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58th Chicago International Film Festival Reveals Award Winners

The 58th Chicago International Film Festival, North America’s longest-running competitive film festival, today announced the winners of its 2022 edition in categories including International Feature Film Competition, New Directors Competition, International Documentary Competition, OutLook Competition, and Short Film Competitions, as well as the Chicago Award for an outstanding program in the Festival’s City & State program, and the Roger Ebert Award, awarded to a film competing in the New Directors Competition in recognition of a filmmaker with a fresh and uncompromising vision.

The Gold Hugo in the International Feature Film Competition goes to "Godland", Hlynur Pálmason’s critique of the destructive impact of colonial endeavor. The film, inspired by a collection of wet plate photographs of rural Iceland taken by a priest in the late 1800s, follows an arrogant, naïve Danish priest on a mission to establish a remote parish for homesteaders in Iceland, then a colony of Denmark, and convert the locals to Christianity. 

Picking up the Festival’s Silver Hugo in the International Feature Film Competition is "Close", which also receives the Gold Hugo in the OutLook Competition. Lukas Dhont’s visual style plunges viewers into the world of Leo and Remi, two thirteen-year-old best friends, as their intimate friendship is tested by the social pressures of the new school year.

“The Chicago International Film Festival has a 58-year history of honoring the most exciting, most original talent, and this year’s winners reflect a diversity of storytelling and filmmaking in remarkable and timely ways,” said Chicago International Film Festival Artistic Director Mimi Plauché. “With visual languages bold and subtle, rich and complex, the films transport us to different worlds, both familiar and far away, and by immersing us in new places and new experiences they broaden the ways in which we see and understand our own world, transforming us in the process.”

In the New Directors Competition, Charlotte Le Bon’s rumination on the restiveness of unrequited young love and otherworldly longing, "Falcon Lake," takes the Gold Hugo; while Ann Oren’s "Piaffe" takes the Silver Hugo, following an introverted Foley artist who, while working on a commercial, is invigorated when her body begins to transform in unexpected, intoxicating ways.

This year’s Roger Ebert Award, presented in the New Directors Competition, goes to two films: "A Piece of Sky", Michael Koch’s meditation to the patient nature of enduring love; and Katrine Brocks’ "The Great Silence", a tale of love, deceit, and forgiveness. 

The Chicago Award goes to "King of Kings: Chasing Edward Jones", which chronicles the life story of a legendary African American powerbroker who built a multimillion-dollar empire running Policy, the illegal lottery, on Chicago’s South Side in the 1930s and ‘40s, directed by his granddaughter Harriet Marin Jones.

The 2022 International Competition Jury includes Paris and Luxembourg-based film journalist Boyd van Hoeij; Kim Nguyen, writer and director of "The Hummingbird Project," starring Jesse EisenbergAlexander Skarsgård, and Salma Hayek, which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival; award-winning director, screenwriter, and producer Lucía Carreras, whose "La Jaula De Oro (The Golden Dream)" won the Gold Hugo in the Chicago International Film Festival’s New Directors Competition in 2013; German and Paris-based actor Mala Emde; and Steppenwolf Theatre Company ensemble member Namir Smallwood, who appears in the Showtime series "Rust" and stars in "Rounding", which screened at this year’s Festival.

The New Directors Competition Jury includes CEO of Ebert Digital LLC and publisher of Chaz Ebert; Kalisha Cornett, Ph. D., Assistant Professor of Instruction at Northwestern University where she teaches courses on Hollywood cinema, international film history, and film genre; and Fernando E. Juan Lima, President of the Mar Del Plata International Film Festival in Argentina.

The International Documentary Competition Jury includes experimental documentary maker Tirtza Even, whose work has been shown at the Museum of Modern Art NY, the Whitney Biennial, and in galleries, museums, and festivals in the U.S., Israel, and Europe; Brazilian screenwriter and director Marcelo Gomes, whose "Paloma" appeared in this year’s Festival; and Marjon Javadi, Vice President, Disney Documentary Films and Docuseries.

