Dec 22, 200812:17 PMThe Life
Dustin Hoffman, Gus Van Sant, and Alexandre Desplat to be Honored at 20th Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival
The 20th Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival will present Academy Award winner Dustin Hoffman with the Chairman’s Award, Academy Award nominee Gus Van Sant with the Sonny Bono Visionary Award, and Academy Award nominee Alexandre Desplat with the Frederick Loewe Award for Film Composing.
Presented by Cartier, the Awards Gala will kick-off the 2009 Awards Season on Jan. 6 at the Palm Springs Convention Center and will be hosted by Entertainment Tonight’s Mary Hart. The festival runs Jan. 6-19.
Festival chairman Harold Matzner commented, “We are honored to present awards to Dustin Hoffman, Gus Van Sant and Alexandre Desplat at this year’s event. These talented men deliver some of their finest work in their current projects and we are proud to celebrate their unparalleled achievements that have made an everlasting impression on the face of cinema.”
Hoffman will receive the Chairman’s Award. The past recipient of the award is Nicole Kidman. Hoffman currently stars in Last Chance Harvey, which will open the festival on Jan. 8. The film is a love story set in London, written and directed by Joel Hopkins, and co-starring Emma Thompson. Last Chance Harvey will be released by Overture Films on December 25. Hoffman recently received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical category for his role.
A two-time Academy Award winner and seven-time nominee whose arrival in Hollywood helped usher in a new and revitalized approach to filmmaking, Dustin Hoffman continues to add singular performances to a career rich with characters that have obliterated the line previously dividing the archetypes of “character actor” and “leading man.” Hoffman caught the world's attention for his role as Benjamin Braddock in Mike Nichol's Academy Award nominated film, The Graduate. Since then, he has been nominated for six more Academy Awards for diverse films such as Midnight Cowboy, Lenny, Tootsie (a film he also produced through his company, Punch Productions), and Wag the Dog. Hoffman won the Oscar in 1979 for his role in Kramer Vs. Kramer and again in 1988 for Rain Man.
Gus Van Sant will receive the Sonny Bono Visionary Award, named after the founder of the festival. Past recipients include David Cronenberg, Todd Field, Baz Lurhmann, M. Night Shyamalan and Kevin Spacey. Van Sant’s acclaimed current film Milk tells the story of Harvey Milk, who in 1977 was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, becoming the first openly gay man to be voted into major public office in America. His victory was not just a victory for gay rights; he forged coalitions across the political spectrum. From senior citizens to union workers, Harvey Milk changed the very nature of what it means to be a fighter for human rights and became, before his untimely death in 1978, a hero for all Americans. The Focus Features film stars Academy Award winner Sean Penn, Emile Hirsch, Josh Brolin, Diego Luna, and James Franco.
Audiences and critics alike have taken note of Gus Van Sant’s movies since he made his feature film directorial debut in 1985 with Mala Noche, which won the Los Angeles Film Critics Association award for Best Independent/Experimental Film. His body of work also includes Drugstore Cowboy, starring Matt Dillon and Kelly Lynch; My Own Private Idaho, starring River Phoenix and Keanu Reeves; Even Cowgirls Get the Blues, starring Uma Thurman; and To Die For. The latter, screened at the Cannes and Toronto International Film Festivals, earned Nicole Kidman a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress.
Alexandre Desplat will receive the Frederick Loewe Award for Film Composing. Previous participants of the award include James Newton Howard, Danny Elfman, Phillip Glass, Howard Shore and Randy Newman. Desplat provides the score for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, adapted by Eric Roth, from the 1920s story by F. Scott Fitzgerald about a man who is born in his eighties and ages backwards: a man, like any of us, who is unable to stop time. We follow his epic story, set in New Orleans from the end of World War I in 1918, into the 21st century, following his journey that is as unusual as any man's life can be. The Paramount Pictures release directed by David Fincher, and starring Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett, Tilda Swinton and Taraji P. Henson, opens on December 25, 2008.
In January 2007, Alexandre Desplat won the Golden Globe Award for his score of John Curran's The Painted Veil, and in the same year received an Academy Award nomination for his score to Stephen Frears’ The Queen. Both scores earned him the Los Angeles Film Critics Association's Best Music award.
Desplat has composed music for over four dozen European films, earning two César (France's equivalent of the Oscar) Award nominations, for Jacques Audiard's Un héros très discret (A Self-Made Hero) and Sur mes lèvres (Read My Lips). Desplat won the César and Berlin’s Silver Bear for scoring Audiard's most recent film, De battre mon coeur s'est arrêté (The Beat That My Heart Skipped).
The festival’s annual Awards Gala, on Jan. 6, will honor Clint Eastwood with the Career Achievement Award, Ron Howard with the Director’s Lifetime Achievement Award, Revolutionary Road with the Ensemble Performance Award, Anne Hathaway with the Desert Palm Achievement Award for Acting, Amy Adams with the Spotlight Award and Dakota Fanning with the Rising Star Award.
The Palm Springs International Film Festival, founded in 1990 by then Mayor Sonny Bono, is scheduled from Jan. 6-19 screening 210 films from 73 countries. The festival presents a majority of the films submitted for consideration in the Best Foreign Language category for the Academy Awards, as well as a large number of American independent and international features and documentaries marking their world, North American or U.S. debuts.
For additional information call 760-322-2930 or 800-898-7256 or www.psfilmfest.org.