Favreau Honored By Siskel Film Center
May 8, 2019 by Screenmag
The Gene Siskel Film Center 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 in Conversation with Robert Downey Jr.” 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 SAIC President Elissa Tenny and GSFC Advisory Board Chair Ellen Sandor.
“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.”
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 year-round curated film programming as well as educational initiatives including a 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.
Jon 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 film “The Lion King.” He also directed the beloved holiday classic “Elf.” He has executive produced numerous films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe franchise and is the executive producer of “The Mandalorian” which will debut on Disney’s new streaming service. As an actor, he is known for roles in films such as “Rudy,” “Swingers” (which he also wrote), “Very Bad Things,” “The Break-Up,” and “Chef” (which he also wrote and directed) and will be seen in the upcoming “Spiderman: Far from Home.”
Robert Downey Jr. is a two-time Academy Award nominee and Golden Globe winner who has appeared in more than 80 films, having become one of the industry’s most sought after and respected actors. He is best known for his performance as Tony Stark in the now iconic blockbuster franchises “Iron Man and “Avengers.” He most recently starred in the last installment, “Avengers: Endgame,” which shattered box office records and now holds the title of the largest opening bringing in $1.2 billion worldwide. Downey Jr. will next star in the title role of the anticipated global new franchise “The Voyage of Doctor Dolittle,” which is set to release in January 2020. He is also in pre-production on the third installment of the Sherlock Holmes franchise, which comes off the success of his Golden Globe-winning performance in the first film, “Sherlock Holmes,” and its equally successful sequel. Both films, along with numerous other television and digital projects, will be produced through Team Downey, the production company Downey Jr. started with his wife, Susan.