Giveaway: Tickets to the Chicago Critics Film Festival

Hey everyone. As I mentioned recently, I’m one of the programmers of the 6th Annual Chicago Critics Film Festival, which takes place at Chicago’s legendary Music Box Theatre, May 4-10.

I’m so happy and proud of the lineup of films and guests that my fellow critics and I have put together this year, that I want to make sure you see as many of these films as possible. Of course, we’d love for you to buy a few tickets to some of the 23 features and two shorts programs we’re offering, but as an added incentive, I’m giving away seats to a select few screenings.

Fast Color
Image courtesy of Chicago Critics Film Festival

As always, we have an incredible array of special guests, and the full schedule, tickets, and all additional information about the festival can be found here.

If you’d like to win tickets to any of the below (nearly all of which include guest Q&As), follow these steps:

  • Email me at stevenprokopy[@] (remove the [ ], of course).
  • The Subject Line of your email should be simply the name of the film you are trying to win tickets to (each winner can have a +1); each film you’re entering for must have a separate email entry. (In other words, if you want to try and win tickets to all seven films, I need seven separate emails from you, each with the name of the film in the Subject Line.)
  • In the body of your email, include your full name and whether or not you’re bringing a guest (I don’t need the guest’s name, but I do need to know if you’re bringing one or not). If you ask for two tickets, and you show up only needing one, you will be chastised by a panel of experts.

The winners’ names WILL NOT be posted anywhere, but you will receive an email from me once the winners have been selected, so check your email frequently over the next week. Tickets can be picked up at the Chicago Critics Film Festival check-in table at the Music Box Theatre on the day of the screening only. No tickets for future screenings will be given out in advance.

Also, there are no reserved seats for ticket winners, so get to the Music Box Theatre early for good ones.

Here is the list of films for which we’re giving away a limited number of seats. Good luck, everyone!


7pm Fast Color

Directed by Julia Hart; Written by Julia Hart & Jordan Horowitz (In Person). Starring Gugu Mbatha-Raw (In Person), Lorraine Toussaint, Christopher Denham, and David Strathairn

In this genre-bending supernatural drama, a woman is forced to go on the run when her extraordinary abilities are discovered. Years after abandoning her family, the only place she has left to hide is home.


7pm Bodied

Directed by Joseph Kahn (In Person). Starring Calum Worthy, Jackie Long, and Rory Uphold

A satire set in the world of competitive battle rap, Bodied is the story of Adam Merkin, a progressive grad student who becomes an accidental battle rapper after encountering Behn Grym, a respected icon in the merciless sub-culture of poetic personal insults. As Adam makes his politically incorrect climb up the ranks, he risks alienating his father, a renowned writer and tenured professor at Adam’s university, along with his skeptical girlfriend Maya, and all of his academic friends. His success breeds outrage however; Adam soon faces growing backlash on campus and the consequences of his controversial talent. The film explores the dangerous spaces of the world’s most multicultural and artistically brutal sport.


7:15pm Damsel

Directed by Nathan and David Zellner (both In Person). Starring Robert Pattinson, Mia Wasikowska, David Zellner, Nathan Zellner, and Robert Forster

Samuel Alabaster, an affluent pioneer, ventures across the American Frontier to marry the love of his life, Penelope. As Samuel traverses the Wild West with a drunkard named Parson Henry and a miniature horse called Butterscotch, their once-simple journey grows treacherous, blurring the lines between hero, villain and damsel. A loving reinvention of the western genre from the Zellner brothers (Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter), Damsel showcases their trademark unpredictability, off-kilter sense of humor, and unique brand of humanism.


9:45pm Hal

Directed by Amy Scott

Hal is a long-overdue, feature-length documentary film celebrating the life and work of director Hal Ashby (Harold and Maude, Shampoo, Being There), set against a backdrop of a rapidly changing America, and an even more dramatic shift in filmmaking. While Ashby was once the toast of “New Hollywood,” his rise and fall became an archetypal story of art versus industry.


7:15pm Searching

Directed by Aneesh Chaganty (In Person). Starring John Cho, Debra Messing, and Joseph Lee

After David Kim’s 16-year-old daughter goes missing, a local investigation is opened and a detective is assigned to the case. But 37 hours later and without a single lead, David decides to search the one place no one has looked yet, where all secrets are kept today: his daughter’s laptop. In a hyper-modern thriller told via the technology devices we use every day to communicate, David must trace his daughter’s digital footprints before she disappears forever.


7pm Puzzle

Directed by Marc Turtletaub (In Person). Starring Kelly Macdonald, Irrfan Khan, and David Denman

Agnes, taken for granted as a suburban mother, discovers a passion for solving jigsaw puzzles which unexpectedly draws her into a new world, where her life unfolds in ways she could never have imagined.


6pm Abducted in Plain Sight

Directed by Skye Borgman (In Person)

Abducted in Plain Sight is the twisting, turning story of the Brobergs, a naïve, church going Idaho family whose daughter, Jan, is kidnapped by the family’s best friend and neighbor. Twice. This true-crime documentary examines one family’s struggle with desire, deceit, faith and forgiveness. The Brobergs’ troubling admissions reveal epic failures and untold personal dramas that point to the biggest tragedy of all—that these crimes could have been prevented.

Hope to see you there.

And the screenings you don’t win tickets for, you can buy online here

Steve Prokopy
Steve Prokopy

Steve Prokopy is chief film critic for the Chicago-based arts outlet
Third Coast Review. For nearly 20 years, he was the Chicago editor for
Ain’t It Cool News, where he contributed film reviews and
filmmaker/actor interviews under the name “Capone.” Currently, he’s a
frequent contributor at /Film ( and Backstory Magazine.
He is also the public relations director for Chicago's independently
owned Music Box Theatre, and holds the position of Vice President for
the Chicago Film Critics Association. In addition, he is a programmer
for the Chicago Critics Film Festival, which has been one of the
city's most anticipated festivals since 2013.