Optimus leads with most local AICE Award finalists

Competing against some of the best editorial/post talent in the US and Canada, Chicago companies made a stellar showing in the list of finalists for the AICE Awards May 12 at Navy Pier.

Optimus, Cutters, The Colonie, Beast and Particle/Comma have a combined total of 13 nominations out of 84 craft categories, and the Best of Chicago.

The number of local finalists, says Tom Duff, president of the 17-member AICE Midwest Chapter, “is a testament to the creativity that comes out of the agencies and AICE community.”

Optimus has the most local finalists on the list in five categories, for Grant Gustafson, Deb Schimmel and Tim Cahill. Cutters follows with three nominations, for Grant Gustafson, Steve Bell and Kathryn Hempel.

The Colonie’s two, Brian Stepanik and Keith Kristinat and Beast’s Angelo Valencia are on the list for editorial excellent, along with composer Peter Schmidt of Particle/Comma for music.

Cahill, Hempel and Valencia are vying for the Best of Chicago crown.

Chicago also shines in the Camp Kulshow category as well, with two out of the three nominees: Cutters’ David Rubin for editorial and Mike Regan for audio.

International AICE president Craig Duncan of Cutters says he’s thrilled at how many Chicagoans are represented among such formidable competition.