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Tributes and Awards

The Chicago International Film Festival honors the work of incomparable film artists from across genres and disciplines.

Filmmaker Emerald Fennell, a white woman with long hair wearing a pair of large headphones around her neck,, laughs while on set.

Tribute to Emerald Fennell

Saltburn screening and Visionary Award presentation
Thursday, October 19 at 6:30pm | Music Box Theatre

Emerald Fennell is an Academy Award®, Golden Globe®, Emmy®, DGA, PGA, and WGA-nominated writer, director, actress, and author who has established herself as a prolific multihyphenate in film, television, and theater.

Fennell’s feature directorial and screenplay debut, Promising Young Woman, was a breakout success at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. The film stars Carey Mulligan, who  received a Best Actress Academy Award® nomination for her role. Fennell was later nominated for three Academy Awards®, including Best Picture and Best Director, and won for Best Original Screenplay. She also received two Golden Globe® nominations for Best Screenplay and Best Director, and six BAFTA nominations including Best Film, Outstanding British Film, and Original Screenplay.

She also served as the showrunner on Season 2 of Killing Eve, for which she was nominated for two Emmys®. Fennell also starred in Seasons 3 and 4 of Netflix’s award-winning drama series The Crown as Camilla Parker Bowles; some of her recent film credits include The Danish Girl, Pan, Anna Karenina, and Barbie. Most recently, Fennell wrote the contemporary musical stage version of Cinderella alongside Andrew Lloyd Webber, which debuted in 2021 at the Gillian Lynne Theatre in London’s West End. Off screen, Fennell has published three novels: Shiverton Hall, its sequel The Creeper, and the 2017 Carnegie Medal nominee Monsters.

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headshot: Peter Sarsgaard

Tribute to Peter Sarsgaard

Memory screening and Career Achievement Award presentation
Friday, October 20 at 6:30pm | Music Box Theatre

Peter Sarsgaard is an Emmy® and Golden Globe® Award-nominated actor who is renowned for his range and ability to access what is behind the often-complicated facades of the characters he plays. He will soon be seen in Michel Franco’s Memory, opposite Jessica Chastain. The film had its World Premiere at the 2023 Venice International Film Festival, where he was awarded the Volpi Cup for Best Actor. Sarsgaard also had two other films premiere at Venice: Coup!, a satire by Joseph Schuman and Austin Stark set during the Spanish Flu epidemic of 1918, and Pet Shop Days, directed by Olmo Schnabel. He recently wrapped production on Presumed Innocent, an upcoming Apple TV+ series inspired by the novel of the same name by Scott Turow. The series stars Jake Gyllenhaal and was created by David E. Kelley. Other recent credits include The Lost Daughter, Dopesick, Shattered Glass, An Education, and Boys Don’t Cry.

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headshot: Holly Waddington

Tribute to Holly Waddington

Poor Things screening and Tour de Force Award presentation
Saturday, October 21 at 8:00pm | AMC NEWCITY 14

Holly’s costume designs for film and TV include the pilot episode of Hulu’s The Great, written and produced by Tony Macnamara, Lady Macbeth directed by William Oldroyd (which won the BIFA for Best Costume and was nominated for a Critics Circle Award for Technical Achievement for Costume), Ginger and Rosa by Sally Potter, and Departure by Andrew Steggall.

Holly has worked in Theatre, Dance and Visual Art, creating costumes, sets, and installations for productions at Rambert, The Royal Ballet, Complicite, Sadler’s Wells, The Almeida, The Royal Court, The Gate Theatre, The Young Vic, Scottish Dance Theatre, Sadlers Wells and Handspring, working with notable directors and choreographers, including Kim Brandstrup, The Quay Brothers, Hofesh Shechter, Simon McBurney, Rupert Goold, Carrie Cracknell, Natalie Abrahami and Ben Duke. She designed costumes for Hetain Patel’s film Don’t Look at the Finger, recently acquired by Tate and currently showing as a solo installation at Tate St. Ives.

As Assistant Costume Designer, Holly’s credits include:  Happy-Go-Lucky (Mike Leigh), Another Year (Mike Leigh), War Horse (Steven Spielberg), Lincoln (Steven Spielberg), and The Man from U.N.C.L.E (Guy Ritchie).

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Filmmaker Jeff Nichols, a white man with short wavy light-colored hair looks over his shoulder.

Tribute to Jeff Nichols

The Bikeriders screening and Artistic Achievement Award presentation
Sunday, October 22 at 5:00pm | Music Box Theatre

Jeff Nichols is a writer and director who hails from Little Rock, Arkansas. In addition to two nominations for the prestigious Palme d’Or, Nichols has won three awards at Cannes. His most recent feature, Loving, was nominated for an Oscar (Ruth Negga, Best Actress), Independent Spirit Award (Nichols, Best Director), and Critics Choice Award (Best Original Screenplay, Nichols).

The filmmaker was previously a Film Independent Spirit Award nominee (Best Director) for Mud, starring Matthew McConaughey, and Take Shelter, starring Michael Shannon. Nichols and Shannon have collaborated on multiple occasions, beginning with Nichols’ directorial debut, Shotgun Stories, which he also wrote. In addition to numerous festival honors, the film was nominated for the John Cassavetes Award. Nichols and Shannon also worked together on the sci-fi film Midnight Special, co-starring Joel Edgerton and Kirsten Dunst.

Nichols has several new projects in the works. He also penned the screenplay for A Quiet Place: Day One. Set to star Joseph Quinn and Lupita Nyong’o, the film is currently in pre-production.

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