CHICAGO, IL (October 7, 2014) – The 50th Chicago International Film Festival, North America’s oldest competitive international film festival, announced today that Academy Award®-nominated and Golden Globe®-winning actress Kathleen Turner will be the President of this year’s International Feature Competition Jury. Joining her are acclaimed filmmaker and New German Cinema pioneer Margarethe von Trotta; Turkish director Ferzan Ozpetek (whose latest film, “Fasten Your Seatbelts,” is an Official selection at this year’s Festival); award-winning Israeli cinematographer Giora Bejach; and Iranian editor and director Parviz Shahbazi.
“This group of old friends and film artists, most of whom have shown their films in past editions of the Festival, have the task of selecting the best of the best in world cinema,” said Founder and Artistic Director of the Chicago International Film Festival Michael Kutza. “I anticipate their deliberations will be spirited and insightful and I very much look forward to their selections.”
Turner will also talk candidly about her craft and career during An Evening with Kathleen Turner on Tuesday, October 14 at the AMC River East 21 (322 E. Illinois St.).
The jury will present the Gold Hugo to the best of the 16 films in competition from Argentina, China, Denmark, the Dominican Republic, France, Georgia, Hungary, Iran, Israel, Italy, Kazakhstan, Norway, Poland, Russia, Sweden and the United States as well as awards in the categories of acting, directing and writing, among others. Past Gold Hugo winners include Leos Carax’s “Holy Motors” (2012, France), Steve McQueen’s “Hunger” (2008, UK), Alejandro G. Iñárritu’s “Amores Perros” (2000, Mexico), Zhang Yimou’s “Ju Dou” (1990, China) and Wim Wenders “Kings of the Road” (1976, Germany).
Kathleen Turner (United States)
Screen icon Kathleen Turner has garnered critical acclaim for her performances in various movies, including “Body Heat,” for which she was nominated for a Golden Globe; “Romancing The Stone” and “Prizzi’s Honor,” which earned her a Golden Globe Award for each; “Peggy Sue Got Married,” which brought Turner both an Academy Award nomination and a Golden Globe nomination; and “War of the Roses,” yet another Golden Globe nomination. Turner has also starred on Broadway in “Cat On a Hot Tin Roof,” for which she received a Tony nomination, “Indiscretions,” “The Graduate,” and “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?,” for which she received a second Tony nomination. She also received the Piper-Heidsieck Award for Outstanding Achievement at the 28th Chicago International Film Festival for work that exemplifies independence, courage and risk-taking. Most recently she completed filming “Dumb & Dumber To” in Atlanta with Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels.
Margarethe Von Trotta (Germany)
One of the foremost German film directors, a member of the New German Cinema movement and one of the most important feminist filmmakers in the world, Von Trotta made her first film, “The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum,” co-directed with Volker Schlöndorff, in 1975. Subsequent films include “The Second Awakening of Christa Klages” (1977), “Sisters, or the Balance of Happiness” (1979), “Marianne and Julianne” (which won top prizes at the 1981 Venice and Chicago International Film Festivals), “Rosa Luxemburg” (1986) and “Hannah Arendt” (2012).
Ferzan Ozpetek (Turkey)
Born in Istanbul in 1959, Ferzan Ozpetek moved to Italy in 1976. His first film “The Turkish Bath” received acclaim around the world. His subsequent films include “Harem Suaré,” a selection at the 1999 Cannes Film Festival, “His Secret Life,” chosen as the best feature at the 2002 New York Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, “Facing Windows,” winner of the Best Film Prize at Italy’s David di Donatello Awards, “Sacred Heart” (2005), “Saturno Contro” (2006), “A Perfect Day” (2008), “Loose Cannons” (2010), winner of a Special Jury Award at the Tribeca Film Festival, “Magnificent Presence” (2011) and “Fasten Your Seatbelts” (2013), an official selection of the 50th Chicago International Film Festival.
Giora Bejach (Israel)
A Director of Cinematography on many different projects, Giora Bejach won the 23rd European Film Academy award for Best Cinematography for Samuel Maoz’s “Lebanon” (2009). He is the winner of the Best Cinematography prize at the Israel Film Academy for “Big Bad Wolves” (2013), “Lebanon” (2009) and “Out Of Sight” (2005). He was also the cinematographer on the acclaimed Sundance documentary “The Green Prince” (2014) and Amos Gitai’s segment in “Words with Gods” (2014), an official selection of the 50th Chicago International Film Festival.
Parviz Shahbazi (Iran)
Born in 1963 in Tehran, Parviz Shahbazi edited several films and directed 12 short films before making his first feature film, “Traveller from the South,” in 1996. His subsequent films include “Whispers” (2000), “Deep Breath,” which played at the 2003 Directors’ Fortnight in Cannes, “Karat 14” (2009) and “Trapped” (2013), winner of the Best Director Prize at the 2013 Fajr Film Festival.
The awards ceremony will be held Friday, October 17 at 9 pm at The Sofitel Chicago Water Tower (20 E. Chestnut St.). Awards will also be presented in these competitive categories: New Directors Competition, the Roger Ebert Award, the Chicago Award, the Q-Hugo Award, DocuFest and Shorts. Past award winners have gone on to win Oscars® and Golden Globe® awards, among other notable recognitions. Awards Night is a night for the 50th Chicago International Film Festival juries, filmmakers and guests to come together and celebrate each other’s achievements.
Awards Night Sponsors
Evening Hosts: Michigan Avenue Magazine and Sofitel; Lead Partner: Wintrust Community Banks; Evening Partners: Stella Artois, Casale del Giglio and Effen Vodka.
Led by Tourism Partner Illinois Office of Tourism and Presenting Partners Columbia College Chicago, the 50th Chicago International Film Festival’s sponsors include Official Airline: American Airlines; Headquarters Hotel: JW Marriott Chicago; Major Partners: Intersites, Wintrust Community Banks; Participating Partners: AARP, Allstate, Bloomberg, Casale del Giglio, Cultivate Studios, Netrix, Stella Artois; Platinum Media Sponsors: NCM Media Networks, Ingage Media, JC Decaux and Michigan Avenue Magazine.
The John and Jacolyn Bucksbaum Family Foundation is the program partner for the International Feature Competition.
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Cinema/Chicago, the presenting organization of the Chicago International Film Festival, is a not-for-profit arts and education organization dedicated to encouraging better understanding between cultures and to making a positive contribution to the art form of the moving image.
The 50th Chicago International Film Festival runs October 9-23, 2014.