War drama wins top prize at Chicago film fest

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Trailer for the film "My Sweet Pepper Land."

"My Sweet Pepper Land," director Hiner Saleem’s Iraq/France/Germany-financed drama set in a war-torn Kurdish village, won the Gold Hugo (top prize) Friday night as the Chicago International Film Festival entered its second weekend.

Second prize in the international feature competition went to "The Verdict," from Belgium. The jury gave the directing prize to Jerome Bonnell for the French picture "Just a Sigh."

Best actor: Robert Weickiewicz for "Walesa: Man of Hope." Actress: Nadeshda Brennicke for the German crime lark "Banklady."

In the New Directors Competition sidebar, Mexico’s "La Jaula De Oro" won top prize, with Poland’s "Life Feels Good" number two. The Iranian documentary "Trucker and the Fox" was named top documentary in the 49th festival. "Cheap Thrills," from the U.S., walked away with the Hugo for best "After Dark" slate offering.

The complete list of winners is available at chicagofilmfestival.com.

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