Festival News

David O. Russell to be honored at PSIFF Awards Gala


PALM SPRINGS, CA (December 9, 2010) – The 22nd annual Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF) will present David O. Russell with the Director of the Year Award at its Awards Gala. Presented by Cartier, the Awards Gala will kick off the 2011 awards season on Saturday, January 8 at the Palm Springs Convention Center and will be hosted by “Entertainment Tonight’s” Mary Hart. Russell will join previously announced honorees Javier Bardem, Robert Duvall, Colin Firth, Jennifer Lawrence, Carey Mulligan and Natalie Portman. The Festival runs January 6-17.

“From his very first movie to the present, the talent and style of director David O. Russell has garnered both audience and critical acclaim,” said Palm Springs International Film Festival chairman Harold Matzner. “In his latest effort, The Fighter, he works again with actor Mark Wahlberg who portrays a man refusing to take no for an answer when it comes to pursuing his dreams. The result is an excellent film. Through directorial technique, use of technology, complex and engaging storytelling, the films of David O. Russell are guaranteed to be riveting and innovative. The Palm Springs International Film Festival is proud to present him with the 2011 Director of the Year Award.”

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

David O. Russell directs The Fighter, inspired by the true story of unlikely boxing champ, “Irish” Micky Ward (Mark Wahlberg), and his half-brother, Dicky Eklund (Christian Bale), who decided that, no matter the odds against them and no matter their differences, they weren’t going to give up on their shared dreams without a fight. The film from Paramount Pictures also stars Amy Adams and Melissa Leo.

Russell earned critical acclaim early in his career when he wrote and directed his first feature film, Spanking the Monkey. This film premiered at the 1994 Sundance Film Festival, where it won the Sundance Audience Award. It also was named Best First Feature and Best First Screenplay at the Independent Spirit Awards that year. His second film was the acclaimed comedy Flirting With Disaster, which appeared on many top ten lists for 1996.

Three Kings, starring George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg and Ice Cube, was released in 1999 and garnered ample critical praise. Russell earned a nomination from the WGA for Best Screenplay, and the film appeared in over 100 critics’ top ten lists. Boston Film Critics Society named it the Film of the Year and selected Russell as the Best Director of the Year. Russell continued his relationship with Mark Wahlberg when he proceeded to make I Heart Huckabees in 2004.

About The Palm Springs International Film Festival
The Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF) is one of the largest film festivals in North America, welcoming 130,000 attendees each year for its lineup of new and celebrated international features and documentaries. The Festival is also known for its annual Black Tie Awards Gala, honoring the best achievements of the filmic year by a celebrated list of talents who in recent years have included Clint Eastwood, Kate Winslet, Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett, Sean Penn, Leonardo DiCaprio, Ron Howard, Anne Hathaway, Jeff Bridges, Danny Elfman and many others.

The Festival’s 22nd 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, Spencer’s Restaurant and KPSP Local 2. Major Sponsors include Bank of America, Penfolds, Regal Entertainment, Diageo, Desert Regional Medical Center, Integrated Wealth Management, Wessman Development, Guthy-Renker, Wells Fargo, Chihuly Art Glass, and Ocean Properties Development.

For more information, call 760-322-2930 or 800-898-7256 or visit www.psfilmfest.org.


Steven Wilson / Emily Davis
B|W|R Public Relations
swilson@bwr-la.com / edavis@bwr-la.com

David Lee
Palm Springs International Film Festival

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