fbpx ★ Ethan Hawke: Gene Siskel Film Center Renaissance Award Honoree | Gene Siskel Film Center


Thursday June 7, 2018

The Ritz-Carlton Chicago
160 East Pearson Street

6:00 PM Cocktails & Hors d'Oeuvres
7:30 PM Dinner
8:30 PM Conversation with Ethan Hawke led by Vincent D'Onofrio
9:15 PM Award Presentation

Cocktail Attire — Valet parking available

Gala Co-Chairs: Eda Davidman & Melissa Sage Fadim


Tickets start at $500 and sponsorship tables at $10,000.
Please let us know you will be attending by clicking below or by contacting Dionne Nicole Smith at 312-846-2072 or by email at dsmith16@saic.edu.
Please respond by June 1, 2018.
All Reservations will be held at the door.
Ticket and table purchases are nonrefundable. Your contribution is tax deductible to the extent provided by law.

$50,000: Renaissance Award Sponsor

As the Renaissance Award Sponsor, you will receive all Executive Producer benefits plus the following:
  • Presenter with other dignitaries of the Renaissance Award to honoree
  • Two VIP tables of 10 guests each (total of 20 guests)
  • Opportunity for two guests to be seated with Renaissance Award recipient
  • Opportunity to speak during the award presentation
  • On-site recognition at the event as Renaissance Award Sponsor

$25,000: Executive Producer Sponsor

As the Executive Producer Sponsor, you will receive all Producer benefits plus the following:
  • Two priority tables of ten (10) guests each (total of 20 guests)On-site recognition at event as Executive Producer Sponsor
  • Full page acknowledgement in event program

$10,000: Producer Sponsor

As the Producer Sponsor, you will receive all of the following:
  • Priority table for ten (10) guests
  • Half-page acknowledgement in event program
  • Name or logo on all promotional materials in support of the gala
  • Name or logo listed for one year in the Gazette, monthly schedule (cir. 22,000)
  • Placement on the Gene Siskel Film Center donor wall for one year
  • Inclusion in the Art Institute of Chicago's annual report for one year

$1,000: VIP Ticket

  • One ticket with priority seating
  • Recognition in the evening's program as one of the event's generous donors

$500: Individual Tickets

Your support ensures that high quality, accessible cultural programming will continue at the Gene Siskel Film Center. It is our great pleasure to present an excellent curated year-round film programming that brings people together for a shared experience. We are eternally grateful for your support.


Support the Gene Siskel Film Center by purchasing a gala raffle ticket! Raffle tickets are available for $100, 2 for $150, or 3 for $200. Visit the Film Center or attend the gala to purchase.

Don't miss your chance to win one of our incredible prizes* including:

*As of 5.17.18; additional prizes may be added.

Winners will be selected at the annual gala on Thursday, June 7. You do not need to be present to win. Call the Film Center at 312-846-2072 or 312-846-2600 for more information.

International recognized and respected for its original film programming, for over 46 years, the Gene Siskel Film Center of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago has been a vibrant cultural destination that attracts a diverse and creative audience. The success and longevity of the Gene Siskel Film Center is due in part to the vast and varied work that it presents - over 400 films in over 1,600 presentations with 200+ filmmaker appearances each year. More than 85,000 patrons visit the Gene Siskel Film Center annually for the best international, classic and independent cinema.

"Gather ye rosebuds while ye may," is a phrase a young Ethan Hawke took to heart while filming DEAD POETS SOCIETY, the Academy Award-winning drama that launched his career as an actor. Thirty years and several Tony® and Oscar® nominations later, he has emerged a multifaceted artist, challenging himself as a novelist, screenwriter, and director.

Hawke's other recent projects include Paul Schrader's timely political and environmental thriller FIRST REFORMED, which premiered at the Venice, Telluride and Toronto Film Festivals garnering Hawke some of the best reviews of his career as an actor and Judd Apatow produced romantic comedy JULIET, NAKED based on the best-selling novel of the same name, which opens in August 2018. Additionally, Hawke stars in Robert Budreau's STOCKHOLM opposite Noomi Rapace. The film, based on the true story of the 1973 bank heist and hostage crisis in Stockholm, premiered at the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival.

