To celebrate Pride month this June, we’re thrilled to take a look back at the winners of the Festival’s Q-Hugo Awards. The Q-Hugo Award goes to the top film in our Out-Look Competition, which honors superbly crafted and unique perspectives on sexuality and identity from around the globe. Find where to stream these award winners from the Festival’s history below and celebrate Pride at home all year long with an extraordinary film!
And Then We Danced
Dir. Levan Akin
Gold Q-Hugo, 55th Chicago International Film Festival
A passionate tale of love and liberation set amidst the conservative confines of modern Georgian society, And Then We Danced follows Merab, a devoted dancer who has been training for years with his partner Mary for a spot in the National Georgian Ensemble. The arrival of another male dancer, Irakli—gifted with perfect form and equipped with a rebellious streak—throws Merab off balance, sparking both an intense rivalry and romantic desire that may cause him to risk his future in dance as well as his relationships with Mary and his family.
Available on VOD services.
Portrait of a Lady on Fire
Dir. Céline Sciamma
Silver Q-Hugo, 55th Chicago International Film Festival
In 18th century France, a reluctant bride and the artist commissioned to paint her portrait find themselves in the grips of an attraction too strong to resist. With her wedding fast approaching, Héloïse initially refuses to sit for Marianne, but the combative tension between the two women gives way to tentative trust and then unbridled fervor. Céline Sciamma’s startling, seductive period romance is brought to life with passion, nuance, and grace.
Available to stream on Hulu or rent on VOD services.
Knives and Skin
Dir. Jennifer Reeder
Special Mention: Out-Look, 55th Chicago International Film Festival
Knives and Skin follows the investigation of a young girl’s disappearance in a stylized version of a rural Midwest town that hovers just above reality, led by an inexperienced local sheriff. Unusual coping techniques develop among the traumatized small-town residents with each new secret revealed. The ripple of fear and suspicion destroys some relationships and strengthens others. The backdrop of trauma colors quintessential rituals—classrooms, dances, courtship, football games—in which the teenagers experience an accelerated loss of innocence while their parents are forced to confront adulthood failures. This mystical teen noir presents coming of age as a lifelong process and examines the profound impact of grief.
Available to stream on Hulu and rent on VOD services.
Dir. Alvaro Delgado Aparicio
Gold Q-Hugo, 54th Chicago International Film Festival
Segundo Paucar, a 14 year old boy wants to become a master story-box maker just like his father to carry on with the family legacy. On his way to a community celebration in the Andes, Segundo accidentally observes his father in a situation that shatters his whole world. Trapped in a chauvinistic environment, Segundo will try to deal in silence with all that is happening to him.
Available to stream on Netflix and from VOD services.
Dir. Wanuri Kahiu
Silver Q-Hugo, 54th Chicago International Film Festival
Bursting with the colorful street style & music of Nairobi’s vibrant youth culture, Rafiki is a tender love story between two young women in a country that still criminalizes homosexuality. Kena and Ziki have long been told that “good Kenyan girls become good Kenyan wives” – but they yearn for something more. Despite the political rivalry between their families, the girls encourage each other to pursue their dreams in a conservative society. When love blossoms between them, Kena and Ziki must choose between happiness and safety.
Available to stream on Showtime and rent on VOD services.
BPM (Beats Per Minute)
Dir. Robin Campillo
Gold Q-Hugo, 53rd Chicago International Film Festival
In Paris in the early 1990s, a group of activists goes to battle for those stricken with HIV/AIDS, taking on sluggish government agencies and major pharmaceutical companies in bold, invasive actions. The organization is ACT UP, and its members, many of them gay and HIV-positive, embrace their mission with a literal life-or-death urgency. Amid rallies, protests, fierce debates and ecstatic dance parties, the newcomer Nathan falls in love with Sean, the group’s radical firebrand, and their passion sparks against the shadow of mortality as the activists fight for a breakthrough.
Available to stream on Amazon Prime, the Criterion Channel, and to rent on VOD services.
God’s Own Country
Dir. Francis Lee
Silver Q-Hugo, 53rd Chicago International Film Festival
Johnny Saxby works long hours in brutal isolation on his family’s remote farm in the north of England. He numbs the daily frustration of his lonely existence with nightly binge-drinking at the local pub and casual sex. When a handsome Romanian migrant worker arrives to take up temporary work on the family farm, Johnny suddenly finds himself having to deal with emotions he has never felt before. An intense relationship forms between the two which could change Johnny’s life forever.
Available to stream on Hulu, and to rent on VOD services.
Dir. Guðmundur Arnar Guðmundsson
Gold Q-Hugo, 52nd Chicago International Film Festival
A remote fishing village in Iceland. Teenage boys Thor and Christian experience a turbulent summer as one tries to win the heart of a girl while the other discovers new feelings toward his best friend. When summer ends and the harsh nature of Iceland takes back its rights, it’s time to leave the playground and face adulthood.
Available to stream on Amazon Prime, and to rent on VOD services.
Dir. Todd Haynes
Gold Q-Hugo, 51st Chicago International Film Festival
When Carol walks into a New York City department store and meets Therese an unlikely friendship sparks. Carol is an elegant socialite going through a bitter divorce while Therese is just starting out in life; unsure of who she wants to be. Mesmerized by each other, they face a choice: deny their hearts desires or defy society’s conventions but in doing so, risk life as they know it. From director Todd Haynes (I’m Not There, Far From Heaven) and based on the best-selling novel, Carol is a powerful romance fueled by the danger and exhilaration of forbidden love.
Available to stream on The Roku Channel, and to rent on VOD services.
Henry Gamble’s Birthday Party
Dir. Stephen Cone
Silver Q-Hugo, 51st Chicago International Film Festival
An exquisite coming-of-age movie with a perfect cast, Henry Gamble’s Birthday Party unfolds over the course of one very eventful day in the life of 17-year-old preacher’s kid Henry. At Henry’s afternoon birthday pool party the guests include an assortment of grown-ups from the family church, as well as Henry’s secular and religious teen friends — including the closeted young Logan, who clearly has eyes for Henry. As Henry treads through various sexual possibilities, seeking to come into his own, so too do the adults and teenagers of the party, all struggling to navigate the public and private, and their longing, despite themselves and their faith, for earthly love
Available to stream on Amazon Prime, and to rent on VOD services.
Dir. Panos Koutras
Gold Q-Hugo, 50th Chicago International Film Festival
Following the death of their mother, two brothers undertake an odyssey from Athens to Thessaloniki in search of the father they have never met, in this wry and affecting road movie from Greek director Panos Koutras.