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2013 International Screenings Program, May 1- Sept 25


Cinema/Chicago, together with the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events and our consular and cultural partners, is pleased to present the 10th Annual International Screenings Program...

This free weekly series showcases 20 feature films and 7 short films from around the world, along with a program of local shorts, that are not widely available in the U.S. Embodying a range of genres and styles from laugh-out-loud comedies and quirky coming-of-age dramas to politically-tinged love stories and inspiring documentaries, these films celebrate the richness of the human experience.

International Screenings is the highlight event of the International Connections Program, whose committee members include representatives from various consulates and cultural organizations in Chicago. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis and is limited to theater capacity. Films are unrated. Viewer discretion is advised.

Claudia Cassidy Theater 
Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington Street, 2nd floor                                        


Wednesday September 25, 6:30pm
City & State Short Film Program
Various Directors, 2012, USA
Co-presented by: Chicago International Film Festival

This showcase of the best new shorts by talented local filmmakers includes narrative, documentary, and animated works. Three Chicago window cleaners wax lyrical as they work on a high rise in Paradise. A corpse wakes up to say a last goodbye to his wife in CADAVER (pictured), featuring the voice talents of Christopher Lloyd and Kathy Bates. An epic romance is reimagined in a queer light in THE QUEEN OF MY DREAMS. Brad spends his final night in the suburbs alongside his older brother in WHERE THE BUFFALO ROAM. A human trafficker becomes stranded in the lush Serbian countryside in THE RUNNER. Cole is home for the holidays... and now they’re over in AFTER CHRISTMAS. In the darkly comedic WEDNESDAY’S CHILD a young girl’s plans to teach her parents a lesson goes horribly awry. 80 minutes. In English. *post-screening discussion


Wednesday May 1, 6:30pm & Saturday May 4, 2pm
Director Yang Ya-Che, 2012, Taiwan

Mabel, Liam and Aaron are three rebellious high school students in1980s Taiwan, caught up in the political and social upheaval of the times. While they share a common passion and mutual affection, the love triangle that binds them together also tears them apart. Over a decade, the three navigate the challenges of adulthood and their changing relationships. Equal parts romantic and political drama, GF*BF is a bittersweet coming-of-age story that affectingly captures a particular moment in life at a significant historical crossroads. 106 minutes. Min Nan, Mandarin with subtitles.*post-screening discussion.

Click here to view the film's trailer.

Wednesday May 8, 6:30pm & Saturday May 11, 2pm

Run if You Can (Renn, wenn du kannst)

Director Dietrich Brüggemann, 2010, Germany

Co-presented by: Goethe-Institut

Smart and witty, but confined to a wheelchair, Ben spends the better part of his days spying on a neighboring cellist and treating his caretakers with disdain. Things change when the unflappable Christian finds himself in Ben’s employ and happens to befriend Annika, the girl Ben has been watching from his window for years. The three develop a close friendship, but one that inevitably leads to romantic strife, in this stirring tragicomedy, anchored by three remarkable performances. 112 minutes. German with subtitles. *post-screening discussion.

Click here to view the film's trailer.

Wednesday May 15, 6:30pm
Mumbai's King (Mumbai Cha Raja)
Director Manjeet Singh, 2012, India 
Co-presented by: Consulate General of India in Chicago

Rahul, a misunderstood adolescent, lives in a poorer neighborhood of Mumbai with his father with whom he has a stormy relationship, his long-suffering mother, and his baby brother. He spends most of his time on the streets of Mumbai with his friend Arbaaz indulging in misadventures. Set against the backdrop of the grand festival devoted to Lord Ganesha, Mumbai’s King paints an engaging portrait of the boys’ adventures and portrays how childhood innocence can conquer life’s grim realities. 78 minutes. Hindi with subtitles.

Click here to view the film's trailer.

