Rochester, N.Y., May 5, 2019—The George Eastman Museum honored Julia Roberts with the George Eastman Award on Thursday in front of a sold-out crowd. The Eastman Award is the museum’s highest honor in motion pictures and recognizes Robert’s distinguished contribution to the art of film. The award ceremony was held in the Dryden Theatre, where 500 people were in attendance to view a video compilation of her work, followed by her gracious acceptance speech and an on-stage conversation with Roberts and the museum’s Curator of Film Programming, Jared Case.
Earlier on Thursday, Roberts toured the Eastman Museum, including George Eastman’s historic mansion, and had the opportunity to view the museum’s exhibitions, selections from its extensive photography collections, and its technology and film vaults.
Roberts also introduced a special screening of Full Frontal (2002), which she announced was one of her favorite films, to a sold-out crowd in the Dryden Theatre Wednesday night.
“We are thrilled to have had Julia Roberts here in Rochester to present her with the George Eastman Award,” said Bruce Barnes, Ron and Donna Fielding Director, George Eastman Museum. “The depth and breadth of her career and the range of the characters she portrays on screen are a true testament to her natural talents and her well-honed craft. This is a well-deserved recognition for her contribution to the art of cinema.”
In accepting the Eastman Award honor, she has joined the company of film legends such as Lauren Bacall, Louise Brooks, Charlie Chaplin, Gary Cooper, Cecil B. DeMille, Michael Douglas, Michael Keaton, Greta Garbo, Lillian Gish, Audrey Hepburn, Gregory Peck, Mary Pickford, Martin Scorsese, James Stewart, Meryl Streep, and Gloria Swanson. The George Eastman Award was established in 1955 as the first retrospective award to honor film work of enduring artistic value.
For more than thirty years, Julia Roberts has brought a cast of unforgettable characters to the screen. Her performances have brought her four Academy Award nominations and an Academy Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role, as well as nine Golden Globe nominations and three Golden Globes.
A Julia Roberts film series will continue at the Dryden this spring, including:
- May 8: Notting Hill (Roger Michell, 1999)
- May 16: Pretty Woman (Garry Marshall, 1990)
- May 18: My Best Friend’s Wedding (P.J. Hogan, 1997)
- May 25: Erin Brockovich (Steven Soderbergh, 2000)
- June 1: Runaway Bride (Garry Marshall, 1999)
For more information, visit eastman.org/dryden.
About the George Eastman Museum
Founded in 1947, the George Eastman Museum is the world’s oldest photography museum and one of the largest film archives in the United States, located on the historic Rochester estate of entrepreneur and philanthropist George Eastman, the pioneer of popular photography and motion picture film. Its holdings comprise more than 450,000 photographs, 28,000 motion picture films, the world’s preeminent collection of photographic and cinematographic technology, one of the leading libraries of books related to photography and cinema, and extensive holdings of documents and other objects related to George Eastman. As a research and teaching institution, the Eastman Museum has an active publishing program and, through its joint master’s degree programs with the University of Rochester, makes critical contributions to the fields of film preservation and of photographic preservation and collection management. For more information, visit eastman.org.
About the George Eastman Award
The George Eastman Award for distinguished contribution to the art of cinema was established by the Eastman Museum in 1955 to raise awareness of the imperative of the film preservation. The first two presentations of the award in 1955 and 1957, known as the Festival of Film Artists, recognized the legends of the silent film era (1915–1930). Since then, the George Eastman Award has recognized a range of actors, directors, and cinematographers.