News in 2006

Jennifer Hudson To Receive Breakthrough Performance Award For “Dreamgirls” At 18th Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival
12/19/2006
2007 Palm Springs International Film Festival
Hudson to Receive Award at Festival Event on Saturday, January 13

Steven Wilson / Ron Hofmann
B|W|R Public Relations, 310.550.7776
swilson@bwr-la.com / rhofmann@bwr-la.com

Palm Springs, CA – The 18th Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF) will honor Golden Globe nominee Jennifer Hudson with the Breakthrough Performance Award. The award will be announced at the Festival Awards Gala and presented to her on Saturday, January 13, 2007 at the estate of Festival board members Jim and Jackie Lee Houston. Academy Award nominee Felicity Huffman was the previous recipient of this award. The Festival is scheduled to be held January 4-15, 2007.

Festival chairman Earl Greenburg said, “Jennifer Hudson’s performance in Dreamgirls is phenomenal and is truly the breakthrough role of this year in cinema. From all the critical praise she has received and will continue to receive, we’re proud to bestow this honor upon her at our Festival.”

Jim and Jackie Lee Houston are the premiere philanthropists of the Coachella Valley and once again they are hosting the film festival fundraising event in their home. For additional information and to purchase tickets for this event please call the Festival office at (800) 898-7256.

Jennifer Hudson plays the coveted role of Effie in the upcoming Paramount Pictures and DreamWorks film version of the legendary Broadway musical Dreamgirls. She has already received the National Board of Review Breakthrough Performance Award and a Best Supporting Actress Golden Globe nomination for the film. Oscar-winning filmmaker Bill Condon explained, “Effie is such a hugely complex role. She is at once exasperating and heartbreaking. Hudson emerged as the person who captured both sides.” The film also stars Jamie Foxx, Beyonce Knowles and Eddie Murphy.

Hudson's talent was cultivated through dozens of talent shows and musical productions during her grammar and high school years. She landed her first professional role in a local production of Big River. In 2002, she showcased her four-octave range and charmed thousands of vacationers from all over the world as a featured vocalist on the Disney Wonder cruise ship. In 2004, she wowed millions of television viewers during season three of the wildly popular Fox series “American Idol.”

In addition to her recent Golden Globe nomination as Best Supporting Actress, Hudson has been honored by more than a dozen critics' groups with year-end selections and nominations, including New York Film Critics Circle, African American Film Critics Association and Broadcast Film Critics. ShoWest named her the 2006 "Female Star of Tomorrow." Variety Magazine recently selected her as one of the "10 Actors to Watch" for 2006. Movieline has also named her one of its Breakthrough Actors of 2006."

Twenty-five years after first bringing Broadway audiences to their feet, the Tony Award-winning musical sensation Dreamgirls comes to the big screen starring Academy Award® winner Jamie Foxx (Ray), Beyoncé Knowles, Danny Glover, newcomer Jennifer Hudson, Tony Award winner Anika Noni Rose (Broadway’s Caroline, or Change), and Eddie Murphy.

Set in the turbulent early 1960s to mid-’70s, Dreamgirls follows the rise of a trio of women—Effie (Jennifer Hudson), Deena (Beyoncé Knowles) and Lorrell (Anika Noni Rose)—who have formed a promising girl group called The Dreamettes. At a talent competition, they are discovered by an ambitious manager named Curtis Taylor, Jr. (Jamie Foxx), who offers them the opportunity of a lifetime: to become the back-up singers for headliner James “Thunder” Early (Eddie Murphy). Curtis gradually takes control of the girls’ look and sound, eventually giving them their own shot in the spotlight as The Dreams. That spotlight, however, begins to narrow in on Deena, finally pushing the less attractive Effie out altogether. Though The Dreams become a crossover phenomenon, they soon realize that the cost of fame and fortune may be higher than they ever imagined. Dreamgirls is directed by Bill Condon from a screenplay he adapted from the stage musical’s original book by Tom Eyen. Academy Award®-nominated producer Laurence Mark (Jerry Maguire, As Good As It Gets) is the producer of Dreamgirls, and Patricia Whitcher (Memoirs of a Geisha, The Terminal) is the executive producer. The lyrics are by Tom Eyen, with music by Henry Krieger. Dreamgirls opens nationwide on December 25, 2006.

Founded in 1990 by then Mayor Sonny Bono, the PSIFF is one of the largest film festivals in North America. The Festival has an attractive film sales and distribution record and is seen by American distributors as one of the best Academy Award campaign marketing tools. The Festival also features cultural events, filmmaker tributes, industry seminars and an annual black-tie gala award presentation.

Renewing their support of this year’s Festival is Title Sponsor, The City of Palm Springs and Presenting Sponsors, Spencer’s Restaurant, The Desert Sun, the City of Indian Wells, the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, Wessman Development and Entertainment Tonight. Major sponsors include Tiffany & Co., Regal Entertainment Group, Integrated Wealth Management, Bank of America, CBS2, Ciroc vodka, Johnnie Walker scotch, Don Julio tequila, Frownies, Wells Fargo, House & Garden, Guthy-Renker, Palm Desert National Bank, Windermere Real Estate and Artistic Contributor, the SAG Foundation.

Passes are now on sale for the 18th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival, scheduled from January 4-15, 2007. Join us as the Festival plays host to a fabulous array of movies and movie stars. A spectacular event, the Festival has a line up of more than 250 films from 73 countries, seminars, special events and Gala receptions. To order passes call us at 760-322-2930 or 800-898-7256 or click here to order online.