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April , 2019
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THE AUDIENCE HAS SPOKEN

The Audience Choice Awards, Presented by American Airlines, Announced by the 49th Chicago International Film Festival

CHICAGO, IL – The 49th Chicago International Film Festival announces the winners of the Audience Choice Awards, presented by American Airlines. Overall, the films in the Festival were warmly received by audiences, with 50% of all ballots ranking the films with a 5/5. The four Audience Choice Award winners stood out from the others as overwhelming favorites.

Audiences received ballots at every public screening during the two-week event and ranked films on a five-point scale. Votes were tallied and averaged, so each film had an equal opportunity to win the award.

Audience Choice Award for Best Narrative English-Language Feature, presented by American Airlines
ONE CHANCE (UK), Director: David Frankel
From the director of The Devil Wears Prada, One Chance is the remarkable and inspirational true story of Paul Potts, a shy, bullied shop assistant by day and an amateur opera singer by night who became an instant YouTube phenomenon after being chosen by Simon Cowell for Britain’s Got Talent.

Audience Choice Award for Best Narrative Foreign-Language Feature, presented by American Airlines
LIFE FEELS GOOD (Poland), Director: Maciej Pieprzyca
Mateusz is an intelligent, romantic young man tragically trapped inside his own body, suffering from severe cerebral palsy, whose world is shattered when circumstances place him in an institution. Featuring an astonishing, virtuoso lead performance, Life Feels Good beautifully recounts the true story of one man’s extraordinary efforts to endure in the face of impossible odds. Winner also of the Festival’s Silver Hugo in the New Directors Competition.

Audience Choice Award for Best Documentary Feature, presented by American Airlines
ELAINE STRITCH: SHOOT ME (USA), Director: Chiemi Karasawa
A ferocious, funny, and poignant portrait of the one-of-a-kind Broadway legend Elaine Stritch, this documentary tribute showcases the brash, uncompromising Tony and Emmy winner both onstage and off. The film captures her immeasurable charm, acerbic wit, and impressive accomplishments with candid footage and interviews with friends and collaborators. For a full video of Elaine Stritch’s post-screening Q&A, click here.

Audience Choice Award for Best Short Film, presented by American Airlines
KANYEKANYE: THE LINE (SOUTH AFRICA), Director: Miklas Manneke
In a township divided by an age old feud, a boy falls in love with a girl from the other side of town.

Festival Sponsors
Led by Presenting Partner Columbia College Chicago, the 49th Chicago International Film Festival’s sponsors include: Official Airline – American Airlines; Headquarters Hotel – JW Marriott Chicago; Official Vehicle – Mercedes-Benz; Producing Partners: AMC Theaters, The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences; Major Partners: Illinois Office of Tourism and Intersites; Supporting Partners: DePaul University School of Cinema and Interactive Media, Stella Artois, Effen Vodka, WBBM Newsradio 780 and 105.9FM, Cultivate Studios; Participating Partners: State Farm, AARP, Tres Generaciones®, Comcast, Allstate, Spotlight Cinema Networks, Casale del Giglio, Second City Computers, Shutterbox Entertainment, Gibson’s Restaurant Group, RL Restaurant, Creative Technology and Lavazza Espression.

About Cinema/Chicago
Cinema/Chicago is a not-for-profit cultural and educational organization dedicated to encouraging better understanding between cultures and to making a positive contribution to the art form of the moving image. The Chicago International Film Festival is part of the year-round programs presented by Cinema/Chicago, which also include the International Screenings Program (May-September), the Chicago International Television Competition (April), CineYouth Festival (May), Intercom Competition (October) and year-round Education Outreach and Member Screenings Program.

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