Festival News

Steve McQueen to Receive the Director of the Year Award
11/21/2013
2014 Palm Springs International Film Festival Awards Gala

STEVE McQUEEN TO RECEIVE
DIRECTOR OF THE YEAR AWARD
AT THE 25th ANNUAL
PALM SPRINGS INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
AWARDS GALA


Palm Springs, CA (November 21, 2013) – The 25th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF) will present Steve McQueen with the Director of the Year Award for 12 Years a Slave at its annual Awards Gala.  The Gala will also present awards to previously announced honorees Sandra Bullock, Bruce Dern and Matthew McConaughey.  Presented by Cartier and hosted by Mary Hart, the Awards Gala will be held Saturday, January 4 at the Palm Springs Convention Center.  The Festival runs January 3-13, 2014.


“Director Steve McQueen captivates his audiences by challenging them with often unorthodox and unrelenting subject matter and technique,” said Festival Chairman Harold Matzner.  “McQueen is a master of utilizing the senses to create the essence of his works. In his latest effort, 12 Years a Slave, audiences become integrally involved in the unbearably violent nightmare of a free black man, who is kidnapped and sold into slavery, eventually to return home to freedom.  To Steve McQueen, a soaring talent who ranks among the greats with each directorial effort, the Palm Springs International Film Festival is proud to present him the 2014 Director of the Year Award.”


Past Director of the Year honorees include Stephen Daldry, Ang Lee, Anthony Minghella, Alexander Payne, Sean Penn, Jason Reitman, David O. Russell and Robert Zemeckis.


12 Years a Slave is based on an incredible true story of one man’s fight for survival and freedom.  In the pre-Civil War United States, Solomon Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofor), a free black man from upstate New York, is abducted and sold into slavery.  Facing cruelty (personified by a malevolent slave owner, portrayed by Michael Fassbender) as well as unexpected kindnesses, Solomon struggles not only to stay alive, but to retain his dignity. In the twelfth year of his unforgettable odyssey, Solomon’s chance meeting with a Canadian abolitionist (Brad Pitt) forever alters his life.  The Fox Searchlight Pictures film is directed and produced by Steve McQueen and stars Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Dano, Garret Dillahunt, Paul Giamatti, Scoot McNairy, Lupita Nyong’o, Adepero Oduye, Sarah Paulson, Brad Pitt, Michael Kenneth Williams, Alfre Woodard, Chris Chalk, Taran Killam and Bill Camp.


In 2008, McQueen’s critically acclaimed first feature Hunger won the Camera d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival, among countless other international prizes.  He followed with 2011’s Shame, a provocative drama about addiction and secrecy in the modern world. The film received numerous accolades and awards with McQueen winning the CinemAvvenire Award and FIPRESCI Prize at the Venice Film Festival as well as nominations from BAFTA, the British Independent Film Awards, the London Film Festival, Evening Standard British Film Awards and the Independent Spirit Awards.


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 annually 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, Bradley Cooper, George Clooney, Daniel Day-Lewis, Leonardo DiCaprio, Clint Eastwood, Ron Howard, Helen Mirren, Sean Penn, Brad Pitt, Natalie Portman, Charlize Theron and Kate Winslet.


The Awards Gala of the 25th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival is presented by Cartier and sponsored by Mercedes Benz and Entertainment Tonight. The City of Palm Springs is the Title Sponsor of the Film Festival. Presenting Sponsors are Wells Fargo, The Desert Sun and Spencer’s. Major sponsors are AARP, Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, Wessman Development, Bank of America, Wintec, Regal Entertainment Group, Windermere Real Estate, Eisenhower Medical Center, Guthy-Renker, Integrated Wealth Management, PalmSpringsOasis.com, Ocean Properties, Panavision, Chihuly and Telefilm Canada.


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


Contacts
Steven Wilson / Lauren Peteroy
B|W|R Public Relations
212-901-3920
steven.wilson@bwr-pr.com / lauren.peteroy@bwr-pr.com


David Lee
Palm Springs International Film Festival
760.322.2930
david@psfilmfest.org

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