The Gene Siskel Film Center (GSFC) of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) once again saluted a leader in cinematic artistry when it honored two-time Academy Award nominee and all-around cutie Mark Ruffalo with the Renaissance Award at The Ritz-Carlton on June 6. More than 350 guests attended the festive evening that was a celebration of Ruffalo’s many accomplishments as an actor, director and producer. (I love him as the Incredible Hulk!)
Chicago Tribune film critic Michael Phillips conducted a Q & A with the actor who reminisced about his favorite roles, provided insights into his creative process and influences and discussed upcoming projects. A retrospective of film clips from his most memorable performances accompanied the conversation. A surprise presentation by Dr. Richard Sandor made Ruffalo gasp. The Mayor proclaimed June 6 Mark Ruffalo Day in Chicago.....awwwwwww! (To view Ruffalo's acceptance speech, click here!)
The benefit was co-chaired by longstanding GSFC supporters/Advisory Board members Marlene Iglitzen and Ellen Kollar with support from GSFC Advisory Board Chair Ellen Sandor. More than $400,000 was raised to support the Gene Siskel Film Center’s film programming as well as lecture series and discussions with visiting scholars and filmmakers.
Past Renaissance Award honorees have included some of the most respected actors and directors working in the film industry including Morgan Freeman, Gwyneth Paltrow, Reese Witherspoon, Jamie Foxx, Robert Downey Jr. (my FAV!), George Lucas, Nicole Kidman, Bob Balaban, John Woo, Michael Mann and William H. Macy and Felicity Huffman.
(Photos by Mila Samokhina and Bob Carl)
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