Festival News

Jason Reitman, Jeremy Renner and T Bone Burnett to be honored at Festival Gala


PALM SPRINGS, CA (December 10, 2009) – The 21st Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF) will present Academy Award-nominated director Jason Reitman with its Director of the Year Award for Up in the Air, Jeremy Renner with its Breakthrough Performance Award for The Hurt Locker and T Bone Burnett with its Frederick Loewe Award for Film Composing for Crazy Heart. The Awards Gala, presented by Cartier, will kick off the Festival on 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.

Festival chairman Harold Matzner commented, "We're delighted to have the opportunity to honor three of this year's most accomplished film talents with our presentations to Jason Reitman for Director of Year, Jeremy Renner as Breakthrough Male of the Year and T Bone Burnett as Composer of the Year. Each of them has distinguished themselves this year in ways that set them apart from the pack -- Reitman with his emotionally resonant and very timely new directorial triumph Up in the Air, Burnett with his soulful, masterful soundtrack for Crazy Heart and Renner with his riveting turn as a hell-bent young bomb-squad officer in The Hurt Locker. We congratulate them all."

About Jason Reitman
Up in the Air is a dramatic comedy from Jason Reitman, the Oscar®-nominated director of Juno. The film stars Oscar-winner George Clooney as Ryan Bingham, a corporate downsizing expert whose cherished life on the road is threatened by a young, upstart efficiency expert (Anna Kendrick) just as he is on the cusp of reaching ten million frequent flyer miles. The film also stars Vera Farmiga and Jason Bateman.

Reitman was honored by the Festival in 2008 with the Chairman's Vanguard Award for Juno, which was also presented to the cast and writer Diablo Cody. Juno earned widespread praise following its debut at the 2007 Toronto Film Festival, and grossed over $230m worldwide. Reitman was nominated for an Academy Award for directing Juno, and the film earned one win for Diablo Cody's screenplay and additional nominations for Best Picture and Best Actress (Ellen Page). Juno won three Independent Spirit awards and a Grammy Award. Reitman made his feature film directing debut with the 2006 hit, Thank You For Smoking. The film went on to earn a Golden Globe nomination for Best Picture, an Independent Spirit Award for Best Screenplay, and a WGA nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay. Reitman was also named Best Debut Director by the National Board of Review.

Past PSIFF Director of the Year honorees include Sean Penn, Alejandro González Iñárritu, Anthony Minghella, Alexander Payne and Ang Lee.

About Jeremy Renner
Jeremy Renner stars in The Hurt Locker, the critically acclaimed film directed by Kathryn Bigelow that takes place in Baghdad and depicts a team of bomb disposal experts. For his role, Renner was nominated as Best Actor at the 2008 Independent Spirit Awards. He has since received the National Board of Review Breakthrough Performance by an Actor, Breakthrough Actor Award at the Hollywood Film Festival, the Spotlight Award at the Savannah Film Festival and was nominated at the Gotham Awards as Breakthrough Actor and won Best Ensemble Performance.

The role that put Renner on the map and earned his first Independent Spirit Award nomination was that of Jeffrey Dahmer in the 2002 indie hit, Dahmer. In 2007, Renner was seen in The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, 28 Weeks Later and Take. In 2005, he starred in the acclaimed independent film 12 and Holding and Neo Ned, where he was awarded Best Actor at the 11th Annual Palm Beach International Film Festival. His other credits include North Country, A Little Trip to Heaven, The Heart is Deceitful Above All Things, Lords of Dogtowm, Love Comes to the Executioner and S.W.A.T.

Past PSIFF recipients of the Breakthrough Performance Award include Marion Cotillard, Jennifer Hudson, Felicity Huffman and Freida Pinto.

About T Bone Burnett
T Bone Burnett produced the critically acclaimed film Crazy Heart, starring Jeff Bridges, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Colin Farrell and Robert Duvall, which will be released by Fox Searchlight on December 16. He also composed the film's score with collaborator Stephen Burton and co-wrote many of its original songs, including "The Weary Kind," which is performed numerous times in the film and is featured in its trailer.

Burnett's 40 years of experience in music and entertainment have earned him an unparalleled reputation. He was nominated for an Academy Award in 2004, along with Elvis Costello, in the category of Best Original Song for "The Scarlet Tide" from the film Cold Mountain. For his work on that film, Burnett earned BAFTA's Anthony Asquith Award. His first major foray into film was his 1999 collaboration with the Coen Brothers on The Big Lebowski, for which he served as musical archivist. He has since served as executive music producer, and created hit soundtracks for numerous films including O Brother Where Art Thou, Across The Universe, Walk The Line (for which he also composed the score) and The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood.

Past PSIFF recipients of the Frederick Loewe Award for Film Composing include Alexandre Desplat, James Newton Howard, Danny Elfman, Phillip Glass, Howard Shore and Randy Newman.

Celebrating its 21st anniversary, the Palm Springs International Film Festival 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 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.

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