Hawke has collaborated with filmmaker Richard Linklater on multiple occasions, including FAST FOOD NATION; WAKING LIFE; THE NEWTON BOYS; and TAPE. Their most recent collaboration, BOYHOOD, premiered at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival and was released by IFC in 2014. Hawke starred alongside Patricia Arquette and Ellar Coltrane in the critically acclaimed film that was shot intermittently over 12 years chronicling the life of a child from age 6-18. For his performance, Ethan received Academy Award, Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Award, Golden Globe Award, BAFTA Award, Film Independent Spirit Award, Critics' Choice Film Award, and Gotham Independent Spirit Award nominations for Best Supporting Actor.

Marking another one of their celebrated projects, Hawke starred opposite Julie Delpy in the critically acclaimed film BEFORE SUNRISE and its two sequels BEFORE SUNSET and BEFORE MIDNIGHT. The trio co-wrote the screenplays for BEFORE SUNSET and BEFORE MIDNIGHT and received Academy Award and Independent Spirit Award nominations for both scripts. Hawke, Linklater and Delpy were honored with the Louis XIII Genius Award for achievement in cinematic works for the BEFORE films at the BFCA Critics Choice Awards.

Tapping into the pop culture zeitgeist with Ben Stiller's 1994 comedy REALITY BITES, Hawke has starred in over sixty films, including; MAUDIE; BORN TO BE BLUE; MAGGIE'S PLAN; THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN; THE PHENOM; GOOD KILL; PREDESTINATION; THE PURGE; EXPLORERS; WHITE FANG; GATTACA; GREAT EXPECTATIONS; HAMLET; WHAT DOESN'T KILL YOU; BROOKLYN'S FINEST; SINISTER; and BEFORE THE DEVIL KNOWS YOU'RE DEAD. Hawke received Academy Award and Screen Actors Guild Supporting Actor nominations for his work in Antoine Fuqua's TRAINING DAY, opposite Denzel Washington.

Behind the lens, Hawke made his directorial debut in 2001 with his drama CHELSEA WALLS. The film tells five stories set in a single day at the Chelsea Hotel and stars Uma Thurman, Kris Kristofferson, Rosario Dawson, Natasha Richardson, and Steve Zahn. Additionally, he directed Josh Hamilton in the short film STRAIGHT TO ONE, a story of a couple, young and in love, living in the Chelsea Hotel.

Hawke made his documentary directorial debut with SEYMOUR: AN INTRODUCTION, which premiered at the 2014 Telluride Film Festival and the Toronto International Film Festival, and earned raves from critics and audiences alike. The project follows the life of the legendary pianist and piano teacher Seymour Bernstein. IFC released the film on March 13, 2015.

Hawke's graphic novel, "Indeh," with illustrator Greg Ruth, was published by Grand Central Publishing on June 7, 2016. "Indeh" captures the narrative of two nations at war who strive to find peace and forgiveness in a time of great upheaval. It debuted at #1 on the New York Times Bestseller List for Hardcover Graphic Novels. In late 2015, Hawke released his first children's book "Rules for a Knight" through Knopf, which features illustrations by his wife, Ryan Hawke. "Rules for a Knight," a New York Times best-seller, is framed as a long-lost document, recently found and republished by Hawke, a distant relative of the knight, Sir Thomas Lemuel Hawke. In addition to his work as a novelist, in April 2009, Hawke wrote an in-depth and celebrated profile of icon Kris Kristofferson for Rolling Stone. In 2002, his second novel, "Ash Wednesday," was published by Knopf and was chosen for Bloomsbury's contemporary classics series. In 1996, Hawke wrote his first novel, The Hottest State, published by Little Brown and now in its nineteenth printing. In his sophomore directorial endeavor, Hawke adapted for the screen and directed the on-screen version of "The Hottest State" and also directed a music video for the film, featuring Lisa Loeb.

