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If Hugo, We'll Go

By Scott Smith in Arts & Entertainment on Oct 18, 2005 1:47PM

Though it makes the rest of the Chicago International Film Festival seem sort of anti-climactic, awards were handed out last week to some of the festival films.

2005_10_18_notgoldhugo.jpgThe big winner of the Gold Hugo for best film? My Nikifor/Moj Nikifor from Poland. Paczkis for everybody! The film won the award, in part, because of a “cinematographic form that creates a dialogue between art and compassion.” We bet that dialogue contains a lot of words like “chiaroscuro” and is way more interesting after a few glasses of the house wine.

Local filmmakers also took home some awards for their cinematic efforts. Justin Hayward’s Divorce Lemonade took home a silver plaque for Narrative Short Film and Columbia College faculty member Ron Fleischer’s film Lemmings was awarded the Chicago Award, given to ”devotees to the art of the cinema.” (Chicagoist fears what will happen to Ron once the people at the Alaska Wildlife News hear he’s continuing to perpetuate the myth of suicidal lemmings). The Gold Hugo for Best Student Film went to Chicle from writer/director Josh Hyde and producer Dan Fischer.

Incidentally, Fischer was also the photo assistant to director Gore Verbinski on fest closer The Weather Man, starring Nicolas Cage. Screen Magazine has a film geek look at the cinematography of the film scripted by Chicago native Steve Conrad (no relation to WGN morning weather dude Paul Konrad). Though the film lensed in the Spring of 2004, Verbinski took special pains to ensure the gray, overcast look of Chicago’s winters by using special software to calculate the angle of the sun during shots and spreading artificial snow all over the place. No word on whether Cage will hire the film’s set dressers to build his kid a Fortress of Solitude.

You can still catch Gold Hugo award winner for Best Documentary Feature The Boys Of Baraka tonight at 8:30 PM and Marvelous, Keen Loony Bin, a Silver Hugo award winner for Student Animated Film at 6:30 PM tomorrow during the Shorts: Animation Nations program. Both presentations will be at AMC River East.