News in 2008

Ron Howard to receive Director's Lifetime Achievement Award
2009 Palm Springs International Film Festival


Howard Feted During Anniversary of His 50th Year in Entertainment

PALM SPRINGS, CA (November 13, 2008) – In honor of Academy Award winner Ron Howard's many contributions to the entertainment industry, the 20th Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF) will present the filmmaker with its Director's Lifetime Achievement Award, Festival organizers announced today.  The award will be given with special focus on Howard's latest film, the electrifying drama Frost/Nixon, and as acknowledgement of his 50th anniversary in entertainment.  In 1959, he made his acting debut in director Anatole Litvak's The Journey, opposite Yul Brynner and Deborah Kerr.

Past honorees of the prestigious honor include Stanley Donen, Milos Forman, Ridley Scott, Franco Zeffirelli and Jim Sheridan.  The Awards Gala, presented by Cartier, will kick-off the 2009 Awards Season on Tuesday, January 6, 2009, at the Palm Springs Convention Center, and will be hosted by Entertainment Tonight's Mary Hart.  The Festival will be held January 6-19, 2009.

Festival chairman Harold Matzner said, "Frost /Nixon is yet another powerful film from one of the industry's true icons and can be included amongst the classics of Ron Howard's total body of work.  We are honored to present Howard with this honor at this year's Festival." 

Howard's current project, Universal Pictures' Frost/Nixon premiered on October 15, 2008, as the Opening Gala screening for the London Film Festival.  Based on the adaption of Peter Morgan's critically acclaimed play Frost/Nixon, the film dramatizes the battle between Richard Nixon (Frank Langella), the disgraced president with a legacy to save, and David Frost (Michael Sheen), a jet-setting newsman with the interview of a lifetime, in the untold story of the historic encounter that changed both.  Joining Langella and Sheen as the colorful real-life personalities who provide the men counsel is a formidable roster of actors including Kevin Bacon, Rebecca Hall, Toby Jones, Matthew Macfadyen, Oliver Platt, and Sam Rockwell. Frost/Nixon will be released in select theaters on December 5, 2008 and expand nationwide on Christmas Day.

Howard is one of this generation's most celebrated directors.  From the critically acclaimed dramas A Beautiful Mind and Apollo 13 to the hit comedies Parenthood and Splash, he has created some of Hollywood's most memorable films.  Most recently, he directed the screen adaptation of the international bestseller The Da Vinci Code, starring Tom Hanks.  Prior to The Da Vinci Code, Howard directed and produced Cinderella Man, starring Russell Crowe, with whom he previously collaborated with on A Beautiful Mind, for which Howard earned an Oscar for Best Director and which also won awards for Best Picture, Best Screenplay and Best Supporting Actress.  The film garnered four Golden Globes as well, including the award for Best Motion Picture Drama.  That year, Howard also won Best Director of the Year from the Directors Guild of America. 

Howard's skill as a director has long been recognized, and his portfolio includes some of the most popular films of the past 20 years.  In 1995, he received his first Best Director of the Year award from the DGA for Apollo 13.  The true-life drama also garnered nine Academy Award nominations, winning for Best Film Editing and Best Sound.  It also received Best Ensemble Cast and Best Supporting Actor awards from the Screen Actor's Guild.  Many of Howard's past films have received nods from the Academy, including the popular hits Backdraft, Parenthood and Cocoon.  Howard was honored by the Museum of the Moving Image in December 2005 and by the American Cinema Editors in February 2006.  He has also directed additional critical and commercial hits such as Far and Away, Ransom, Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Willow and Night Shift.  He made his directorial debut in 1978 with the comedy Grand Theft Auto.

He has also served as an executive producer on a number of award-winning television shows such as the HBO miniseries From the Earth to the Moon, as well as FOX's Arrested Development, an Emmy award winner for Best Comedy that he also narrated.

Howard began his career in entertainment as an actor.  After The Journey, he appeared in The Music Man and then as Opie on the long-running television series The Andy Griffith Show.  He later starred in the popular series Happy Days and drew favorable reviews for his performances in American Graffiti and The Shootist.

Howard and long-time producing partner, Academy Award winner Brian Grazer, first collaborated on the hit comedies Night Shift and Splash.  The pair co-founded Imagine Entertainment in 1986 to create independently produced feature films.  The company has since produced a variety of popular feature films, including such hits as Changeling, directed by Clint Eastwood and starring Angelina Jolie, American Gangster, Inside Man, Curious George,Flightplan, Friday Night Lights, 8 Mile, The Nutty Professor, The Nutty Professor II: The Klumps, Bowfinger, The Paper, Inventing the Abbotts and Liar Liar.

The filmmaker is currently in post-production on the adaptation of Dan Brown's best-selling novel Angels & Demons, due in theaters on May 15, 2009.

Celebrating its 20th anniversary, PSIFF was founded in 1990 by then Mayor Sonny Bono.  The Festival, scheduled from January 6-19, 2009, will include more than 450 screenings of more than 220 films from approximately 65 countries.  The Festival presents a majority of the films submitted for consideration in the Best Foreign Language category for the Academy Awards, as well as a large number of American independent and international features and documentaries marking their world, North American or U.S. debuts.  Screenings are held on 15 screens throughout Palm Springs.

The Festival's 20th 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, the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, Spencer's Restaurant, and Wessman Development.  Producing Sponsors include Bank of America, Integrated Wealth Management, Guthy-Renker, Regal Entertainment, Wells Fargo, Palm Desert National Bank, CBS2, Ocean Properties Development, Ciroc, Johnnie Walker, and Don Julio.