Festival News

Dakota Fanning to receive Rising Star Award



Festival Awards Gala to be Held Tuesday, January 6, 2009
Hosted by Entertainment Tonight's Mary Hart

PALM SPRINGS, CA (October 14, 2008) – The 20th Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF) will honor Dakota Fanning with the Rising Star Award at the Festival's annual Awards Gala.  Festival chairman Harold Matzner made the announcement at a private event at the historic Charlie Chaplin home of Patricia Barry in Beverly Hills, CA hosted by Festival board member Stephen Breimer.  The Awards Gala, presented by Cartier, will kick-off the 2009 Awards Season on Tuesday, January 6, 2009 at the Palm Springs Convention Center, and will be hosted by "Entertainment Tonight's" Mary Hart.  The Festival will be held January 6-19, 2009. 

Commenting on the selection, Matzner said, "Dakota Fanning is a talented young actress who as we watch her grow up over the years, continues to show her depth and range as a performer.  We're delighted to recognize her with the Festival's Rising Star Award for her impressive work in The Secret Life of Bees."  Past recipients of the Rising Star Award include Adam Beach, Jessica Biel, Nikki Blonsky, Emile Hirsch, Bryce Dallas Howard, Terrence Howard and Scarlett Johansson.

Fanning currently stars in Fox Searchlight Picture's The Secret Life of Bees as Lily Owens, a 14 year-old girl who is haunted by the memory of her late mother.  To escape her lonely life and troubled relationship with her father, Lily flees to a South Carolina town, set in 1964, that holds the secret to her mother's past.  Written and directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood, the film is based on a true story and the bestselling book by Jon Sue Monk Kidd.  The film also stars Queen Latifah, Jennifer Hudson and Alicia Keys.

Hailing from Conyers, Georgia, Dakota Fanning began her career at the age of five when she booked her first job on a Tide commercial which opened the gates to her career.  Dakota made her film debut opposite Sean Penn, Oscar winning actor and 2008 PSIFF Director of the Year Award winner, and Michelle Pfeiffer when she played Lucy in I am Sam.  She was awarded the Critics Choice Award as Best Young Actor and was also the youngest child to have ever been nominated for a SAG Award for her portrayal of Lucy.  Shortly thereafter, she starred in the Steven Spielberg produced miniseries Taken, which not only became the Sci-Fi Channel's highest rated show, but also won the 2003 Emmy for Outstanding Miniseries.  Additional credits include John Gatin's Dreamer opposite Kurt Russell, War of the Worlds directed by Steven Spielberg and starring opposite Tom Cruise, and Man on Fire with co-star Denzel Washington, which earned her a second nomination for a Critics Choice Award.

December 2006 marked the theatrical debut of the beloved E.B. White novel Charlotte's Web.  As the live action role of Fern, Dakota starred alongside Julia Roberts, Oprah Winfrey and Robert Redford, each of whom voiced animated characters in the film.  Dakota was nominated for a 2006 Critic's Choice Award for Best Young Actress for her portrayal of Fern.  Also in 2006, Dakota was awarded ShoWest's Best Supporting Actress of the Year Award.

Recently wrapping production on Push for director Paul McGuian, Fanning stars as Cassie Holmes, a young girl who, along with other young Americans, must use her talents to hide from a U.S. government agency in Beijing and escape the agency forever. The Summit Entertainment film, also starring Chris Evans, Camilla Belle, Djimon Hounsou and Nate Mooney, will open February 6, 2009.  Also opening February 6, 2009, is Focus Feature's Coraline, an animated film, where Fanning lends her voice as the main character Coraline, a young girl who unlocks a mysterious door in her new home, and enters into an adventure in a parallel reality. Directed by Henry Selick, the film is based on the novel by acclaimed writer Neil Gaiman and includes the voice talents of Robert Bailey Jr., Keith David, Teri Hatcher, and Dawn French. 

Celebrating its 20th anniversary PSIFF was founded in 1990 by then Mayor Sonny Bono.  The festival, scheduled from January 6-19, 2009, will include over 400 screenings of more than 200 films from approximately 60 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.  Screenings are held on 15 screens throughout Palm Springs.

The Festival's 20th Annual Awards Gala is presented by Cartier and sponsored by Mercedes Benz and "Entertainment Tonight."  Renewing sponsors of this year's Festival are Title Sponsor, The City of Palm Springs and Presenting Sponsors, The Desert Sun, the City of Indian Wells, the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, Spencer's Restaurant, and Wessman Development.  Producing Sponsors include Bank of America, Integrated Wealth Management, Guthy-Renker, Regal Entertainment, Wells Fargo, Palm Desert National Bank, CBS2, Ocean Properties Development, Ciroc, Johnnie Walker and Don Julio.

list all films
list all events

film & event schedule
s m t w t f s
6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19

browse films

search films