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Chicago International Film Festival Adds Venice Top Prize Winner HAPPENING to Slate

Updated: Jun 8, 2022

Audrey Diwan's Resonant Chronicle of Fight for Personal Freedom Celebrates North American Premiere

CHICAGO, Illinois -- The 57th Chicago International Film Festival today announced the addition of Audrey Diwan’s HAPPENING to the 2021 program, following the film’s Golden Lion win at the 78th Venice International Film Festival. The film will celebrate its North American premiere at this year’s Festival, and will screen as part of the Festival’s Global Currents and Women in Cinema programs. The film will be released by IFC FIlms in 2022.

In 1963 France, hoping to escape the social constraints of her working-class background, bright young college student Anne (Anamaria Vartolomei) devotes herself to her studies and has dreams of becoming a writer -- until an unplanned pregnancy threatens to derail her future. In a society where women’s desire is erased and abortion is both illegal and entirely taboo, Anne searches for a way to take control of her life. As the weeks pass, her options grow increasingly limited. Winner of the top prize at this year’s Venice Film Festival and featuring an astonishing central performance from Vartolomei, this intimate, gripping drama is a resonant chronicle of the fight for personal freedom.

Audrey Diwan’s HAPPENING is a timely exploration of the choices women have to make and is a powerful appeal for personal freedoms,” said Chicago International Film Festival Artistic Director Mimi Plauché. “The Chicago International Film Festival has a long tradition of elevating important discussions through cinema, and we are honored to introduce this intimate and urgent film to North American audiences.”

HAPPENING will hold its North American Premiere Sunday, October 17, 2021. Tickets are on sale now at

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