Michael Kutza, founder of the Chicago International Film Festival, presents his first book, Starstruck, chronicling his 50 years in cinema and the world of celebrity.

Michael Kutza, founder of the Chicago International Film Festival, presents his first book, Starstruck, chronicling his 50 years in cinema and the world of celebrity.

Michael Kutza, founder of the Chicago International Film Festival and Chicago Star board member, has published his first book, Starstruck: How I Magically Transformed Chicago into Hollywood for More Than Fifty Years. Coming in September, some 57 years after launching the Festival, the book is a provocative, sexy, colorful, irreverent memoir that details Kutza’s wild ride that transformed Chicago into an essential cinematic destination. The book has a rich collection of photographs that follows Kutza’s journey heading the Festival that predated Sundance, Tribeca and Toronto Film Festivals.

Published by Bear Manor Media, the book traces Kutza’s journey as the child of doctors growing up on Chicago’s West Side who decided in his early 20’s that his town desperately needed a truly international film event to call its own. With essential assists from silent screen star Colleen Moore and the legendary director King Vidor, he launched the festival in 1965.

As described in vivid detail in Starstruck, Kutza presided over an annual gathering that would, over the next half-century, host a veritable Who’s Who of the film world – from Harold Lloyd to Clint Eastwood, Bette Davis to Viola Davis, Steven Spielberg to Spike Lee, Guillermo del Toro to Jodie Foster, Lauren Bacall to Al Pacino. At the same time, the festival helped introduce a plethora of new talent that would go on to revolutionize the movie business, including Martin Scorsese, Oliver Stone and Helen Mirren.

STARSTRUCK will be available this fall via all the usual online platforms, including Amazon and Barnes & Noble, as well as at select bookstores in Chicago and around the country. ($39 hardcover, $29 paperback)

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