FACETS, Chicago’s historic film screening and educational non-profit, has announced that its 2022 Screen Gems Benefit will celebrate the life and career of RogerEbert.com publisher Chaz Ebert at 6pm on Wednesday, September 28th at the Arts Club of Chicago, 201 E. Ontario Street. The special award presentation will be given by Chicago Tribune film critic and Filmspotting guest host, Michael Phillips, while FACETS’ esteemed Honorary Committee is comprised of Ken Burns, Stephanie Comer, Werner Herzog, Steve James, Barbara Martinez Jitner, Bill Kurtis, Donna La Pietra, Josh Larsen, Elizabeth Nadja, Gregory Nava, Gordon Quinn, Erica Mann Ramis, Brenda Robinson, Richard Roeper, Michael Glover Smith and Pepe Vargas.
Karen Carderelli, the Executive Director of FACETS said, “Entrepreneur, publisher, author, producer, and philanthropist Chaz Ebert has spent her career championing overlooked films and filmmakers, providing invaluable opportunities for new and diverse voices. Her work as a film producer, most recently in Rebecca Hall’s “Passing,” has bolstered diversity and change in the film industry. […] And as president of the Roger and Chaz Ebert Foundation, Ms. Ebert’s stated passion is about programs that help break the glass ceiling for women and people of color and provide education and arts for women, children, and families. We applaud her efforts in the industry.”
Chaz told us she is surprised and humbled that FACETS is honoring her, and that she is happy to be involved in raising funds to help FACETS continue its important work in distributing and exhibiting independent cinema that was started by its founder, Milos Stehlik. “Milos started one of the first cinematheques in the country,” said Ebert. “Roger called Facets a Temple of Great Cinema, and a treasure to Chicago and the nation. And I am so happy to see that Karen and the board and staff are continuing to provide an outlet for the Children’s International Film Festival, as well as working with other organizations to support indie cinema. I am also grateful to Milos’ widow, Elizabeth, and to all of the filmmakers and philanthropists on the Honorary Host Committee who remain committed to the cause. Milos said that the world will not heal itself but that teaching good films can help. Both Milos and Roger have stated that through art we can help to fight a climate of hate, threats to the environment and open the world to more empathy.”
Chaz Ebert has provided grants to support films with strong social justice themes, and she has supported emerging writers, filmmakers, and technologists with her endowment of scholarships, internships, or awards at the Sundance Film Festival, Film Independent Spirit Awards, the University of Illinois Ebert Fellowships, the Hawaii International Film Festival-Young Critics Program, the Telluride Ebert/TFF University Seminars and the Columbia College Links Journalism Awards in conjunction with the Chicago Urban League.
She also provides the Ebert Humanitarian Award at the Roger Ebert Film Festival to filmmakers whose films exhibit an unusually compassionate view of humanity. And has endowed both the Chicago International Film Festival and the Toronto International Film Festival with the Ebert Director Awards.
She is a life trustee of the Art Institute and serves on the boards of the Lyric Opera, the Lincoln Presidential Foundation, After School Matters, and the Shirley Ryan Ability Lab, along with the Honorary Board of Family Focus and the Advisory Board of FACETS.
The event includes an open bar and dinner, special tribute to Chaz Ebert, and a paddle raise and silent auction. Tax-deductible tickets start at $300 for a single ticket and range up to $10,000 for a Producer Sponsor package that includes 10 VIP tickets and Lead Sponsor acknowledgement. All proceeds will be directed to the Bross Scholarship Fund supporting under-resourced youth. Scholarships provide free access to the Annual Chicago International Children’s Film Festival and to Summer Film Camp.
The Screen Gems Benefit 2022 planning committee is chaired by Randy Adamsick, Judy Bross, Suzette Bross, Karen Cardarelli, Biba Roesch, and Mitch Cobey. Ms. Ebert has been a longtime supporter of FACETS and a beacon of advice and encouragement as the organization has found its new place in the cinema landscape.
Tickets can be purchased online at www.facets.org/screen-gems, by emailing [email protected], or by calling (312) 560-3879. Gifts can also be made in support of FACETS and its Bross Scholarship Fund at www.facets.org/donate.