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As the 47th Chicago International Film Festival comes to a close, Chicagoans will be given one more chance to experience the Festival’s most celebrated films, with this year’s award-winning and most popular films being screened one more time for the general public. The Best of the Fest screenings, presented by DePaul University School of Cinema and Interactive Media, will be held Wednesday October 19 at the AMC River East 21 Theater (322 E. Illinois St.). 

The evening will also feature the final event of our Chicago Connections program, an interview with independent filmmaker Joe Swanberg; a special presentation of Butter starring Jennifer Garner and Hugh Jackman; and our much-anticipated Surprise Screening.

Best of the Fest 


Director: Aki Kaurismäki

Winner Gold Hugo: Best Film

5:45 PM

Humanity and deadpan wit triumph in Aki Kauriskmäki’s magical tale of an aging Bohemian shoeshine and a young African refugee. When fate lands Idrissa at Marcel Marx’s doorstep in the French port city of Le Havre, Marcel knows what has to be done. Enlisting the help of the whole neighborhood of eccentrics and in defiance of all authority, he embarks on a risky plan to reconnect the boy with his mother.


Director: Zaida Bergroth

Winner Gold Hugo: New Directors Competition

4:00 PM
Seventeen-year-old Ilmari has spent most of his young life looking after his mother, Leila, a renowned actress who loves to be the center of attention, and his younger brother. After a recent scandal, Leila takes all three of them to a distant island for a quiet weekend but soon grows bored and invites all of her friends over for a party. There, she falls for scriptwriter Aimo, and soon Ilmari’s resentment explodes in this tragic portrait of a dysfunctional family. 



Director: Mira Turjalic

Winner Gold Hugo: Docufest

5:30 PM
If the illusion of reality is the currency of cinema, then cinephile and former Yugoslav president Josip Broz Tito bought and paid for his countries thrilling and heroic (but mostly made up) history. This award-winning documentary chronicles the 40-year history of Avala studio, built by Tito to crank out well-made propaganda films in order to shape and control his country’s image in a post-war world. This veritable compendium of archival footage and clips from over 60 classic Yugoslav films includes remembrances from Tito’s personal projectionist.



The program includes the Gold Hugo-winning short THE EAGLEMAN STAG, the Silver Hugo winner for Best Animated Short BIRDBOY and the Gold Plaque for Best Student Short (Animated) BELLY

4:10 PM

An accident changes Little Dinki’s life forever in the gorgeous BIRDBOY (Spain). FLOWERS FOR JUPITER (USA) uses a striking blend of 2 and 3D animation to tell the story of a little girl with a missing finger. A seductive alternative cityscape is presented in the stylish HELLVILLE (France). An energetic poodle puppy terrorizes the henpecked Carlos in EL MACHO (UK). One man’s obsession with the passing of time is explored in black and white stop-motion in THE EAGLEMAN STAG (UK). Veteran animator Bill Plympton invited multiple animators to remake his Oscar award winning short GUARD DOG, and GUARD DOG GLOBAL JAM (USA) is the eye-popping result! THE GALLERY (Poland) is a satirical parable on modern consumer habits. A young boy learns caring can be shown in unexpected ways in THE RENTER (USA). TRAUMDEUTEG (UK) explores our obsession with dreams while treading the boundary between documentary and the surreal. HEAVY HEADS (Denmark) is a minimalist black comedy about the downfalls of living alone. BRIDE CAN (Iran) uses animated cutouts in a witty commentary on the role of women in Iranian society. Oscar has to leave something behind in the melancholy, beautifully hand drawn BELLY (UK).



Director: Xan Aranda

Back by Popular Demand

3:30 PM
Classically trained yet utterly unconventional, musician Andrew Bird has been defying classification for 20 albums and countless live shows. And though Fever Year covers the culminating months of the artist’s last tour, it’s as much about the creative process as it is about performance. From the handcrafted gramophone-like amplifiers to Bird’s uniquely creative looping techniques, the film’s sensuous visual style is a match for the musician whose combination of voice, violin, and whistle could charm Hades himself.



6:00 PM

The 47th International Communications Media competition recognizes the incredible creativity found in corporate, branded, educational, and interactive multimedia films. This year’s program of winning INTERCOM clips is headlined by the 30-minute They Were There, a truly remarkable tribute to IBM directed by Errol Morris and scored by Phillip Glass. This exhilarating film gives audiences a look inside one of the world’s most innovative companies.


Director: Kaat Beels

Back by Popular Demand

6:10 PM
What is happiness? How do we grasp it? Six characters fumble desperately as their lives intersect over the course of one day and night in Brussels’ luxurious Hotel Swooni. A couple must face the truth about their marriage, while a mother and daughter seek to repair their fractured relationship and a young African boy urgently searches for his missing father. Emotions run high in this surprising kaleidoscope of hopes and doubts, passion and betrayal, at the hotel in which no one checks out quite the same as they checked in.



Director: Adam Gacka

Festival Favorite

6:15 PM
Calling all Hulkamaniacs! When you’re done training, taking your vitamins, and saying your prayers, then you can meet the purest fan of all, Chris Sader, in a story that goes from childhood obsession to an unexpected and touching friendship. In this inspirational tale, Chris and Hulk Hogan relate how they met and developed a bond through mutual struggles and personal loss that each would have faced alone if not for the unlikely bond that develops between them.



