The 58th Chicago International Film Festival, North America’s longest-running competitive film festival, today announced the winners of its 2022 edition in categories including International Feature Film Competition, New Directors Competition, International Documentary Competition, OutLook Competition, and Short Film Competitions, as well as the Chicago Award for an outstanding program in the Festival’s City & State program, and the Roger Ebert Award, awarded to a film competing in the New Directors Competition in recognition of a filmmaker with a fresh and uncompromising vision.
The Gold Hugo in the International Feature Film Competition goes to Godland, Hlynur Pálmason’s forceful, inspired critique of the destructive impact of colonial endeavor. The film, inspired by a collection of wet plate photographs of rural Iceland taken by a priest in the late 1800s, follows an arrogant, naïve Danish priest on a mission to establish a remote parish for homesteaders in Iceland, then a colony of Denmark, and convert the locals to Christianity.
Picking up the Festival’s Silver Hugo in the International Feature Film Competition is Close, which also receives the Gold Hugo in the OutLook Competition. Lukas Dhont’s enthralling, breathless visual style plunges viewers into the world of Leo and Remi, two thirteen-year-old best friends, as their intimate friendship is tested by the social pressures of the new school year.
“The Chicago International Film Festival has a 58-year history of honoring the most exciting, most original talent, and this year’s winners reflect a diversity of storytelling and filmmaking in remarkable and timely ways,” said Chicago International Film Festival Artistic Director Mimi Plauché. “With visual languages bold and subtle, rich and complex, the films transport us to different worlds, both familiar and far away, and by immersing us in new places and new experiences they broaden the ways in which we see and understand our own world, transforming us in the process.”
In the New Directors Competition, Charlotte Le Bon’s tenderly-observed rumination on the restiveness of unrequited young love and otherworldly longing Falcon Lake takes the Gold Hugo; while Ann Oren’s Piaffe takes the Silver Hugo, following an introverted Foley artist who, while working on a commercial, is invigorated when her body begins to transform in unexpected, intoxicating ways.
This year’s Roger Ebert Award, presented in the New Directors Competition, goes to two films: A Piece of Sky, Michael Koch’s moving meditation to the patient nature of enduring love; and Katrine Brocks’ The Great Silence, a haunting tale of love, deceit, and forgiveness.
The Chicago Award goes to King of Kings: Chasing Edward Jones, a thrilling life story of a legendary African American powerbroker who built a multimillion-dollar empire running Policy, the illegal lottery, on Chicago’s South Side in the 1930s and ‘40s, directed by his granddaughter Harriet Marin Jones.