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The Top Winners at the Best of the Fest

CHICAGO (October 22, 2012) - You have one more chance to see, in one day, the winners of the 48th Chicago International Film Festival’s competitions as well as some Festival favorites during Best of the Fest. The screenings will be held Wednesday October 24 at the AMC River East 21 (322 E. Illinois St.).
The evening will also feature the World Premiere of voice-over and radio legend Ken Nordine’s film “Agenbite of Inwit,” a final presentation of Bille August’s beautiful period drama “Marie Krøyer” and Carlos Reygadas’ visual tour de forcePost Tenebras Lux,” and the “Best of Intercom 2012,” Cinema/Chicago’s annual competition of corporate, industrial, and educational filmmaking.
Director: Leos Carax
Winner Gold Hugo: Best Film
Winner Silver Hugo: Best Actor and Best Cinematography
8:30 PM
Several lifetimes pass in the span of a few hours for Monsieur Oscar, a shadowy character who effortlessly transitions from one realm to the next. He is, in turn, captain of industry, assassin, beggar, monster, family man. This mysterious, hallucinatory epic has ignited passions around the world for its bold, exuberant style and the euphoric virtuosity with which it presents its surreal, impressionistic narrative.
Director: Peter Bergendy
Winner Gold Hugo: New Directors Competition
8:30 PM
In late 1950’s Hungary, Andras supervises a network of civilians spying on their neighbors and coworkers. But little does he know that the government is monitoring him as well. His superiors have chosen Christmas Eve to implement “the exam”, an obscure procedure designed to challenge an agent’s loyalty without his or her knowledge. Nothing can be taken for granted in this world of intense secrecy and perpetual surveillance.
Directors: Clayton Brown, Monica Long Ross
Winner Gold Hugo: Docufest
8:20 PM
In 1989, the future of energy production seemed at hand, when Martin Fleischmann and Stanley Pons announced to the world the discovery of “cold fusion.” Garnering sensational media attention, their fast-rising reputation quickly faded when nobody could reproduce their claimed results. “The Believers” is not only the story of a quirk in the history of science, but a personal tale of belief, integrity, disappointment, and acceptance.
Director: Michel Franco
Winner Silver Hugo: Special Jury Prize
7:15 PM
Teenager Alé (short for “Alejandra”) is mourning her mother and lonely in a new school. When a video emerges of her drunkenly having sex in a bathroom, she immediately becomes a target for the school’s popular kids. Their torments grow in intensity and cruelty, wearing down the weary Alé’s resistance. “After Lucia”’s intense, shocking exploration of the violent effects of bullying earned it the prestigious Un Certain Regard prize at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.
Director: Jan Troell
Winner Silver Hugo: Best Actress
7:45 PM
Based on a true story, “The Last Sentence” follows celebrated Swedish journalist Torgny Segerstedt, who conducted his own campaign against the Nazis while navigating a fraught personal life. Officially neutral, Sweden’s leaders did their best to silence Segerstedt, fearing German reprisal, especially as the journalist began inciting the ire of top Nazi officials. Illustrious director Jan Troell (“The Emigrants”) brings a Swedish hero to life in this gripping, lyrical epic.
Director: Zdenek Jirasky
Winner Silver Hugo: New Directors Competition
8:15 PM
Garnering four top Czech Lions (the Czech Oscars®) “Flowerbuds” presents an incisive snapshot of family life in a small Czech town. Jarda works as a train signal operator but also nurses a petty gambling addiction. His wife, Kamila dreams of her lost youth while their teenage children are without work, money or illusions about life. Over the course of a long winter, a series of small tragedies unfold and collide, bringing the family to the brink.
Directors: Dana Doron, Uriel Sinai
Winner Silver Hugo: Docufest
5:30 PM
An estimated 400,000 people were tattooed with serial numbers at Auschwitz, of whom only a few thousand survive today. This intimate and visually rapturous documentary details the current lives of some of these survivors, their memories of the camps, and their relationships with the numbers. “Numbered” is an emotionally affecting portrait of memory and history, and their enduring presence in individual lives.
The program includes the Silver Hugo for Best Animated Short, OH, WILLY, and the Gold Plaque for Animated Short, EDMOND WAS A DONKEY
5:45 PM
A gorgeous array of animation styles and techniques are put to work illustrating these strikingly original tales from around the world. A birthmark forms a bond between father and son in an old public bathhouse in “38 - 39 Cº” (USA/South Korea). Life is a constant struggle for a quirky married couple in “Bite of the Tail” (USA). A man and woman are carried to strange, inhospitable shores in “The Conquerors” (Canada/France). Charles Manson communicates with the outside world for the first time in 20 years in “Old Man” (USA). When Edmond’s co-workers give him a new set of ears, his life begins to change in “Edmond Was a Donkey” (Canada/France). Willy is forced to return to his naturist roots in “Oh Willy…" (Belgium/France). “Body Memory” (Estonia) explores how far back in our ancestry it is possible to go. Lines blur between patron and bartender in the visually striking “The Pub” (UK). A prank takes an unexpected turn in “Next Door Letters” (Sweden).