Wednesday May 22, 6:30pm & Saturday May 25, 2pm
How Much Does the Trojan Horse Weigh? (Ile wazy kon trojanski?)
Director Juliusz Machulski, 2009, Poland
Co-presented by: Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in Chicago

It is the eve of the new millennium in contemporary Poland and although happily married, forty-something Zosia is filled with remorse over past life choices, wishing she could do it all over again. Be careful what you wish for. Zosia wakes up to find herself back in 1987, miraculously transported to her youth in Poland under Communism, married to her first, Lothario of a husband. From cult director Juliusz Machulski comes a hilarious story about second chances and the transcendent power of love. 117 minutes.  Polish with subtitles. *post-screening discussion

Click here to view the film's trailer.

Wednesday May 29, 6:30pm & Saturday June 1, 2pm

Kryptonite! (La kryptonite nella borsa)

Director Ivan Cotroneo, 2011, Italy

Co-presented by: Italian Cultural Institute of Chicago

It’s the 1970's in Naples, and nine-year-old protagonist Peppino experiences the hippie-tinged times through the prism of his dysfunctional family. With his parents’ marriage in turmoil, Peppino’s world is shaped by his young, activist and “enlightened” aunt and uncle and a cousin who believes he is a superhero. This funny, touching film views turbulent times, family crisis, and first love through a child’s eyes, filled with uncertainty, delight and wonder. 98 minutes. Italian with subtitles. *post-screening discussion 

Click here to view the film's trailer.

Wednesday June 5, 6:30pm

Wrinkles (Arrugas)

Director Ignacio Ferreras, 2012, Spain

Co-presented by: Instituto Cervantes Chicago and GKIDS


Increasingly lost in his own memories and becoming a burden to his son, Emilio finds himself adrift in the world of “assisted living”. Taken under the wing of fast-talking Miguel, who makes every effort to transform their stark landscape into one of magic realism, Emilio is introduced to a marvelous cast of fellow life-travelers. With his newfound companions, he embarks on a final adventure, punctuated by moments of unexpected comedy and profound sadness, in this affecting animated film that brings new meaning to the buddy movie. 89 minutes. Spanish with subtitles. 

Click here to view the film's trailer.

Wednesday June 12, 6:30pm & Saturday June 15, 2pm


Director Benito Bautista, 2012, Philippines

Co-presented by: Philippine Consulate General in Chicago


After 12 years of absence, guitarist Florante returns to the Philippines and rediscovers the music of harana--a long forgotten tradition of romantic serenading when men crooned under windows at night. Intent on unearthing these unheralded songs, Florante travels to the remote provinces to meet three of the last surviving practitioners--a farmer, a fisherman, and a tricycle driver. A stirring celebration of music, tradition and passion, this documentary breathes new life into a disappearing Filipino art form. 104 minutes. English, Filipino, Tagalog with subtitles. *post-screening discussion

Click here to view the film's trailer.

Wednesday June 19, 6:30pm & Saturday June 22, 2pm

My Australia (Moja Australia)

Director Ami Drozd, 2011, Israel

Co-presented by: Consulate General of Israel to the Midwest


1960's Poland. Raised by single mother Halina, Tadek and Andrej, left to their own devices, take up with an anti-Semitic gang. When they are arrested, Halina, a Holocaust survivor, feels she has no choice but to reveal their Jewish roots and leave. Telling Tadek they are immigrating to Australia, the land of his dreams, she moves the family to Israel to begin life anew. Based on the filmmaker’s own history, this astute, humorous drama explores issues of family, identity, and discrimination. 97 minutes. Hebrew, Polish with subtitles. *post-screening discussion

Click here to view the film's trailer.

Wednesday June 26, 6:30pm & Saturday June 29, 2pm

Becoming Redwood 

Director Jesse James Miller, 2012, Canada

Co-presented by: Consulate General of Canada in Chicago


Ever since his hippie parents split up, 11-year-old Redwood has been living with his dope-dealing father in Canada. But when the law finally catches up with Dad, Redwood’s life is turned upside down, and he must move to California to live with his mother, her radicalized new husband, and other eccentric family members. Throughout, the boy navigates the vagaries of childhood, the counter-cultural 70s milieu of his elders, and an obsessive love of golf in this hilarious tale of growing up. 98 minutes. In English.

