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Thursday, October 02, 2014
50th Chicago International Film Festival:Festival Spotlights: Life is Short
Life is Short
With 68 short films playing in 9 programs, this is one
of our strongest shorts lineups to date. Heres a film to look out for in
Shorts 1: City and State Locally Sourced
Shorts 2: Animation Squash and Stretch!
This years bumper crop of 9 local short films
included documentary, animation, narrative and experimental filmmaking. Highlight:Speed Dating by Meghann Artes
combines live action, animation and visual effects in a comedic
pixelated tale of the perils of single life. Full of Amelie-esque charm
and quirky details, and a must for anyone who has ever despaired at
their dating options! Click here
for more Shorts 1 and show times.
11 animated shorts from around the world, featuring a
myriad of styles including stop motion, hand-drawn and found footage. Highlight: In Bernardo Brittos short animation Yearbook,
a man is hired to compile the definitive history of human existence
before the planet blows up. The film is a melancholy meditation on
ephemerality with a side of dark humor, and a lot of catfish. Last year
we showed another piece by Britto, a hybrid animation called The Places Where We Lived.
Britto is a member of the Borscht Corp, a group of innovative, risk
taking Miami based artists and filmmakers, and he was named one of
Indiewires 25 New Faces of Independent Film for 2014. His films are
unique, formally experimental, funny, and strangely poignant definitely
one to watch. Click here
for more Shorts 2 and show times.
Shorts 3: Midnight Mayhem Delirium Tremens
Shorts 4: Spotlight Scandinavia Songs from Northern Lands
A crop of late night thrillers and chillers from a
Filipino zombie movie, to Santa and his elves like youve never seen them
before. Highlight: Prehistoric Cabaret by Bertrand
Mandico has got to be one of the most bizarre shorts in the line-up, but
if you are a fan of subversive, strange, surreal late night fare, this
is perfect for you. A cabaret hostess (Elina Löwensöhn) proposes a
journey, via an opportunely placed slit in her skirt, into the center of
her organs to meet “the original being”. During the journey, the
audience enters into an ecstatic trance. This film will blow your mind. Click here
for more Shorts 3 and show times.
A gorgeous line-up of films celebrating the magic of Nordic cinema. Highlight: Artun, by another returning filmmaker to look out for, Guðmundur Arnar Guðmundsson (Whale Valley.)
This touching, funny coming of age drama is made all the more visually
stunning by its setting in the breathtaking natural beauty of Iceland.
Naturally the youngsters in the drama take this for granted and cant
wait to head to big city where adventure awaits. Click here
for more Shorts 4 and show times.
Shorts 5: Thicker than Water
Shorts 6: Precious Things Documentaries
A shorts program exploring the complexities of family relationships. Highlight: The Chicken
by Una Gunjar is one of the hottest shorts on the festival circuit this
year. It was selected for Critics Week at Cannes and has been winning
awards at festivals all over the world. It tells the story of a little
girl who receives a chicken for her birthday, but decides to set it free
when she realizes her family plan to slaughter it for dinner. Set in
Sarajevo in 1993, the film features naturalistic performances and
intimate hand-held camera work. Click here
for more Shorts 5 and show times.
A program of documentary shorts examining universal elements of the human condition. Highlight: One Year Lease, by Brian
Bolster, is told almost entirely through voicemail messages from the
directors former landlady, who is quite a piece of work. Her incessant
voicemails at all times of day and night form a hilarious (and kind of
sad) portrait of a cat-loving woman who we never actually see. Anyone
who has ever rented an apartment in New York will find this infinitely
relatable! Click here
for more Shorts 6 and show times.
Shorts 7: Waking Dreams
Shorts 8: Meet Not So Cute
Some of the more experimental and offbeat films in the shorts line up. Highlight: Washingtonia, by Konstantina
Kotzamani from Greece, is a slow, graceful film, a series of poetic
tableaux, which form a meditation on an exotic, dreamlike version of
Athens. Gorgeous imagery and a strange, winding narrative full of
symbolism make this piece impossible to forget. Click here
for more Shorts 7 and show times.
Short films about the joys and perils of sexual attraction, dating, and love. Highlight: Counterpart is the first English language film by Adrian Sitaru, one of the leading lights of the Romanian New Wave, whose feature film Domestic was
at the festival last year. Its the story of a young English couple who
realize their wheelchair bound neighbor is spying on them in flagrante -
but the tables turn when he helps them make a life changing sexual
discovery. Click here
for more Shorts 8 and show times.
Short 9: Dramatis Personae
These three powerful shorts contain killer performances and strong storytelling. Highlight: Edoardo Ponti directs his mother, the
iconic Sophia Loren, in this beautifully staged adaptation of the famous
Jean Cocteau play, Human Voice, about an aging woman and her last telephone conversation with the man she loved. Click here
for more Shorts 9 and show times.
Because Everybody Loves Winning...
our 50th Anniversary Film Festival “Because Everybody Love Movies...”
Gallery at Expo 72 (72 E. Randolph St.)! Take a trip through the history
of the Chicago International Film Festival with our display of images,
posters and videos from our venerable five-decade history.
And, because everybody loves winning, visitors can
enter to win a Festival Moviegoer Pass, good for ten regular admissions
to the Festival, held October 9-23, 2014!* Congratulations to our winners, Bill de las Casas and Emma Eisenhard!
Visit the gallery and watch the video playing, and
listen carefully. Place your entry card with your answers and contact
info in the "WIN" box on the white podium. Answer at least 2 of the 3
questions correctly to be eligible to win!
Gallery hours: Mon-Sat, 10:00 AM 6:00 PM and Sun 11:00 AM 4:00 PM.
*One drawing each week until October 20, 2014.
Moviegoer Passes are not valid for Special Presentation, Gala
Presentations, Tributes, Opening Night, Centerpiece or Closing Night and
are not redeemable for cash. This exhibit is made possible by the generous support of the following:
Go outside your comfort level; you wont know if you like Czech films... until you watch a Czech film!
- Erin Payton, Development Manager
PLATINUM MEDIA PARTNERS
FOUNDATIONS & GOVERNMENT SUPPORT
GOLD MEDIA SPONSORS
Randall Malkin Family Foundation, Penelope R. and Robert M. Steiner,
John and Jacolyn Bucksbaum Family Foundation, Paul and Ellen Gignilliat Roger J. Ebert Estate, Lawrence and Nancy
Glick, Cynthia Stone Raskin, Joseph and Mary Plauche, Richard Ehrie,
David Deangelis, Christine Pope, Lynn Steffen
Guatam and Ritu Dhingra, Holly Hayes, Patrick Lynch,
Elaine and Donald Levinson, Byron and Judy Pollock, Alan Salpeter, Larry
Shulman, Mamie Walton
presenting organization of the Chicago International Film Festival, is a
year-round non-profit cultural and educational organization dedicated
to fostering better communication between people of diverse cultures
through the art of film and the moving image.
We serve Chicago's diverse and under-served citizenry
by providing access to world-class cinema. We aim to enrich Chicago's
cultural environment by presenting film in contexts that encourage
discussion and debate.