Festival News

Oscar Winner Tom Hooper & Mychael Danna to be Honored
2013 Palm Springs International Film Festival Awards Gala


Palm Springs, CA (December 18, 2012) – The 24th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF) will present Academy Award®-winning director Tom Hooper with the Sonny Bono Visionary Award and Mychael Danna with the Frederick Loewe Award for Film Composing.  Presented by Cartier, the Awards Gala will be held Saturday, January 5, at the Palm Springs Convention Center.  Hosted by Mary Hart, the Gala will also present awards to previously announced honorees the cast of Argo, Richard Gere, Sally Field, Helen Hunt, Helen Mirren, Naomi Watts and Robert Zemeckis.  The Festival runs January 3-14.

Tom Hooper will receive the Sonny Bono Visionary Award.  “In his follow-up to the Academy Award®-winning film The King’s Speech, Tom Hooper brilliantly transforms the classic stagemusical Les Misérables into a cinema marvel,” said Festival Chairman Harold Matzner.  “By asking his amazing cast of actors to sing live on film, Hooper allows them to connect even further with their characters, resulting in emotional powerhouse performances that are enthralling audiences worldwide.  For his creative innovations in filmmaking The Palm Springs International Film Festival is proud to present Tom Hooper with the Sonny Bono Visionary Award.”  Past recipients of the Sonny Bono Visionary Award include Danny Boyle, Quentin Tarantino, Michel Hazanavicius, Baz Luhrmann and Gus Van Sant.

Universal Pictures presents Les Misérables, the motion-picture adaptation of the global stage sensation seen by more than 60 million people in 42 countries and in 21 languages around the globe that is still breaking box-office records everywhere in its 28th year. Set against the backdrop of 19th-century France, Les Misérables tells an enthralling story of broken dreams and unrequited love, passion, sacrifice and redemption—a timeless testament to the endurance of the human spirit.  Helmed by Tom Hooper, the Working Title Films/Cameron Mackintosh production stars Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway, Amanda Seyfried, Eddie Redmayne, Aaron Tveit, Samantha Barks, with Helena Bonham Carter and Sacha Baron Cohen. 

Hooper received a Best Director nomination for the film from the Broadcast Film Critics.  The film has received an AFI Award for one of the top 10 movies of the year and Best Ensemble and one of the top 10 movies from the National Board of Review.  The film has also received four Golden Globe nominations including Best Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical and four SAG Award nominations including Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture and Outstanding Action Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Motion Picture.

Tom Hooper won an Academy Award® for directing The King’s Speech.  The 2010 film was nominated for 12 Oscars®, more than any other film of that year, and also won Best Picture, Best Actor and Best Original Screenplay.  Hooper also won a Directors Guild of America Award for his direction.  The King’s Speech also won a People’s Choice Award at the Toronto International Film Festival, Best British Film at the British Independent Film Awards, a Film Independent Spirit Award for Best Foreign Film, a Producers Guild of America Award for Producer of the Year and a European Film People’s Choice Award for Best European Film.  Hooper directed The Damned United, starring Michael Sheen and written by Peter Morgan.  Hooper has had an unprecedented run of success at the Golden Globes with his work for HBO, which won a Golden Globe for Best Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television three years in a row (2007, 2008 and 2009) for John Adams, Longford and Elizabeth I.  His other work includes Red Dust, Prime Suspect 6, Daniel Deronda, Love in a Cold Climate, Cold Feet and EastEnders.

Mychael Danna will receive the Frederick Loewe Award for Film Composing.  “Mychael Danna is a pioneer in creating original compositions that are as dramatic and innovative as the films in which they are featured,” continued Matzner.  “His score for Life of Pi takes you on an emotional journey that plays off the 3-D visuals director Ang Lee created.  The Palm Springs International Film Festival is honored to present him with the 2013 Frederick Loewe Award for Film Composing.”  PSIFF recipients of the Frederick Loewe Award for Film Composing include T Bone Burnett, Alexandre Desplat, Danny Elfman, Randy Newman and Diane Warren.

Based on the book that has sold more than seven million copies and spent years on the bestseller lists, Life of Pi is a groundbreaking movie event about a young man who survives a disaster at sea and is hurtled into an epic journey of adventure and discovery.  While cast away, he forms an amazing and unexpected connection with another survivor…a fearsome Bengal tiger.  The film from 20th Century Fox is directed by Academy Award winning director Ang Lee.  In addition to writing the original score, Danna co-wrote the film’s original song “Pi’s Lullaby” with singer/songwriter Bombay Jayashri, who performs the song in her native Tamil language.   Danna has received a Golden Globe nomination for his original score for Life as Pi, as well as a nomination for Best Score from the Broadcast Film Critics.

Life of Pi marks Danna’s third collaboration with Ang Lee, having previously written the original music for The Ice Storm and Ride with the Devil.  He has won five Genie Awards for his composing work on the films Water, directed by Deepa Mehta, and on Atom Egoyan films’ Ararat, Felicia’s Journey, TheSweet Hereafter and Exotica.  His other credits include Moneyball, Capote, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, Vanity Fair, Monsoon Wedding, Little Miss Sunshine, (500) Days of Summer, Family Viewing, The Time Traveler’s Wife, Girl, Interrupted, Lakeview Terrace, Surf’s Up, Being Julia, Antwone Fisher, Hearts in Atlantis and 8MM.

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 135,000 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, Danny Boyle, George Clooney, Daniel Day-Lewis, Leonardo DiCaprio, Clint Eastwood, Ron Howard, Sean Penn, Brad Pitt, Natalie Portman, Charlize Theron and Kate Winslet.

The 24th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival is presented by Title Sponsor, the City of Palm Springs.  Presenting Sponsors are Spencer’s, The Desert Sun, Entertainment Tonight, Wells Fargo, Regal Entertainment Group, Bank of America and Wintec. Major sponsors are Panavision, Ocean Properties Development, Raymond|Lawrence, Chihuly, Telefilm Canada.  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 / Lauren Peteroy
B|W|R Public Relations
steven.wilson@bwr-ny.com / lauren.peteroy@bwr-ny.com

David Lee
Palm Springs International Film Festival

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