Click here to view the film's trailer.

Wednesday July 3 & Saturday July 6


Wednesday July 10, 6:30pm & Saturday July 13, 2pm

All that Glitters (Tout ce qui brille)

Directors Hervé Mimran & Géraldine Nakache, 2010, France

Co-presented by: Cultural Service at the Consulate General of France in Chicago and Institut Français


Ely and Lila, having grown up on the “wrong side of the river”, yearn for a life of glamour, luxury, and sophistication in Paris. Deploying ingenuity, lies, and a bit of seduction, the young women manage to pass into a world that is not their own. But at what price? With humor, verve and a touch of the absurd, this coming-of-age story tests the limits of friendship, family, and forgiveness as the two discover that all that glitters... 100 minutes. French with subtitles.  *post-screening discussion

Click here to view the film's trailer.


Wednesday July 17, 6:30pm & Saturday July 20, 2pm

You Laugh But It's True

Director David Paul Meyer, 2012, South Africa

Co-presented by: South African Consulate General in Chicago and The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences


In the world of stand-up comedy in South Africa, the young, dynamic, bi-racial Trevor Noah is blazing new trails. Drawing material from his own experiences during apartheid, he prepares for the biggest performance of his life--his first one-man show. Prodigious, audacious, acerbic, arrogant, hilarious--there are many words to describe Trevor Noah, and this funny, insightful documentary reveals his complex, compelling personality from every angle. 84 minutes.  In English. *post-screening discussion


Click here to view the film's trailer.

Wednesday July 24, 6:30pm & Saturday July 27, 2pm

The Billionaire (Top Secret: Wai Roon Pun Lan) 

Director Songyos Sugmakanan, 2011, Thailand

Co-presented by: Royal Thai Consulate General in Chicago


Thailand’s answer to The Social NetworkThe Billionaire tells the story of real-life business prodigy Aitthipat Kulapongvanich. Recounting his remarkably swift rise to wealth and power, the film follows Aitthipat from making money on competitive online gaming, through family bankruptcy and dropping out of school, to starting a massive fried seaweed business, all while he was still a teenager. This fast-paced biopic highlights both the intoxicating highs of success and the turbulent effects it has on family, friends, and romance. 131 minutes. Thai with subtitles.


Click here to view the film's trailer.

Wednesday July 31, 6:30pm & Saturday August 3, 2pm

Architecture 101 (Geon-chook-hak-gae-ron)

Director Yong-Joo Lee, 2012, South Korea

Co-presented by: Consulate General of the Republic of Korea in Chicago


When Seo-yeon visits architect Seung-min’s office to commission him to design a new home for her, she is looking as much to chase her blues away as for blueprints. The two have traveled long and separate paths since they first met and fell in love as young students. Shifting seamlessly between past and present, Architecture 101 unfolds a tale of love won and lost, resentment, regret, and redemption. 118 minutes. Korean with subtitles.


Click here to view the film's trailer.

Wednesday August 7, 6:30pm & Saturday August 10, 2pm

Thermae Romae (Terumae Romae)

Director Hideki Takeuchi, 2012, Japan 

Co-presented by: Japan Information Center at the Consulate General of Japan at Chicago


In this time-traveling send up of bathing culture, ancient Roman architect Lucius, commissioned with building a new imperial thermae, finds himself in a rut. That is, until he finds a tunnel that takes him to the other side of the world two millennia later. Resurfacing in a modern-day Japanese public bath, Lucius believes the “flat-faced clan” has reached the pinnacle of spa culture. He slips back in time to ancient Rome to introduce his newfound discoveries and becomes the ingenious architect of the bath. 108 minutes. Japanese, Latin with subtitles.
Click here to view the film's trailer.

