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Composer Thomas Newman honored at Palm Springs Film Festival

Composer Thomas Newman was presented with the Frederick Loewe Award at the Palm Springs International Film Festival at its annual awards gala on Saturday, Jan. 4, 2014, in Palm Springs, Calif. Newman was honored for composing the score for the new film "Saving Mr. Banks." Presented by Cartier, the 25th Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival Awards Gala was hosted by television personality Mary Hart. The awards gala also presented honors to the rock band U2, Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts, Sandra Bullock, director Steve McQueen, Matthew McConaughey, Lupita Nyong'o and the cast of "American Hustle." The Festival runs January 3-14, 2014.

Composer Thomas Newman honored at Palm Springs Film Festival.
Photo by Charley Gallay/Getty Images for PSIFF

Of Thomas Newman’s win of the PSIFF’s Frederick Loewe Award for Film Composing, his second win in the category, Film Festival Chairman Harold 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.”

Past recipients of the Frederick Loewe Award for Film Composing include Mychael Danna, T Bone Burnett, Alexandre Desplat, Randy Newman, Danny Elfman and Diane Warren. Frederick Loewe Award winners often go on to receive Oscar nominations and a few have won the Academy Award for their work.

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

Composer Thomas Newman has created scores for almost 100 television series and motion pictures. He has garnered 11 Oscar nominations and six Grammy Awards. He received his last Oscar nomination for the film "Skyfall" in 2013.

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Whatever your movie choice this week, please remember your movie theater etiquette: silence your cellphones and 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.

-Kay Shackleton is a film historian with special focus on Silent Films, see her work at SilentHollywood.com