The Pretty Woman star attended the event on Saturday night (06Oct12) and was handed his Golden Starfish Award For Lifetime Achievement In Acting by the festival's honorary chairman and previous recipient of the prize, Alec Baldwin.
Baldwin also interviewed Gere as part of the proceedings and grilled him in front of an audience at East Hampton's Guild Hall about his life and career.
During the chat, Gere revealed he was initially unhappy with the ending of his 1982 movie An Officer and a Gentleman, in which his character picks up his lover at the factory where she works and carries her out in his arms, to the applause of her colleagues.
He told Baldwin, "I felt it was too sentimental. I never believed in the ending. It's too romantic, it's never gonna work... I remember shooting the scene in the factory, I kept saying (to director Taylor Hackford), 'Come on, let's do something else, we've got time.' He said, 'Look, we're here, let's just do it.' Watching it later, with the music in, the hairs on the back of (my) neck stood up."
The Hamptons International Film Festival also bestowed a prize on David O. Russell's new movie Silver Linings Playbook, which stars Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence and Robert De Niro.
The film won the Baume & Mercier Audience Award Narrative at a prizegiving ceremony hosted by actor Alan Cumming.