Oscar®-winning and 2017 Emmy®-nominee Jane Fonda was honored in Chicago on July 29 at the Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel by Cinema/Chicago. Fonda was presented with the Chicago International Film Festival’s Gold Hugo Career Achievement Award for her contributions to both film and television. Proceeds from the event benefited Cinema/Chicago’s year-round Education Program.
“This evening’s event was one of the best in the history of the Film Festival,” said Cinema/Chicago President and CEO Michael Kutza. “I have wanted to honor Jane Fonda for quite some time, and, finally, she graciously shared her time and presence with us for one magnificent evening. Hearing her share stories from her illustrious career reminded us all why we care so much about the work we do at Cinema/Chicago. Film is an art form which questions, inspires and challenges us to think critically and engage with the world around us.”
“Thanks to our many generous sponsors and donors, we will be able to provide free access to world-class cinema for more than 7,000 Chicago Public School students, offering programs such as our CineYouth festival, and much more,” added Lauren Ponto, Cinema/Chicago’s Jane Fonda with her Gold Hugo Award. Photo credit: Timothy M. Schmidt education manager.
The evening kicked off with a cocktail reception (including Wansas Tequila cocktails inspired by Fonda’s films) and a silent auction featuring an array of upscale gift packages, tickets to theaters and sporting events and luxury experiences. The auction also showcased a selection of movie posters from many of Fonda’s famous films, all signed by the actress herself. As the honoree arrived, she was greeted by Kutza before walking the red carpet and meeting event cochairs Lauren Robishaw and Corbin Horn, as well as members of Cinema/Chicago’s Governing Board of Directors and 17-year-old Chicago student honoree Kayla Sullers. Sullers’ film, Black Chi Youth, was selected and screened at the CineYouth Festival this past May. As the program began, she spoke to event attendees about the inspirational work being made by Chicago’s youth and what Cinema/Chicago’s programs have already done for her, before Fonda took the stage.
The highlight of the evening was an intimate conversation with Jane Fonda led by WFLD/Chicago Sun-Times film critic Richard Roeper that covered the many highlights of her lauded filmography. Fonda shared insider stories, on-set experiences, and fond memories, accompanied by messages of praise from her costars of movies past including Robert Redford (Barefoot in the Park), Dolly Parton (9 to 5), Robert De Niro (Stanley & Iris), as well as from Martin Sheen, Sam Waterston, June Diane Raphael and Lily Tomlin (Grace & Frankie). Fonda was visibly moved by her many costars and shared her gratitude for all they and others, including costar and film legend Katharine Hepburn, have taught her.
At the conclusion of the evening, Fonda was awarded the Gold Hugo Career Achievement Award. Upon accepting the award, Fonda showed her gratitude to Cinema/Chicago not only for the honor but for their continued efforts to bring film to Chicago audiences and students.
In addition to lead sponsor SAGE Private Wealth Group, evening partners included American Airlines and Sound Investment AV; reception partners were Chloe Wine Collection and Wansas Tequila. Additional support was provided by Park Hyatt Chicago, Debi Lilly-A Perfect Event, Windy City Times, and Chicago Magazine.
About Jane Fonda
Jane Fonda was born in New York City in 1937, the daughter of Henry Fonda and Frances Seymour Fonda. She attended the Emma Willard School in Troy, NY, and Vassar College. In her early twenties, Fonda studied with renowned acting coach Lee Strasberg and became a member of the Actors Studio in New York.
Fonda is a two-time Academy Award®-winner (Best Actress in 1971 for Klute and in 1978 for Coming Home), a three-time Golden Globe® winner and was the 2014 recipient of the AFI Life Achievement Award. Along with starring roles in dozens of highly acclaimed productions, Fonda also took on responsibilities as a film and television producer. Her credits include Coming Home, The China Syndrome, Nine to Five, Rollover, On Golden Pond, The Morning After and The Dealmaker.
In 2007, Fonda received an Honorary Palme d’Or from the Cannes Film Festival, one of only three people ever to be granted this honor until then. In 2009, she received a Tony Award nomination for her role in Moisés Kaufman’s 33 Variations on Broadway.
Fonda revolutionized the fitness industry with the release of Jane Fonda’s Workout in 1982. She followed with the production of 23 home exercise videos, 13 audio recordings and seven bestselling books, selling 17 million copies all together. The original Jane Fonda’s Workout video remains the top grossing home video of all time.
In 2011, Fonda appeared in Et Si On Vivait Tous Ensemble, a French comedy, followed by Peace, Love & Misunderstanding, co-starring Catherine Keener. She appeared as Nancy Reagan in Lee Daniels’ The Butler in 2013, and with Olivia Wilde and Sam Rockwell in Better Living Through Chemistry. In 2014, she starred in director Shawn Levy’s This is Where I Leave You, with Tina Fey and Jason Bateman.
For three seasons Fonda appeared as media mogul Leona Lansing in Aaron Sorkin’s The Newsroom on HBO of which she received an Emmy nomination. Most recently, she appeared in Youth, written and directed by Paolo Sorrentino (director and co-writer of Italy’s Academy Award®-winning Best Foreign Language Film The Great Beauty). She received a Golden Globe® nomination for her performance.
Fonda currently stars in Netflix’s hit series, Grace and Frankie, which premiered its third season in April 2017. She also stars in Netflix’s upcoming theatrical feature film Our Souls at Night, opposite Robert Redford, which will be released in November 2017.
Net proceeds from the event will benefit Cinema/Chicago’s year-round Education Programs. The Program provides free film screenings to more than 7,000 Chicago Public School students annually as well as curriculum support and study guides for educators The Program will also include a new in-classroom component this upcoming academic year. Additionally, the Education Program includes the annual CineYouth Festival, which showcases the talent of the next generation of filmmakers 22-years-old and younger and the Student Film Council for Chicagoland high school students with a passion for cinema.