MUMBAI: Richard Gere will be receiving the Joel Siegel Award at VH1’s 14th Annual Critics’ Choice Awards Ceremony. The award will be presented to Gere by Diane Lane.
The announcement was made by The Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA). The award will be presented on 8 January, 2009 at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium during the 14th annual Critics’ Choice Awards ceremony, which will air Live on VH1.
Given annually, this special award pays homage to "Good Morning America" film critic and BFCA member Joel Siegel, who lost his long struggle with cancer in June, 2007.
An accomplished advocate for human rights, Gere was the Co-founder and Chairman of Tibet House and joined the Board of Directors of the International Campaign for Tibet to more effectively address both national and international forums of influence. Second only to His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Richard is the foremost public spokesman for the Tibetan crisis in forums from the United Nations to the United States Congress.
He is a longtime sponsor of AMFAR, Amnesty International, Survival International and Human Rights Watch. He has also focused on the battle against AIDS, working with the Kaiser Family Foundation, the Naz Foundation and the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation. He launched the Heroes Project in 2002 in partnership with the Avahan AIDS Initiative of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
"We consider the Joel Siegel Award to be the highest honor we bestow," explained BFCA President Joey Berlin. "From his days as a student activist in the civil rights movement, to co-founding Gilda’s Club to support cancer patients and their friends and family and to writing `Lessons for Dylan’ inspired by his own illness, Joel strived mightily to make the world a better place. Richard personifies the qualities this award was created to celebrate."
The 14th Annual Critics’ Choice Awards presenters include Amy Adams, Kevin Bacon, Elizabeth Banks, Angela Bassett, Kate Beckinsale, Kristen Bell, Chris "Ludacris" Bridges, Josh Brolin, Common, Laura Dern, Rosemarie DeWitt, Aaron Eckhart, Dakota Fanning, Brendan Fraser, Sally Hawkins, Dustin Hoffman, Diane Lane, Melissa Leo, Eva Longoria, Chris Noth, Virginia Madsen, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Katy Perry, Sarah Silverman, Ben Stiller, Kristin Scott Thomas, and Marisa Tomei. The awards show will feature the rock band Rooney as this year’s house band.