Cinema/Chicago News

Q Hugo Award Celebrates LGBTQ+Films at Chicago Film Festival

Published: October 6, 2015  |  Filed under: Festival News

Films in Competition Offer Unique Stories About Sexual & Gender Identity

The 51st Chicago International Film Festival (Oct. 15-29) announces the lineup for OUT-Look, its competitive LGBTQ+ program that showcases new artistic perspectives on sexuality and identity. From big stars to first-time filmmakers, the thirteen films included in this annual program are from Albania, Australia, Brazil, Finland, France, Germany, Israel, Mexico, Netherlands, Poland, the United States and Vietnam. Films in the international OUT-Look program compete for the Chicago International Film Festival’s Q Hugo Award.

Tickets are on sale now and may be purchased by calling the Festival Hotline Mon-Fri from 10:00am-6:00pm CST at 312-332-FILM (3456) or by visiting our Box Office 7 days at week from 12:00pm-8:00pm at the AMC River East 21 (322 E. Illinois St, Chicago). Tickets are also available online at

The international OUT-Look program is inclusive of a variety of LGBTQ+ experiences, ranging from Carol, the story of a love affair between a wealthy housewife (Cate Blanchett) and a young shop clerk (Rooney Mara, winner of the Best Actress award at this year’s Cannes Film Festival) to I Am Michael, based on the controversial true story of Michael Glatze, a one-time gay-rights activist turned straight, conservative pastor. I Am Michael features outstanding performances by James Franco and Zachary Quinto.

In a year that saw transgender actress Laverne Cox on the cover of “Time” magazine, the Chicago International Film Festival’s OUT-Look program offers four films that explore gender fluidity: Sworn Virgin, the feature film debut from Laura Bispuri, starring Alba Rohrwacher as a woman who lived as a man in her Albanian village for more than 14 years; the multi-award-winning Polish documentary Call Me Marianna, about Marianna’s male-to-female transition as family and friends abandon her; the taboo-busting, Swedish teen-fable Girls Lost; and the intriguing noir Carmín Tropical, set in the mixed gender community of Juchitán, Mexico.

“Since its inception, the Chicago International Film Festival has programmed films that explore issues of sexuality and identity,” says Founder & Artistic Director Michael Kutza. “This year’s international selection of films in OUT-Look are strong and the subjects are relevant. They provide us with a variety of stories and perspectives that reflect LGBTQ+ issues happening around the world.“

“These thirteen contenders for the Q Hugo Award are uncompromising, sensitive, timely, and quite moving,” added Programming Director Mimi Plauché. Xenia, last year’s winner of the Chicago International Film Festival’s Q Hugo Award, went on to be selected as Greece’s entry for the Best Foreign Language Film competition at the 88th Academy Awards. Xenia won six Hellenic Film Academy Awards, Greece’s equivalent to the Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Director.


All films listed will receive their Chicago premiere at the Festival unless otherwise indicated. Festival screenings will be held at the AMC River East 21 Theater (322 E. Illinois St.).

Program subject to change.

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LGBTQ Showings

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