Ben Affleck will present Matt Damon the 24th American Cinematheque Award at the Beverly Hilton on March 27. The two pals earned screenwriting Oscars for Good Will Hunting. Casey Affleck, Don Cheadle, President Bill Clinton, George Clooney, Clint Eastwood, Jimmy Kimmel, Greg Kinnear, Ben Stiller, Charlize Theron, and Robin Williams will participate in the tribute, which will air for the first time on ABC at a later date. Clinton will honor Damon's humanitarian efforts via videotape.
Oddly, this tribute comes at a time when Damon's stardom hasn't saved
twothree films from b.o. disappointment: Steven Soderbergh's The Informant!, Eastwood's Invictus, for which Damon earned a supporting actor nomination, and his Bourne franchise collaborator Paul Greengrass's Green Zone, which proves yet again that audiences don't want to see Iraq war stories, no matter how well made.
Cinematheque board chair Rick Nicita will give the second annual Sydney Pollack Award to Telluride Film Festival co-director Tom Luddy, who co-founded the fest with Bill and Stella Pence in 1974. The award "honors someone who has been of critical importance and continuing influence in non-profit film exhibition, film preservation and/or independent film distribution - people whose work Sydney supported and found to be so valuable, who are not often recognized for their efforts," states the Cinematheque. San Francisco-based Luddy was closely involved with both the San Francisco International Film Festival, the Pacific Film Archive and American Zoetrope. Tribeca and Sundance Film Festival exec Geoff Gilmore took home the first Pollack award in December 2008.
In other news, famed editor, sound designer, restorer and three-time Oscar winner Walter Murch (Apocalypse Now) will present theories on the evolution of filmmaking in his State of Cinema address, "Three Fathers of Cinema: Beethoven, Flaubert, Edison," on April 25 at the 53rd San Francisco Fest.
DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg (who was in fine spirits at the premiere of surefire smash How to Train Your Dragon Sunday) will give the commencement address on May 14 at USC's School of Cinematic Arts, which will also award its Mary Pickford Foundation Award to Jon Landau, producer of Avatar and Titanic and a USC alumnus.