Venice Film Festival artistic director Alberto Barbera was celebrated last night in New York with the Gotham Awards Impact Salute in recognition for the unwavering support provided by the Lido to indie U.S. cinema.

One of the longest-serving artistic directors of Venice, Barbera has helped turn the festival into a major springboard for awards hopefuls. The list of pics from the fall fest that reached the awards circle in recent years include “Gravity,” “Birdman,” “Spotlight,” “La La Land,” “The Shape of Water,” “Roma,” “Joker,” “Nomadland,” and “The Power of the Dog.”

Bernera received the award during the Gotham’s ceremony from Julianne Moore, who presided over this year’s Venice jury, and from Todd Haynes, who spoke words of praise.

“I thank you from the bottom of my heart for this prestigious recognition of our work. Supporting independent cinema is not a choice: it is a duty simply because independent filmmakers are the salt of the earth,” Barbera said on stage.

“They experiment rather than living off their returns, they take risks rather than relying on proven formulas; they innovate rather than reproducing what we already know. In so doing they change the way we look at the world, and at each other,” he added.

Said Jeff Sharp, the Gotham Film & Media Institute of New York’s executive director: “It is a privilege to award this year’s Gotham Awards Impact Salute to the Venice International Film Festival of La Biennale di Venezia, the oldest and one of the most influential film festivals in the world and to its artistic director Alberto Barbera.”

“In addition to premiering some of the greatest films each year, Venice has over the course of many decades helped to elevate the work of filmmakers such as Darren Aronofsky, Sofia Coppola, Matteo Garrone, Todd Haynes, Spike Jonze, Regina King, Ang Lee, Kenneth Lonergan, Terrence Malick, Kimberly Peirce, Kelly Reichardt, Paolo Sorrentino, with world premiere screenings. The Festival is produced by La Biennale di Venezia, one of the most prestigious international cultural institutions, chaired by Roberto Cicutto,” Sharp went on to note.

The 2022 Gotham Awards also gave awards to Todd Fiel’s “Tàr,” which launched from Venice in September, and Audrey Diwan’s “Happening,” which won the Golden Lion last year.

Other pics that launched from Venice and were nominated for the 2022 Gotham Awards in various categories are: “All the Beauty and the Bloodshed” by Laura Poitras; “Athena” by Romain Gavras; “The Banshees of Inisherin” by Martin McDonagh; “Bones and All” by Luca Guadagnino; “The Cathedral” by Ricky D’Ambrose; “Dos Estaciones” by Juan Pablo González; “Saint Omer” by Alice Diop, and “The Whale” by Darren Aronofsky.