Cinema/Chicago News

Dan Ponce and Ji Suk Yi to Host 51st Chicago International Film Festival Television Awards

Published: April 23, 2015  |  Filed under: Festival News

CHICAGO, March 26, 2015 – The 51st Chicago International Film Festival Television Awards, now in its 51st year, is pleased to announce that Ji Suk Yi of ABC /Windy City LIVE and Dan Ponce of WGN-TV will be hosting this year’s Awards Night Gala on Wednesday, April 22nd at the Hyatt Chicago Magnificent Mile.

For over five decades, the Chicago International Television Awards have honored the inspiring programs, beloved personalities and powerful creatives that have shaped unforgettable moments of television. From innovative distribution approaches to groundbreaking storytelling, the Television Awards continue to recognize the talented minds of this ever-evolving medium.

A reception will precede the Awards Ceremony, where top awards will be presented to the competition winners and tributes will be paid to distinguished individuals and companies who have made an indelible contribution to the television industry.

Tickets to the event are available at

The 51st Chicago International Film Festival Television Awards is presented by Cinema/Chicago and the Chicago International Film Festival. Led by Major Sponsors, Optimus, Sound Investment AV, and WTTW11; Evening Partners include Stella Artois, Effen, Screen, and ReelChicago.



Dan Ponce is anchor of WGN-TV’s WGN Morning News, Chicago’s top-rated morning newscast. He is also the founder of the world-renowned a cappella group Straight No Chaser on Atlantic Records.   Prior to joining WGN-TV, Dan was a general assignment reporter for ABC7 Eyewitness News. Dan earned his Master’s degree from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University and his Bachelor’s degree from Indiana University. He grew up in Wilmette, and currently lives on the north side of Chicago with his wife and two year old daughter.


Ji Suk Yi is a daily On Air Contributor and resident foodie on Windy City LIVE. Ji Suk was born in South Korea, and immigrated to the US when she was five years old. She had an eclectic childhood growing up in a rural town in North Carolina eating southern soul food alongside kimchi among other adventures in cultural fusion. Ji Suk attended Salem College and went on to get her law degree at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, but soon realized her heard was truly set on journalism and decided Chicago was the best city in the nation to learn about news. She has been in the ABC7 Chicago family since November 2006 and on air with Windy City LIVE since its premiere in 2011.




When the Chicago International Film Festival was founded 51 years ago by Artistic Director Michael Kutza, advertising agency heads Leo Burnett, Fairfax Cone, and Dick Needham suggested that, with budgets and craftsmanship equal to the feature films being screened, the Festival should showcase the art of the television commercial. Five decades later, this simple idea has evolved into an international celebration of the best in television, and encompasses television commercials, productions, series, and the innovative realm of online television programming. Since 2003, the top winners of each year’s competition have been feted at an Awards Ceremony in the spring, along with the presentation of Commitment to Excellence Awards to leaders and visionaries in the television medium. The event has honored notable commercial directors Joe Pytka, Tony Kaye & James Gartner as well as Carol Mendelsohn, STORY, Jesse Spencer, Kelsey Grammer, Bill Kurtis, Carol Marin, FRONTLINE, Leo Burnett, ESPN Films, and Optimus, among others.


Cinema/Chicago is a not-for-profit cultural and education organization dedicated to encouraging better understanding between cultures and to making a positive contribution to the art form of the moving image. The Chicago International Film Festival Television Awards is part of the year-round programs presented by Cinema/Chicago, which also include the Chicago International Film Festival, CineYouth Festival, Intercom Competition, International Summer Screenings Program, and Education Program.



Sam Flancher

Competitions Coordinator

30 E Adams St, Suite 800

Chicago, IL 60603

312.683.0121 x114

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