The Film Society of Lincoln Center has announced that its inaugural New York Film Festival Gala Tributes will honor Nicole Kidman and the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s departing programming chief Richard Peña. The Kidman tribute will occur October 3; Peña will be celebrated in what is essentially a retirement party on October 10.
The Film Society of Lincoln Center also announced that Kidman’s latest film, Lee Daniel’s “The Paperboy,” which was one of the Cannes Film Festival’s most divisive titles earlier this year, is a part of this year’s NYFF main slate. The Southern potboiler stars Kidman as Charlotte, the fiancée of a wrongly convicted man (John Cusack) on death row. Charlotte meets college dropout Jack Jensen (Zac Efron) who helps his journalist brother Ward (Matthew McConaughey) investigate.
In a release that cited Kidman’s breakthrough performance in “To Die For,” three Oscar nominations, one Oscar win, eight Goden Globe nominations, one Emmy nomination, and well-regarded turns in Lars Von Trier’s “Dogville,” Kubrick’s “Eyes Wide Shut” and Stephen Daldry’s “The Hours,” Peña noted, “Kidman has insisted on finding roles that are complex, bold and demanding. We are excited to honor her with a tribute at the New York Film Festival.”
The other honoree, Richard Peña, has been at the Film Society of Lincoln Center for 25 years as the Program Director and the Committee Chair of the New York Film Festival. Peña divides his time between the Film Society and his post as a Professor of Film Studies at Columbia University. He is also the host of WNET/Channel 13’s “Reel 13.”
On the announcement that her colleague would be honored, Film Society of Lincoln Center Executive Director Rose Kuo noted, “It is very fitting that we celebrate the 50th birthday of the New York Film Festival by honoring the man who has guided the festival’s artistic vision for the last 25 years. Richard Pena helped us discover directors like Pedro Almodovar, Abbas Kiarostami, Olivier Assayas, Lars Von Trier and Hou Hsiao-hsien, making an indelible contribution to film culture in New York CIty and around the world. We hope that his friends and colleagues will join us for a special evening to celebrate his achievements.”