The festival's highest honor went to Affleck for his work as actor, writer, producer and director of his best picture Oscar-nominated "Argo," The Hollywood Reporter reported Sunday.
The sold-out ceremony at the 2000-seat theater Saturday began with a two-hour question-and-answer session with film critic Leonard Maltin.
"I know exactly what I've achieved because I know how hard I've worked. That's the only shot I have at being successful," said, wrapping up the session.
He said becoming a father -- he has three daughters with actress Jennifer Garner -- has made it "profoundly important for me to do work that has integrity," since "the central challenge of one's lifetime is trying to make good people."
Friend and fellow actor, Damon, presented Affleck with the Modern Master Award statuette, saying that Affleck is such a great filmmaker because he knows how to problem-solve. The two won the best original screenplay Oscar in 1998 for co-writing "Good Will Hunting."
"So here he is now. He's made three fantastic movies, one better than the next," Damon said. "This last one, "Argo," is a legitimately great movie. No one's gonna be surprised if it wins the Oscar for best picture."