your inner demons. And in a dangerous world where innocence is destroyed, will The Painter survive?


Shorts 2: Animation - Cel Division Shorts 2: Animation - Cel Division

The passions and pitfalls of materialism are explored in Collectors (Switzerland). A teenage boy develops a seriously awkward sexual attraction in Peach Juice (Canada). The embarrassment of forgetting an acquaintance’s name leads to a mind-bending romp in Subconscious Password (Canada). In The Places Where We Lived (USA), a man wakes up with a weird feeling to find his parents are selling his childhood home. In Marilyn Myller (UK), the heroine is trying really hard to create something, but can expectation and reality ever truly align? The Bungled Child (France) is the terrifying tale of an attempt to separate conjoined twins. Human behavior in an era of information overload is explored in Tap To Retry (Israel). The Event (USA/UK) tells a haunting tale of love, and a severed foot, at the end of the world. Fish Boy struggles for acceptance in a remote fishing village in Ziegenort (Poland). A cowboy town torments the local drunk in Drunker Than A Skunk (USA). Marcel, King of Tervuren (USA) is Greek tragedy as acted out by Belgian roosters. A frog eats a grasshopper, a stork eats the frog, a crocodile eats the stork... and so it goes, on and on, in Chopper (Netherlands).


Shorts 3: Midnight Mayhem - Night Terrors Shorts 3: Midnight Mayhem - Night Terrors

A family of four plays a deadly game in Hunger (Turkey). A one-eyed man makes his escape from a hotel room, entering a hellish world where time and space intertwine in Lonely Bones (France/ Netherlands). In a predatory ice age, two brothers search for a place to call home in Aftermath (USA). A man’s recurring sexual fantasies about a mermaid tear his world apart in Sea Pig (USA). Two teddy bears go hunting for their favorite prey in Unicorn Blood (Spain). An attempted burglary doesn’t go as planned with some extraordinary consequences in Perfect Drug (Belgium). A little girl lives on a remote farm where she receives a monthly letter from her father - but one day everything changes forever in Reset. In Cochemare (Canada), an astonishing blend of animation, live-action and 3D effects, we travel from the mystical Forest of Storms to an International Space Station.


Shorts 4: Our Lovers' Story Shorts 4: Our Lovers' Story

The Parachutist (UK) explores the beginnings of a romance between a very old woman and a very young man. A couple teases, torments and comforts each other through a series of rituals in Love Games (South Korea). 23-year-old Tim attempts to seduce the ladies, but his stammer gets in the way in Stammering Love (Switzerland). After accidentally foiling each other’s suicide plans, Frank and Kim spend the night wandering Taipei together in Gigantic (Taiwan). Christopher has been in love with Stacey for quite some time, and no amount of lemonade can cool his desire in In the Air Is Christopher Gray (UK). Matthieu’s desperate struggle to be remembered begins to threaten his relationships in Remember Me (Canada). Bruno falls immediately and deeply in love, but the object of his affections has other plans in Rhino Full Throttle (Germany).


Shorts 5: Spotlight Africa - From Earth's Center Shorts 5: Spotlight Africa - From Earth's Center

When two best friends photograph a gigantic fish leaping out of the sea, their small town blossoms into a tourist hot spot in Jonah (Tanzania/UK). Yellow Fever (Kenya/UK) reflects on the effects that globalization is having on the African woman’s understanding of beauty. A majestic drag queen descends into a breakdown in Nairobi’s iconic central station in Florescent Sin (Kenya). An old man is getting ready to go to an important meeting in Siggil (France/Senegal). A Ghanaian family, lost in America, travels to a Louisiana church to find a cure for their problem child in Boneshaker (USA). When a small boy catches her with her lover, Fatine must pay a terrible price in The Curse (Morroco/ UK). In a township divided by an age old feud, a boy falls in love with a girl from the other side of town in KanyeKanye: The Line (South Africa).


Shorts 6: Nature or Nurture? Shorts 6: Nature or Nurture?

