Annual Siskel Center benefit to honor Mark Ruffalo

Mark Ruffalo

MARK RUFFALO will receive the 2015 Renaissance Award from the Gene Siskel Film Center (GSFC) of the Art Institute of Chicago to celebrate his accomplishments as an actor, director and producer Saturday, June 6 at the Ritz Carlton. 

SAIC president Dr. Walter E. Massey will present the award to Ruffalo before an expected sell-out audience of 500.

The award night is the Siskel’s Center annual summer benefit, with all proceeds going to support of the Siskel Center’s film programming, lecture series and discussions with visiting scholars and filmmakers. 

The benefit is co-chaired by Advisory Board members Marlene Iglitzen, widow of television and newspaper film critic Gene Siskel, and retired general counsel Ellen Kollar. Board chair is Ellen Sandor, multimedia artist and pioneer in digital media.

Tickets are $500 to $1,000; call 312/846-2072 to order.

HOOTENANNY HIRED SAMM SMITH as an associate producer to EP Don Avila from four years at Energy BBDO as creative coordinator, where she worked had closely with the agency’s creative and production teams.  Hootenanny has a staff of 12, including five editors.  Recent projects include finishing only for Dish TV for Havas and Whirlpool spots for Digitas.

CHICAGO SCREENWRITERS NETWORK will hear screenwriting guru Grant Robbin discuss “How to Write a Great Ending” at its Sunday, April 12 meeting.

Robbin is a screenwriting coach, an adjunct faculty member at Columbia College, and the producer of 16 screenwriting seminars at Northwestern University that featured top Hollywood agents, screenwriters, producers and directors. As the Tribune declared, “If you want to be a Hollywood screenwriter, call Grant Robbin.”

At Mrs. Murphy & Sons Irish Bistro, 3905 N. Lincoln, 7-9 p.m.

FALL NETWORK TV PRODUCTION gets underway in Chicago when the production crew of Fox’s “Empire” returns the week of June 15 to its Cinespace offices for season two of the massively high-rated show (10 million viewers!).

WHO’S NEW: Craig Harris has joined The Michael Group multimedia producers as a producer and to assist in developing new TV concepts. He had been freelancing as a producer and volunteering at Free Spirit Media.

BUSINESS BLOOMS IN SPRING and that means you have more news to share with ReelChicago’s ever-expanding readership.  Send to or call 312/274-9980.