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THE 2017 AUDIENCE AWARDS
The Chicago Film Critics Association Announces Audience Award Winners of The Chicago Critics Film Festival
LUCKY, John Carroll Lynch’s directorial debut, proves to be the top choice of attendees of the just-completed film festival.
“Lucky,” the touching and funny spiritual journey of a 90-year-old atheist (the legendary Harry Dean Stanton in one of the finest performances of his career) that involves the other inhabitants (including David Lynch and Tom Skerritt) of the remote desert town where he lives, was the favorite of audiences at the 5th Chicago Critics Film Festival. The film, which was among the most popular of the recently completed weeklong program of titles from around the globe curated entirely by members of the Chicago Film Critics Association, was named the winner of the Audience Choice award.
In addition to the prize for “Lucky,” the festival elected to award additional Audience Choice awards to the favorite documentary and short films as well. The documentary prize was won by “Score: A Film Music Documentary,” Matt Schrader’s film that looked at the creative and musical challenges that go into producing film scores that featured privileged looks at composers like Hans Zimmer, Atticus Rose, Rachel Portman, Mark Mothersbaugh and Junkie XL discussing their craft. Of the festival’s two shorts programs, the audience awards went to Laura Moss’s “Fry Day,” which followed the coming of age of an adolescent girl set against the backdrop of the execution of serial killer Ted Bundy in 1989, and Jocelyn DeBoer and Dawn Luebbe’s “The Arrival,” in which a little boy counters his mother having another son by summoning another mother.
Created by the Chicago Film Critics Association in 2013 and held once again at Chicago’s historic Music Box Theatre, the festival offered a selection of films comprised of recent festival favorites and as-yet-undistributed works covering a wide variety of genres from a wide variety of filmmakers ranging from award winners to talented newcomers chosen exclusively by members of the organization, the only current example of a major film critics group hosting its own festival. Audiences were given ballots before each screening in order to present their opinions of the programming choices afterwards and “Lucky,” “Score: A Film Music Documentary,” “Fry Day” and “The Arrival” proved to be the favorites in their respective categories amidst heavy competition.