Previous winners of the Lifetime Achievement include Robert De Niro, Meryl Streep and Martin Scorsese.
The Gotham Awards are presented by IP/New York, a 25-year-old non-profit organisation serving the independent film community. Their mission is "to build bridges between creative talent and the film industry, providing invaluable information, resources, programs and avenues of communication to artists working in film and emerging technologies".
"We couldn't be more delighted to celebrate not only Leigh's lengthy career, but to do so at a time when he has one of his finest films in release," said Michelle Byrd, Executive Director of IFP/New York. "It is a particularly unique opportunity for us to pay a debt of gratitude to Leigh's tremendous influence on the numerous American independent filmmakers whom he has inspired with his thoughtful and inclusive process of working with actors through the rehearsal process and the development of their characters. 'Vera Drake' is a masterpiece and a moving testament by a veteran filmmaker at the peak of his career."
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