Cinema/Chicago News

The Onion to be Honored at 51st Chicago International Film Festival Television Awards

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

CHICAGO, April 10, 2015 – Cinema/Chicago and the Chicago International Film Festival are pleased to announce that The Onion will be honored at the 51st Chicago International Film Festival Television Awards Ceremony April 22, 2015 at the Hyatt Chicago Magnificent Mile (633 N. St. Clair St). The Onion joins post-production house Whitehouse Post, advertising legend Tom Burrell, investigative reporter Jay Levine, and WGN meteorologist Tom Skilling as distinguished honorees for the event, which will be hosted by WGN’s Dan Ponce and ABC/WINDY CITY LIVE’s Ji Suk Yi.


The Onion and its commercial affiliate, Onion Labs, will be receiving the Television Awards show’s first Commitment to Excellence in New Media Award for their outstanding creative work across a variety of media platforms. “The Onion’s transition from a dependable, hilarious print publication with a biting satirical worldview into a multifaceted multimedia force speaks to a truly unique brand of adaptability,” said Cinema/Chicago Television Coordinator Sam Flancher. “The innovative means through which they present their content, both commercial and non-commercial, have changed the way we think about media and television.”


For more than 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. Past honorees include Chicago T.V. journalist Bill Kurtis and Chicago T.V. anchor Walter Jacobson.


A reception precedes the 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 ($75/Individual Ticket, $1,000 VIP Table of 10 with premium seating) are available at Please direct table requests to Managing Director Vivian Teng 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 Vodka, Screen Magazine, and ReelChicago.



The Onion, under the Onion, Inc. was founded in 1988. As early as the mid-’90s, it became a well-known print publication that started to live online. Today the Onion reaches millions of visitors each month, while delivering high quality video and editorial content to its ever-expanding digital audience.


Onion Labs combines the best comedy writers and marketing talent to create advertising content that’s worthy of the Onion name. Through their success and notoriety, Onion Labs came to be as a full-service agency that can deliver directly to the Onion’s audience. By way of comedy, Onion Labs perfected reaching and influencing a massive digital audience. Now that extension is being made available to brands.


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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