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Chicago's Gene Siskel Film Center to honor Morgan Freeman this June

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Morgan Freeman will be honored by the Gene Siskel Film Center this summer, the organization announced on Thursday. The event will take place at the Ritz-Carlton Chicago on June 7. The Academy Award-winning actor will be in attendance to discuss his prestigious career, and the event will culminate in his reception of the Gene Siskel Film Center Renaissance Award.

The Gene Siskel Film Center is a part of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago(SAIC). Both organizations are part of The Art Institute of Chicago. SAIC President Dr. Walter E. Massey will present the Renaissance Award, which was designed specifically for the Gene Siskel Film Center by the same creators of the Oscar statuette: R.S. Owens & Company. The award is bestowed annually on a select actor or director who has been deemed to advance the art of film. Past recipients have included George Lucas, John Woo, Michael Mann, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Robert Downey Jr.

Jean de St. Aubin, Executive Director of the Gene Siskel Film Center of the SAIC, commented on the announcement:

“In a film career that spans more than four decades and an incredibly diverse canon of roles, audiences have come to expect that Mr. Freeman will deliver performances that are insightful, moving and always memorable. The instantly recognizable, deep resonance of his voice brings a distinctive richness to every film he appears in or narrates. It is a great honor for us to be able to welcome him to Chicago as we salute him for mesmerizing moviegoers for so many years.”

All proceeds for the event will be used to support the Gene Siskel Film Center, which provides special film presentations, lecture programs and even discussions with filmmakers. The annual gala is the primary means of fundraising for the organization, which was renamed in honor of late film critic Gene Siskel in 2000. Tickets are priced between $500-$1000, and are available by calling 312-846-2072. Table sponsorships are also available.

Morgan Freeman was last seen in mild Vegas romp “Last Vegas”, and he will next be heard in “The Lego Movie.” He also stars in this April's “Transcendence”, Wally Pfister’s sci-fi directorial debut.

Tickets and scheduling information for current and upcoming film presentations at the Gene Siskel Film Center can be found at the organization’s website.

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