Ben Affleck will present his longtime friend and co-star, Matt Damon, with the 24th American Cinematheque Award at the Cinematheque’s annual benefit gala on Saturday, March 27, 2010 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel’s International Ballroom in Beverly Hills. The award presentation concludes an evening of in-person tributes from Damon’s colleagues, Casey Affleck, Don Cheadle, Clint Eastwood, Jimmy Kimmel, Greg Kinnear, Charlize Theron and Robin Williams. In addition, George Clooney and Ben Stiller will pay tribute by partaking in individual pre-taped comedy sketches, while President William Jefferson Clinton appears in and narrates a piece surrounding Damon’s humanitarian efforts that will be played during the show. Added guests will be announced as they are confirmed.
ABC will premiere the Award Show broadcast of “Hollywood Salutes Matt Damon: An American Cinematheque Tribute” at a later date. This is the 1st year that ABC will broadcast the show. Damon was the unanimous choice of the Cinematheque Board of Directors selection committee which, since 1986, has annually honored an extraordinary artist (actor, director or writer) in the entertainment industry who is fully engaged in his or her work and is committed to making a significant contribution to the art of the motion picture.
The American Cinematheque Award is presented annually to an extraordinary artist currently making a significant contribution to the art of the Moving Picture and is a mid-career achievement honor. Proceeds from the event go towards the year round operation of the American Cinematheque’s public programming at the Egyptian and Aero Theatres in Los Angeles.
Eddie Murphy received the first American Cinematheque Award in 1986. Previous honorees are Bette Midler (1987), Robin Williams (1988), Steven Spielberg (1989), Ron Howard (1990), Martin Scorsese (1991), Sean Connery (1992), Michael Douglas (1993), Rob Reiner (1994), Mel Gibson (1995), Tom Cruise (1996), John Travolta (1997), Arnold Schwarzenegger (1998), Jodie Foster (1999), Bruce Willis (2000), Nicolas Cage (2001), Denzel Washington (2002), Nicole Kidman (2003), Steve Martin (2004), Al Pacino (2005), George Clooney (2006), Julia Roberts (2007) and Samuel L. Jackson (2008).
One thousand entertainment industry notables are expected to attend the tribute. This annual event is the American Cinematheque’s most important benefit, providing funds for the non-profit film exhibition organization’s programs throughout the year and operation of the historic landmark Egyptian Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard, as well as the Aero Theatre in Santa Monica on Montana Avenue.
The executive producers of the show are Paul Flattery, Barbara Smith and Michael Dempsey. Irene Crinita is the producer and Kelly Brock co-producer. Co-chairs and presenters of the event will be announced as they are confirmed. Corrinne Mann is the benefit producer.