CHICAGO CRITICS FILM FESTIVAL Announces Audience Award Winners, Exponential Festival Growth
Multiple sell-outs mark unprecedented attendance increase; Chicago-made SAINT FRANCES named audience narrative favorite
(Chicago, IL) — The Chicago Film Critics Association (CFCA), the Chicago-area print, online and broadcast critics group that celebrates the art of film and film criticism, today announces the Audience Award winners following the 7th Chicago Critics Film Festival. Audiences selected Opening Night feature presentation Saint Frances as winner of the Audience Award for narrative features; directed by Alex Thompson and written by Kelly O’Sullivan, the film follows Bridget (O’Sullivan) as she navigates an unplanned pregnancy turned abortion and a new job as nanny to Frances, a six-year-old wise beyond her years.
Additionally, Life Overtakes Me, the harrowing story of young refugees afflicted by a mysterious depression, received the Audience Award for documentary feature, while two short films receive the honor: Squirrel, in which a meager apology tests a woman’s fortitude to forgive; and F*ck You, about a young woman who decides to have fun with her boyfriend’s ideas of gender.
The seventh edition of the festival boasted the event’s largest crowds to date, with a massive 40% increase in ticket sales over 2018’s affair, the largest growth year-over-year for the highly-anticipated annual event. Special guests this year included Tom Skerritt, in attendance to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of Alien; comedian and actor Jim Gaffigan, star of Closing Night selection Light from Light (with writer director Paul Harrill and producer Kelly Williams); filmmaker Tom Cullen and Jay Duplass, star of Pink Wall; Aisling Franciosi (“Game of Thrones”), star of Jennifer Kent’s The Nightingale; Lulu Wang, writer/director of The Farewell; and many more. Images from the 2019 Chicago Critics Film Festival can be found here.