Newport Beach Film Festival Honors Forest Whitaker with Lifetime Achievement Award

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Forest Whitaker during the Q&A section of the Lifetime Achievement Ceremony

The Newport Beach Film Festival has honored acting legend Forest Whitaker with the festival’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

The ceremony took place virtually on Wednesday, June 16. The virtual ceremony and a Q&A with Whitaker is available for viewing on the Film Festival’s website at

Whitaker is an accomplished actor, director, humanitarian and producer. He won an Academy Award, SAG Award, Golden Globe and BAFTA award for Best Actor for the 2007 film “The Last King of Scotland, and he has showcased his talents in such diverse roles as “The Butler,” “The Crying Game,” “Black Panther,” “Rogue One,” and “Bird.”

Whitaker currently serves as executive producer and star of the critically acclaimed EPIX series “Godfather of Harlem” that tells the true story of crime boss Bumpy Johnson (Whitaker), who in the early 1960s returned after 11 years in prison to find the neighborhood he once ruled in shambles. The role earned him a NAACP Image Award nomination, one of four for the series.

Forest Whitaker

Whitaker has also devoted much of his time to his humanitarian work. He is the founder and CEO of The Whitaker Peace & Development Initiative, which has branches in Uganda, South Sudan, South Africa, Mexico, and the United States.

“The Newport Beach Film Festival is extremely proud to honor the amazing actor, producer and humanitarian, Forest Whitaker. From ‘The Crying Game’ to ‘Bird’ to ‘The Godfather of Harlem,’ he has left the audience awestruck by his focused and powerful performances,” said Gregg Schwenk CEO and co-founder of the Newport Beach Film Festival. “His personal dedication to helping people at home and around the world is truly inspiring.”

The 22nd Annual Newport Beach Film Festival will return with a live Festival on Thursday, October 21,through Thursday, October 28, 2021. Tickets for film screenings, galas and special events go on sale October 1, 2021. To purchase tickets and for information about the Newport Beach Film Festival visit

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