2014 Commitment to Excellence Award for TV Productions
A Chicago native, Carol Mendelsohn has been the showrunner and Executive Producer of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation since it first aired in 2000. Now in its fourteenth season, CSI held the title of the world’s most-watched television series from 2008 to 2012, with an estimated audience of over 63 million viewers worldwide. In addition, Mendelsohn is a co-creator and Executive Producer of CSI: Miami and CSI: NY. A veteran television writer and producer whose credits include Fame, Wiseguy, and Melrose Place, Mendelsohn honed her craft with Stephen J. Cannell and Aaron Spelling, before joining the production of CSI. Her profound impact on television in the 21st century has garnered nominations from the Writers Guild of America, Producers Guild of America, and Emmy Awards.
In 2010, she launched Carol Mendelsohn Productions to develop and produce various projects across scripted and non-scripted series and pilots. Since inception, the company has sold and produced a variety of projects to CBS, CW, TNT, FX, USA and Showtime. The first two shows to premiere under its banner were The Defenders and Dogs in the City, both on CBS.
2014 Commitment to Excellence Award for TV Commercials: STORY
STORY produces smart, effective advertising messages for some of the most popular product and services in America. With offices in Chicago and Santa Monica, it is one of the few commercial producers with a true national presence and capabilities. The company is run by Executive Producers Mark Androw and Cliff Grant.
Founded in 1989 STORY has long standing relationships with its clients and directors. STORY has been producing for advertising agencies Leo Burnett, Doner, Ogilvy, and Cramer Krasselt for over 25 years. The company’s directors have won awards in almost every advertising show including Clio’s, Emmy’s, Cannes Lions and many more.
STORY’s key asset is its superb roster of directors, an eclectic mix of seasoned veterans and emerging young talent. Their specialties run the gamut of advertising genres from visual storytelling to comedy and cutting edge visuals and effects.
Company president and executive producer, Mark Androw is a licensed attorney and was the former Chairman of the Association of Independent Commercial Producers (AICP). The association has had only 8 Chairmen in its 30-year existence and Androw is the only one from outside of NY or LA to serve in that position. Androw is active in many industry organizations in addition his 10 year association with the AICP. He is on the board of the Illinois Production Alliance and a trustee on the Directors Guild of America commercial qualifications program as well as a trustee on the Producers Health Benefit Plan.
Artistic Achievement Award: JESSE SPENCER
An Australian native, Spencer made his American television debut in the critically-acclaimed Fox series House, playing Dr. Robert Chase opposite Hugh Laurie for all of the show's eight seasons until the series ended in May 2012. Spencer is currently starring in the NBC hit drama Chicago Fire as Matthew Casey, a strong, intuitive Lieutenant who leads the Truck company and is unwavering in his commitment to the job.
Spencer's film credits include a starring role in Uptown Girls with Brittany Murphy, the biopic Swimming Upstream with Geoffrey Rush and Judy Davis, as well as Spike Lee's independent feature Girl Is in Trouble. He has worked extensively in the U.K. and Australia, both in television and theater. He starred in the acclaimed BBC drama Death in Holy Orders and has had starring roles in the BBC adaptation of Lorna Doone and Hallmark's Stranded. He began his career starring in the long-running Australian soap, Neighbours.
One of the most prolific and influential elements in the lives of millions, television has long been a fixture of the American experience. Now in its 50th year, the Chicago International Film Festival Television Awards has honored the most innovative and outstanding members of the television community. As television productions and commercials continue to evolve in the digital age, the Competition is an annual gathering for those who keep the medium vibrant and shape its future. The celebration culminates in an Awards Night Gala, which showcases the winning works and presents career achievement awards to select people or companies that have had a lasting impact on the medium. In 2013, ESPN Films, Walter Jacobson, and Leo Burnett were honored at the awards ceremony. Join us April 10, as we present the top awards in this year's competition, and pay tribute to legends of the industry.