54th Chicago International Film Festival Award Winners

54th Chicago International Film Festival banner

Juried Festival Award Winners

International Feature Film Competition

The 2018 International Competition Jury included acclaimed Spanish director Pablo Berger, Buenos Aires-born filmmaker Diego Lerman, filmmaker Asli Özge, Italian filmmaker Andrea Pallaoro, and Chicago actress, director and playwright Regina Taylor.

Gold Hugo: Best Film

Happy as Lazzaro
Dir. Alice Rohrwacher | Italy/Switzerland/France/Germany

Silver Hugo: Special Jury Prize

Joy
Dir. Sudabeh Mortezai | Austria

Silver Hugo: Best Director

Jia Zhangke
Ash Is Purest White | China/France

Silver Hugo: Best Actor

Jesper Christensen
Before the Frost | Denmark

Silver Hugo: Best Actress

Zhao Tao
Ash is Purest White | China/France

Silver Plaque: Best Screenplay

Stéphane Brizé & Olivier Gorce
At War | France

Silver Plaque: Best Cinematography

David Gallego
Birds of Passage | Colombia/Mexico/Denmark/France

Silver Plaque: Best Art Direction

Angélica Parea
Birds of Passage | Colombia/Mexico/Denmark/France

New Directors Competition

The New Directors Competition Jury included film scholar and programmer Amy Beste, award-winning producer and director Pemon Rami, and film, television, and theater critic Allison Shoemaker.

Gold Hugo

The Third Wife
Dir. Ash Mayfair | Vietnam

Silver Hugo

The Mercy of the Jungle
Dir. Joël Karekezi | Belgium/France/Rwanda

Roger Ebert Award

Little Tickles
Dirs. Andréa Bescond &  Eric Métayer | France

Documentary Competition

The Documentary Competition Jury included Lindsay Utz, an award-winning documentary film editor whose most recent work Quest earned the Cinema Eye Honors award for Outstanding Achievement in Editing; Mimi Brody, a film programmer and curator for film festivals and cinematheques; and Thorsten Trimpop, an award-winning German filmmaker and visual artist.

Gold Hugo

[Censored]
Dir. Sari Braithwaite | Australia

Silver Hugo

Ex-Shaman
Dir.  Luiz Bolognesi | Brazil

Silver Hugo

The Raft
Dir. Marcus Lindeen | Sweden

Out-Look Competition

The Out-Look Competition Jury included Bea Cordelia, an award-winning, Chicago-bred writer, filmmaker, performer and activist whose work uplifts and reimagines the narratives of transgendered people; Kyle Henry, whose feature fiction debut Room premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, screened at the Cannes Film Festival, and was nominated for two Independent Spirit Awards; and Sébastien Lévy, a French casting director, dramaturg, script consultant, and film studies teacher.

Gold Q-Hugo

Retablo
Dir. Alvaro Delgado Aparicio | Peru/Germany/Norway

Silver Q-Hugo

Rafiki
Dir. Wanuri Kahiu | Kenya/South Africa/Germany/Netherlands/France/Norway/Lebanon

Special Mention

Hard Paint
Dirs. Filipe Matzembacher & Marcio Reolon | Brazil

Documentary Short Film Competition

The Documentary Short Jury included Robert Stockwell, director and owner of Cinema Libertad; director and producer Margaret Byrne; and B Rich, a filmmaker and assistant professor of multimedia at DePaul University.

Silver Hugo

Circle
Dir. Jayisha Patel | U.K./Canada/India

Gold Plaque

Edgecombe
Dir. Crystal Kayiza | U.S.

Special Mention

Black 14
Dir. Darius Clark Monroe | U.S.

Animated Short Film Competition

The Animated Jury included Chaz Evans, lecturer at Northwestern’s School of Communication; Naghmeh Farzaneh, an animation director and professional lecturer at DePaul University; and Jim Rohn, Associate Professor in the Interactive Arts and Media Department at Columbia College Chicago.

Silver Hugo

Bloeistraat 11
Dir . Nienke Deutz | The Netherlands

Gold Plaque

Weekends
Dir. Trevor Jimenez | U.S.

Special Mention

Opening Night
Dir. Margaret Bialis | U.S.

Live Action Short Film Competition

The Live Action Short Jury included Vincent Singleton, filmmaker and adjunct professor; Rebecca Lyon, programmer and projectionist for the Chicago Film Society; and Jennifer Reeder, filmmaker and interim director at the School of Art and Art History at UIC.

Gold Hugo

Mamartuille
Dir. Alejandro Saevich | Mexico

Silver Hugo

Hair Wolf
Dir. Mariama Diallo | U.S.

Special Mention

Nyi ma lay
Dir. Wei Liang Chiang | Singapore

Chicago Award

The Chicago Award Jury included Michael X. Flores, an acclaimed editor whose credits include The Most Hated Woman in American and Love Means Zero; Stephen Cone, a Chicago-based filmmaker whose film Princess Cyd appeared on multiple Best of 2017 lists including Vanity Fair and NPR; and JJ Ingram, a Chicago native and producer whose credits include The Long Dumb Road, Chasing the Blues, and more.

Hashtag Perfect Life
Dir. Michael Paulucci | U.S.

Founder’s Award

The Founder’s Award was personally presented by Festival Founder Michael Kutza to the single film across all categories he feels best embodies the spirit of curiosity, optimism and love of film that led to his starting the Chicago International Film Festival 55-years ago.

Beautiful Boy
Dir. Felix Van Groeningen | U.S.

Audience Award Winners

Audience Award for Best English-Language Film

The Hate U Give
Dir. George Tillman, Jr. | U.S.

Audience Award for Best Foreign-Language Film

Becoming Astrid (Unga Astrid)
Dir. Pernille Fischer Christensen | Sweden, Germany, Denmark

Documentary Audience Award

United Skates
Dyana Winkler, Tina Brown | U.S.

Audience Award for Best Short Film

Black 14
Dir. Darius Clark Monroe | U.S.