Festival News

Helen Mirren to receive Career Achievement Award

HELEN MIRREN to receive

PALM SPRINGS, CA (December 1, 2009) – The 21st Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF) will present Academy Award winner Helen Mirren with the Career Achievement Award. Presented by Cartier, the Awards Gala will kick off the 2010 awards season on Tuesday, January 5 at the Palm Springs Convention Center and will be hosted by "Entertainment Tonight's" Mary Hart. The Festival runs January 5-18, 2010.

Giles Keyte, photoFestival chairman Harold Matzner commented, "We are honored to present Oscar winner Helen Mirren with the Festival's Career Achievement Award for her large and distinguished body of work. Mirren is one of the most outstanding actresses of her generation and she delivers another fine performance in The Last Station." Mirren will join previously announced honorees Morgan Freeman, Mariah Carey and Anna Kendrick at the event.

Mirren stars in the Sony Pictures Classic release The Last Station, a tale of two romances, one beginning and one near its end. The film is a complex, funny, rich and emotional story about the difficulty of living with love and the impossibility of living without it. Scheduled to open in late December, the film written and directed by Michael Hoffman also stars Christopher Plummer, Paul Giamatti and James McAvoy.

Mirren launched her career in London at the National Youth Theatre, playing Cleopatra. Her film career began with Michael Powell's Age of Consent, but her breakthrough role came with John Mackenzie's The Long Good Friday, opposite Bob Hoskins. Mirren earned her first Academy Award nomination as Queen Charlotte in The Madness of King George, a role that won her another Best Actress Award from the Cannes Film Festival. She earned her second Oscar nomination for her role as the housekeeper in Robert Altman's Gosford Park. Her most celebrated role was as Elizabeth II in Stephen Frear's The Queen, for which she won the Academy Award for Best Actress along with a Golden Globe, BAFTA, SAG and numerous other awards from around the world. Other film credits include Excalibur, Calendar Girls, The Clearing, Shadowboxer, The Mosquito Coast and The Cook, the Thief, his Wife and her Lover. Her upcoming projects include Brighton Rock, Love Ranch, The Debt and The Tempest.

Celebrating its 21st anniversary, PSIFF was founded in 1990 by then-Mayor Sonny Bono. This year's Festival 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 21st 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 KPSP Local 2. Major Sponsors include Bank of America, Integrated Wealth Management, Guthy-Renker, Regal Entertainment, Wessman Development, Ocean Properties Development, Palm Desert National Bank and Wells Fargo.

Photo credit by Giles Keyte.

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