The Chicago International Film Festival Television Awards Celebrates 50th Anniversary

The Chicago International Film Festival and Cinema/Chicago announced the winners for the 50th Chicago International Film Festival Television Awards before a crowd of more than 300 industry guests on April 10.  The Radisson Blu Aqua's grand ballroom was decorated with the iconic Film Fest logos and two giant screens showed clips from the winning entries throughout the evening.  Founder/artistic director Michael Kutza even lent his own form to a crime scene victim outline on the floor in a nod to one of the evening's honorees, CSI creator Carol Mendelsohn. 

Chicago veteran journalist Mary Ann Childers and CBS News Correspondent Jay Levine hosted the evening honoring those in the television industry and presented three special awards throughout the night. Carol Mendelsohn,  executive producer of the “CSI” series, received a Commitment to Excellence Award for TV Productions; Commercial production company STORY was honored with a Commitment to Excellence Award for TV Commercials; and darling actor Jesse Spencer, currently starring in “Chicago Fire,” received an Artistic Achievement Award for Acting.

In the competition portion of the awards ceremony, Silver Hugo awards went to Cutters, Leo Burnett, mcgarrybowen and Beast Editorial for commercials, and Associated Producers (Canada), CNN, Contact Films (Australia) and Star Media (Russia) for productions. For the 50th year, WTTW presented a program of commercials competing for the Audience Choice Award, where audiences were encouraged to vote online for their favorite commercial. This year’s voting was a tie, with Audience Choice Awards going to “Italian Invasion” from Beast Editorial, and “Mantra” from Cutters.

Other winners for the evening included Leo Burnett who won a Gold Plaque for its TV commercial Photo Booth;  The Lippin Group who won a Gold Plaque for Dramatic Program with Chicago Fire, "Shoved in My Face" as well as for Dramatic Series, Law & Order: SVUSpot Productions won a Gold Plaque for Investigative Reporting/News Documentary for its On the Spot: Gaza; CNN won a Silver Hugo for its hit series Chicagoland and MY internet show, Candid Candace Chicago" on won a Gold Plaque for Online Series.   The full list of winners can be found here.  

A cocktail reception preceded the awards presentation and guests also had a chance to create photo memories in the Action Booth.  Following the program, members of the Film Fest, its PR team,  honorees and supporters continued the celebration in the Radisson Blu Lounge.

The Chicago International Film Festival Television Awards is an annual international television competition that culminates in an Awards Ceremony honoring the best TV commercials and television productions from around the world.  Past honorees have included Kelsey Grammer, Bill Kurtis, Carol Marin, FRONTLINE, Leo Burnett, ESPN Films, and Optimus, among others.

Congrats to all!  (

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