The OutLook Competition Jury is comprised of Angellic Ross, whose short documentary film "revoLUZion" won first place at the My Hero Festival; Chicago-based film critic and discussant Lee Shoquist; and Takashi Shallow, a socially specific artist and University of Chicago lecturer whose experiments intersect visual art with technology and performance.

The City & State Competition Jury, which selects the best project made in Chicago, Illinois, or by a local filmmaker, includes award-winning filmmaker Margaret Byrne, whose "Any Given Day" appeared in the 57th Chicago International Film Festival; owner of RCW Media Productions, Inc. Rita Coburn, whose "Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise" won a Peabody Award; and Akanksha Cruczynski, whose short "Close Ties to Home Country" received the Chicago Award Honorable Special Mention at the 57th Chicago International Film Festival.

The Shorts Competition Juries are comprised of Gustavo Martín Benites Gálvez, Christian Mejía, and Juefang Zhang in the Live Action Jury; Malia Haines-Stewart, Paige Taul, and Waldemar Wilk in the Documentary Jury; and Erica Duffy, Katie Rife, and Dena Springer in the Animation Jury.

Here is full list of award winners at the 58th Chicago International Film Festival: 

International Feature Film Competition
Gold Hugo: "Godland" (Denmark, Iceland, France, Sweden), Dir. Hlynur Pálmason
Silver Hugo Jury Award: "Close" (Belgium, France, The Netherlands), Dir. Lukas Dhont
Silver Hugo, Best Director: Maryam Touzani, "The Blue Caftan" (France, Morocco, Belgium, Denmark)
Silver Hugo, Best Performance: Vicky Krieps, "Corsage" (Austria, France, Germany)
Silver Hugo, Best Ensemble Cast Performance: Denis MénochetMarina Foïs, Luis Zahera, Diego Anido, and Marie Colomb, "The Beasts" (Spain, France)
Silver Hugo, Best Screenplay: Alice Diop, Amrita David, Zoé Galeron, and Marie N’Diaye, "Saint Omer (France)
Silver Hugo, Best Cinematography: Maria von Hausswolff, "Godland"
Silver Hugo, Best Production Design: Marcela Gómez (Production Designer) and Daniel Rincon (Art Director), "The Kings of the World" (Colombia, Norway, Luxembourg, Mexico, France)
Award for Cinematic Bravery: "No Bears" (Iran), Dir. Jafar Panahi

New Directors Competition
Gold Hugo: "Falcon Lake" (Canada, France); Dir. Charlotte Le Bon
Silver Hugo: "Piaffe" (Germany); Dir. Ann Oren
Roger Ebert Award: "The Great Silence" (Denmark), Dir. Katrine Brocks, and "A Piece of Sky" (Switzerland, Germany), Dir. Michael Koch

International Documentary Competition
Gold Hugo: "Alis" (Colombia, Romania, Chile), Dirs. Clare Weiskopf, Nicolás Van Hemelryck
Silver Hugo: "The Natural History of Destruction" (Germany, Lithuania, The Netherlands), Dir. Sergei Loznitsa
Chicago Award: "King of Kings: Chasing Edward Jones" (U.S., France), Dir. Harriet Marin Jones
Honorable Mention: "Matriarch" (U.S.), Dir. Donald Conley

OutLook Competition
Gold Q-Hugo: "Close," Dir. Lukas Dhont
Silver Q-Hugo: "Paloma" (Brazil, Portugal), Dir. Marcelo Gomes
Special Mention: "Alis," Dirs. Clare Weiskopf, Nicolás Van Hemelryck

Live Action Short Film Competition
Gold Hugo: "The Headhunter's Daughter" (The Philippines), Dir. Don Jospehus Raphael Eblahan
Silver Hugo: "Live" (Poland), Dir. Mara Tamkovich

Documentary Short Film Competition
Gold Hugo: "Nazarbazi" (Iran), Dir. Maryam Tarakofy
Silver Hugo: "Revolver" (U.S.), Dir. ;Crystal Z Campbell

Animated Short Film Competition
Gold Hugo: "Ice Merchants" (Portugal), Dir. João Gonzalez
Silver Hugo: "My Year of Dicks" (U.S.), Dir. Sara Gunnarsdóttir

For more information, visit the festival’s website at

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