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Hugo television awards

Cinema/Chicago, the presenting organization of the Chicago International Film Festival, will be presenting the 43rd Annual Hugo Television Awards on Thursday, April 12 beginning at 5:30pm at the Chicago Cultural Center’s Claudia Cassidy Theater. NBC5 news anchor Bob Sirott will host the event honoring those who push the envelope and display a mastery of their television commercial and production craft. The evening will honor the winners from this year’s competition as well as present Commitment to Excellence Awards to MJZ and Towers Productions.

In 1989, MJZ was founded by producers David Zander and directors Rocky Morton and Annabel Jankel. After being named “Production Company of the Year” from Creativity Magazine in 2002, 2003 and 2005 and also bringing home the 2003 and 2006 awards from Boards Magazine, MJZ Productions captured the coveted Cannes “Palme d’Or” in 2005 and again in 2006. Boasting a stable of prominent directors including Spike Jonze, Dante Ariola and Craig Gillespie, the excellence of MJZ’s work has led to the company winning more international awards than any other commercial production company.

Philip Bajorat, Hugo Television Awards Coordinator, said "As David [Zander] often comments, and their history clearly illustrates, 'it's all about the work.’ Nobody's output has made a more indelible imprint on the commercials industry in recent years. If anyone is deserving of the Commitment to Excellence award, it's MJZ."

Also founded in 1989, Towers Productions, Inc. (TPI) has produced hundreds of hours of informative and entertaining programming for US and international networks including A&E, CNN, The History Channel, Discovery Networks, Lifetime and NBC. Among the Company’s signature series are American Justice and Biography (A&E) - two of the longest-running shows in cable television. Nominated for Emmy and Cable Ace Awards, Towers Productions was recently nominated for a Prime-Time Emmy Award, and also honored for Best Writing and Best News Documentary Special at the New York Festival for the four-part mini-series Inside 9/11, produced for the National Geographic Channel.

Michael Kutza, the Founder and Artistic Director of the Chicago International Film Festival, said, "I have watched Jonathan and Towers Productions grow over the years to become an international leader in non-fiction television programming and the largest full-service production company in Chicago. They do it all from start to finish. We are proud to present them with this award of excellence."

Finalists in the 2007 Hugo Television Awards' commercials competition will be showcased on WTTW's Image Union. The public can vote for their favorite at or to determine the Audience Choice Award.

There will be a dinner buffet and cocktails leading up to the ceremony at 7:30 p.m. Guest speakers at the event include: Grant Hill, Global Production Director, DDB; Bill Kurtis, A&E Network anchor and award-winning television journalist; and Betsy Steinberg, Managing Director, Illinois Film Office. An after-party in the Rotunda will follow the ceremony at 9.

Members of Cinema/Chicago, the presenting organization of the Chicago International Film Festival, may purchase General Admission tickets for $42. General admission tickets for non-members are $50. For additional information, please call 312.683.0121 or visit the website at

The Chicago International Film Festival Office located at 30 E. Adams St., Suite 800
Hours: 10 a.m. - 6p.m., Monday through Friday (closed Saturdays and Sundays)

Cinema/Chicago, the presenting organization of the Chicago International Film Festival, is a non-profit cultural and educational organization dedicated to fostering better communication between people of diverse cultures through the art of the moving image.


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