Cinema/Chicago News

Spring Gala 2017

Cinema/Chicago will honor two of the film industry’s most celebrated artists, Academy Award®-winning actress Helen Mirren and Academy Award®-winning director Taylor Hackford, Wednesday, May 24 at its Spring Gala on May 24 at the Loews Hotel Chicago.

Event Details: 

455 N. Park Drive

Host: Award winning journalist Bill Kurtis
Event Chairs: Candace Jordan, Helen Melchior, Gigi Pritzker
Host Committee (in formation): Judy Adler, Lee Blackwell Baur, FLIC,  Helyn D. Goldenberg, Leslie Hindman, John J. Lanzendorf, Debi Lilly, Lynda O’Connor, Byron Pollock, Vonita D. Reescer, Lauren Robishaw, Mary Lu Roffe, Penelope Steiner, Douglas Van Tress, Mamie J. Walton, Dori Wilson, Sophia Worden, Beverly Yusim

Cocktail reception with hors d’oeuvres.
Silent auction
Red carpet arrivals

Dinner and Live auction
Tribute and Award Presentations

Cocktail attire

(See below for ticket information and table pricing)



Career Achievement in Acting Award

Helen Mirren is one of the world’s most critically acclaimed and popular actresses, most known for her Oscar-winning performance as the formidable Queen Elizabeth II in Stephen Frears’s The Queen. Mirren’s career is as long as it is varied and distinguished, from her tender early performance as a young Irish widow in 1984’s Cal to her longstanding work as tough-as-nails detective Jane Tennison in the ‘90s British TV series Prime Suspect to her sexy turns in Caligula and The Cook, the Thief, His Wife and Her Lover. More recently, Mirren has proven herself just as adept in comedy, whether in The Madness of King George and Gosford Park, or a host of action romps, including Red and this year’s The Fate of the Furious. Always challenging expectations and just as skilled playing the powerful as the vulnerable, Mirren is one of the hardest working and most admired performers of stage and screen.



Career Achievement in Directing Award

Throughout his long and varied career, Taylor Hackford has shaped some of the most iconic performances in American cinema, starting with his 1980 feature debut The Idolmaker, which world premiered at the Chicago International Film Festival, in which Ray Sharkey played a magnetic rock promoter. Over the years, we can thank Hackford for evoking other such unforgettable performances from his actors, including Louis Gossett, Jr. and Debra Winger in An Officer and a Gentleman, Mikhail Baryshnikov and Gregory Hines in White Nights, Kathy Bates in Dolores Claiborne, Al Pacino in The Devil’s Advocate, and, of course, Jamie Foxx’s stunning incarnation of Ray Charles in 2004’s Ray. Entertaining, engaging, funny and dramatic, Hackford’s films span a wide range of subject matter, locations and genres, but they always deliver compelling, dynamic and deeply thoughtful stories about people struggling to come to terms with personal or external limitations and achieve their dreams.

Tickets and Table Pricing

Individual Ticket: $400.00 

Tables (10 seats per table)

Bronze Level $4,000.00

  • Acknowledgement in Program Book

Silver Level $10,000.00

  • Acknowledgement in Program Book and website
  • ½ page ad in Program Book
  • Prime table placement

 Gold Level $25,000.00

  • Acknowledgment in Program Book, website, invitations (time-permitting)
  • Full page ad in Program Book
  • Premium table placement
  • On-screen and Verbal Acknowledgement at event
  • 2 seats at the Star Table
  • Invitation for 12 to VIP reception

To purchase tickets: visit our online store, call 312-683-0121, x108 or email

For sponsorship inquiries: contact Jesse Charbonier, Director of Corporate Giving and Sponsorship at 312-683-0121, x110 or

Proceeds from this event will benefit the year-round programs of Cinema/Chicago, including the Chicago International Film Festival, Chicago International Television Festival, CineYouth Festival, International Screenings, and Education Program. Cinema/Chicago’s Education Program provides free film screenings to more than 7,000 Chicago Public Schools annually as well as curriculum support and study guides for educators.

Cinema/Chicago, the parent organization of the Chicago International Film Festival, is a year-round non profit arts and education organization dedicated to fostering better communication between people of diverse cultures through the art of film and the moving image.

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