to receive 2009 NATHANAEL GREENE HUMANITARIAN AWARD
Thursday, August 6, 2009 at 6:45 p.m.
Film Screening at 8:30 p.m.
Beloved actor will accept prestigious award at event hosted by RIIFF, the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities (RICH) and Rhode Island College; and present most recent film work “William Shatner's Gonzo Ballet”
William Shatner has gained worldwide fame as a screen (both big and small) actor. His portrayal of James T. Kirk on the 60’s TV series “Star Trek branded him as a cultural icon. The Rhode Island International Film Festival honors the artistic and philanthropic work of Mr. Shatner with its first-ever, Nathanael Greene Humanitarian Award.
Shatner – a native of Montreal, Quebec – spent many years honing his craft in TV and live theater before his film debut in 1958 alongside Yul Brynner in “The Brothers Karamazov.” He kept busy with numerous film and TV roles and in 1966 boarded the Starship Enterprise for a three-year stint on the iconic TV series. More recently, he played the title role in “TJ Hooker” and starred as an attorney on “Boston Legal,” for which he won three Emmys and a Golden Globe Award.
The Nathanael Greene Humanitarian Award is named after the Rhode Island Revolutionary War hero. This bi-annual award honors individuals who show universal and impartial benevolence to their fellow citizens and whose talent - on and off the screen - demonstrates the value they place in humanity.
Mr. Shatner's history of giving to organizations such as The Wells Fargo Charity House and The American Tinnitus Association demonstrates a desire to help those who suffer. His tireless work with the Nerine Shatner Friendly House is an inspiration to us all. Mr. Shatner's generous efforts provide shelter, help, and hope to thousands of women who are recovering from alcohol and substance abuse.
The awards presentation will take place at the Columbus Theater Arts Center on Thursday, August 6th at 6:45 p.m. prior to the screening of David Bettencourt and G. Wayne Miller's “On the Lake: Life and Love in a Distant Place. The event is hosted by RIIFF, the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities (RICH) and Rhode Island College. Tickets are $15 for this event.
At 8:30 p.m. Mr. Shatner will take part in a special conversation with the audience: “William Shatner Unplugged.” He will discuss his craft, share insights about his life, career, and the new documentary film “William Shatner's Gonzo Ballet” directed by Kevin Layne and Patrick Buckley, which he will introduce and present. Tickets are $15 for this event.
Please note that separate admission will be required for each event.
ABOUT THE FILM:
"William Shatner's Gonzo Ballet" Directed by Kevin Layne and Patrick Buckley.
On a cold, Milwaukee night, high art meets pop culture as the music of William Shatner ('Star Trek,' 'Boston Legal') and Ben Folds (Ben Folds Five), from their critically acclaimed album, 'Has Been,' is transformed into 'Common People,' a ballet from award winning choreographer Margo Sappington ('Oh! Calcutta!).
'Gonzo Ballet' explores this unique collaboration, as well as the musical journey that has taken William Shatner from the trippy covers of 'Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds' and 'Mr. Tambourine Man' in the 1960's to his recent original work with Ben Folds, and finally, to the ballet.
The willingness of the audience to accept new work, especially work based upon a pop album, is explored, as is the popularity of ballet in our culture. 'Gonzo Ballet' takes us from Shatner's musical beginnings, and the critical misfires, to his finally 'getting it right' with Ben Folds, and to the unlikely collaboration with Margo Sappington. What shines through is each artist's dedication to their work, and to each other.