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2015 Chicago Underground Film Festival: Award Winners

Film festival poster that looks like an underground map of Chicago

Held earlier this month on May 13-17, the epic 22nd annual Chicago Underground Film Festival gave out eight awards and six honorable mentions.

The big winner was Jennifer Reeder who took home this year’s Best of the Fest award for Blood Below the Skin, a 38-minute short film about three teenage girls who forge a special bond in the wake of an unanticipated incident. This marks back-to-back wins for Reeder who won the Best Short Award last year at CUFF for her previous film A Million Miles Away.

Other winners include Iva Radivojevic’s rumination on asylum seekers in Cyprus, Evaporating Borders, which won Best Feature; while David McMurry’s meditation on the world’s first nuclear town, Arco, Idaho, Atomic City, won Best Documentary. Also, ethnographic documentarian Ben Russell won the Poseidon’s Trident Award for Experimental Mythologies for Atlantis; and Laura Harrison’s animated The Lingerie Show won the prestigious Made in Chicago award.

The full list of award winners is below. Jurors for the festival this year were film essayist Kevin B. Lee; Michael J. Phillips Jr. of South Side Projections; and filmmaker, educator and curator Ines Sommer. You can also find the full festival lineup here.

BEST OF FEST
Blood Below the Skin, dir. Jennifer Reeder

BEST FEATURE
Evaporating Borders, dir. Iva Radivojevic

BEST DOCUMENTARY
Atomic City, dir. David McMurry

BEST EXPERIMENTAL
Her Silent Seaming, dir. Nazlı Dinçel

3-POINT LIGHTING AWARD FOR INNOVATIVE TECHNIQUE
Special Features, dir. James N. Kienitz Wilkins

POSEIDON’S TRIDENT AWARD FOR EXPERIMENTAL MYTHOLOGIES
Atlantis, dir. Ben Russell

MADE IN CHICAGO
The Lingerie Show, dir. Laura Harrison

AUDIENCE AWARD
Violets, dir. Jim Vendiola

HONORABLE MENTIONS

For the Plasma, dir. Bingham Bryant & Kyle Molzan

Hacked Circuit, dir. Deborah Stratman

La Isla está Encantada con Ustedes (The Island Is Enchanted With You), dir. Alexander Carver and Daniel Schmidt

Limited Speech Holds Endless Misunderstandings, dir. Orr Menirom

Sailing a Sinking Sea, dir. Olivia Wyatt

Toward the Flame, dir. Paul Turano


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