News in 2013

Lupita Nyong'O and Thomas Newman to be Honored at Awards Gala
12/9/2013
2014 Palm Springs International Film Festival
2014 Palm Springs International Film Festival Awards Gala

LUPITA NYONG’O AND THOMAS NEWMAN
TO BE HONORED AT
THE 25th ANNUAL
PALM SPRINGS INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
AWARDS GALA


Palm Springs, CA (December 9, 2013) – The 25th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF) will present Lupita Nyong’o with the Breakthrough Performance Award for 12Years a Slave and Thomas Newman with the Frederick Loewe Award for Film Composing for Saving Mr. Banks at its annual Awards Gala.  The Gala will also present awards to previously announced honorees Sandra Bullock, Bruce Dern, Matthew McConaughey, Steve McQueen and Julia Roberts.  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.


“Lupita Nyong’o is outstanding as the exploited slave whose beauty attracts the attention of Michael Fassbender’s vicious slave master. She delivers a raw and deeply moving performance that serves as the fulcrum for the film’s message of the inhumanity of slavery,” said Film Festival Chairman Harold Matzner.  “For her American film debut in 12 Years a Slave, it is a great honor for the Palm Springs International Film Festival to present her with the 2014 Breakthrough Performance Award.”


Past recipients of the Breakthrough Performance Award include Mariah Carey, Marion Cotillard, Jennifer Hudson, Felicity Huffman, Carey Mulligan and Jeremy Renner.  In the years they were honored, Cotillard and Hudson went on to win Academy Awards®, while Huffman and Renner received Oscar® nominations.


12 Years a Slave is based on a 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 by Steve McQueen and written by John Ridley. Producers are Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Bill Pohlad, Steve McQueen, Arnon Milchan and Anthony Katagas. The film 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.


Lupita Nyong’o marks her American film debut in 12 Years a Slave.  A graduate of the Yale School of Drama’s acting program, her stage credits include Perdita in The Winter's Tale (Yale Repertory Theater), Sonya in Uncle Vanya, Katherine in The Taming of the Shrew, as well as the original production of Michael Mitnick’s Elijah.  The Kenyan actress is also a filmmaker, having served as creator, director, editor and producer of the award-winning feature-length documentary In My Genes. The film follows eight Kenyans who have an unusual trait in common: they were born with albinism, a genetic condition that causes a lack of pigmentation. In February she will co-star alongside Liam Neeson, Michelle Dockery and Julianne Moore in the Universal Pictures thriller Non-Stop.


Of Thomas Newman’s win of the PSIFF’s Frederick Loewe Award for Film Composing, his second win in the category, Matzner commented, “Thomas Newman is a master at creating memorable film scores. In Saving Mr. Banks, he pays tribute to Mary Poppins composers Richard and Robert Sherman through an indelible original score.  The Festival is delighted to once again present Thomas Newman with the Frederick Loewe Award for Film Composing.”


PSIFF recipients of the Frederick Loewe Award for Film Composing previously include T Bone Burnett, Mychael Danna, Alexandre Desplat, Danny Elfman, Randy Newman and Diane Warren.  In the years they were honored Burnett and Danna went on to win Academy Awards, while Desplat, Elfman, Newman received Oscar nominations.


Walt Disney Pictures presents Saving Mr. Banks, a film inspired by this extraordinary, untold back story of how Disney’s classic Mary Poppins made it to the screen, starring two-time Academy Award® winner Emma Thompson and fellow double Oscar® winner Tom Hanks.  The film is directed by John Lee Hancock.


Thomas Newman has composed music for nearly 100 motion pictures and television series and has earned 11 Academy Award nominations and six Grammy® Awards.  He has contributed distinctive and evocative scores to numerous acclaimed films, including Desperately Seeking Susan, The Lost Boys, The Rapture, Fried Green Tomatoes, The Player, Scent of a Woman, Flesh and Bone, The Shawshank Redemption, Little Women, American Buffalo, The People vs. Larry Flynt, Oscar and Lucinda, The Horse Whisperer, Meet Joe Black, American Beauty, The Green Mile, Erin Brockovich, In The Bedroom, Road to Perdition, Finding Nemo, Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events, Cinderella Man, Jarhead, Little Children, The Good German, Revolutionary Road and Wall-E. His most recent projects include The Debt, The Adjustment Bureau, The Help, The Iron Lady, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Skyfall and Side Effects. Newman also composed the music for HBO’s acclaimed six-hour miniseries Angels in America, directed by Mike Nichols.  He received an Emmy® Award for his theme for the HBO original series Six Feet Under.


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