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Gene Siskel Film Center to honor Reese Witherspoon
From a news release
2011-11-21

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Chicago--The Gene Siskel Film Center of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) proudly presents "A Summer Evening with Reese Witherspoon" for its annual benefit in honor of Academy Award® winning actress Reese Witherspoon on Saturday, June 23, from 6 to 10 p.m. at The Ritz-Carlton (160 E. Pearson Street). Witherspoon will attend and engage in a discussion led by a special guest host to be announced at a later date. Tickets are on sale now, available by calling (312) 846-2072. Prices start at $400 for a single ticket and $5,000 for a table.

A highlight of the evening will be the presentation of the "Gene Siskel Film Center Renaissance Award" to Witherspoon by SAIC President Dr. Walter E. Massey.

"It is a privilege to honor Witherspoon with the Gene Siskel Film Center's annual award," said Jean de St. Aubin, Executive Director, Gene Siskel Film Center of the SAIC. "Her wide range of performances have won the hearts of many, including her unforgettable roles as Tracy Flick in 'Election,' Elle Woods in 'Legally Blonde,' and her Oscar®-winning portrayal of June Carter Cash in 'Walk the Line.' We are also excited to talk with her about this year's release 'Water for Elephants' and 'This Means War' which will be coming out in February.' "

The evening begins at 6 p.m. with a reception. Dinner will be served at 7 p.m., followed by the evening's program. The discussion with Witherspoon and a special guest will feature film clips from Witherspoon's career. At the conclusion of the program, Massey will present Witherspoon with the "Gene Siskel Film Center Renaissance Award."

"I'm thrilled to have the opportunity to present Ms. Witherspoon with this award," said Massey. "She is truly a renaissance woman, and as such embodies the interdisciplinary focus of both the Film Center and SAIC. She is a perfect recipient for this award."

R.S. Owens, creator of the Oscar® statuette, will design an award specifically for "A Summer Evening with Reese Witherspoon."

Suggested attire for the evening is Cocktail Glam. Limited valet parking is available.

Proceeds from "A Summer Evening with Reese Witherspoon" will support the Gene Siskel Film Center's presentations as well as lecture series and discussions with visiting scholars and filmmakers that provide 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 Gene Siskel Film Center can continue to present the highest quality films and film-related events in Chicago.

ABOUT REESE WITHERSPOON

Versatile actress Reese Witherspoon has been in the film industry for two decades with over 30 movies, having worked in a variety of genres. At home in classic and contemporary roles, Witherspoon has starred in Pleasantville, Election, and American Psycho, received worldwide attention with box office hits Legally Blonde and Sweet Home Alabama, and became legendary when she won the Academy Award® for Best Actress in a Lead Role for her unforgettable performance as June Carter Cash in Walk the Line. She will next be seen alongside Tom Hardy and Chris Pine in This Means War. Witherspoon is also a producer and has her own production company Type A Films whose titles include Legally Blonde 2, Four Christmases, and Penelope. Witherspoon is actively involved with a number of charitable organizations, including serving as Avon's Global Ambassador and Honorary Chairman of the Avon Foundation for Women which focuses on Women's Empowerment, as well as a supporter of the International Violence Against Women's Act, the Rape Treatment Center at the Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center, and Save the Children. She is currently on the board of the Children's Defense Fund for which she and 13 women opened the first "Freedom School" in her native New Orleans.

A SUMMER EVENING WITH REESE WITHERSPOON TICKET INFORMATION & CALENDAR LISTING

The Gene Siskel Film Center of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago proudly presents "A Summer Evening with Reese Witherspoon" in honor of the Academy Award® winning actor Reese Witherspoon. The evening features a reception followed by an elegant dinner. Witherspoon will then have a discussion with a special, yet-unannounced guest, and the discussion will feature film clips from her career. The evening concludes with the presentation of the "Gene Siskel Film Center Renaissance Award" to Witherspoon by SAIC President Walter Massey. Saturday, June 23 at 6 p.m., The Ritz-Carlton, 160 E. Pearson Street. Single tickets range in price from $400 to $1,000 (VIP). Table sponsorships range in price from $5,000 to $50,000; call (312) 846-2072 for tickets, tables or more information.

ABOUT THE GENE SISKEL FILM CENTER

For close to 40 years, The Gene Siskel Film Center of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago has presented independent and international cinema, film festivals, cutting edge programs, premieres, retrospectives and classic films. Recognized internationally for its original film programming, the Film Center annually presents approximately 1,500 screenings and 100 guest artist appearances to more than 80,000 film enthusiasts at its unique, sophisticated, modern facilities at 164 N. State Street. For more information, please visit www.siskelfilmcenter.org .

The Gene Siskel Film Center is a public program of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

ABOUT THE SCHOOL OF THE ART INSTITUTE OF CHICAGO

A leader in educating artists, designers, and scholars since 1866, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) offers nationally accredited undergraduate, graduate, and post-baccalaureate programs to nearly 3,200 students from around the globe. Located in the heart of Chicago, SAIC has an educational philosophy built upon an interdisciplinary approach to art and design, giving students unparalleled opportunities to develop their creative and critical abilities, while working with renowned faculty who include many of the leading practitioners in their fields. SAIC's resources include the Art Institute of Chicago and its new Modern Wing; numerous special collections and programming venues provide students with exceptional exhibitions, screenings, lectures, and performances. For more information, please visit www.saic.edu

The Gene Siskel Film Center and SAIC are part of The Art Institute of Chicago. For more information about the Art Institute please visit www.artic.edu


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