CHICAGO, Oct. 21 (Xinhua) -- Films from Argentina, Poland, Senegal, Iran, Colombia, Spain and other countries took home most of the top honors at the award ceremony of the 53rd Chicago International Film Festival (CIFF) held here on Friday.
Argentinean director Diego Lerman's "A sort of Family" won the top prize, the Gold Hugo, in the International Feature Film Competition. The movie had its U.S. premiere in Chicago. It tells the story of a doctor's desperate journey to adopt a baby girl.
The film "draws attention to systemic abuses of women, especially poor women that transpire all over our world," said the jury.
Joanna Kos-Krause and co-director Krzysztof Krauze from Poland received the Silver Hugo for Best Director for "Birds are Singing in Kigali."
The film presents the story of a Polish ornithologist who saved a colleague's daughter from the Rwandan genocide and brought her back to Europe to build a new life, only to realize that Africa is the place where they could come to terms with the tragedies they went through.
"Felicite," a joint production of Senegal, France and Belgium directed by Alain Gomis, received the Silver Hugo Special Jury Prize. The movie "transports its audience to a vividly evoked community in Kinshasa without indulging the stereotypes by which Africa is often depicted on screen," the jury stated.
Iranian director Vahid Jalilvand took home top honors in the New Directors Competition with a Gold Hugo for "No Date," "No Signature," and the Silver Hugo went to Milad Alami for "The Charmer" from Denmark.
The Roger Ebert Award, presented to emerging filmmaker with a fresh and uncompromising vision, was awarded to Colombian director Laura Mora for "Killing Jesus."
"We are proud to honor such a diverse group of films, shining a spotlight on the extraordinary work being created by men and women throughout the world," said Festival Artistic Director Mimi Plauche.
Lisa Nesselson, a film critic for TV France 24 in Paris, echoed the same sentiment, saying that she started attending CIFF when she was 15 and is thrilled today that CIFF continues to "brings many international films to Chicago."
Michael Kutza, founder and CEO of the festival, presented The Founder' s Award to Guillermo Del Toro's "The Shape of Water," which will be shown at the closing night on Oct. 26.