Chicago International Children’s Film Festival award winners

FACETS 40th Annual Chicago International Children’s Film Festival (CICFF), as the first Academy-qualifying children’s film festival in the world, announced the recipients of its Special and Jury Prizes.

Throughout the 40-year history of CICFF, 47 films presented at the festival have been nominated for an Academy Award and nine films have brought home the Oscar, including Kristof Deak’s Sing, William Joyce’s The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore and Jochen Alexander Freydank’s Toyland. The two films that received top honors for the 40th Annual Chicago International Children and will move forward for Academy Award nomination consideration are Bartek Kik’s Lil’Ruby (Animated Short Film ) and Tumelo Lekena’s Father’s Day (Live Action Short).

The festival runs now through November 19 and ticket buyers should visit here to purchase tickets and see the current schedule. 

As part of the 40th anniversary celebration and the festival’s commitment to honoring excellence in film, FACETS presented Academy Award filmmaker Matthew A. Cherry (Hair Love) with the festival’s inaugural “Inspire Award” during its Opening Night Party. The award is given to a filmmaker who influences and inspires filmmakers to create empowering and positive messages for young audiences. 

This year the festivalwith selection by the Festival’s jury members, in total awarded 51 prizes from a field of 266 films, representing 48 nations, in several categories including live-action, animation, documentary films and television productions. Prizes are given by the Children’s, Youth, Professional and Special Juries and the Professional Jury Live-Action and Animated Shorts categories are Academy Award-qualifying. CICFF seeks films that not only entertain audiences, but also challenge perspectives, inspire and speak to the creative minds and hearts of young people. 

Awards presented by the Festival maintain CICFF’s longtime standing as one of the top children’s film festivals in the world. CICFF juries are composed of independent filmmakers, film industry professionals, educators, parents and kids and teens who have graduated from FACETS Film 101 summer camp. 

Also presented at CICFF was the Milos Stehlik Global Impact Award, now in its fifth year, awarded to directors Thao Lam and Kjell Boersma for the animated short film Boat People (Canada). FACETS created this award in 2019 to celebrate the memory of Milos Stehlik, founder and executive director of FACETS, who passed away in 2019. 

Upcoming CICFF40 screening programs with award winning films are below. For a full list of all award winners, please visit the link here.   

  • Cineastes: Teen Screen (Ages 14+): Friday, Nov. 17, 7:00 p.m. at FACETS (1517 W. Fullerton Ave.) 
  • “Last Call,” Professional Jury – 2nd Prize, Live-Action Short Film (tie) 
  • “I Am Not Your Token,” Special Prize, Promise Award 
  • “Butterfly Tale” (Ages 6+): Saturday, Nov. 18, 1:00 p.m. at AMC Newcity 14 (1500 N. Clybourn Ave.) 
  • “Butterfly Tale”, Children’s Jury – 1st Prize, Animated Feature Film 
  • “Kensuke’s Kingdom” (Ages 8-10): Saturday, Nov. 18, 3:00 pm at FACETS (1517 W. Fullerton Ave.) 
  • “Kensuke’s Kingdom,” Professional Jury – 2nd Prize, Animated Feature Film   
  • “Coco Farm” (Ages 8 – 14): Sunday, Nov. 19, 3:00 p.m. at FACETS (1517 W. Fullerton Ave.) 
  • “Coco Farm,” Children’s Jury – 1st Prize, Live-Action Feature Film  

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