The 53rd Chicago International Film Festival

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Four Fun Facts About the 53rd Chicago International Film Festival here. Every October crowds flock to the epicenter of cinematic creativity and expression, of course, that’s here in your very own Chicago. The festival showcases creativity,  introduces new faces, is a bookmark in the calendars of the slightly more well-known faces, and recognizes their achievements. Most importantly, it’s an opportunity for everyone to come together through the art of cinema.

This year the I On The Scene team will be bringing you a taste of the atmosphere on the red carpet from the opening night with coverage from Irene herself and some exciting video. Now it’s time to delve further into the festival and reveal a few things you may not realize.

Michael Kutza and the cast from “Marshall”

Firstly- CIFF is the oldest cinema festival in North America. A whopping 150 films are shown from over 50 countries, to allow you to take your pick and dive into the world of cinema. The Festival is run by Chicago’s very own Michael Kutza. He started the festival 52 years ago and as Kutza said in an interview with the Chicago Tribune ‘I was 22 years old. I still am’.


53rd Chicago International Film Festival
Irene Michaels and Vanessa Redgrave

Secondly- Vanessa Redgrave, the British actress who rose to fame with the Royal Shakespeare Company in London in the early sixties, remains a legend both on and off the screen. Now she has yet another award to add to her illustrious collection. Alongside her Oscar, multiple Emmy and Tony awards, this year the CIFF honored her for the documentary that she wrote and directed with the help of her son, and producer, Carlo Nero. The movie is called Sea Sorrow and uses the sea as a character to connect the struggles of refugees all over the world. Sea Sorrow hits the screens in May 2018 so watch this space.

Thirdly- Did you know that you can watch movies for free, in Chicago every week? The CIFF organizes free weekly screenings of international films in an effort to promote the diversity of international film-making (make sure to check the dates and show up early as seats are first come first served). Its proceeds also go towards an education program for inspiring cinema enthusiasts. The program also allows students to visit museums, interact with industry producers and directors to better understand the relationship between critics, the audience and writers.

Finally- you can win an award without submitting a movie….sounds strange as this is the ClFF but awards are also given out for outstanding TV commercials. The awards recognize editing, audience choice and there’s even a section for commercials which have gone viral.

The 53rd Chicago International Film Festival wraps up on October the 26th and will be set to return to the Windy City next fall. So sit back, relax and enjoy your movies.

Read more from I On The Scene: HERE.

53rd Chicago International Film Festival
About Faye Curran

Faye is a recent Master’s graduate from the University of Maryland. She played field hockey for the Terps and also for her home country, England. Faye works as a technical director for the Big Ten Network right here in Chicago. She holds many interests including: travel, sports, culture, music and quirky restaurants. Faye has experience in daily news, sports journalism and all-round life advice. Faye brings an extra arm of support to the I on the Scene team and knows how to get things turned around quickly. She is creative, thorough and thrives off of making a team blend and work to it’s greatest potential.