Tonight, the Palm Springs International Film Festival held their yearly festival Gala to acknowledge filmmakers and stars for their contribution to the film industry. The evening was presented by Cartier and took place at the Palm Springs Convention Center. The event was hosted by festival favorite Mary Hart and was sponsored by Mercedes-Benz and “Entertainment Tonight.”
The biggest surprise of the red carpet event was the appearance of actress Angelina Jolie. Although her partner Brad Pitt was an honoree of the evening Jolie’s appearance was kept quiet. Even the media was not aware that she would be present for the event. The festival has been offering tickets to an undisclosed “foreign film with Oscar® potential” at their ticket counter, and this may be a sign that this undisclosed film is Jolie’s first film as a director, The Land of Blood and Honey.
Another surprise was an injured Brad Pitt. Using a cane, it was obvious that he was hurting bad. When Angelina was asked how she was helping Pitt recover from his injury she stated “It’s really not a big deal. There’s a lot more in the world that is more important.”
According to Entertainment Tonight, Pitt’s injury was caused when “he wiped out on a ski slope while carrying one of his twins. He twisted his knee and suffered some ACL damage in the process.”
Many of the stars greeted fans that had waited hours to see their favorite stars. By far the Palm Springs Film Festival is the best place for a film fan to have autograph access to the biggest stars. George Clooney was the only star, however, to break from the red carpet line and shake hands with the hard-working volunteers.
During the evening awards were presented to:
Jessica Chastain (The Help, The Tree of Life) – Spotlight Award
George Clooney (The Descendants) – Chairman’s Award
Glenn Close (Albert Knobs) – Career Achievement Award
Stephen Daldry (Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close) – Director of the Year Award
Michel Hazanavicius (The Artist) – Sonny Bono Visionary Award
Gary Oldman (Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy) – International Star Award
Brad Pitt (Moneyball, The Tree of Life) – Desert Palm Achievement Award Actor
Howard Shore (A Dangerous Method) – Frederick Loewe Award for Film Composing
Octavia Spencer (The Help) – Breakthrough Performance Award
Michelle Williams (My Week with Marilyn) – Desert Palm Achievement Award Actress
Young Adult: Charlize Theron, Patton Oswalt, Jason Reitman, Diablo Cody – Vanguard Award
Presenters included: Congresswoman Mary Bono Mack, Kenneth Branaugh (My Week with Marilyn), Jeff Goldblum, Tom Hanks (Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close), Grant Hestov (The Ides of March), Jonah Hill (Moneyball), Thomas Horn (Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close), Graham King (Producer, Hugo) Melissa McCarthy (Bridesmaids), Al Pacino, Olivia Wilde (Cowboys & Aliens), Shailene Woodley (The Descendants)
Other celebrity guests included: Bérénice Bejo (The Artist), Adrien Brody, Jim Casey, Jean Dujardin (The Artist), Judy Greer (The Descendants), Matthew Lillard (The Descendants), Alexander Payne (The Descendants), Palm Springs Mayor Steve Pougnet, Barbara Sinatra, Tate Taylor (The Help), Kim Waltrip, Jerry Weintraub. Festival representatives Harold Matzner (Festival Chairman), Darryl Macdonald (Festival Director) and Helen du Toit (Artistic Director)
The Festival will continue through January 16th with screening of films from around the world and special events, such as the “Talking Pictures” series that this year includes: George Clooney and Gary Oldman.
Feel free to take a moment and enjoy a slideshow of all the stars in action at The Palm Springs International Film Festival. Slideshow to the left of article.
For more information including tickets and membership information contact the Palm Springs International Film Festival at www.psfilmfest.org.
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Whatever your movie choice this week, please remember your movie theater etiquette: silence your cell phones & no texting, please don’t talk during the film and remove your children if they become a distraction to other audience members. Don’t forget that laughing, crying and cheering are always approved behavior and even encouraged.
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-Kay Shackleton is a film historian with special focus on Silent Films, see her work on SilentHollywood.com