“Red Carpet” Palm Springs International Film Festival

Sandra Bullock
Story and photos by Pat Krause
Story and photos by Pat Krause

The 25th Star Studded Palm Springs International Film Festival Gala was held at the Palm Springs Convention Center on January 4th. This is mainly an awards Gala with awards going to some of the top names in show business. Many who will be Oscar and Golden Globe Nominees and maybe winners. The event is presented by Cartier and hosted again by the beautiful Mary Hart formerly from Entertainment Tonight TV show. Mary Hart has emceed the gala for many years.

Celebrities walked the Red Carpet in front of Photographers and TV crews from all over the world. This film festival is considered to be one of the top 3 in the United States and is garnering enough prestige to have CEO’s fly in planes of celebrities and VIPs from their companies. Chairman Harold Matzner announced The Gala raised another record amount of over 2.4 million dollars. This small festival started 25 years ago and no one back then would believe what it has become.

Oscar winner Tom Hanks was given the Chairman’s Award and presented by Julia Roberts. Julie Roberts was awarded the Spotlight award and presented by Ewan McGregor. The Desert Palm Achievement Award for an actor went to Matthew McConaughey and the actress award went to Sandra Bullock and presented Gena Rowlands. Another Oscar Winner Meryl Streep was given the Icon Award by co-star Margo Martindale. The Career Achievement Award went to Bruce Dern and was presented by Jane Fonda.

The Sonny Bono visionary award went to musician and activist Bono and the Edge and presented by Honorary festival Chairwoman Mary Bono with Idris Elba and Naomi Harris. The Ensemble Performance Award went to the film American Hustle with Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper, Jeremy Renner and Elisabeth Rohn and presented by Director David O. Russell. The Breakthrough Performance Award was given to Lupita Nyong’o and presented by Steve McQueen and Alfre Woodard, Thoman Newman won the Frederick Loewe Award for Film Composing and presented by Colin Farrell and John Lee Hancock. Steve McQueen was given the Director of the Year Award and presented by Chiwetel Ejiofor

The speeches by the winners and presenters this year brought standing ovations from the 2100 guests attending. Over 200 tables with roses supplied by Jim Houston as centerpieces. The sea of tables in this huge ballroom left nothing to the imagination. Beautifully done with hundreds serving the guests a great meal and drinks. This Gala is always sold out weeks in advance as the festival gets bigger each year with more A-list stars attending. Celebrities attend and walk the Red Carpet even though they are not getting or presenting awards. Its a place to be seen and photographed each year.