The tribute culminated with the presentation of the Chaplin Award to Streisand by President Bill Clinton.
"The board is very excited to have Barbra Streisand as the next recipient of The Chaplin Award," said Ann Tenenbaum, The Film Society of Lincoln Center's board chairman, in a previous statement. "She is an artist whose long career of incomparable achievements is most powerfully expressed by the fact that her acclaimed 'Yentl' was such a milestone film. We welcome her to the list of masterful directors who have been prior recipients of the Chaplin Award Tribute."
The Film Society's annual gala began in 1972 and honored Charles Chaplin, who returned to the U.S. from exile to accept the commendation. Since then the award has been renamed for Chaplin and has honored many of the film industry's most notable talents, including Alfred Hitchcock, Billy Wilder, Laurence Olivier, Federico Fellini, Elizabeth Taylor, Bette Davis, James Stewart, Robert Altman, Martin Scorsese, Diane Keaton, Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks, Michael Douglas, Sidney Poitier and, last year, Catherine Deneuve.
"Barbra Streisand is an American icon whose groundbreaking work significantly opened the doors for other female filmmakers," added FSLC executive director Rose Kuo. "She is the perfect recipient for our 40th anniversary because, like our award's namesake, she is a world class, multi-faceted film artist."
The only artist ever to receive an Academy Award, Tony, Emmy, Grammy, Directors Guild of America, Golden Globe, National Medal of Arts and Peabody Awards and France's Legion d'honneur as well as the American Film Institute's Lifetime Achievement Award, Streisand is also the first female film director to receive the Kennedy Center Honors.
Streisand is the recipient of two Oscars, five Emmys, 10 Grammys, a Tony and 12 Golden Globes including the Cecil B. DeMille Award. The three films she directed received 14 Oscar nominations.