Academy to honor testimonial award recipients at new event.

Jun 26, 2009 by Ian Evans

The annual Academy Awards® presentation will be a little slimmer in 2009 as the Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences voted to establish a new annual event at which it will present its testimonial awards — the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award, the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award and the Honorary Award. Rtaher than accepting these awards during the Oscar telecast, honorees will now receive them at a celebratory dinner event in November. They will also be acknowledged at the year’s Academy Awards ceremony.

“For some years now, the Board has struggled to balance the desire to truly honor worthy individuals with the time limitations that the Oscar® telecast imposes on these honors,” said Academy President Sid Ganis. “By creating a separate event for recognizing these outstanding people in the movie industry, we’re insuring that each honoree will be given his or her full due, without compromise. We wanted to achieve more flexibility with these awards,” continued Ganis. “But we also need to maintain the integrity of them. By setting the limits that we have, the members of the Board feel they have achieved the appropriate balance.”

A black-tie dinner event for about 500 invitees will include film clips as well as remarks from the honorees’ colleagues and admirers.