The 30th Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF) hosted its star-studded film awards gala Thursday, with some 2,500 people showing up.

Bradley Cooper received Director of the Year Award for “A Star Is Born”; Glenn Close received Icon Award for her role in “The Wife”, and Academy Award winning director Alfonso Cuaron received Sonny Bono Visionary Award for his latest film “Roma”.


Rising star Timothee Chalamet received Actor’s Spotlight Award for his performance in “Beautiful Boy”, Melissa McCarthy received Actress’ Spotlight Award for her performance in “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”

Emily Blunt, Pixie Davies, Nathanael Saleh and Joel Dawson received Ensemble Performance Award for their roles in “Mary Poppins Returns”, the remake of a Walt Disney classic from the 1960s.

As for other awards, the Breakthrough Performance Award went to Rami Malek starring in “Bohemian Rhapsody”, the Career Achievement Award went to Spike Lee, director of “BlacKkKlansman”, and the Chairman’s Award went to Regina King starring in “If Beale Street Could Talk”.

Harold Matzner, chairman of the festival, said this year’s festival would showcase over 200 films from more than 70 countries.

Several Chinese films will be played at the festival, including Jiang Wen’s “Hidden Man”, Jia Zhangke’s “Ash Is Purest White”, Zhang Yimou’s “Shadow”, and Chen Kaige’s “Legend of the Demon Cat”. Bi Gan’s new film “Long Day’s Journey into Night” will also be played during the festival.

“Zhang Yimou and Chen Kaige are filmmakers that we’ve been honoring for a long time,” said Michael Lerman, artistic director of the festival. “But most exciting to me is the new film by Bi Gan. It’s a revolutionary film. It includes one of the most cinematic fit in history.”

The PSIFF, which is held in Palm Springs, California, is one of the largest film festivals in North America, attracting more than 135,000 people each year.

To mark the festival’s 30th anniversary, 30 films have been selected from “Best of the Fest” in past festivals and will be screened for free during the festival under a retrospective program. They include Zhang Yimou’s “Raising the Red Lantern” and Ang Lee’s “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”.

Fred Schwab, 69, and his wife Claudia are big fans of the film festival and flew from Lexington, Virginia, to attend the event in each of the last 12 years.

Schwab said they are attracted to the festival because it features “an excellent selection of international films and outstanding independent films.”

The film festival will officially kick off on Jan. 4, with the opening film “All is True” by acclaimed director and actor Kenneth Branagh and starring Judi Dench and Ian McKellen. The film is an intimate, revelatory portrait of William Shakespeare in the last act of his life.

The festival will run through Jan. 14. Enditem


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