News in 2011

George Clooney to Receive Chairman's Award
2012 Palm Springs International Film Festival
23rd Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival Awards Gala


Palm Springs, CA (November 18, 2011) – The 23rd annual Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF) will present Academy Award® winner George Clooney with its prestigious Chairman’s Award for The Descendants and The Ides of March. Presented by Cartier, the Awards Gala will be held Saturday, January 7, at the Palm Springs Convention Center.

“George Clooney brings new definition to the word ‘star,’” said Film Festival Chairman Harold Matzner. “A consummate actor, director, producer and screenwriter, he’s demonstrated that no discipline within the film industry is beyond his reach.  In The Ides of March as an actor, director, producer and screenwriter, Clooney exposes the gritty world of political campaigns where winning is the only option, no matter how devastating the consequences. In The Descendants, he gives a bravura performance as a reluctant patriarch, living in a Hawaiian paradise, who is thrust into making life and death decisions affecting his entire family.  To this star of many talents, whose career, fortunately for all of us who admire him, is still a work in progress, the Palm Springs International Film Festival is proud to present the 2011 Chairman’s Award to George Clooney.”

Past recipients of the Chairman’s Award include Ben Affleck, Dustin Hoffman and Nicole Kidman.

Clooney directed, produced, co-wrote and stars in The Ides of March, a political thriller currently in theatres nationwide. The film from Sony Pictures takes place during the frantic last days before a heavily contested Ohio presidential primary, when an up-and-coming campaign press secretary (Ryan Gosling) finds himself involved in a political scandal that threatens to upend his candidate’s (Clooney) shot at the presidency.  The Ides of March is directed by George Clooney.  Screenplay by George Clooney & Grant Heslov and Beau Willimon, based on the play “Farragut North” by Beau Willimon.  The film is produced by Heslov and Clooney and Brian Oliver.  Ryan Gosling, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Paul Giamatti, Marisa Tomei and Evan Rachel Wood also star in the film.

Clooney stars in The Descendants, directed by Alexander Payne.  The film, set in Hawaii, follows the unpredictable journey of an American family at a crossroads, where a husband and father must re-examine his past and navigate his future after his wife is in a boating accident.  The ensemble cast also includes Shailene Woodley, Beau Bridges, Robert Forster, Judy Greer, Matthew Lillard, Nick Krause, Amara Miller, Mary Birdsong, Rob Huebel and Patricia Hastie.  Fox Searchlight Pictures will release the film on November 16.

Clooney’s achievements as a performer and a filmmaker have earned him an Academy Award (Best Supporting Actor, Syriana), two Golden Globes and an Emmy, as well as four other Oscar nominations, six additional Golden Globe nominations, and numerous SAG, BAFTA, Emmy and Critics’ Choice Awards.  In addition to award-winning work in Good Night, and Good Luck, Up in the Air and Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, his other credits include Three Kings, Out of Sight, O Brother, Where Art Thou?, Ocean’s 11, 12 & 13, Michael Clayton, The Men Who Stare at Goats, The American and the animated feature Fantastic Mr. Fox.

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

Steven Wilson / Emily Davis
B|W|R Public Relations
310.550.7776 /

David Lee
Palm Springs International Film Festival