Luminaries from Chicago's television, advertising and filmmaking communities filled the ballroom at the Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel for the 49th Chicago International Film Festival Television Awards gala April 23. More than 300 people were on hand as advertising agency Leo Burnett received the Commitment to Excellence Award for TV commercials. Steve Levitan, creator of the ABC hit show "Modern Family," introduced Susan Credle (Leo Burnett Chicago's chief creative officer) and Rich Stoddart (president of Burnett North America), who accepted the silver Hugo award.
Documentary filmmaker Steve James ("Hoop Dreams" and "The Interrupters") introduced Michael Kutza, founder of the Chicago International Film Festival and CIFF Television Awards, who presented the Commitment to Excellence Award for TV productions to ESPN Films.
The inaugural Chicago Legend Award was presented to veteran television journalist Walter Jacobson. He was introduced by his former co-anchor Bill Kurtis as vintage Channel 2 ads and a film clip of Jacobson's career played on screen. "All I wanted to do was get a story, tell it well and beat the competition. I'm feeling like a very lucky guy, a dreamer whose dream has come true, being a reporter," Jacobson said.
Jeanne Sparrow, co-host of WCIU's "You & Me This Morning," emceed the awards ceremony that also presented Konrad Zielinski, Poland's vice consul of culture and media, with a silver Hugo for "Entangled," a social/political documentary. Burrell Communications Group received the Audience Choice Award for its McDonald's spot "All American," and a silver Hugo was awarded to ad agency mcgarrybowen for its moving Disney commercial "I Am a Princess."
Freelance writer Candace Jordan is involved with many local organizations, including some whose events she covers
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