Actor Donald Sutherland, director Alejandro Inarritu get honorary Oscars

Actor Donald Sutherland accepts the Governors Award as presenter Jennifer Lawrence looks on.
Actor Donald Sutherland accepts the Governors Award as presenter Jennifer Lawrence looks on. PHOTO: REUTERS

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Putting aside the sexual harassment scandal for a night, the stars of Hollywood came out on Saturday to celebrate the work of actor Donald Sutherland and four other film-makers who were awarded honorary Oscars.

Sutherland, 82, has appeared in more than 140 films and is familiar to a younger generation for the Hunger Games franchise, but had never won an Oscar.

"This is very important to me, to my family," he said at the annual Governors Awards, where Oscar statuettes are awarded to celebrate a person's body of work.

"I wish I could say thank you to the characters I've played, thank them for informing my life," he added.

Hunger Games star Jennifer Lawrence said Sutherland's work "is movie magic at its best".

Angelina Jolie introduced Belgian-born director Agnes Varda, 89, awarded an honorary Oscar for a career that began in the New Wave of the 1950s and 1960s and whose films include La Pointe Courte and Vagabond. The two women had an impromptu dance on stage.

African-American director Charles Burnett, whose films include To Sleep With Anger starring Danny Glover, and The Glass Shield, featuring Ice Cube, used his acceptance speech to talk of the challenges he faced to tell stories about his community.

Mexican film-maker Alejandro Inarritu, who won Oscars for Birdman and The Revenant, was awarded for his virtual reality film Carne y Arena which puts the viewer in the shoes of migrants as they try to cross the US border.

Dustin Hoffman introduced cinematographer Owen Roizman, with whom he worked on Tootsie, saying: "It's his combination of insight and versatility and craft that make Owen Roizman special."

Roizman had previously garnered five Oscar nominations for his cinematography but had never won.