Forest Whitaker to Receive Career Achievement Award at El Gouna Film Festival Closing Ceremony
In recognition for his remarkable stature as an actor and his effective humanitarian role
El Gouna, September 14, 2017 — El Gouna Film Festival is proud to announce that it will bestow a Career Achievement Award on Forest Whitaker for his distinguished artistic and humanitarian careers. The award will be presented at the closing night ceremony on September 29.
In its first edition, El Gouna Film Festival will give three Career Achievement Awards to leading Egyptian, Arab, and international filmmakers. The first of these, announced last week and to be presented at the opening night of the Festival is to iconic Egyptian actor Adel Imam. The name of the first Arab honoree will be announced soon. “Forest Whitaker is one of the most influential actors in the world,” says GFF founder Engineer Naguib Sawiris, “Not to mention that he is one of the few film stars whose commitment to the humanitarian values of peace and equality and their role in combatting poverty and hunger remains unwavering.”
Meanwhile, Festival Director Intishal Al Timimi stressed the importance of acknowledging artists who have devoted their life to the craft of cinema. “Whitaker is an influential figure on the contemporary film scene, and his skill and fame extend beyond those of a conventional actor, which is evident in his choice to often portray roles of significant social and political dimensions,” he says. “We look forward to welcoming him at the festival, especially since the motto of our first edition is ‘Cinema for Humanity.”
Whitaker is the recipient of more than fifty major international awards, including an Oscar, a BAFTA, a Golden Globe and a New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actor for his portrayal of former Ugandan president Idi Amin in Kevin Macdonald’s The Last King of Scotland (2006). He also won the Best Actor award at the Cannes Film Festival for his role in Clint Eastwood’s Bird (1988), and the Career Achievement Award at the 2013 Abu Dhabi Film Festival.
The American star is one of the most celebrated film actors in the world, with a significantly rich cinematic career throughout which he’s worked with some of the most important directors in the world, such as Martin Scorsese, Richard Benjamin, and Stephen Hopkins. He has worked on more than 120 films for cinema and television, including Amy Heckerling’s Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982), Martin Scorsese’s The Color of Money (1986), Oliver Stone’s Platoon (1986), Bill Duke’s A Rage in Harlem (1991), Neil Gordon’s The Crying Game (1992) and Jim Jarmusch’s Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai (1999), David Fincher’s Panic Room (2002), Tim Story’s Hurricane Season (2009), Lee Daniels’ The Butler (2013) and Rachid Bouchareb’s Two Men in Town (2014), Denis Villeneuve’s Arrival (2016), Gareth Edwards, Rogue One – a Star Wars Story, and due out in February, Marvel’s Black
He has also directed six films, the last of which was First Daughter in 2004. Whitaker is also an active humanitarian. He established the Whitaker Peace & Development Initiative in 2012 whose mission is to develop an array of peace-building programs, initiatives, and campaigns to foster peace and reconciliation in disadvantaged and fragile communities in different regions of the world, including Africa, Latin America, and the United States.