Festival scores at box office and Oscars
20th ANNUAL PALM SPRINGS INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
SCORES AT THE BOX OFFICE AND AWARD NOMINATIONS
Palm Springs, CA (January 22, 2009) – The 20th Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF), which ran from January 6-19, 2009, showcased 208 films from 73 countries and set new records in both box office and attendance. The Festival announced today that box office ticket sales reached $1,126,900 and attendance rose to 129,677 attendees up 3% from last year. The star-studded Awards Gala, presented by Cartier, grossed ticket sales of $1,037,000 with 1,600 people attending. All Festival passes also sold out including the Festival's "6-pack," Benefactor Pass, Concierge Pass and Platinum Pass.
Festival Chairman Harold Matzner described the record-breaking revenue performance at the Festival Awards Gala and box office as, "Amazing in this economic environment and a reflection of the outstanding product brought to the public by our Executive Director Darryl Macdonald, our film programming department and our Awards Gala staff."
With the 81st Annual Academy Awards® announced this morning, 45 Oscar® nominations were received by talent honored and presenting awards at the 2009 Palm Springs International Film Festival Awards Gala, presented by Cartier. Twelve Oscar® nominations were received for films featured at the 2009 Palm Springs International Film Festival and the 2007 and 2008 Palm Springs International ShortFest.
Commenting on today's nominations Executive Director Darryl Macdonald said, "It's great to see so many of the films we showcased at both PSIFF and ShortFest honored with Oscar nominations, and to see our audience and juried awards validated by the Academy. It underlines both the quality of the Festivals' programming and the astuteness of our film going audience. As for the nominations related to the Awards Gala, they provide abundant further proof that Palm Springs is a definite stopover on the road to an Oscar nomination."
The nominees featured at the 2009 Palm Springs International Film Festival Awards Gala are:
• Best Actor nominee Frank Langella presenter at the 2009 Awards Gala to Ron Howard
• Best Actor nominee Sean Penn recipient of the 2009 Desert Palm Achievement Award at the Awards Gala
• Best Supporting Actor nominee Josh Brolin presenter at the 2009 Awards Gala to Gus Van Sant
• Best Supporting Actor nominee Michael Shannon recipient of the 2009 Ensemble Performance Award to the cast of Revolutionary Road at the Awards Gala
• Best Actress nominee Anne Hathaway recipient of the 2009 Desert Palm Achievement Award at the Awards Gala
• Best Supporting Actress nominee Amy Adams recipient of the 2009 Spotlight Award at the Awards Gala
• Best Supporting Actress nominee Taraji P. Henson presenter at the 2009 Awards Gala to Alexandre Desplat
• Best Director nominee Gus Van Sant recipient of the 2009 Sonny Bono Visionary Award at the Awards Gala
• Best Director nominee Ron Howard recipient of the 2009 Director's Lifetime Achievement Award at the Awards Gala
• Best Adapted Screenplay nominee John Patrick Shanley presenter at the 2009 Awards Gala to Amy Adams
• Best Original Score nominee Alexandre Desplat recipient of the 2009 Frederick Loewe Award for Film Composing at the Awards Gala
Also of note the 2009 Palm Springs International Film Festival Awards Gala honored Slumdog Millionaire star Frieda Pinto with the Breakthrough Performance Award. The film received ten nominations including Best Picture. Other films receiving multiple nominations include 13 for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, eight for Milk, five for Doubt, five for Frost/Nixon and three for Revolutionary Road.
The nominees featured at the 2009 Palm Springs International Film Festival are:
• Best Foreign Language Film nominee Departures, recipient of the 2009 Mercedes-Benz Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature and screened at the Festival
• Best Foreign Language Film nominee Revanche, recipient of the 2009 FIPRESCI Award for Best Foreign Language Film of the Year and screened at the Festival
• Best Foreign Language Film nominee Waltz with Bashir, recipient of the 2009 Bridging the Borders Award and screened at the Festival
The Festival also screened all five Best Foreign Language Film nominees and Best Documentary Feature nominee The Garden.
The nominees featured at the 2008 Palm Springs International ShortFest are:
• Best Documentary Short Subject nominee The Witness: The View From Room 306 recipient of first place in the Best Documentary Short Jury Award; Audience Favorite Documentary Short; and screened at the 2008 Palm Springs International ShortFest
• Best Live Action Short nominee Spielzeugland (Toyland) recipient of the Audience Favorite Live Action Short and screened at the 2008 Palm Springs International ShortFest
• Best Animated Short Film nominee This Way Up recipient of the Audience Favorite Animation Short and screened at the 2008 Palm Springs International ShortFest
The 2008 Palm Springs International ShortFest also screened Best Live Action Short Film nominees Manon on the Asphalt and New Boy. Another of this year's nominated short films in the Best Animated Short Film category, Lavatory – Lovestory, premiered at the 2007 Palm Springs International ShortFest.
Presented by Cartier, the Festival's annual Awards Gala is sponsored by Mercedes Benz and "Entertainment Tonight." Sponsors of this year's Festival include Title Sponsor, The City of Palm Springs and Presenting Sponsors, The Desert Sun, Local 2 KPSP, the City of Indian Wells, the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, and Spencer's Restaurant. Producing Sponsors include Bank of America, Wessman Development, Regal Entertainment, and Wells Fargo. Major Sponsors include Palm Desert National Bank, Guthy-Renker, Ocean Properties Development, Windermere Real Estate, Integrated Wealth Management, Ciroc, Johnnie Walker and Don Julio.
Founded in 1990 by then-Mayor Sonny Bono, the Palm Springs International Film Festival has evolved into one of the largest film festivals in North America. For additional information call 760-322-2930 or 800-898-7256 or www.psfilmfest.org.