Festival News

Variety to Honor Charlize Theron and "10 Directors to Watch"
2012 Palm Springs International Film Festival


LOS ANGELES, CA (December 29, 2011) – The event will take place on Sunday, January 8 on the Palm Court at the Parker Palm Springs, where Variety will present actress Charlize Theron with the Indie Impact Award, presented by Mercedes-Benz, which celebrates a performer and filmmaker for her outstanding contributions to the art and business of cinema. 

“Charlize Theron continues to make an impact by committing herself to films that exemplify the best in independent cinema,” stated Variety Executive Editor Steven Gaydos.  “She notably won an Academy Award, Golden Globe Award, SAG Award and Independent Spirit Award for the independent film ‘Monster,’ and contributed unforgettable performances to films such as ‘The Burning Plain,’ ‘In the Valley of Elah’ and ‘North Country.’  Her recent acclaimed work in ‘Young Adult,' for which she was recently nominated for a Golden Globe® Award, demonstrates Theron's characteristic edge and verve.”

Previous recipients of the Indie Impact Award include Philip Seymour Hoffman and Mark Wahlberg.

“Young Adult” will also be honored the evening before at the Palm Springs International Film Festival’s Awards Gala with the prestigious Vanguard Award, recognizing its outstanding creative ensemble.

“10 Directors to Watch”
“10 Directors to Watch” debuted in 1996 and the annual event moved to the Palm Springs International Film Festival in January 2011.  “10 Directors to Watch” was the first of Variety’s “10 to Watch” series spotlighting the most exciting new talents in the fields of directing, writing, producing, acting, cinematography and comedy.  This year’s “10 Directors to Watch” include: Zal Batmanglij (“Sound of My Voice”); Valerie Donzelli (“Declaration of War”); Gareth Evans (“The Raid”); Philippe Falardeau (“Monsieur Lazhar”); Mike “Mouse” McCoy & Scott Waugh (“Act of Valor”); Gerardo Naranjo (“Miss Bala”); Matt Piedmont (“Casa de mi Padre”); Michael Roskam (“Bullhead”); Lynn Shelton (“Your Sister’s Sister”); and Benh Zeitlin (“Beasts of the Southern Wild”).  “Sound of My Voice,” “Declaration of War,” “Monsieur Lazhar,” “Miss Bala” and “Bullhead” will be shown at the Palm Springs International Film Festival. 

Past “10 Directors to Watch” honorees have included Ben Affleck (“Gone Baby Gone”), Wes Anderson (“Bottle Rocket”), Scott Cooper (“Crazy Heart”), Marc Webb (“500 Days of Summer”), Catherine Hardwicke (“Thirteen”) and Christopher Nolan (“Memento”), among others.

“What better way to start the new year of cinema than by celebrating 10 dynamic new filmmaking voices at the prestigious Palm Springs International Film Festival,” Gaydos noted.  “It's an exciting meeting place for international and independent filmmakers and the Festival provides a brilliant showcase for Variety to alert the world to these future maestros.”

Palm Springs International Film Festival Director Darryl Macdonald stated, “We're particularly elated to once again be hosting Variety at the Festival with their prestigious ‘10 Directors to Watch’ brunch and awards ceremony.  The discovery of new filmmaking talent has always been a hallmark of the Palm Springs Festival – exemplified by the 61 films by first-time filmmakers in this year’s line-up, and our New Voices/New Visions and John Schlesinger Award competitions for directors marking their narrative and documentary feature debuts.  Given Variety’s own ongoing interest in heralding the work of talented new filmmakers, the ‘10 Directors to Watch’ event is a perfect match for this Festival.”

The event will be presented by Mercedes-Benz and venue partner the Parker Palm Springs.

About Variety

Variety is the leading publication for entertainment news, recognized and respected throughout the world of show business. The Variety Group – Daily Variety, Daily Variety Gotham, Weekly Variety and Variety.com – are all owned by Reed Business Information (RBI), the largest business publisher in the U.S.  RBI is a member of the Reed Elsevier Group plc (NYSE: RUK and ENL).

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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