CINEMA/CHICAGO ANNOUNCES LINEUP OF 19 FILMS FOR VIRTUAL 2021 SUMMER SCREENINGS PROGRAM
Films that explore the world of sports, games, and competition will take audiences on daring and emotion-filled journeys around the world, free and viewable across the U.S., from May through September
Cinema/Chicago today announces its annual free Summer Screenings Program with a selection of 19 feature films from around the world exploring the theme of sports, competition, and games. All screenings are free and open to the public, viewable on the Chicago International Film Festival’s streaming platform for a 24-hour watch window starting at 6:30pm CT every Wednesday from May 26 through September 29, 2021. Various filmmakers will introduce their films or participate in post-screening discussions. Free tickets will be available to reserve beginning on Mondays 16 days in advance of each screening. Limited tickets available. Summer Screenings is presented by Cinema/Chicago in partnership with the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events and 19 consulates and cultural institutions from around the city. The full 2021 schedule can be found at www.chicagofilmfestival.com/summer-screenings/
“We’re thrilled that Summer Screenings has returned for 2021 and will be available to film lovers across the U.S. for the first time,” said Vivian Teng, Cinema/Chicago Managing Director. “For this program, we have always valued the opportunity to collaborate with our cultural partners across Chicago, and we’re excited to once again join forces to take audiences on a global cinematic journey all summer long.”
Featuring everything from timeless soccer legends and hilariously obsessed sports fans to breathtaking breakdance competitions and the epic clash of sumo wrestlers, this collection of films explores the ways in which sports, games, and competition shape our lives. The weekly program kicks off on May 26 with We Wanted More (Germany) which chronicles the 1981 German Women’s Soccer World Cup team as they fought for gender equality in the face of misogyny that dominated German soccer culture. Tickets for this screening are now available to claim here.
Free screenings continue all summer long with films from 18 additional countries. Knuckle City (July 21, South Africa) examines the legacy of apartheid and its impact on South Africa’s Indigenous communities as it follows an aging boxer struggling for one last shot at glory. Sumodo: The Successors of Samurai (August 4, Japan) sheds light on the daily lives and mentalities of the wrestlers of this often mysterious sport as they train, eat, and compete in larger-than-life tournaments.
The 2021 Summer Screenings Program is sponsored by Xfinity and is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts, a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency, and a CityArts Grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events.
The full 2021 Summer Screenings program of free movies is as follows:
We Wanted More
Das Wunder von Taipeh
Co-presented by the Goethe-Institut
Dir. John David Seidler, 2019, Germany, 85 min.
Tickets available: May 12
Officially banned in Germany until 1970, women’s soccer struggled to get institutional backing. Barely acknowledged and begrudgingly supported, a team of German women took center stage in the 1981 Women’s World Cup in Taiwan as they competed for more than just athletic glory. A blend of priceless player interviews and archival footage, We Wanted More chronicles their fight for gender equality and an equal playing field in a male-dominated world. German and English with subtitles.
Co-presented by the Consulate General of Israel to the Midwest
Dirs. Gadi Aisen and David Ofek, 2018, Israel, 71 min.
Tickets available: May 17
This perceptive documentary follows 12-year-old Idan, a talented young athlete anticipating his Bar Mitzvah. More than a rite of passage, it represents the first time the boy will meet his African father, Tony Toklomati, a professional soccer player removed from the country for lying about his age. But will the family raise enough money to pay his way to Israel, and how long will he be able to stay? Hebrew, French and English with subtitles.
Co-Presented by Dutch Culture USA and the Netherlands Consulate General in Chicago
Dir. Rogier Hesp, 2020, The Netherlands, 90 min.
Tickets available: May 24
In this sensitive yet fierce drama, top gymnast Timo, who is aiming for the World Championships, trains tirelessly with his exacting father, a former athlete who has used a wheelchair since a debilitating accident. Their intimate, if co-dependent, relationship and stringent daily routine are disrupted when Timo falls for Irene, the team physiotherapist. Will Timo be able to balance the rigor of his training and his filial duty with his surging emotions? Dutch with subtitles.
With Drawn Arms
Co-presented by the Chicago Film Office
Dir. Glenn Kaino, Afshin Shahidi, 2020, U.S., 84 min.
Tickets available: May 31
Tommie Smith is the track-and-field gold medalist who famously raised a gloved fist at the '68 Olympic games to protest racial inequality in America. With Drawn Arms tells the story of that iconic moment and examines its lasting influence on the Civil Rights movement and the ongoing fight for racial equality. Featuring an intimate conversation with Smith himself in addition to interviews with Jesse Williams, Jemele Hill, Megan Rapinoe, and the late John Lewis, the film explores the historical intersections of protest, politics, race, and sports.
Co-Presented by the Instituto Cervantes of Chicago
Dir. Javier Fesser, 2018, Spain, 123 min.
