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.