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59th Chicago International Film Festival Juries Announced

Journalists, Filmmakers, and Scholars to Decide Winners of Gold Hugo for 2023


CHICAGO, Illinois (October 16, 2023) - The Chicago International Film Festival today announced the panels of expert jurors who will select this year’s winning films at North America’s longest-running competitive film festival’s 59th edition, running October 11 - 22, 2023. This year, some 46 films compete for Gold and Silver Hugo Awards in the following competitions: International Competition, New Directors Competition, International Documentary Competition, OutLook, City & State, and Short Film Competitions.

The International Competition Jury will award the Gold Hugo for Best Film, as well as Silver Hugos and Plaques in categories including Best Director, Best Actor, Best Cinematography, and Best Screenplay. The 2023 Jury includes actor, producer, and Steppenwolf Theatre Company Artistic Director Glenn Davis; Colombian screenwriter, director, and producer Franco Lolli, who won a Gold Hugo for Best Film in the New Directors Competition for his second feature, LITIGANTE, in 2019; filmmaker Laura Luchetti, whose THE BEAUTIFUL SUMMER appears in this year’s Chicago International Film Festival program; Icelandic filmmaker Valdimar Jóhannsson, whose debut feature LAMB won the Prize of Originality at the Cannes FIlm Festival in 2021; and Dutch-Spanish filmmaker Sonia Herman Dolz, whose ROMANCE DE VALENTÍA earned the Gold Hugo in the Festival’s 1993 Documentary competition and whose DEPOT - REFLECTING BOIJMANS appears in this year’s lineup.

The New Directors Competition Jury, honoring new voices directing their first or second feature, includes Fionnuala Halligan, Screen International’s executive editor for reviews and new talent; Northwestern University Assistant Professor of Radio, Film, and Television Lakshmi Padmanabhan; Icelandic producer Hrönn Kristinsdóttir, and Scott Dummler, an accomplished documentarian who directs RogerEbert.com’s special festival video reports from around the world.


The International Documentary Competition Jury includes Caryn Capotosto, three-time Emmy-winning producer of WON’T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR; award-winning Chicago filmmaker Amir George; and Marco Williams, Professor in Northwestern University’s Department of Radio, Film, and Television, and award-winning filmmaker behind TELL THEM WE ARE RISING: THE STORY OF HISTORICALLY BLACK COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES and FREEDOM SUMMER.

The OutLook Competition Jury, which awards the Q-Hugo Award for superbly crafted films reflecting the myriad perspectives and experiences of members of the LGBTQ+ community, is comprised of Sarah Miriam Schulman, co-founder of the MIX:NYC Queer Experimental Film Festival; Chicago-based filmmaker and archivist Leila Sherbini, who serves as Festival and Operations Manager for Reeling: The Chicago LGBTQ+ International Film Festival; and J. Gibran Villalobos, interim Executive Director of the Chicago Artists Coalition and National Engagement Program Manager for the Institute of Museum and Library Services.


The Chicago Award Jury, which selects the best project made in Illinois or by a local filmmaker, includes Harriet Marin Jones, whose KING OF KINGS: CHASING EDWARD JONES won the Chicago Award at last year's Chicago International Film Festival; Alejandro A. Riera, a film critic who has been writing about film since 1993; and Kelly O’Sullivan, whose SAINT FRANCES won numerous prizes following its premiere at South by Southwest.

The Shorts Competition is divided into Live Action, Documentary, and Animation competitions. The Live Action Shorts Jury includes Drew Durepos, Iván García, and Floyd Webb; the Documentary Shorts Jury includes Kate Bowen, Colette Ghunim, and Christina C. Nguyen; and the Animation Shorts Jury includes Douglas McLaren, Naghmeh Farzaneh, and Vicko Alvarez.


The 59th Chicago International Film Festival runs October 11 - 22, 2023 with film screenings and programs presented at venues across the city including AMC NEWCITY 14, the Music Box Theatre, the Gene Siskel Film Center, the Chicago History Museum, the Hamilton Park Cultural Center in Englewood, Harrison Park in Pilsen, the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts at the University of Chicago, and the Museum of Contemporary Art. Tickets for Opening Night are on sale now at www.chicagofilmfestival.com.


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