The Village (Brazil) is a portrait of Itapuã, a strange and unique community with only 35 residents, all over the age of 60, and a dark secret in its past. Rivals since childhood, Rab and Danny do battle with pigeons and pride in Pouters (Scotland). Hundreds of students unleash their anxiety into the night sky in The Flogsta Roar (Sweden). The Globe Collector (Australia) documents one man’s all-consuming passion for light globes. 6 Versus 6 (Germany) takes us on an adventurous and immersive underwater journey, hidden from the outside world. Having spent his life searching for the girl of his dreams, Dirk finally finds Jenny in Dream Girl (Switzerland). Reindeer (UK) is a haunting portrait of reindeer herding in the twilight expanses of Lapland.


Shorts 7: Anway, Anyhow, Anywhere Shorts 7: Anway, Anyhow, Anywhere

A man wakes up with a hangover, only to discover the consequences of his previous night’s actions in The Captain (Australia). A woman trapped in an unhappy marriage decides to take advice from the Virgin Mary in Mystery (Spain). A games arcade turns surreal as two schoolgirls confront their frustrations in Arcade (UK). When a young American woman enters a party in the South of France, some of the guests begin to wonder what she is doing there in Social Butterfly (France/USA). A young photographer takes a group of Tibetan nomads’ pictures against various exotic backdrops in Butter Lamp (France/Tibet). Tino’s manhood is put to the test when he has to host a date for Diablo, the family’s stud cat in The Date (Finland). The special bond between two brothers living in a remote fjord with their parents is explored in Whale Valley (Denmark/Iceland).


Siggil Siggil

France / Senegal
Director: Remi Mazet

An old man is getting ready to go to an important meeting.

Part of Shorts 5: Spotlight Africa

French, 20

Silent Films: Louder than Words! Silent Films: Louder than Words!

David Robinson, director of the famed Pordenone Silent Film Festival, presents a program of silent short films, including rediscovered rarities that have emerged in his relentless search for the lost treasures of film history. This year’s program includes 21st century silent films made in the wake of The Artist, and films featuring the glorious Anny Ondra, known in her native Czechoslovakia as “Buster Keaton in skirts.”


Snails in the Rain Snails in the Rain

Director: Yariv Mozer

In the summer of 1989, beautiful yet melancholy linguistics student Boaz finds his quiet life with his devoted girlfriend Noa derailed when he begins receiving amorous letters from a closeted secret male admirer. Both flattered and troubled, Boaz is thrown into a profound internal conflict, questioning his own sexuality and alienating Noa in this tender, affecting drama.

Hebrew with English subtitles, 85

Social Butterfly Social Butterfly

France / USA
Director: Lauren Wolkstein

When a young American woman enters a party in the South of France, some of the guests begin to wonder what she is doing there.

Part of Shorts 7: Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere

English, 14

Something Necessary Something Necessary

Kenya and Germany
Director: Judy Kibinge

Anne struggles to rebuild her life after Kenya’s civil unrest has killed her husband, gravely injured her son, and left her isolated farm in ruins. Joseph, a quiet and troubled young gang member who took part in the countrywide violence, is drawn to Anne and her farm, seemingly in search of connection and redemption. This powerful story of forgiveness and reconciliation presents an intimate look at the aftermath of violence on both perpetrators and victims.

Swahili with English Subtitles, 85

Soul Soul

Director: Chung Mong-Hong

In this deeply unsettling psychological thriller, A-Chuan, a quiet young chef, unexpectedly collapses one night and becomes catatonic. When he finally awakens in his childhood mountain home, he doesn’t seem quite like himself, as if he is possessed. As he evinces unstable and even dangerous tendencies, his father grows more and more wary until A-Chuan’s strange, violent behavior sets off a sequence of chilling events in the remote, hazy alpine locale.

Mandarin with English Subtitles, 112

Spotlight Africa: African Music Videos Spotlight Africa: African Music Videos

With a new generation of African musicians, we see once again, that there is always something new out of Africa. This program includes work that mixes regional forms with hip-hop and R&B, and reflects the intense cultural pride of musicians whose lineage in music can be traced back 1000 years.

