News in 2011

Brad Pitt to Receive Desert Palm Achievement Award for Acting
2012 Palm Springs International Film Festival
23rd Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival Awards Gala


PALM SPRINGS, CA (December 14, 2011) – The 23rd annual Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF) will present two-time Academy Award® nominee Brad Pitt with the Desert Palm Achievement Actor Award for his lead role in Moneyball and his supporting role in The Tree of Life.  Presented by Cartier, the Awards Gala will be held Saturday, January 7, at the Palm Springs Convention Center.  Hosted by Mary Hart, the Gala will also present awards to previously announced honorees George Clooney, Glenn Close, Michel Hazanavicius, Octavia Spencer and Michelle Williams.

“Brad Pitt consistently mesmerizes audiences with the depth and versatility of his performances.  He has the rare ability to interpret and capture the most complicated facets of human nature, infusing his roles with strength and emotion,” said Harold Matzner, Chairman of the Palm Springs International Film Festival.  “In The Tree of Life, he portrays a father whose sensitive son tries to make sense of their relationship and understand the wrongs of a difficult childhood.  In Moneyball, he faces failure head on and draws upon his dormant, though fierce competitive nature to become a standout in the world of major league baseball management. To Brad Pitt, the Palm Springs International Film Festival is once again privileged to present you with an award to honor your extraordinary talent, this time the 2012 Desert Palm Achievement Award for Acting.”

Pitt received Best Actor award from the New York Film Critics Circle for his roles in Moneyball and Tree of Life andBest Actor for Moneyball from the Boston Society of Film Critics.  He’s also received a Best Actor nomination from the Broadcast Film Critics Association for MoneyballTime’s Richard Corliss selected Pitt as the Number One Movie Performance of the Year for his roles in Moneyball, Tree of Life and Happy Feet Two.  In 2007, Pitt along with the cast of Babel, received the Festival’s Ensemble Performance Award.  Past honorees of the Desert Palm Achievement Actor Award include Jeff Bridges, Daniel Day-Lewis, Colin Firth, Jake Gyllenhaal, Sean Penn, John Travolta and James Stewart.

Pitt stars in Columbia Pictures’ Moneyball, which is based on the true story of Billy Beane - once a would-be baseball superstar who, stung by the failure to live up to expectations on the field, turned his fiercely competitive nature to management. Heading into the 2002 season, Billy faces a dismal situation: his small-market Oakland A’s have lost their star players (again) to big market clubs (and their enormous salaries) and he is left to rebuild his team and compete with a third of their payroll. Driven to win, Billy takes on the system by challenging the fundamental tenets of the game. He looks outside of baseball, to the dismissed theories of Bill James, and hires Peter Brand (Jonah Hill), a brainy, number-crunching, Yale-educated economist.  Together they take on conventional wisdom with a willingness to reexamine everything and armed with computer driven statistical analysis long ignored by the baseball establishment. They reach imagination-defying conclusions and go after players overlooked and dismissed by the rest of baseball for being too odd, too old, too injured or too much trouble, but who all have key skills that are universally undervalued. As Billy and Peter forge forward, their new methods and roster of misfits rile the old guard, the media, the fans, and their own field manager (Philip Seymour Hoffman), who refuses to cooperate.  Ultimately this experiment will lead not only to a change in the way the game is played, but to an outcome that would leave Billy with a new understanding that transcends the game and delivers him to a new place.  Directed by Bennett Miller, the screenplay is by Steven Zaillian and Aaron Sorkin, with a story by Stan Chervin and based on the book by Michael Lewis. The film is produced by Michael De Luca, Rachael Horovitz, and Brad Pitt.

Winner of the Palme d’Or at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival, and recently awarded the Best Feature prize from the Gotham Independent Film Awards, The Tree of Life is the impressionistic story of a Midwestern family in the 1950s.  The film follows the complex path of nature versus nurture and a father’s role (Pitt) in shaping the lives of his three boys.  The Fox Searchlight film is written and directed by Terrence Malick.  Produced by Sarah Green, Bill Pohlad, Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner and Grant Hill, the film also stars Sean Penn, Jessica Chastain with Pitt. 

Brad Pitt was an Academy Award nominee for his performance in David Fincher’s The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and Terry Gilliam’s Twelve Monkeys, for which he won a Golden Globe Award.  He was also a Golden Globe nominee for his performances in Edward Zwick’s Legends of the Fall and Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Babel.  His other credits include Burn After Reading, Fight Club, Inglourious Basterds, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Ocean’s Eleven, Ocean’s Twelve, Ocean’s Thirteen, A River Runs Through It, Se7en and Thelma and Louise.  Pitt’s next projects include starring in and producing Andrew Dominik’s Cogan’s Trade and starring in and producing Marc Forster’s World War Z.

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