Chicago International Film Festival to highlight 36 female directors

The 53rd Chicago International Film Festival (CIFF) is Oct. 12-26, featuring 36 films directed by women. The two-week festival will screen 140 films at the AMC River East downtown during the two-week festival, 25 percent of which have women at the helm.

Cinema/Chicago is the presenting organization of CIFF, “A year round non-profit arts and education organization dedicated to fostering better communication between people of diverse cultures through the art form of the moving image.” Their mission to promote diversity in film is evident in the festival’s representation of not only ethnicities, but gender – from award-winning director Petra Volpe’s The Divine Order to Zaida Bergroth’s sister epic Miami.

Full list of women directors represented at this year’s CIFF:

Zaida Bergroth (Finland) Miami

Nancy Buirski (U.S.) The Rape of Recy Taylor

Laura Checkoway (U.S.) Edith and Eddie

Claire Denis (France) Let the Sunshine In

Natalia Garagiola (Argentina/France) Hunting Season

Eva Gardos (Hungary) Budapest Noir

Anahita Ghazvinizadeh (U.S./Qatar) They

Sofia Gomez-Cordova (mexico) The Blue Years

Maryam Goormaghtigh (Switzerland/France) Before Summer Ends

Valeska Grisebach (Germany, Bulgaria, Austria) Western

Kaouther Ben Hania (Tunisia/France/sweden/Norway) Beauty and the Dogs

Kathleen Hepburn (Canada) Never Steady, Never Still

Monika Hielscher (Germany) Pre-crime (co-director)

Atsuko Hirayanagi (Japan, U.S.) Oh, Lucy!

Agnieszka Holland (Poland) Spoor

Catherine Hunter (Australia) Glenn Murcutt: Spirit of Place

Carolina Jabor (Brazil) Liquid Truth

Joanna Kos-Krauze (Poland) Birds Are Singing in Kigali

Ruth Mader (Austria) Life Guidance

Marta Meszaros (Hungary) Aurora Borealis

Laura Mora (Colombia/Argentina) Killing Jesus

Lucia Murat (Brazil/Argentina) Paris Square

Lissette Orozco (Chile) Adriana’s Pact

Vanessa Redgrave (UK) Sea Sorrow

Maria Sadowska (Poland) The Art of Loving

Marcela Said (Chile/France) Los Perros

Laura Schroeder (Luxemborg/Belgium) Barrage

Carla Simon (Spain) Summer 1993

Tracy Heather Strain (U.S.) Sighted Eyes/Feeling Heart

Camille Thoman (U.S.) Never Here

Ayse Toprak (France/Germany/Turkey) Mr. Gay Syria

Ana Urushadze (Georgia/Estonia) Scary Mother

Paula Van Der Oest (Netherlands) Younger Days

Agnes Varda, Jr (France) Faces Places

Petra Volpe (Switzerland) The Divine Order

Ina Weisse (Germany) The Neue Nationalgalerie

Tickets and passes for CIFF are now available at

Featured photo: Agnieszka Holland’s Polish feature Spoor. 

Middle photo: Vanessa Redgrave’s directorial debut Sea Sorrow.

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