The 24th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival will present Academy Award nominated actress Noami Watts with the Desert Palm Achievement Actress Award. Presented by Cartier, the awards gala will be held on Saturday, January 5 at the Palm Springs Convention Center. Hosted by Mary Hart, the Awards Gala will also present awards to previously announced honoree Helen Hunt and director Robert Zemeckis. The Festival runs January 3-14.
“We’re delighted to pay tribute to Naomi Watts, one of the most gifted and versatile performers to grace the screen.” said Palm Springs International Film Festival chairman Harold Matzner. ‘The Impossible,’ the true story of the tsunami that stunned the world with its fury, is the vehicle for Ms. Watts to display the talent and sensitivity that cinema lovers have come to expect and appreciate from her. It is our honor to present the 2012 Desert Palm Achievement Actress Award to Naomi Watts, for a performance worthy of an Oscar nomination.”
Past recipients of the Desert Palm Achievement Award include Halle Berry, Marion Cotillard, Anne Hathaway, Natalie Portman, Charlize Theron, Michelle Williams and Kate Winslet. Ms. Watts was previously honored at the festival for her Academy Award-nominated performance in “21 Grams.”
Watts stars in the Summit Entertainment film “The Impossible,” based on the true story of a family caught, with tens of thousands of strangers, in the mayhem of one of the worst natural catastrophes of our time, the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. Directed by J.A. Bayona, “The Impossible” also stars Ewan McGregor and newcomer Tom Holland, with a screenplay by Sergio G. Sanchez adapted from the story by Maria Belon based on her experiences.
After getting her start on Australian television, Naomi Watts has proven to be a force in Hollywood. With her breakout appearance in “Mulholland Drive” she went on to star in the critically acclaimed “21 Grams,” for which Watts received a best actress Academy Award nomination. Her other work includes “King Kong,” “The Painted Veil,” “J. Edgar,” “The Ring,” “I (Heart) Huckabees,” “Eastern Promises” and “Fair Game.” She will next be seen in “Movie 43,” with Liev Schreiber; “Two Mothers” with Robin Wright; and “Sunlight Jr.” with Matt Dillon. Watts recently completed shooting of the highly anticipated biopic “Diana” in the lead role of the iconic Princess Diana.
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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