Fri. Oct 30th, 2020

56th Chicago International Film Festival announces lineup: world premiere of ‘Belushi,’ drive-in screenings, Kate Winslet career tribute

October 14-25 fest to feature live and virtual events includes 58 feature films, conversations with Rachel Brosnahan, filmmaker Gianfranco Rosi

Artistic Director Mimi Plauché has announced the lineup for the 56th Chicago International Film Festival, the longest-running competitive film festival in North America, which includes seven World Premieres, 58 feature films, and nine shorts programs screening both virtually and at the drive-in Wednesday, October 14 – Sunday, October 25, 2020. The previously announced Opening Night film will be the World Premiere of feature documentary Belushi, chronicling the celebrated career and untimely death of native son and The Second City alumnus John Belushi, premiering on Wednesday, October 14 at the drive-in and viewable in the Festival’s virtual cinema throughout the duration of the Festival. The Closing Night presentation will be Venice Film Festival Golden Lion and Toronto International Film Festival People’s Choice winner Nomadland, starring Frances McDormand, on Saturday, October 24, showing exclusively at the drive-in. The full schedule is available in the digital Festival Program here

World Premieres

The 56th Festival presents the World Premieres of seven films, including: Belushi, the locally made documentaries The Road Up and Mama Gloria; China’s Striding into the Wind; Switzerland’s Of Fish and Men; and Venezuela’s The Special. In addition, the unseen fifth episode of Steve James’ documentary series City So Real will make its World Premiere at the Festival. The Dutch drama Becoming Mona and the Israeli documentary ‘Til Kingdom Come make their International Premieres at the Festival. 

Honors and Tributes

Seven-time Academy Award nominee Kate Winslet, winner of Best Actress for The Reader, will be presented with the Career Achievement Award at a tribute to be shown in conjunction with the Festival’s Chicago Premiere of Ammonite at ChiTown Movies. Highland Park native and star of Amazon’s The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel Rachel Brosnahan will appear in a live-streamed virtual conversation during An Evening with Rachel Brosnahan, in conjunction with the Chicago premiere of I’m Your Woman on October 21. And Oscar-nominated Italian filmmaker Gianfranco Rosi (Fire at Sea) will receive the Festival’s Artistic Achievement Award in conjunction with the Chicago premiere of his new documentary Notturno, filmed on the war-torn borders between Syria, Iraq, Kurdistan, and Lebanon. 

Drive-in Screenings

The Festival will show a total of eight films live at ChiTown Movies drive-in theater in Pilsen. These include: the World Premiere of Belushi on Opening Night; David Byrne’s American Utopia directed by Spike Lee on Thursday, October 15; The Dark and the Wicked, a new horror film co-presented with Music Box Theatre’s “31 Nights of Terror at the Drive-In” seriesshowing late-night on Thursday, October 15; Justin Simien’s horror satire Bad Hair, on Friday, October 16; Francis Lee’s passionate period piece Ammonite, starring Kate Winslet and Saoirse Ronan, on Saturday, October 17; the World Premiere of Chicago-made documentary The Road Up on Sunday, October 18; the Chicago Premiere of Regina King’s directorial debut One Night in Miami on Friday, October 23; and Nomadland on Saturday, October 24. BelushiThe Road Up and One Night in Miami will also be available for viewing in the virtual cinema in the virtual cinema. For the complete list of drive-in screenings, visit here

Virtual Screenings and Programs

The Chicago International Film Festival embraces the current moment with its 2020 edition, retaining its signature screening slate of international features and shorts in and out of competition, along with livestream conversations and special eventsVirtual screenings and events will be ticketed, and, for the first time in 2020, many films will be accessible to national audiences via the Festival’s streaming platform. Streaming movies in our virtual cinema will be viewable from the safety and comfort of the home starting Wednesday, October 14, 8pm CT, via the Festival’s streaming site and Festival apps for Roku and Apple TV. 

International Competitions

As the longest running competitive film festival in North America, the Chicago International Film Festival continues its tradition of showcasing bold and accomplished new films from around the globe in a program that represents a diversity of styles, stories, and national cinemas. With most of the films screening as North American and U.S. premieres, the Festival is proud to introduce these movies to American audiences for the first time. Films vie for the Gold Hugo in the following competitions: International Feature, New Directors, and International Documentary, Short Film, and Out-Look (LGBTQ+) Competitions. For the complete list of films in international competition, visit here.

The Chicago International Film Festival is North America’s longest-running competitive film festival. Showcasing the best in international and independent films from around the world, the 56th edition will be virtual and present more than 50 feature films and nine short film programs from around the world, bringing audiences together through virtual screenings, one-night-only live events, virtual tribute events with directors and actors, as well as movie club-style gatherings for audiences. From dramas and thrillers to documentaries and comedies, the Festival presents a vast diversity of offerings, including numerous competitive categories and several highlight programs such as Black Perspectives, Cinemas of the Americas, International Comedy, Women in Cinema, Out-Look, After Dark and the City & State program (showcasing films made in Chicago and throughout Illinois.)

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