Kutza has received a number of honors for his cultural achievements. Among them, in 1972, Kutza received the Silver Lion Award at the Venice Film Festival, and in 1978, the Chicago Sun-Times‘ “Exceptional Contribution to Chicago” award. In 1985, Jack Lang, then the French Minister of Culture, bestowed the Chevalier de L’ordre des Arts et des Lettres upon him during the Cannes Film Festival for his work in promoting fine arts. In 1987, Kutza served on the Camera d’Or Jury at the Cannes Film Festival. In 1995, he was a member of the jury at the 45th Berlin International Film Festival. In 1996, the city of Chicago honorarily designated S. Michigan Ave from Van Buren to Congress as “Michael J. Kutza Way.” In 2009, Kutza was honored by the Landmarks Preservation Council of Illinois as one of its “Legendary Landmarks”, a title bestowed on “citizens who have made contributions to the civic and cultural life of Chicago and Illinois.” In 2010, Kutza accepted the “Media Award” from the Niagara Foundation’s Peace & Dialogue Awards. The same year, Chicago Magazine included Kutza on their list of “Top 40 Chicago Pioneers,” alongside Oprah, Barack Obama, Studs Terkel, Roger Ebert, and Gene Siskel. In 2012, Kutza received the American Cinematheque’s Sydney Pollack Award. Cinematheque chairman Rick Nicita described the award: “The Sydney Pollack Award honors someone who has been of critical importance and continuing influence in non-profit film exhibition, film preservation and/or independent film distribution – people whose work Sydney supported and found to be so valuable, who are not often recognized for their efforts. And there’s no one who better represents Sydney’s commitment to the art of film than Michael.” In June 2015, Michael Kutza was named a Knight of the Legion of Honour by the President of the French Republic for his achievements as “an internationally recognized graphic designer, filmmaker and the Founder of the Chicago International Film Festival.” The Italian government awarded Kutza with the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic in 2017 for his contribution to Italian film.
French Legion Of Honour