SOURCE: Motion Picture & Television Fund

August 12, 2007 02:00 ET

Silver Spurs and Stars Come Out for the 25th Annual Golden Boot Awards

Award Ceremony Celebrates the Western on Film and Television, Benefits the Motion Picture & Television Fund

BEVERLY HILLS, CA--(Marketwire - August 12, 2007) - Beverly Hills was buzzing with cowboys and cowgirls as the Motion Picture & Television Fund presented the 25th annual Golden Boot Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel here tonight.

The annual Award ceremony recognized those who have advanced the Western on film and in television. This year's honorees were Viggo Mortensen, Eva Marie Saint, Martin Kove, Lee Horsley, Caruth Byrd and Walt LaRue.

In addition, Patrick Wayne accepted the prestigious Founders Award on behalf of his father, John Wayne. This marks the seventh time a Founders Award has been given in 25 years, with the last winner being Clint Eastwood. A new award, the Champion Award (named after Gene Autry's horse), was presented to Jackie (Mrs. Gene) Autry in recognition of her philanthropic endeavors.

The Best of the West Award, which is presented to the film that best embodies the spirit of the western, was given to "Avenging Angel," which aired on the Hallmark Channel. The film is about a preacher (Kevin Sorbo) who defends a local town from greedy land-barons. After his church is destroyed and his family is killed, "The Preacher" picks up his long-forgotten gun, leaves town and heads out into the desert to begin a new life as a bounty hunter. Returning years later, he discovers his town has been overrun by the same scoundrels who destroyed his quiet existence. The Preacher can no longer stand by and watch as innocent people suffer the same fate as he.

The other nominees for the Best of the West Award were "Disappearances," "The Last Confederate," "Saraphim Falls," "Tears of the Black Tiger," "Love's Unending Legacy," "Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee" and "Three Bad Men."

Often referred to as the "Academy Awards" of the Western, the Golden Boot Awards were established in 1982 to recognize those performers, stunt people, producers and directors who have furthered the tradition of the Western on film and in television.

During the past twenty years, Golden Boots have been awarded to such notables as Gene Autry, Roy Rogers, Dale Evans, Clint Eastwood, Jack Palance, Ann-Margret, Melissa Gilbert, Clayton Moore, Jay Silverheels, Sam Elliott, Tommy Lee Jones and Tom Selleck.

The evening included a silent auction of Western artifacts and memorabilia, dinner, performances by Western favorites, the awards presentation and a live auction. Once again, the event will be written and produced by Patrick Curtis and directed by Michael Emerson and hosted by Ben Cooper.

Since their inception in 1982, the Golden Boot Awards have contributed more than $3.9 million to the Motion Picture & Television Fund. More information about the event and purchasing tickets can be found at www.goldenboot.org.

The non-profit Motion Picture & Television Fund, headquartered in Woodland Hills, Calif., was founded in 1921 to provide "relief" for those in the film industry who had fallen on hard times. Today, 85 years later, MPTF is a major service provider supporting the health and well being of the entertainment community. Healthcare, childcare, retirement living and social/charitable services are offered with compassion and respect for the dignity of the whole person. Care is offered through the MPTF 250-bed hospital, five outpatient health centers, charitable financial assistance and community outreach programs, a full-scale retirement community and a children's day care center. More information is available at www.mptvfund.org.

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