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45th Chicago International Film Festival Announces Audience Choice Awards!

The centerpiece film of the 45th anniversary Chicago International Film Festival, Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire, was named the Festival’s Audience Choice Award winner Friday. “Like everyone else who’s seen it, I was left absolutely shattered by Precious,” says founder and artistic director Michael Kutza. “We were proud to honor both director Lee Daniels and actress Gabourey Sidibe at the Festival this year, and we’re thrilled that the Chicago audience responded so well to the film.”

Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire, to be released theatrically by Lionsgate Entertainment, has won audience prizes in Canada and Spain as well as the U.S. The Chicago International Film Festival Audience Award is the fourth audience prize for the film.

Lone Scherfig’s An Education, a Sony Pictures Classics release, ranked next in the audience voting. The French/Belgian coproduction No Hard Feelings! from director Yves Hanchar and distributed by Pyramide International, followed in the voting. The directors of all three films were present for their screenings.

Filmgoers receive ballots at each screening they attend, and votes are weighted so that a film screening once has the same eligibility as a film screening multiple times.