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IFP fetes thesp Kline, scribe Jhabvala

NEW YORK — The Independent Feature Project will honor Academy Award winners Kevin Kline and Ruth Prawer Jhabvala at the 1997 IFP Gotham Awards, which will be held Tuesday Sept. 16 at New York City’s Manhattan Center.

The gala dinner, which is the IFP’s main fundraising event, takes place on the second night of the Independent Feature Film Market. This year’s chair is Walt Disney Studios chairman Joe Roth.

The Gotham awards recognize individuals who have excelled in New York and who have demonstrated an outstanding commitment to independent filmmaking. Kline will receive the actor award while Jhabvala will be the recipient of this year’s writer award.

“Kevin Kline is one of New York’s most versatile actors,” said IFP executive director Michelle Byrd. “For the past 15 years he has seamlessly moved between New York’s film and theater worlds.”

This fall, Kline will appear in two films — Ang Lee’s “The Ice Storm,” which Fox Searchlight is releasing, and Frank Oz’s “In and Out,” a Paramount release. His other credits include “Sophie’s Choice,” “The Big Chill,” “A Fish Called Wanda” and “Fierce Creatures.”

Previous recipients of the IFP Gotham actor award include Christopher Walken, Sigourney Weaver, Harvey Keitel, Susan Sarandon and John Turturro.

Jhabvala has written a dozen novels, including “The Householder,” which was made into a film by Merchant Ivory Prods. Her other collaborations with director James Ivory and producer Ismail Merchant include “Shakespeare Wallah,” “Heat and Dust,” “A Room With a View,” “Mr. and Mrs. Bridge,” “Howards End” and “Remains of the Day.”

Commenting on the award, Byrd said, “Jhabvala’s work as a novelist and her film collaborations with Ismail Merchant and James Ivory make her a living legend.” Previous recipients of the IFP Gotham writer award include Walter Bernstein, Pauline Kael, Terry Southern and John Guare.

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