Burnett involved in city’s new Fifth Star arts awards

THE INAUGURAL FIFTH STAR AWARDS to honor “exemplary artists and arts institutions,” as proclaimed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the Chicago Dept. of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, (DCASE), will be presented Sept. 17 at a free program in Millennial Park.

The event is sponsored by Allstate Insurance and GCM Grosvenor Capital Management, with Leo Burnett, Allstate’s long-time agency, providing in-kind creative support, including name and visual identity for the event.

Fifth Star is a reference to the city flag, which has four stars. “And while there are no plans to add a fifth star to our flag, we believe there is beauty and magic in the quest for one,” said DCASE commission Michelle Boone.

Fifth Star winners will be chosen by DCASE and select members of the Cultural Advisory Council.  The celebration will coincide with the citywide Expo Art Week and international Expo Chicago.

SAROFSKY CAN BASK IN THE GLORY of Marvel blockbuster “Guardians of the Galaxy’s” amazing weekend box office success, raking in $160 million worldwide this past weekend, against its $170 million budget. Erin Sarofsky’s West Loop created the opening titles and other titles throughout the movie.

Earlier, her company had set up the studio for stereoscopic 4K to accommodate Marvel’s previous hit, “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” so they were excited to have jumped back into the technological deep end on “Guardians,” she said.  One of the highlights: creating the typeface used in the titles.

OPTIMUS’SURPRISE GUESTS at its annual Block Party Friday were local “Teddy Goalsevelt” (real name Mike D’amico, a CD at Cavalry agency) who became a cult figure attending the World Cup Games in Brazil and the Austin, Texas-based rock/country band, the Whiskey Sisters, who’ve played at Optimus SXSW parties in the past.

Optimus president Tom Duff estimates guests numbered around 2,000 as in the past and noted that the food truck dispensed 1,700 hot dogs. Click here to see party pictures.  

TWO FAMOUS PIXAR ANIMATION ARTISTS will be in Chicago for two full 9-5 days, Aug. 22-23, to teach VanArts’ Master Class in Story Development and Character Animation, at the Ruth Page Center for the Arts. 

Instructors are Pixar veterans story supervisor Matthew Luhn and directing animator Andrew Gordon, who have worked on jusr about every Pixar blockbuster you can think of.  Special guest instructor is Tracy Burns, an LA performer and teacher acclaimed for her improv instruction.

Chicago is the third stop on the Master Class’ six-city world tour and it was a sell-out the last time it was here.

CAF’S AUGUST 20 LUNCHEON “The New Visual Language: Women, Brands and closing the Gender Gap,” is presented by Getty Images, with sppeakers image anthropologist Pam Grossman, Getty Images’ Director of Visual Trends, and award-winning journalist Jessica Bennett, Lean To contributing editor.  At the Museum of Broadcast Communications, noon-2 p.m., members, $50, non- members, $70.

“LIFE ITSELF,” highly acclaimed documentary about Roger Ebert based on his memoire, from Kartemquin filmmaker Steve James, played in 80 international theatres in July and heads for more than 50 this month. 

In Chicago, they include the Beverly Arts Theatre, 8/20 and Downers Grove’s Tivoli, 8/25. Its fall-winter run starts 9/5 at the Siskel Film Center. If you can’t get to the theatre. watch it on Video on Demand.  See the trailer here.

KARTEMQUIN’S SEPT. 4 GALA to help support its work and celebrate the city’s indie film community, starts with a VIP reception with Kartemquin filmmakers.  At Moonlight Studios, 1446 W. Kinzie. Early bird tickets are $150; a raffle features a Miami getaway for two.

We’re waiting to hear from you!  Send news along about your latest production, promotion, award, address changes, et al. Send to ruth@reelchicago.com.