Late actor, filmmaker, and activist Sidney Poitier is slated to posthumously receive the Icon Tribute this year at the Gotham Awards. The award will be presented to his family by Emmy-nominated actor Jonathan Majors. The Hollywood idol passed away earlier this year. He was 94 years old.
The annual award ceremony will take place live in NYC on Nov. 28th.
According to Deadline, the prestigious award was created by the Gotham Awards Advisory Committee last year to highlight “the boldness, artistry and impact of a filmmaker from a historically excluded community whose work has not been previously recognized by the organization.” In 2021, filmmaker Kathleen Collins took home the honor.
Gotham Film & Media Institute’s Executive Director, Jeffrey Sharp, mentioned that honoree Poitier “changed the landscape of our entire industry.”
“Sidney Poitier’s extraordinary achievements as an actor and filmmaker across landmark independent films and studio features, as well as his inspiration and influence on filmmaking – particularly the way he changed the landscape of our entire industry – have been so greatly impactful to us and the collective of filmmakers that we represent here at The Gotham.
“While his loss will continue to be felt deeply, we were incredibly moved by the new documentary film Sidney which provides a fresh and powerful testimony to Sidney’s remarkable life and legacy, and is a timely reminder of his bravery, elegance, and dedication to the advancement of artists who paved the way for so many,” he added.
Poitier made history as the first African-American actor to score an Oscar for “Best Actor” in 1963’s Lilies of the Field, amongst being the first Bahamian to be nominated for The Defiant Ones in 1958. He went on to portray impactful roles in iconic films like A Raisin in the Sun, To Sir, with Love, In the Heat of the Night and more. Aside from film, Poitier served 10 years as an ambassador for the Bahamas and also as a board member for The Walt Disney Company.
The 32nd Gotham Awards will also honor The Woman King director Gina Prince-Bythewood with the Filmmaker Tribute.