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Cinema/Chicago News

Winners Announced for Audience Choice Awards, Presented by Xfinity!

Published: October 28, 2020  |  Filed under: Festival News

The ballots have been tallied. Festival-goers across the US cast their votes, and we are thrilled to announce the winners of the 56th Chicago International Film Festival Audience Choice Awards presented by Xfinity!

The Audience Choice Award for Feature Film goes to the third feature film from director Chloé Zhao, Nomadland. The film Frances McDormand’s Fern who, after the economic collapse of a company town in rural Nevada, packs her van and sets off on the road exploring a life outside of conventional society as a modern-day nomad. Nomadland features real nomads Linda May, Swankie, and Bob Wells as Fern’s mentors and comrades in her exploration through the vast landscape of the American West. Learn more about the film…

Hirokazu Kore-eda protégée Miwa Nishikawa takes home the Best International Feature Audience Choice Award with Under the Open Sky (Subarashiki Sekai), her compassionate yet pointed tale chronicling an ex-con’s rough re-entry into civil society. In and out of institutions—from orphanages to juvenile homes and penitentiaries—since childhood, former Yakuza Mikami is released from his most recent 13-year stint in prison. But what comes next? Bolstered by friends and allies in unexpected places, Mikami must adapt to life on the outside as he struggles to secure both employment and a new sense of self. Learn more about the film…

The Audience Choice Award for Best Documentary Film goes to the award-winning team of Greg Jacobs & Jon Siskel for their inspiring and emotional follow up to past Festival hit Louder Than a Bomb, The Road Up. The film follows Jesse Teverbaugh, a charismatic leader at the job-training program Cara. With tough-love and dedication, Teverbaugh mentors four Chicagoans during their precarious journey from homelessness, addiction, and incarceration to stable employment. The Road Up powerfully chronicles not only America’s unforgiving economic and social structures, but also the essential role that community, connection, hope, and love play in overcoming adversity. Learn more about the film…

Finally, the Audience Choice Award for Best Short Film goes to “To: Gerard” by director Taylor Meacham. This heartfelt story is about the art of illusion and the magic of inspiring someone to follow their dreams. Learn more about the film…

A big congratulations to all the Audience Award winners from this year’s Festival! See the complete Competition Awards winners.

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