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

Spotlight Africa: Meet the Filmmakers Spotlight Africa: Meet the Filmmakers

Don’t miss this opportunity to meet filmmakers visiting the Festival as part of our Spotlight Africa program.

The informal get together will take place at Black Cinema House, 6901 S. Dorchester Ave.


Alex Pitstra, Director, Die Welt

Joao Viana, Director, The Battle of Tabato

Mosco Kamwendo, Director, Comrade President

Moderator: Vaun Monroe, Columbia College Chicago

This is a FREE event! No ticket required.


Stammering Love Stammering Love

Director: Jan Czarlewski

23-year-old Tim attempts to seduce the ladies, but his stammer gets in the way.

Part of Shorts 4: Our Lovers' Story

French, 20

Stockholm Stories Stockholm Stories

Director: Karin Fahlén

The lives of five seemingly unrelated lost souls intertwine in Sweden’s chilly capital in this delicate and wryly funny ensemble film. A precocious yet untalented young writer, a friendless advertising genius, a tight-lipped workaholic, a shy upper-class boy with a secret crush, and a recently dumped young woman all come to realize hard truths about love and life over the course of several days.

Swedish with English Subtitles, 97

Stop-Over Stop-Over

France and Switzerland
Director: Kaveh Bakhtiari

Learning that his cousin Mohsen has left Iran illegally, filmmaker Kaveh Bakhtiari travels to Athens, a common middle ground for undocumented migrants hoping to reach other European countries. Stop-Over captures the constant tension of these immigrants’ everyday lives in the shadows, where every trip outside a crowded safe house is fraught with the danger of arrest and deportation, in a powerful first-person account of life lived under the radar.

French, Farsi with English Subtitles, 104

Stranger By The Lake Stranger By The Lake

Director: Alain Guiraudie

In a secluded cruising spot tucked away on a picturesque lake, Franck notices the muscular Michel and quickly falls for him. Franck’s desire continues to grow even as he witnesses Michel commit a terrible, violent act. Aware of the potential danger, possibly even excited by it, Franck ignores the advice of his wary friend Henri and indulges his passion in this brilliantly observed, sharply insightful meditation on sex and desire that was awarded a directing prize at Cannes.

French with English Subtitles, 97

Stray Dogs Stray Dogs

France / Taiwan
Director: Tsai Ming-Liang

The latest film from Taiwanese master Tsai Ming-Liang (The Wayward Cloud) tells the story of a father and his two children who live on the margins in Taipei. Squatting in an abandoned building, they get by on handouts and the father’s meager salary as a human billboard. Mysterious and affecting, the story of the father’s unwinding is told with the sublime, rapturous beauty that has come to be associated with Tsai’s work in one of his most emotionally powerful films.

Mandarin with English subtitles, 138

Subconscious Password Subconscious Password

Director: Chris Landreth

The embarrassment of forgetting an acquaintance’s name leads to a mind-bending romp.

Part of Shorts 2: Animation - Cel Division

English, 11

Surprise! Surprise!

Director: ???? ????

Every year, we love to surprise our audience with a top-secret film that will keep them talking for days. Will it be the year's most anticipated comedy? Maybe the first look at a Best Picture contender? How about a big-budget 3D musical about the zombie apocalypse? You won't know what you'll see until the lights go down. Here's the best part: it's FREE! The only catch is that you have to wear our Festival t-shirt or sweatshirt to get in. 90-120 min. Tickets available at from the pop-up Festival merchandise table located on the Box Office level.


Suzanne Suzanne

Director: Katell Quillévéré

Suzanne, (beautifully played by the enthralling Sara Forestier), grows up an inquisitive, strong-minded girl in a loving but unstable home with her sister and much absent truck-driving father. When, as a teen, she falls in love with a local tough guy and becomes pregnant, her life takes a plunging trajectory as she continues to choose love above all else. This poignant family portrait explores the ties and limits of family bonds through one young woman’s heartrending journey.

French with English Subtitles, 90