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2012 Chicago Underground Film Festival: Award Winners

By Mike Everleth ⋅ June 8, 2012

19th annual Chicago Underground Film Festival logo

The 19th annual Chicago Underground Film Festival, which just ran for the entire first week of June at the Gene Siskel Film Center, have announced their award winners. Picking the winners this year was a jury composed of Julia Gibbs (University of Chicago’s Film Studies Center), Dan Koretzky (Drag City Records) and Jonathan Marlow (Fandor).

Awards were given in seven categories, each of which have a singular winning film and several honorable mentions. Taking home the coveted Made in Chicago Award was Jesse McLean‘s experimental short film Remote, a haunting meditation on nature and technology.

Other short films winning awards were Ben Russell‘s ethnographic film River Rites for Best Documentary Short, Bryan Boyce‘s hilarious Walt Disney’s Taxi Driver for Best Film Using Appropriation or Pre-existing Material and Peter Jessien Laugesen’s Nature’s Voice for Best Animation/Experimental Short.

On the feature film front, Daniel Schmidt & Gabriel Abrantes won the Best Narrative Feature for Palaces of Pity, a meditation on pre-adolescent female angst, while Michal Kosakowski’s experimental rumination on murder fantasies, Zero Killed, won for Best Documentary Feature and Ben Rivers‘ acclaimed Two Years at Sea won for Uncategorizable Best.

The full list of winners is below:

Made in Chicago Award:
Remote, dir. Jesse McLean

Honorable Mentions:
Waking Things, dir. Melika Bass
A.G.O.D 2012, dir. Thorne Brandt

Best Narrative Feature:
Palaces of Pity, dir. Daniel Schmidt & Gabriel Abrantes

Honorable Mention:
Headlock, dir. Johan Carlson

Best Documentary Feature:
Zero Killed, dir. Michal Kosakowski (Read the review)

Honorable Mentions:
Girl Model, dir. Ashley Sabin and David Redmon
Master Plan, dir. Robert Todd
As Above, So Below, dir. Sarah J. Christman
I Have Always Been a Dreamer, dir. Sabine Gruffat

Best Documentary Short:
River Rites, dir. Ben Russell

Honorable Mentions:
Maurice, dir. Patrick Kack-Brice
Slab City Prom, dir. Jordan Blady

Best Film Using Appropriation or Pre-existing Material:
Walt Disney’s Taxi Driver, dir. Bryan Boyce (Watch online)

Honorable Mentions:
Derivation, dir. Hyun-Suk Seo
Once It Started It Could Not End Otherwise, dir. Kelly Sears

Best Animation/Experimental Short:
Nature’s Voice, dir. Peter Jessien Laugesen

Honorable Mentions:
The Life and Times of Freaky Uncle Luke, dir. Jillian Mayer
Waning, dir. Gina Haraszti
Traces 1-6, dir. Scott Stark
Secret Life, dir. Reynold Reynolds

And The Uncategorizable Bests:
Two Years at Sea, dir. Ben Rivers

Honorable Mention:
Heavy Girls, dir. Axel Ranisch