The 24th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival presented filmmaker Tom Hooper ("Les Miserables") with the Sony Bono Visionary Award on Jan. 5 at the Palm Springs Convention Center, Palm Springs, Calif. Presented by Cartier, the evening was hosted by TV personality Mary Hart. The Palm Springs International Film Festival Gala also presented awards to the cast of "Argo," director Robert Zemeckis, composer Mychael Danna, Helen Hunt, Naomi Watts, Sally Field, Helen Mirren, Bradley Cooper and Richard Gere. The Festival runs January 3-14.
“In his follow-up to the Academy Award-winning film 'The King’s Speech,' Tom Hooper brilliantly transforms the classic stage musical 'Les Misérables' into a cinema marvel,” said Festival Chairman Harold Matzner. “By asking his amazing cast of actors to sing live on film, Hooper allows them to connect even further with their characters, resulting in emotional powerhouse performances that are enthralling audiences worldwide. For his creative innovations in filmmaking The Palm Springs International Film Festival is proud to present Tom Hooper with the Sonny Bono Visionary Award.” Past recipients of the Sonny Bono Visionary Award include Danny Boyle, Quentin Tarantino, Michel Hazanavicius, Baz Luhrmann and Gus Van Sant.
Universal Pictures presents "Les Misérables," the motion-picture adaptation of the global stage sensation seen by more than 60 million people in 42 countries and in 21 languages around the globe that is still breaking box-office records everywhere in its 28th year. Set against the backdrop of 19th-century France, "Les Misérables" tells an enthralling story of broken dreams and unrequited love, passion, sacrifice and redemption—a timeless testament to the endurance of the human spirit. Helmed by Tom Hooper, the Working Title Films/Cameron Mackintosh production stars Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway, Amanda Seyfried, Eddie Redmayne, Aaron Tveit, Samantha Barks, with Helena Bonham Carter and Sacha Baron Cohen.
Hooper received a Best Director nomination for the film from the Broadcast Film Critics. The film has received an AFI Award for one of the top 10 movies of the year and Best Ensemble and one of the top 10 movies from the National Board of Review. The film has also received four Golden Globe nominations including Best Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical and four SAG Award nominations including Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture and Outstanding Action Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Motion Picture.
Tom Hooper won an Academy Award for directing "The King’s Speech." The 2010 film was nominated for 12 Oscars, more than any other film of that year, and also won Best Picture, Best Actor and Best Original Screenplay. Hooper also won a Directors Guild of America Award for his direction. "The King’s Speech" also won a People’s Choice Award at the Toronto International Film Festival, Best British Film at the British Independent Film Awards, a Film Independent Spirit Award for Best Foreign Film, a Producers Guild of America Award for Producer of the Year and a European Film People’s Choice Award for Best European Film. Hooper directed "The Damned United," starring Michael Sheen and written by Peter Morgan. Hooper has had an unprecedented run of success at the Golden Globes with his work for HBO, which won a Golden Globe for Best Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television three years in a row (2007, 2008 and 2009) for "John Adams," "Longford and Elizabeth I." His other work includes "Red Dust," "Prime Suspect 6," "Daniel Deronda," "Love in a Cold Climate," "Cold Feet" and "EastEnders."
The Palm Springs International Film Festival is one of the largest film festivals in North America, welcoming 135,000 attendees each year 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, George Clooney, Daniel Day-Lewis, Leonardo DiCaprio, Clint Eastwood, Ron Howard, Sean Penn, Brad Pitt, Natalie Portman, Charlize Theron and Kate Winslet.
For more information, call 760-322-2930 or 800-898-7256 or visit 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.
-Kay Shackleton is a film historian with special focus on Silent Films, see her work at SilentHollywood.com