At the age of twenty-one, Hawke founded the Malaparte Theater Co., which remained open for more than five years giving young artists a home to develop their craft. The next year, in 1992, Hawke made his Broadway debut in "The Seagull." Additionally, he has appeared in "Henry IV" alongside Richard Easton on Broadway; "Buried Child" (Steppenwolf); "Hurlyburly," for which he earned a Lucille Lortel Award Nomination for Outstanding Lead Actor and Drama League Award Nomination for Distinguished Performance (The New Group); Tom Stoppard's "The Coast of Utopia," for which he was honored with a Tony Award nomination for Best Featured Actor in a Play and Drama League Award nomination for Distinguished Performance (Lincoln Center); the inaugural season of The Bridge Project's double billings of "The Cherry Orchard" and "A Winter's Tale," which garnered Hawke a Drama Desk Award Nomination for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play (Brooklyn Academy of Music and The Old Vic); and "Blood From A Stone" (The New Group) which earned him a 2011 Obie Award for Performance. In 2007, Hawke made his Off-Broadway directing debut with the world premiere of Jonathan Marc Sherman's dark comedy, "Things We Want". In 2010, Hawke directed Sam Shepard's "A Lie of the Mind," for which he received a Drama Desk Nomination for Outstanding Director of a Play as well as recognition in the New York Times and The New Yorker top ten lists of the leading theatre productions in 2010. In 2012, he starred in Chekov's "Ivanov" for the Classic Stage Company. In 2013, he directed and starred in "Clive," a stage adaptation of Bertolt Brecht's "Baal," by Jonathan Marc Sherman (The New Group), and completed a successful run of Lincoln Center Theatre's production of "Macbeth" in the title role.

Hawke returns to Broadway in a new production of Sam Shephard's Tony and Pulitzer Prize-nominated play "True West" for the Roundabout Theater Company. The production starring Hawke as "Lee" and Paul Dano as "Austin," begins preview performances on December 27, 2018.

Hawke resides in New York and is married with four children.

As a film actor, D'Onofrio's career break came when he played a mentally unbalanced recruit in FULL METAL JACKET, directed by the renowned Stanley Kubrick. For this role D'Onofrio gained nearly 70 pounds. He appeared prominently in the box-office smash MEN IN BLACK.

Other films of note in which he has appeared are MYSTIC PIZZA, JFK, THE PLAYER, ED WOOD, THE CELL, THE BREAK-UP and JURASSIC WORLD. In 1996, D'Onofrio garnered critical acclaim along with co-star Renée Zellweger for THE WHOLE WIDE WORLD, which he helped produce. He also made a guest appearance in Homicide: Life on the Street: The Subway, where he played an accident victim who could not be rescued and was destined to die. For this performance, he won an Emmy nomination. In 2000, he both produced and starred in STEAL THIS MOVIE, a biopic of radical leader Abbie Hoffman.

In 2001, D'Onofrio took the role which has likely given him his greatest public recognition: Det. Robert Goren, the lead character in the TV series Law & Order: Criminal Intent. He played the part for 10 years. One of his latest roles is in Marvel's DAREDEVIL as Daredevil's nemesis, Wilson Fisk.

Each year, Chicago's civic leaders, philanthropists and corporate executives celebrate the programming achievements of the Gene Siskel Film Center and raise funds to support its curated film programming and educational initiatives by attending the gala. This annual event honors a filmmaker who advances the art of cinema. Past honorees have included George Lucas, Michael Mann, Nicole Kidman, William H. Macy and Felicity Huffman, Robert Downey, Jr., Jamie Foxx, Reese Witherspoon, Gwyneth Paltrow, Morgan Freeman, Mark Ruffalo and Scarlett Johansson.

Sponsors as of May 29, 2018
Thanks to the following special partners for their contributions toward the gift bag:
Daelmans StroopwafelsEli's CheesecakeGary Poppins SnacksMetropolis CoffeeRXBAR