Martin Scorsese has been chosen as the first recipient of the TCM Classic Film Festival’s Robert Osborne Award in recognition of “his work as a film preservationist and impassioned classic movie fan.”
Turner Classic Movies said the award, named after the network’s late primetime host, will be presented annually to someone keeping the heritage of classic films alive for generations to come. It will be presented to Scorsese on April 26, the opening night of the 2018 edition of the festival at the TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood.
“I am truly honored to be the first recipient of the Robert Osborne Award,” Scorsese said. “I started the Film Foundation 28 years ago in order to preserve and share cinema’s history with audiences of the present and the future. Bob and TCM have always been trusted allies in this mission. I always loved watching Bob’s introductions and interviews on TCM because you could immediately feel that this was someone who knew movie history, who wanted to share that knowledge and pass it on, and – most importantly – who truly loved movies. Bob was a true believer in the cinema, so to receive this award in his name means a great deal to me.”
In a statement, TCM noted that Scorsese has been a celebrated director and film preservationist for more than 50 years, making some of the most influential films in cinema history. A five-time nominee for Best Director at the Academy Awards, he won in 2007 for The Departed (2006). In 1990 Scorsese established the Film Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to protecting and preserving motion picture history by working in partnership with archives and studios, the foundation has restored more than 800 films, while the World Cinema Project has restored 31 films from 21 countries. The foundation’s free educational curriculum, “The Story of Movies,” teaches young people about the language and history of film.
“Robert was the cornerstone of TCM and his contributions were fundamental in shaping the network into what it is today,” said TCM General Manager Jennifer Dorian. “Through the creation of the Robert Osborne Award we acknowledge how much he meant to TCM and the impact he had on preserving the love of classic film.”
The TCM Classic Film Festival will open with the 50th anniversary screening and world premiere of the restoration of Mel Brooks’ 1968 classic comedy, The Producers, also on April 26. Brooks will participate in a Q&A. The rest of the schedule for the fest, which runs through April 29, will be announced shortly.