American Actor and Director Forest Whitaker to receive Career Achievement Award for his distinguished artistic and humanitarian careers at the closing ceremony of El Gouna Film Festival to be held on September 29.
In its first edition, El Gouna Film Festival will give three Career Achievement Awards to leading Egyptian, Arab, and international filmmakers.
“Forest Whitaker is one of the most influential actors in the world,” says GFF Founder 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 combating poverty and hunger remains unwavering,” added Sawiris.
Meanwhile, Festival Director Intishal Al Timimi stressed the importance of acknowledging artists who have devoted their lives 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,” says Al Timimi.
He added, “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 50 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”. He also won the Best Actor award at the Cannes Film Festival for his role in Clint Eastwood’s “Bird”, and the Career Achievement Award at the 2013 Abu Dhabi Film Festival.
He has also directed ix films, the last of which was “First Daughter” in 2004.
As 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.