Hollywood On State Review- An evening of celebration of film, art, fashion and diversity

“Hollywood On State, Where You’re The Star”, version 2016, Chicago’s longest running awards show viewing party took place Sunday night, February 28, 2016 at the Gene Siskel Film Center (GSFC) of The School of The Art Institute, (SAIC) Chicago, 164 N. State St. The Center is located in the heart of the Theater District, and is known for screening independent movies and documentaries, often with the opportunity for question and answer sessions after the films with the directors. For “Hollywood On State”, the Red Carpet was rolled out at 6, and viewing of the 88th Annual Academy Awards show on the giant screens began at 7:30. In the interim, there were wonderful people to meet, stunning fashions to ogle, delicious food to nibble, great drinks to sip- and even a fun and fabulously endowed silent auction upon which to bid.

Shirley Massey, President of SAIC Walter E. Massey, GSFC Executive Director Jean de St. Aubin, and GSFC Advisory Board Chair Ellen Sander

HOS was co-chaired by GSFC Advisory Board members Chuck Droege and Eda Davidman, clad in a gorgeous lace top by Self Portrait and funky red-heeled shoes by Dries Van Noten.

Co-Hosts for the event were MasterChef star, SAIC Department of Fashion Design faculty member Tommy Walton- in a superbly cut Viktor and Rolf tuxedo (his design partner, Roger Price, was a vision in  Alexander McQueen)- and 3-time Project Runway contestant Kate Pankoke, also a designer, (Elaya Vaughan Bridal by Kate Pankoke) in a stunning off-the-shoulder tulle evening gown of her own creation, with a boned corset and train.

HOS Red Carpet hosts Kate Pankoke and Tommy Walton

The following Chicago filmmakers were honored for excellence in film and commitment to the city:

-       Kartemquin Films, it being their 50th anniversary, a collaborative center for documentary media makers whose mission includes sparking democracy through documentary

-       Ines Sommer, a documentary fillmaker, who frequently collaborates with other fillmakers as a cinematographer, notably for Kartemquin Films

-       Terry Hesser, an author and Emmy-award winning documentary filmmaker

-        Melissa Sage Fadim, producer and “creative and financial Godmother to countless creative and educational endeavors”

-       Shahari Moore, producer, writer, director and faculty member Olive-Harvey College, Department of African American Studies

-       Christine List, author and faculty member, Chicago State University, Department of Communication, Media Arts and Theater

-        Ronit Bezalel, of RonitFilms, “known for her thought provoking social commentaries”

James Lee Grant and HOS Honoree/Filmmaker Shahari Moore

More than 225 beautifully dressed men and women laughed, talked, mingled and had a lot of fun. Some of the designers represented by the ladies included Carolina Herrera, Armani, Monique Lhuillier, Prada and Christian Laboutin. One lady appeared in an off-the-rack silver mini-dress and silver stilettos and stole the show! Another woman, "of a certain age", confided in this reviewer that her dress was “the one I wore to my bas-mitzvah”.

Guests from True Partners enjoy the Red Carpet Festivities

The luscious food included popcorn grits from “Raison D’etre,” sparerib tortelloni  from “Untitled Supper Club” and a custom-made Eli’s Cheesecake shaped like an Academy Award.

Most importantly, the event raised more than $57,000 for the GSFC’s diverse programming efforts, which include various annual film festivals celebrating numerous cultures and voices. Both the GSFC and the SAIC, a world leader in education,  are part of the internationally-renowned Art Institute of Chicago, itself a strong proponent of access and inclusion.

Guests enjoy the show on GSFC's state-of-the-art big screens

For more information, visit www.artic.edu

All photos courtesy of Robert Carl

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