Wednesday August 14, 6:30pm & Saturday August 17, 2pm

Your Beauty is Worth Nothing (Deine Schönheit ist nichts wert) 
Director Hüseyin Tabak, 2012, Austria
Co-presented by: Austrian Consulate General in Chicago

Life in Austria is difficult for 12-year-old refugee Veysel, whose Kurdish family has fled Turkey. While his older brother rebels against the family’s plight, his father remains distant and his mother tries to keep them together, Veysel struggles in school, unable to speak a word of German. Captivated by fellow migrant Ana, Veysel finds the courage to complete a looming homework assignment--"to recite a poem in German. A poem that gives expression to the anguish, passion, and promise held within one boy’s heart. 111 minutes. Turkish, German with subtitles. *post-screening discussion
Click here to view the film's trailer.

Wednesday August 21, 6:30pm & Saturday August 24, 2pm

Someone Like Me (Eine wen iig, dr Dällebach Kari) 

Director Xavier Koller, 2012, Switzerland

Co-presented by: Consulate General of Switzerland in Chicago


Kari, an affable barber who delights his customers with his remarkable storytelling ability, has spent most of his life as an outsider, marked by his cleft palate. His favorite subject is Annemarie, his one great love from years ago. They had planned a life together, but her father had other ideas. Deftly interweaving the subjects of love, prejudice, and memory, Someone Like Me is a singular, stirring romantic drama based on a real life-story. 111 minutes. Swiss German with subtitles. *post-screening discussion


Click here to view the film's trailer.

Wednesday August 28, 6:30pm & Saturday August 31, 2pm

A Useful Life (La vida útil) 

Director Federico Veiroj, 2010, Uruguay

Co-presented by: Consulate General of Uruguay in Chicago and The Global Film Initiative


Steadfastly dedicated to film, Jorge (played endearingly by a Uruguayan film critic) attends to his art house theater and its patrons with the utmost care and devotion. The theater is rapidly losing funding, however, and Jorge must confront practical challenges to his business and learn to explore life and love beyond the movie screen. Through beautiful black and white cinematography and understated performances, Veiroj crafts this winning love letter to cinema.  67 minutes. Spanish with subtitles. *post-screening discussion 


Click here to view the film's trailer.

Wednesday September 4, 6:30pm & Saturday September 7, 2pm

Swirl (Girimunho)

Directors Clarissa Campolina & Helvécio Marins Jr., 2012, Brazil

Co-presented by: Consulate General of Brazil in Chicago


Weaving a beautiful tapestry of mythic imagination with the material details of everyday reality, Swirl paints a picture of life in a small village in northern Brazil. At 81, Bastú still loves a good party and dancing until dawn, but when her husband dies, she is forced to rethink her life and routine. Facing each new challenge with humor and pluck, Bastú draws on a rich inner life, infusing the practicalities of everyday living with a touch of the poetic. 90 minutes. Portuguese with subtitles. *post-screening discussion

Click here to view the film's trailer.

Thursday September 12, 6:30pm (RESCHEDULED DATE) & Saturday September 14, 2pm 
The Student (El estudiante)
Director Roberto Girault, 2009, Mexico
Co-presented by: Consulate General of Mexico in Chicago

Chano, a recent retiree in his 70s, decides to pursue his lifelong dream of attaining a literature degree. When he enrolls at the university, he is faced with the inevitable generational and culture clash with students fifty years his junior. Through dogged persistence, Chano manages to bridge the age divide in this sure-fire crowd pleaser that presents a new, comedic take on the “coming-of-age” film. 95 minutes. Spanish with subtitles. *post-screening discussion.

Click here to view the film's trailer.

Wednesday September 18, 6:30pm & Saturday September 21, 2pm
The Last Elvis (El último Elvis) 
Director Armando Bó, 2012, Argentina
Co-presented by: Consulate General of the Argentine Republic in Chicago

Carlos Gutierrez is a talented Elvis impersonator whose consuming belief in his reincarnation as the King leads to a complete denial of his own reality. By night, in the glamorous celebrity-impersonator scene in Buenos Aires, he is a star. By day, he is a dead-beat dad working in a dead-end factory job. Feeling more connected to Elvis than to his own family, Gutierrez’s self-delusion deepens until a tragedy jars him awake in this disarming musical tragicomedy. 91 minutes. Spanish with subtitles.

Click here to view the film's trailer