The 24th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival presented Mychael Danna (“Life of Pi”) with the Frederick Loewe Award for Film Composing on Jan. 5 at the Palm Springs Convention Center, Palm Springs, Calif. Presented by Cartier and hosted by TV Personality Mary Hart, the Palm Springs International Film Festival Gala Awards also presented awards to the cast of “Argo,” Richard Gere, Bradley Cooper, Sally Field, Helen Hunt, Helen Mirren, Naomi Watts, director Tom Hooper and director Robert Zemeckis. The Festival runs Jan. 3-14.
“Mychael Danna is a pioneer in creating original compositions that are as dramatic and innovative as the films in which they are featured,” said Festival Chairman Harold Matzner. “His score for ‘Life of Pi’ takes you on an emotional journey that plays off the 3-D visuals director Ang Lee created. The Palm Springs International Film Festival is honored to present him with the 2013 Frederick Loewe Award for Film Composing.” PSIFF recipients of the Frederick Loewe Award for Film Composing include T Bone Burnett, Alexandre Desplat, Danny Elfman, Randy Newman and Diane Warren.
Based on the book that has sold more than seven million copies and spent years on the bestseller lists, “Life of Pi” is a groundbreaking movie event about a young man who survives a disaster at sea and is hurtled into an epic journey of adventure and discovery. While cast away, he forms an amazing and unexpected connection with another survivor…a fearsome Bengal tiger. The film from 20th Century Fox is directed by Academy Award winning director Ang Lee. In addition to writing the original score, Danna co-wrote the film’s original song “Pi’s Lullaby” with singer/songwriter Bombay Jayashri, who performs the song in her native Tamil language. Danna has received a Golden Globe nomination for his original score for “Life as Pi,” as well as a nomination for Best Score from the Broadcast Film Critics.
“Life of Pi” marks Danna’s third collaboration with Ang Lee, having previously written the original music for “The Ice Storm” and “Ride with the Devil.” He has won five Genie Awards for his composing work on the films “Water,” directed by Deepa Mehta, and on Atom Egoyan films’ “Ararat,” “Felicia’s Journey,” “The Sweet Hereafter” and “Exotica.” His other credits include “Moneyball,” “Capote,” “The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus,” “Vanity Fair,” “Monsoon Wedding,” “Little Miss Sunshine,” “(500) Days of Summer,” “Family Viewing,” “The Time Traveler’s Wife,” “Girl, Interrupted,” “Lakeview Terrace,” “Surf’s Up,” “Being Julia, “Antwone Fisher,” “Hearts in Atlantis” and “8MM.”
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