John C. Reilly, Jennifer Reeder Lead 60th Anniversary Gala for Chicago International Film Festival [Photo Gallery]

The 60th edition of the Chicago International Film Festival will arrive in this October, but first, the storied institution presented its annual gala on Saturday, June 1st, with very special guests taking center stage. Oscar nominated actor and Chicago native John C. Reilly, whose vast career includes everything from Boogie Nights to madcap comedy Talladega Nights to the indie thriller Hard Eight, was honored at the opulent gala, as was critically acclaimed Chicago filmmaker Jennifer Reeder.

Here is a gorgeous gallery of fabulous photos from the gala, courtesy of the Chicago International Film Festival and photographer Barry Bercheisen…

Reilly, an Oscar nominee for the 2002 film version of the musical “Chicago,” participated in previous Chicago film festival editions, including a 2011 Master Class. In a statement, the DePaul University graduate described the festival as “a great friend and supporter to films and filmmakers all the way along in its 60-year history and to me personally. I’m honored to be celebrated by this legacy institution and everything and everyone it represents.”

Filmmaker and educator Jennifer Reeder received the festival’s Tour de Force award in recognition of her critically acclaimed genre explorations, including Perpetrator, which debuted at Berlinale last year before a sold-out Chicago Premiere at the Music Box last August.

The festivities were hosted by legendary newsman Al Roker. “Cinema/Chicago has spent the last 60 years bringing innovative year-round programming to the people of Chicago, and helped cement Chicago as a destination for filmmakers and film lovers alike,” said Al Roker.

The event, which celebrated the diamond anniversary of the Chicago International Film Festival and its incredible history and impact on Chicago’s culture of film, was held Saturday, June 1, 2024, at the Geraghty, located at 2520 S. Hoyne Ave.

The 60th Anniversary Cinema Soirée Committee was chaired by Brenda Robinson and included Chaz EbertSonia EvansJason Delane Lee and Yvonne Huff Lee, and Gigi Pritzker and Cinema/Chicago Board members Charles Droege (Board Chair), Lee Blackwell BaurJacolyn BucksbaumPhilip ClementJon Harris, and Bill Melamed.

“There has never been a more crucial time to celebrate and support cinema in Chicago,” said Cinema Soirée Chair Brenda Robinson, executive producer of films including Rebecca Hall’s PASSING and the Rev. Al Sharpton documentary LOUDMOUTH. “Cinema/Chicago represents the best Chicago has to offer, an iconic institution serving a vibrant, robust film community. And indeed, Cinema/Chicago and its programming brings the best world cinema has to offer to our communities, year-round.”

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All Photos By Barry Bercheisen.

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