The ceremony is set to take place on December 2nd at Cipriani Wall Street in New York City. Whitaker will be joined on the day by previous tributees Richard Linklater and Katherine Oliver. The 2013 Actor Tribute seeks to honor the Independent film-rooted work of an actor whose craft has evolved as distinctly profound and diverse. IFP Executive Director Joana Vicente has remarked that the independent filmmaking advocacy organization is, “thrilled to pay honor to a man whose work has played a significant role in the film world over the last 25 years.” Vicente further commended Whitaker’s breadth of talent and experience by noting, “breaking boundaries and challenging audiences with complex, multi-faceted roles, Forest Whitaker is a significant independent voice whose performances have only been elevated by his visionary work as a producer, director, and humanitarian.” Whitaker’s most recent performances include his starring role as White House head butler Cecil Gaines in “Lee Daniels’ The Butler” and will appear in the upcoming “Black Nativity” and “Out of the Furnace.”
Whitaker’s work has been recognized by the Academy Awards, the BAFTAs, the Golden Globes, the Emmy Awards, the National Board of Review, the Peabody Awards, and the Screen Actors Guild, among many others. Previous Gotham Award honorees include: actors Matt Damon, Marion Cotillard, Charlize Theron, Robert Duval, Stanley Tucci, Natalie Portman, Javier Bardem, Pénelope Cruz and Kate Winslet; directors David O. Russell, David Cronenberg, Mira Nair, Gus Van Sant, Spike Lee and Martin Scorsese; industry icons Jeff Skoll, Tom Rothman, James Schamus, Bob & Harvey Weinstein, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Sheila Nevins, Michael Barker, Tom Bernard, Marcie Bloom, Jonathan Sehring, and film critic Roger Ebert.
Nominees for the 23rd Annual Gotham Independent Film Awards will be announced on October 24th.