The Palm Springs International Film Festival is celebrating its 24th year. The PSIFF Gala was held at the Palm Springs Convention Center on Jan. 5th. This gala is an awards ceremony presenting various awards to top actors, actresses and directors. This is one of the most famous film festivals in the US. Media across the country come to see the Star Studded Red Carpet Arrivals prior to the Gala Dinner and Awards ceremonies. Cartier is the sponsor for the Gala
Mary Hart was the Emcee and Hostess for the 10th time. She does an amazing job and the festival would not be the same without her. Festival Chairman Harold Matzner spoke about the loss of Tribal Chairman Richard Milanovich and Gala Chair, Jackie Lee Houston. Jim Houston took over the duties as Gala Chair for this year. Over 2000 people filled the ballroom and more than 1.8 million dollars was raised.
Most of the Celebrities walked the Red Carpet in front of hundreds of cameras, TV crews and interviewers. Other notables on the Red Carpet were Bill Pullman, Mayor Steve Pougnet, Mary Bono Mack and Connie Mack, Jack Jones and his wife, Charro, Many other Celebrities and Directors, plus PSIFF dignitaries and local Community Leaders.
Hundreds of fans waited across the street to watch Celebrities depart from their limos. Screams were heard each time a Celebrity arrived. A few celebrities walked over to that area to greet fans and have their photos taken. Some of the fans were lucky enough to get an autograph. The Festival is getting larger each year. It has become one of the most successful Festivals in the world and one of the top Festivals in the US. Sonny Bono’s dream has become a huge reality and he would be so proud to see it today. Over 180 films from 68 countries will be shown during the Festival that runs from Jan. 3rd to the 14th.
The Presenters for the evening praised the individual getting the awards and showed a short video about their careers. Diane Lane presented Richard Gere the Chairman’s Award for the movie, “Arbitrage”. Actor Martin Sheen presented the Career Achievement Award to actress Sally Field for, “Lincoln”. The Desert Palm Achievement Award went to two people, Naomi Watts, “The Impossible”, with presenter Tom Holland and Bradley Cooper, “Silver Linings Playbook”, with presenter David O. Russell. The Spotlight Award went to Helen Hunt for “The Sessions” and presented by John Hawkes.
Actress Helen Mirren was given the International Star Award for “Hitchcock” present by Tom Hooper. The Sonny Bono Award went to Tom Hooper for “Les Miserables” and presented by Eddie Redmayne. Actor Tom Hanks presented Robert Zemeckis, “Flight” with Director of the Year Award. Director Ang Lee gave Mychael Danna ‘The Life of PI” the Federick Loewe Award for Film Composing and the Cast of ARGO was handed the Ensemble Performance award by Tony Mendez. The cast included Ben Affleck, Alan Arkin and Bryan Cranston.
All photos by Pat Krause