Standing Ovation for 'Champion' Roger Ebert at the Indie Spirit Awards
By Bryan Alexander Posted Mar 6th 2010 02:34AM
Presenter Matt Dillon called Ebert "a tireless champion of independent film."
After a montage of his most memorably biting criticisms, the famed critic slowly stood up at his table as industry heavyweights and fans -- including Helen Mirren, Pierce Brosnan, Jeff Bridges and Peter Sarsgaard -- got to their feet. With a huge smile on his face, Ebert soaked in the respectful applause of the crowd.
Presenters Taraji P. Henson and Matt chimed in from the stage to add their relieved appreciation for the critic's thumbs up about their own work. "Thank you, Roger, you always had great things to say about me," Henson said. Dillon added, "Likewise."
Ebert and wife Chaz sponsored a $25,000 grant for the "Truer than Fiction" award for aspiring documentary makers. The award winners Bill and Turner Ross happily took the grant for their film "45365," thanked the Eberts and promised to pay their rent with the winnings.
Ebert recently refused doctors' pleas to allow them to make one last attempt to restore his voice, which he lost during cancer treatments nearly four years ago.
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