Jon Favreau to receive Renaissance Award in Chicago

John Favreau, Robert Downey Jr

John Favreau, Robert Downey Jr

Robert Downey Jr.
will Interview Favreau
during the
Siskel Center’s
annual event
June 15
at the Four Seasons

The Gene Siskel Film Center today announced that it will honor acclaimed director, producer, screenwriter and actor Jon Favreau with its 2019 Renaissance Award on Saturday, June 15 at the Four Seasons Chicago, 120 E. Delaware.

“Marvel, Movies, and More, Honoring Jon Favreau” will bring the honoree together with one of his most frequent collaborators, Robert Downey Jr., for an on-stage conversation chronicling Favreau’s career, creative process and biggest influences.

The evening will culminate with the presentation of the award by Elissa Tenny, President of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC), and Ellen Sandor, GSFC Advisory Board Chair.

“Jon Favreau, who last attended this event in 2009 to honor George Lucas, is a longtime friend of the Film Center, and supports its mission of celebrating the work of diverse, trailblazing directors, international cultures and classic cinema,” said GSFC Executive Director Jean de St. Aubin. “Since getting his start at Chicago’s improv theaters, he has become one of Hollywood’s most prominent figures, and his most recent accomplishment was serving as the executive producer of ‘Avengers: Endgame,’ which, this past weekend, shattered all previous box office records world-wide. He is also an accomplished actor, a gifted director and superb cinematic storyteller.”

Annual tradition
Each year, the GSFC celebrates the art of film by honoring a filmmaker who advances the art of cinema. Past Renaissance Award honorees have included some of the most respected actors and directors working in the film industry today, such as Michael Mann, Nicole Kidman, George Lucas, Robert Downey Jr., Jamie Foxx, Reese Witherspoon, Gwyneth Paltrow, Morgan Freeman, Mark Ruffalo, Scarlett Johansson and Ethan Hawke.



The benefit is co-chaired by longstanding GSFC supporters and Advisory Board members Roopa P. Weber and Anita Liskey. All proceeds support the Gene Siskel Film Center’s curated film programming as well as lecture series and discussions with visiting scholars and filmmakers. This programming provides the opportunity for students and the Chicago community to experience the best in film presentation. The annual fundraiser is the primary event that ensures that the GSFC can continue to present the highest quality films and film-related events in Chicago.

The Renaissance Award was designed specifically for the Gene Siskel Film Center by R.S. Owens & Company, creator of the Oscar® statuette.

Jon Favreau
Favreau is one of the most prominent and respected figures working in contemporary film. He has directed some of the most popular films released in recent years, including “Iron Man,” “Iron Man 2,” and “The Jungle Book,” and his current directing projects include upcoming Disney films “The Lion King” and “Jungle Book 2.” He also directed the beloved holiday classic “Elf.” He has executive produced numerous films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe franchise. As an actor, he is known for roles in films such as “Rudy,” “Swingers,” (which he also wrote), “Very Bad Things,” “The Break-Up,” ”Couples Retreat” and “Chef” (which he also wrote and directed) and will be seen in the upcoming “Spiderman: Far from Home.” He also produces and directs for television, including episodes of “About a Boy” and “The Office,” and has acted on television, including playing Pete Becker, Monica’s love interest on “Friends.”

Robert Downey Jr.
In a career that has spanned almost 50 years, Robert Downey Jr. is undisputedly one of Hollywood’s most popular and respected actors, having appeared in more then 80 films. He has twice been nominated for the Academy Award (for “Tropic Thunder” and “Chaplin”) and has won or been nominated for Golden Globe and Emmy Awards. His iconic portrayal of Tony Stark in the Marvel film franchise, as well as his diverse body of work in a wide array of film genres has solidified his position as one of cinema’s most gifted performers.

Tickets and More Information
The Gene Siskel Film Center of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago proudly presents the Renaissance Award Gala in honor of Jon Favreau at The Ritz-Carlton Chicago (160 E. Pearson St.). Single tickets range in price from $500 to $1,000 (VIP). Table sponsorships range in price from $10,000 to $50,000. Call (312) 846-2076 for tickets, tables or more information.

About the Gene Siskel Film Center
Since 1972, the Gene Siskel Film Center of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago has presented cutting edge cinema to an annual audience of 85,000. The Film Center’s programming includes annual film festivals that celebrate diverse voices and international cultures, premieres of trailblazing work by today’s independent filmmakers, restorations and revivals of essential films from cinema history, and insightful provocative discussions with filmmakers and media artists. Altogether, the Film Center hosts over 1,600 screenings and 200 filmmaker appearances every year. The Film Center was renamed the Gene Siskel Film Center in 2000 after the late, nationally celebrated film critic, Gene Siskel. Visit to learn more and find out what’s playing today.

About the School of the Art Institute of Chicago
For more than 150 years, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) has been a leader in educating the world’s most influential artists, designers and scholars. Located in downtown Chicago with a fine arts graduate program consistently ranking among the top programs in the nation by U.S. News and World Report, SAIC provides an interdisciplinary approach to art and design as well as world-class resources, including the Art Institute of Chicago museum, on-campus galleries and state-of-the-art facilities. SAIC’s undergraduate, graduate and post-baccalaureate students have the freedom to take risks and create the bold ideas that transform Chicago and the world—as seen through notable alumni and faculty such as Michelle Grabner, David Sedaris, Elizabeth Murray, Richard Hunt, Georgia O’Keeffe, Cynthia Rowley, Nick Cave, Jeff Koons and LeRoy Neiman.

The Gene Siskel Film Center and SAIC are part of The Art Institute of Chicago. For more information about the Art Institute please visit