Festival News

Michel Hazanavicius to Receive the Sono Bono Visionary Award
23rd Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival Awards Gala


PALM SPRINGS, CA (November 23, 2011) – The 23rd annual Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF) will present acclaimed French filmmaker Michel Hazanavicius (The Artist) with the Sonny Bono Visionary Award during its annual Awards Gala.  Presented by Cartier, the Gala will be held Saturday, January 7 at the Palm Springs Convention Center.  Hosted by Mary Hart, the Awards Gala will also present awards to previously announced honorees George Clooney, Glenn Close and Michelle Williams.

“Director Michel Hazanavicius boldly takes us back in time and reacquaints modern-day audiences with the magical power of black and white silent cinema to capture our hearts and our imaginations in The Artist,” said Festival Chairman Harold Matzner. “The film opened to rave reviews at its premiere in Cannes and will continue to be one of the films to watch throughout awards season as a leadingbest picture contender. For his creative innovation in filmmaking The Palm Springs International Film Festival is proud to present Michel Hazanavicius with the Sonny Bono Visionary Award.”

Past recipients of the Sonny Bono Visionary Award include Danny Boyle, Quentin Tarantino, Baz Luhrmann, M. Night Shyamalan, Gus Van Sant and Joe Wright.

The Artist takes place in Hollywood between 1927 and 1932 and focuses on a declining male film star and a rising actress, as silent cinema grows out of fashion and is replaced by talking pictures.  The Weinstein Company presents The Artist, written and directed by Michel Hazanavicius and produced by Thomas Langmann.  Starring Jean Dujardin, Bérénice Bejo, John Goodman, James Cromwell, Penelope Ann Miller, Malcolm McDowell, Missi Pyle, Beth Grant, Ed Lauter, Koel Murray and Ken Davitan. 

Hazanavicius first broke through as a feature filmmaker with his 2006 comedy OSS 117 – Cairo, Nest of Spies, a spoof starring Jean Dujardin.  Hazanavicius and Dujardin reteamed three years later for the hit sequel OSS 117 – Lost in Rio.  Hazanavicius made his feature directorial debut in 1999 with Mes Amies (My Friends), which he also wrote.  He began his career as a director in television.  He made the move into feature films in 1994, when he made his acting debut in Fear City: A Family-Style Comedy (La Cité de la Peur).  Two years later, he transitioned into feature writing as well, with credits including the comedies Delphine 1, Yvan 0; The Clone (Le Clone) and Lucky Luke and the Daltons.

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 Ben Affleck, Javier Bardem, Cate Blanchett, Jeff Bridges, Danny Boyle, Leonardo DiCaprio, Clint Eastwood, Colin Firth, Ron Howard, Sean Penn, Brad Pitt, Natalie Portman and Kate Winslet.

The 23rd Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival is presented by Title Sponsor, the City of Palm Springs.  Renewing sponsors, to date, of this year’s Festival include The Desert Sun, Spencer’s Restaurant and KPSP Local 2.  Major sponsors include Bank of America, Penfolds, Regal Entertainment and Wells Fargo.  The Festival’s Awards Gala is presented by Cartier and sponsored by  Mercedes Benz.

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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