Tickets available: June 7
Marco, an assistant coach in Spain’s top basketball league, has both attitude and anger issues. One night, after a particularly bad game, he finds himself in hot water with the law. In court, the judge sentences him to the worst possible punishment for a man with his oversized ego: coaching a team of young men with disabilities. Through their guilelessness, tenderness, and good humour, they will teach Marco about the things that really matter. This comedy with enormous heart is a celebration of the true champions of life. Spanish with subtitles.
Co-presented by the Consulate General of Canada in Chicago
Dir. Pascal Plante, 2020, Canada, 106 min.
Tickets available: June 14
Young and in her prime, Nadia decides to retire from her career as a world-class swimmer to escape a rigid and demanding life of sacrifice. After her very last race at the Tokyo Olympic games, Nadia drifts into nights of exploration and excess punctuated by episodes of self-doubt. But even this transitional numbness cannot conceal her true inner quest as she searches to define her identity outside the world of elite sports. An official selection of the 2020 Cannes Film Festival. French and English with subtitles.
Co-presented by the Consulate General of Ireland, Chicago
Dir. Jason Branagan, 2020, Ireland, 70 min.
Tickets available: June 21
Tired of watching the Winter Olympics pass by without any Irish representation, a ragtag band of determined and talented multi-sport athletes banded together to brave the dangerously icy tracks and form a bobsledding team. Breaking Ice combines fascinating archival footage and charm-filled interviews with members of the 1992 Irish men’s bobsledding team to tell the previously untold story of the country’s first-ever Winter Olympians—a portrait of struggle, resilience, and national pride.
The Shiny Shrimps
Les Crevettes pailletées
Co-presented by the Cultural Service of the Consulate General of France in Chicago and Alliance Française de Chicago
Dirs. Cédric Le Gallo, Maxime Govare, 2019, France, 105 min.
Tickets available: June 28
Under fire after making a homophobic statement on TV, Olympic swimmer Matthias is in hot water. Desperate to make good, he’ll do anything to regain his place on the national team. The penance? Coach the Shiny Shrimps, a flamboyant and amateur gay water polo team angling to qualify for the Gay Games in Croatia. This boisterous comedy, dripping with screwball gags, effervescent laughs, and an enormous heart, chronicles a bumpy-yet-joyful ride where both coach and teammates have something to prove. French with subtitles.
Co-presented by the South African Consulate in Chicago
Dir. Jahmil X.T. Qubeka, 2019, South Africa, 124 min.
Tickets available: July 5
Dudu, a womanizing, aging professional boxer, is threatened by a young up-and-coming talent. When his career-criminal brother, Duke, is released from prison, the two leverage criminal connections in hopes of one last shot at a comeback, fame, and glory. Rendered with bracing visuals and a human touch, Knuckle City examines the legacy of apartheid and its impact on South Africa’s Indigenous communities. Xhosa with subtitles.
You Are My Passion
Eres mi pasión
Co-presented by the Consulate General of Mexico in Chicago
Dir. Anwar Safa, 2018, Mexico, 105 min.
Tickets available: July 12
Pedro eats, sleeps, and breathes soccer. He schedules his entire life around the sport, dropping anything and everything to watch his beloved, downtrodden club, Cruz Azul. Fed up with being ignored, his family's patience with his obsession begins to wear thin. On the verge of losing everything, Pedro must choose between his family and his favorite team in this warm, hilarious sendup of modern day sports fanaticism. Spanish with subtitles.
Sumodo: The Successors of Samurai
Sumodo - Samurai wo tsunagu monotachi
Co-presented by the Japan Information Center at the Consulate-General of Japan in Chicago
Dir. Sakata Eiji, 2020, Japan, 104 min.
Tickets available: July 19
The world of sumo wrestling has always been something of a mystery to the world at large. Who are these gigantic athletes who willingly, violently collide with one another? Sumodo: the Successors of Samurai peels back the curtain on this invigorating sport by exploring the lives of the wrestlers themselves. Featuring rare footage of rikishi in training, the film offers a portrait of two dedicated wrestlers as they train, eat, and compete in larger-than-life tournaments in their quest to attain sumo’s highest rank. Japanese with subtitles.
Zen in the Ice Rift
Co-presented by the Italian Cultural Institute of Chicago
Dir. Margherita Ferri, 2018, Italy, 87 min.
Tickets available: July 26
Maia, a talented hockey player and relative loner, is isolated and focused on her future. Training with the boys’ team, she is antagonized for her masculine appearance. But Maia's world begins to shift when her classmate Vanessa runs away from home and uses Maia’s family lodge as a hideout. The two begin to trust one another as they explore their dormant desires and embark on a journey of self-discovery. Italian with subtitles.
Co-presented by the Consulate General of the Republic of Korea in Chicago
Dir. Yun Tae Choi, 2019, South Korea, 105 min.