Director: Sabu

Back By Popular Demand

6:30 PM
Daikichi spies a young girl standing apart from the family at his grandfather’s funeral. She turns out to be the old man’s love child and nobody wants anything to do with her. Feeling sorry and curious, Daikichi volunteers to take her in, without really understanding the demands of being a parent. As the two get to know each other and establish a routine, Daikichi must also figure out how to balance his life, work and childcare in this charming film about parenthood.


Director: David Verbeek

Additional Screening

8:00 PM
First rule of Club Zeus: women feel what they want to feel. This Shanghai male host club caters to the emotional (and sexual) needs of its professional clientele and Leonardo, its youngest host, understands those needs perfectly. But his mentor and “big brother” Sly wants a better future for Leonardo and is willing to pay any price to free him from his duties. Shot in just ten days, Club Zeus is a visually striking exploration of the need for companionship in this digital age.



Director: Hagar Ben Asher

Back by Popular Demand

8:15 PM

Winner of the Best Director prize at the Jerusalem Film Festival, Hagar Ben Asher’s alternative, almost anti-cautionary tale presents Tamar, a beautiful, young single mother with a seemingly insatiable sexual appetite. While running a chicken farm with her two daughters, she finds servicing the village’s lackluster men gets her through the inconveniences of everyday life. That is until a hunky veterinarian comes to town. 


Director: Alejandro Brugues

Back by Popular Demand

8:45 PM
Juan is a lovable loser content to loaf around the streets of Havana wisecracking, womanizing, and wiling away the days with a motley crew of fellow drifters. But when what seems at first to be dissident rumblings in the city turns into a full-on flesh-eating zombie onslaught, Juan and his gang go into business as “Juan of the Dead -- a crack team of slayers specializing in the undead. This wild romp through the streets of the Cuban capital is a perfectly pitched blend of horror and laughs. 



Director: Claude Lelouch

Festival Favorite

8:45 PM

The 43rd film from Academy Award®-winning director and French New Wave maverick Claude Lelouch (A Man and a Woman) elicits a vision that is as potent as ever. Driven by a spirited will, the turbulent life of Ilva Lemoine, from her delight-filled childhood through the Great War, the French Resistance, liberation, and memories of soldiers loved and lost, is recounted in this spectacular epic drama.


But Wait…There Is Still More 


6:00 PM
New film movements always undergo the torture of critical labeling and mislabeling but whatever you want to call it, DIY, Mumblecore, Slackavettes, Chicago’s Joe Swanberg is at its forefront. With such notable independent films of recent years as Kissing On The Mouth, LOL and Hannah Takes The Stairs, Swanberg, a former staff member of The Chicago International Film Festival, has made a career of portraying life and relationships in a way that audiences can relate to. Join us for an open discussion about the ins and outs of indie film production in Chicago.



Director: Jim Field Smith

Special Presentation

8:00 PM

A tale of competition at its most cutthroat, BUTTER surveys the raw ambition of Laura Pickler (Jennifer Garner), the wife of Bob Pickler (Ty Burrell), Iowa’s long-reigning champion butter carver. For 15 years, Laura has relished her high-profile role as the beautiful, loyal helpmate to her affable, artistically gifted husband. But when Bob is pressured to retire and allow someone else a chance at glory, an indignant Laura decides to enter the competition herself. Facing three opponents, mocked by her stepdaughter and furious with her husband, Laura resolves to do whatever it takes to win. And if that means resorting to sabotage -- and recruiting her dim-witted former boyfriend Boyd (Hugh Jackman) as a co-conspirator -- then so be it.



8:00 PM

Every year, we love to surprise our audience with a top-secret film that will keep them talking for days. What will that film be this year? Will it be the first Chicago showing of a hotly anticipated Hollywood blockbuster? Maybe the first look at a foreign film making waves around the world? How about a potential Oscar winner for Best Picture? You won’t know what you’ll see until the lights go down. Are you excited yet? Well here’s the best part: It’s FREE! The only catch is that you’ve gotta wear a Chicago International Film Festival shirt, sweatshirt or hoodie. So you get to look awesome and see a great film. What more could you ask for? (Tickets available one hour before showtime at Festival Will Call table.) 



All events are at the AMC River East 21, 322 E. Illinois Street. Tickets for Best of the Fest will be available beginning Tuesday October 18 and can be purchased by phone 312-332-FILM (3456), in person by visiting the Festival box office at AMC River East 21 (322 E. Illinois St.), or through Ticketmaster. 

Led by Presenting Partner, Columbia College Chicago, the 47th Chicago International Film Festival’s sponsors include: Premiere Partners -- American Airlines, Lincoln; Producing Partners -- AMC Theaters, DePaul University's School of Cinema and Interactive Media, The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences; Major Partners -- Allstate, Intersites; Supporting Partners -- Applitite, Barefoot Wine & Bubbly, Brugal Rum, Kodak, Second City Computers, WBBM, and the Festival's Headquarters Hotel, JW Marriott Chicago. 


Cinema/Chicago is a not-for-profit cultural and educational organization dedicated to encouraging better understanding between cultures and to making a positive contribution to the art form of the moving image. The Chicago International Film Festival is part of the year-round programs presented by Cinema/Chicago, which also include the International Screenings Program (May-September), the Hugo Television Awards (April), CineYouth Festival (May), Intercom Competition (October) and year-round Education Outreach and Member Screenings Program. 

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