Director: Valeri Vaughn
3:30 PM
Out of the heart of a violently divided region rose a unique form of expression that has given voice to two groups of people on opposing sides of a centuries-old conflict. Narrated by Vince Vaughn, this eye-opening documentary examines how the street art of murals tells the story of Northern Ireland’s history and the violent Troubles through interviews with muralists, political figures, art historians, and people who live and work in the region.
Director: Shemi Zarhin
3:15 PM
“The World Is Funny” follows the wanderings of a loose network of characters. Told with meticulous precision, the connections between the characters and the profound implications of their stories grow in richness and complexity as the film progresses. A sharp, ironic sense of humor enriches a melancholy yet inspiring film that has been a gigantic hit in Israel, earning a record-setting 15 Ophir nominations (the Israeli Academy Awards®).
Director: Jean-Christophe Dessaint
6:15 PM
The gruff, ogre-like Pumpkin and his young son live by themselves in the forest, but their comfortable isolation is disturbed when Pumpkin takes a near-fatal fall from a great height. His son, with the help of the benevolent spirits that inhabit the forest, must venture out into civilization for the first time in search of help. Filled with charming, gorgeous animation, “Day of the Crows” is an utterly delightful family film
Director: Travis Fine
7:30 PM
In the late 1970s, when a mentally handicapped teenager is abandoned, a gay couple - a drag performer (Alan Cumming) and a closeted attorney (Garret Diallahunt) - takes him in and becomes the family he’s never had. But, once the unconventional living arrangement is discovered by authorities, the men must fight a biased legal system to adopt the child they have come to care for as their own in this gripping testament to love and family.
Director: Carlos Reygadas
6:00 PM
An astonishing visual tour de force from Mexican filmmaker Reygadas (whose previous film, 2007’s “Silent Light,” won the Gold Hugo), this enigmatic, elusive film presents the occurrences around a family of four. Mundane domestic events are punctuated with tableaux of overwhelming beauty, while some sinister force lurks outside. Filled with arresting images from one of world cinema’s most innovative visual masters, “Post Tenebras Lux” is a truly sui generis work.
Director: Bille August
6:00 PM
Married to one of Denmark’s most celebrated 19th century painters, Marie Krøyer’s life is both privileged and fraught. With artistic aspirations of her own, Marie struggles to discover her identity while managing her husband’s increasingly erratic behavior and begins to look outside of her marriage for affirmation and autonomy. But, at what cost? This beautifully crafted period drama presents a compelling portrait of a woman ahead of her time.
6:15 PM
This screening will showcase some of this year’s winning work, presenting an hour of non-theatrical filmmaking whose level of cinematic achievement truly deserves to be seen on the big screen. THIS IS A FREE EVENT!
6:30 PM
Voice-over and radio legend Ken Nordine (“Word Jazz”) has recorded hundreds of radio and TV spots and movie trailers over the past seven decades and has been the voice of our Festival for 47 years. From his far-out mind comes “Agenbite of Inwit,” which he describes simply: “The title comes from a phrase purported to be from a Benedictine monk who lived in the 14th century, and dealt with the inner workings of the bite on conscience. Take a look, hope you like it.”
All events are at the AMC River East 21, 322 E. Illinois Street. Tickets for Best of the Fest can be purchased by phone 312-332-FILM (3456), in person by visiting the Festival box office at AMC River East 21 (322 E. Illinois St.), or through (
Led by Presenting Partner, Columbia College Chicago, the 48th Chicago International Film Festival's sponsors include: Official Airline - American Airlines; Producing Partners: AMC Theaters, The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences; Major Partner: Intersites; Supporting Partners: DePaul University School of Cinema and Interactive Media, Stella Artois, Chris Pagano - Realtor, Land Rover, WBBM NEWSRADIO 780 AND 105.9FM, ShutterBox Photobooth, Cultivate Studios; Participating Partners: iN Demand, EC Charro Tequila, Brugal Rum, Creative America, Gibsons Restaurant Group, Second City Computers, Optimus; and the Festival's Headquarters Hotel, JW Marriott Chicago.
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Cinema/Chicago is a not-for-profit cultural and educational organization dedicated to encouraging better understanding between cultures and to making a positive contribution to the art form of the moving image. The Chicago International Film Festival is part of the year-round programs presented by Cinema/Chicago, which also include the International Screenings Program (May-September), the Chicago International Television Competition (April), CineYouth Festival (May), Intercom Competition (October) and year-round Education Outreach and Member Screenings Program.

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