‘Chicago Fire’ Exec Producer Among Honorees for Chicago Filmmakers 50th Anniversary Gala Sep 9

Join the Chicago Filmmakers community for a musical feast commemorating the historic Golden Anniversary of the not-for-profit arts organization best known for producing Reeling: The Chicago LGBTQ+ International Film Festival and Onion City Experimental Film Festival. In celebrating 50 years of Chicago Filmmakers, the organization is highlighting its commitment to building a more inclusive community of filmmakers and film lovers. The event will also honor several cornerstones of the Film and Television production community. The festivities will take place in Chicago at Le Piano, 6970 N Glenwood Avenue, on September 9th from 2:00 to 6:00 pm Central.

First things first, Click here for your tickets to the celebration.

And now, let’s take a look at the honorees. The Chicago Filmmakers “Big Shoulders Awards” honor those hard-working individuals who have given their talents and life work to the establishment of a more robust Chicago film community, expanding job opportunities and resources for all filmmakers. These individuals have educated up-and-coming creatives, established film scenes with deep, community roots, built pools of working media professionals, shepherded legislation with crucial tax incentives, and brought work back home to Chicago.

The night’s honorees include Christine Dudley, Colleen Griffen, Joe Chappelle, and Sharon Zurek.

As Chicago Filmmakers takes note of their history, they will be honoring those who have served the Chicago film community with distinction.

The night’s honorees include Sharon Zurek, Christine Dudley, Joe Chappelle, and Colleen Griffen, whose generous contributions and passion for building community have greatly impacted the Chicago film scene.

Christine Dudley is the Illinois Production Alliance Executive Director. She spearheaded a coalition of industry stakeholders that led to legislation that expanded the Illinois Film Production Tax Incentive program and established an industry supported Workforce Development Fund.

Powerhouse couple Joe Chappelle and Colleen Griffen have significantly contributed to growing the film industry in Chicago.

Joe Chappelle, most known for his role as executive producer and director on the hit NBC drama series CHICAGO FIRE, has been committed to growing the Chicago film industry, helping to re-energize local film and TV production, as the industry shattered previous records for revenue in 2023.

Colleen Griffen is a Chicago-based producer and filmmaker, most known for her directorial debut, THE COLD AND THE QUIET, as well as her work as producer for Joe Chappelle’s feature film, AN ACCEPTABLE LOSS, distributed by IFC and starring Academy Award-winner Jamie Lee Curtis. They both remain firm in their commitment to shooting in Chicago, whether on-location or a local soundstage.

Take a look at the trailer for AN ACCEPTABLE LOSS…

Sharon Zurek, former board president of Chicago Filmmakers and curator of the renowned Dyke Delicious programs, a mainstay of Reeling and the Chicago Filmmakers screening series for decades. Sharon has made an indelible impact on the lives of hundreds – from the Chicago Filmmakers community to her students and colleagues at Columbia College, where she serves as a professor of Post-Production. Besides her passion for teaching, Sharon is a producer, editor, and documentarian. Her documentary, A MIND IN QUICKSAND: LIFE WITH HUNTINGTON’S, aired nationally on public broadcasting stations from 2015-2019. She was also the co-producer and editor on the feature documentary, THE G-FORCE, editor and producer of the award winning LGBTQ+ feature, HANNAH FREE, starring Sharon Gless…

See You September 9th!

More announcements will be made shortly with details on Chicago Filmmakers’ 50th anniversary Retrospective Screenings program, pulling from the vast history of seminal Chicago Filmmakers’ events. These events will take place at the Chicago Filmmakers Firehouse Cinema, featuring programming by a team of veteran Chicago Filmmakers staff and volunteers.

Mix and mingle as attendees lounge luxuriously at Le Piano, the happening spot for Chicago jazz virtuosoes, setting the perfect Blue Note type of vibe. What better way to celebrate these noteworthy years and honor Chicago Filmmakers’ commitment to creative community at the crossroads of Chicago film scenes. Take a night to remember the mentors and game-changers that have shaped the Chicago Film industry and the Chicago Filmmakers organization. Accompanied by jazzy grooves, delectable hors d’oeuvres, and bubbly libations, this is not the event to miss.

And in case you missed the link earlier in this article, Click here for your tickets to the celebration.

Be sure to check back here at SCREEN Magazine for news from the filmmaking community throughout Chicago and the Midwest. You can also click right here to subscribe to our weekly email newsletter.

Photo Credits: Christine Dudley Photo by Joe Mazza.

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