'Just when you think Clint Eastwood is about to take a breath, he shoots two films in a year and starts prepping a third and barely thinks any of that is worth mentioning,' film-maker and awards gala co-chair Paul Haggis said.
'He brings dignity, grace, humility, humour, quiet confidence and a sense of ease to a profession that is in sore need of all of those virtues.'
Eastwood, whose two 2008 releases Changeling and Gran Torino are expected to figure in the awards season race, joins the pantheon of previous honourees that includes Martin Scorsese, Oliver Stone, Michael Mann, Sam Mendes, Ron Howard and Marc Forster.
The kidnap mystery Changeling stars Angelina Jolie and premiered in Cannes and will open in North America through Universal on October 24. Gran Torino star Eastwood as a curmudgeonly Korean War veteran who sets out to reform a young Asian neighbour who tried to steal his prized gun. Warner Bros will release the drama in December. Eastwood is in pre-production for Warner Bros on the Nelson Mandela film The Human Factor that will star Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon.