Palm Springs Film Fest honors likely Oscar winners
Saturday 01 January 2011
The 22nd annual Palm Springs International Film Festival kicks off the awards season on January 6-17, opening the event with a gala awards to pay tribute to several potential Oscar candidates who are favorites to win.
The Social Network, a leading contender for Best Film, with a long list of critics' kudos, is being honored with the Ensemble Performance Award, it was announced in the Hollywood trades on December 20. The film's cast, Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield, Justin Timberlake, Armie Hammer and Rooney Mara, are expected to attend. The film's director, David Fincher, will present the award.
One of the largest film festivals in North America, the PSIFF attracts an audience of 130,000 with a lineup of 200 new and lauded features and documentaries from more than 60 countries. Similar in stature to fests in Austin, Texas and Seattle, Washington, it has developed into a destination event for film fans.
The festival is well-known for its Awards Gala, honoring achievements in film from the previous year. Since Palm Springs is located so close to Los Angeles, the festival gathers all-star talent to its red carpet event, from Clint Eastwood to Brad Pitt.
Previously announced in press releases, this year's other honorees, include:
The Desert Palm Achievement Award for actor and actress goes to Colin Firth for his role in The King's Speech and Natalie Portman for Black Swan;
Javier Bardem ( Biutiful) wins the International Star Award;
Carey Mulligan will receive the Breakthrough Performance Award for recent dramas Never Let Me Go and Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps;
David O. Russell ( Three Kings, I Heart Huckabees) will be presented with the Director of the Year Award for The Fighter, starring Mark Wahlberg, Christian Bale, Amy Adams, and Melissa Leo;
Robert Duvall is taking the Career Achievement Award for his body of work, including The Godfather, Apocalypse Now, The Great Santini, Tender Mercies, To Kill A Mockingbird, and Crazy Heart;
Jennifer Lawrence will be recognized as the Rising Star Award for her performance in the acclaimed independent film Winter's Bone.
Among this year's program highlights are screenings of 40 of the Academy Awards' Best Foreign Language Film submissions, a focus on African Cinema and films competing for the New Voices/New Visions Award and John Schlesinger Awards. Titles will be announced next week.
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