San Francisco Film Fest to honor Roger Ebert

Critic to receive Mel Novikoff Award

The 53rd San Francisco International Film Festival will honor Roger Ebert by presenting him with its Mel Novikoff Award.

The presentation will take place as part of "An Evening With Roger Ebert and Friends," which will be held May 1 at the Castro Theatre.
The award is named for pioneering San Francisco art and repertory film exhibitor Mel Novikoff and acknowledges an individual hose work has enhanced the filmgoing public's knowledge and appreciation of world cinema.

Confirmed guests include directors Jason Reitman and Terry Zwigoff, with others to be announced soon.
The program will close with a screening of Erick Zonca’s "Julia," starring Tilda Swinton, touted by Ebert as one of the best films released in 2009.

"It's an honor to pay tribute to a man who has enhanced the public's knowledge and appreciation of world cinema for more than 40 years through his writing, television shows, Web site and film festival," Rachel Rosen, the Film Society's director of programming, said. "His passion for film is an inspiration."