Tickets available: August 2
Soo-in, Korea’s top female baseball player, can pitch with the best of them. Dreaming of becoming the first woman to join a professional club in Korea, she enlists her coach as her personal trainer. When her fastball fails to hit pro-level speeds, the two develop a new strategy. In the face of skepticism and seemingly insurmountable odds, Soo-in strives to make history with her strikeouts. Korean with subtitles.
The Australian Dream
Co-presented by the Australian Consulate-General in Chicago
Dir. Daniel Gordon, 2019, Australia, 105 min.
Tickets available: August 9
The life and legacy of celebrated Australian rules football star Adam Goodes is inspirational not only for his remarkable play on the field but also for his courage and resilience off the field. Goodes, a player of Aboriginal heritage, faced racism and descrimination from players, fans, and society at large but used his stature to expose, educate, and heal. Dynamic and potent, The Australian Dream draws on Goodes’ particular experience as the prism through which to tell a deeper, if all-too-familiar, story about race, identity, and belonging.
Co-presented by the Consulate General of Hungary in Chicago
Dir. Tamas Almasi, 2009, Hungary, 115 min.
Tickets available: August 16
Legendary footballer Ferenc Puskás was many things—a superstar player for Real Madrid, captain of the Magical Hungarians, a globetrotting political exile, and a soccer genius whose life reflected Europe’s tumultuous postwar history. Puskás Hungary utilizes breathtaking footage of legendary 1950 - 60s matches and interviews with the people who knew him best to paint a complex portrait of the international soccer sensation and the era in which he lived. English and Hungarian with subtitles.
The Ice King
Co-presented by the British Consulate-General, Chicago
Dir. James Erskine, 2018, UK, 89 min.
Tickets available: August 23
Fed up with the strictures and traditions of competitive figure skating, John Curry set out to change the sport forever, partly as the first openly gay Olympian. He blurred the boundaries between sport and art by injecting his routines with elements of ballet, modern dance, and personal expression. Utilizing incredible archival footage and modern-day reflections from Curry’s friends and contemporaries, The Ice King examines the twists and turns in the life and extraordinary legacy of the skating icon.
We Are Champions
Xia ban chang
Co-presented by the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Chicago
Dir. Jung-chi Chang, 2019, Taiwan, 118 min.
Tickets available: August 30
Tung-hao and Hsiu-yu are living on the fringes of society, struggling to help their family make ends meet. When a video of the brothers playing basketball goes viral, the two become coveted recruits for the annual High School Basketball League championship. After an argument between the two causes a rift in their relationship, they join separate rival squads in the leadup to the big tournament. When they cross paths in the biggest game of the year, the brothers discover that some things in life are more important than basketball. Mandarin with subtitles.
The Missed Round
Co-presented by the Consulate General of Colombia in Chicago
Dir. Rafael Martínez Moreno, 2018, Colombia, 89 min.
Tickets available: September 6
In this unexpected and poignant drama, Reynaldo “El Piedra” Salgado is a once powerful boxer who, facing the end of his career, enters matches as “bait” – one who fights with no chance of winning. One day Breyder, a scrawny kid living on the streets in the outskirts of the coastal Carribean city of Cartagena de Indias, shows up on the ex-champion’s doorstep claiming to be his son. As father and son learn to live together, Reynaldo begins to reconsider his own sense of self as Breyder learns to admire the father who values sacrifice above all else. Spanish with subtitles.
Martha & Niki
Co-presented by the Swedish American Museum and the Honorary Consulate of Sweden in Chicago
Dir. Tora Mårtens, 2016, Sweden, 90 min.
Tickets available: September 13
In 2010, Martha Nabwire and Niki Tsappos became the first women to win the world’s biggest international street dance competition, Juste Debout, in Paris. Following their victory, the newly minted champions have the opportunity to bring their brand of hip-hop dance around the globe but must also grapple with their newfound fame. Featuring intimate interviews and exhilarating dance performances, Martha & Niki is a tender examination of friendship, identity, and artistic expression. Swedish with subtitles.
# # #
Hashtag: #SummerScreenings #ChiFilmFest
Summer Screenings Sponsors and Partners
Summer Screenings is led by major sponsor Xfinity. This program is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts, a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency, and a CityArts Grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events.
Cinema/Chicago, the presenting organization of the Chicago International Film Festival, is a year-round nonprofit arts and education organization dedicated to fostering better communication between people of diverse cultures through the art of film and the moving image. Cinema/Chicago's programs include the Chicago International Film Festival, Summer Screenings Program, CineYouth Festival, and year-round Education Program. Celebrating its 57th edition October 13-24, 2021, the Chicago International Film Festival is North America's longest-running competitive film festival. For more information, please visit www.chicagofilmfestival.com or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter.
2021 Cinema/Chicago Sponsors and Partners
The 2021 sponsors and partners include Xfinity, City of Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE), Illinois Arts Council Agency, Chicago Film Office, and National Endowment for the Arts