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John C. Reilly, Jennifer Reeder to be Honored at 60th Anniversary Cinema/Chicago Gala

Celebrating 60 Years of the Chicago International Film Festival with Host Al Roker, June 1, 2024

CHICAGO, Illinois (May 21, 2024) - Today, Cinema/Chicago, the presenter of North America’s longest-running competitive film festival, the Chicago International Film Festival, announced honorees and special guests to appear at the 60th Anniversary Cinema Soirèe, to be hosted by legendary newsman Al Roker and held Saturday June 1, 2024 at the Geraghty (2520 S. Hoyne Ave.). These esteemed honorees’ bodies of work encapsulate the heart of this year’s theme, reflecting on six decades of achievements in uplifting and celebrating global cinematic excellence year-round, and positioning Chicago as an undeniable influence on filmmaking around the world. Limited tickets are available at

The annual event raises funds for year-round programming, including the Chicago International Film Festival, celebrating its 60th edition October 16 - 27, 2024; CineYouth, which showcases the work of filmmakers age 22 and younger; the Chicago Industry Exchange Lab (CIX:Lab), a year-long feature film development lab; Industry Days, an annual hub for filmmakers and industry professionals; the Community Cinema program, presenting free screenings in neighborhoods including Englewood and Pilsen; and the 20th annual Summer Screenings program, each week through September 25, presenting screenings from 19 countries around the world, free and open to the public.

Receiving the Chicago International Film Festival’s Career Achievement Award is Chicago hometown hero John C. Reilly, who appeared at the 47th Chicago International Film Festival with WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN, and conducted an inspiring Master Class in that year’s program. Reilly showcased his exceptional versatility as an actor as part of Paul Thomas Anderson’s troupe in his films HARD EIGHTBOOGIE NIGHTS, and MAGNOLIA; and sang his cellophane heart out in CHICAGO, earning an Academy Award nomination. But he may be best known for his comic work, from TALLADEGA NIGHTS: THE BALLAD OF RICKY BOBBY to WALK HARD: THE DEWEY COX STORY, and of course his recurring role as Ralph in the Disney Animation features WRECK-IT RALPH and RALPH BREAKS THE INTERNET

“I’m so delighted to be back in my hometown to help celebrate film in Chicago with the Chicago International Film Festival,” said honoree John C. Reilly. “The rich history of films made in Chicago is part of the city’s enduring greatness. From THE TRAMP AND THE DOG in 1896 to THE STINGORDINARY PEOPLE, to THE BLUES BROTHERS, and PLANES, TRAINS, AND AUTOMOBILES, and countless other classics Chicago has been a fertile ground for great films all the way to today. My time spent on films in Chicago have been some of my fondest memories. The Chicago International Film Festival has been such 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. Viva Cinema! Viva Chicago!”

Jennifer Reeder, the fearless, genre-defying powerhouse writer, producer, and director behind such films as KNIVES AND SKIN and V/H/S/ 94, is set to receive the Festival’s Tour de Force Award, given to a filmmaker or craftsperson who work is bold and bravura. As a Chicago-based filmmaker, Reeder’s work has elevated our region on the international stage, and has been a compelling advocate for gender parity in the field of filmmaking.

“The Chicago International Film Festival is an aspiration for filmmakers and a destination for film enthusiasts,” said honoree Jennifer Reeder. “My affiliation with the Festival over many years is in many respects a coveted recognition of my international visibility as a screenwriter and director. The Chicago International Film Festival brings the whole world to Chicago, one film at a time. I feel honored each time one of my films is invited to participate, as I’m honored to receive this award, and I never take it for granted.”

Reilly and Reeder join an elite group of luminaries to receive the Festival’s achievement awards, including directors Orson WellesSteve McQueenSarah PolleyWilliam Friedkin, and Steven Spielberg; actors Robin WilliamsMichael ShannonKate WinsletKathryn Hahn, and Viola Davis; and costume designers Holly Waddington and Ruth Carter; among others.

For more information, visit Cinema/Chicago’s website at

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The 60th Anniversary Cinema Soirée Partners

The 60th Anniversary Cinema Soirépartners include Black Oak Technical Productions, Eli’s Cheesecake, Four Seasons Chicago, J&L Catering, Kehoe Design, Revolution Brewing, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, and Make It Better Foundation.

Festival Information

Celebrating its 60th edition October 16 - 27, 2024, the Chicago International Film Festival is North America's longest-running competitive international film festival. Showcasing acclaimed and exciting new films from around the world, the 60th edition will be held in person in theaters and venues around the city and virtually, featuring a select program of films with closed captions. From dramas and thrillers to documentaries and comedies, the Festival presents a vast diversity of offerings, featuring competitive categories and programs including Black Perspectives; International Comedy; Women in Cinema; OutLook; After Dark; and the City & State program, showcasing films made in Chicago and throughout Illinois.

2024 Festival Sponsors and Partners

The 60th Chicago International Film Festival's sponsors include Festival Sponsors: Baker Tilly, Conagra Brands; Official Agency: Ogilvy; Publicity Agency: Acacia Consulting Group; Festival Supporters: Four Seasons Hotel Chicago, Make It Better Foundation, Chicago Film Office, Illinois Film Office; With Major Support from Robert and Penelope Steiner Family Foundation. This program is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts, a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency, and a CityArts Grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events. 

About Cinema/Chicago

Cinema/Chicago, the presenting organization of the Chicago International Film Festival, is a year-round nonprofit arts and education organization dedicated to fostering better communication between people of diverse cultures through the art of film and the moving image. Cinema/Chicago's programs include the Chicago International Film Festival, Summer Screenings Program, CineYouth Festival, and year-round Education Program. Celebrating its 60th edition October 16 - 27, 2024, the Chicago International Film Festival is North America's longest-running competitive film festival. For more information, please visit or follow us on FacebookInstagramYouTube and Twitter.

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