Ebert to be honored at Gotham Awards


NEW YORK -- Roger Ebert will be honored at the 17th annual Gotham Awards for a career of championing independent cinema.

The 65-year-old film critic will receive the honor at the Nov. 27 event at Brooklyn's Steiner Studios. The Gotham Awards celebrate independent movies and films set in New York. An official announcement of the Ebert tribute was planned for Monday.

"Through his columns, books and television show, Roger Ebert has almost single-handedly introduced independent film to American moviegoers," said Michelle Byrd, executive director of the Independent Feature Project, which presents The Gotham Awards. "His championing of high-quality, undiscovered films has put countless films, filmmakers and actors on the map."

Ebert is only the second film critic to receive the Gotham Awards Tribute. In 1995, Gotham honored Pauline Kael.

Ebert underwent a series of cancer surgeries, most recently in June 2006 when he had a growth on his salivary gland and part of his right jaw removed. Two weeks later, he had emergency surgery after a blood vessel burst near the site of the operation.

A tracheostomy, a procedure that opens an airway through an incision in the windpipe, left him unable to speak, a condition he has said would have to be remedied by further surgery. But he is cancer-free, he told the AP in August.

He is expected to attend the Gotham Awards for the tribute.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, actor Javier Bardem and director Mira Nair will also receive a Gotham Awards Tribute this year.