Monday, January 5, 2015

Palm Springs International Film Festival for 2015

FILM FESTIVAL: Talent and glamour on the red carpet in Palm Springs

As the Awards Gala kicks off the 26th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival, organizers say this might be their biggest year ever.
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Benedict Cumberbatch, left, talks to the media while walking the red carpet at the Palm Springs International Film Festival Awards Gala on Saturday. Cumberbatch recently starred in “The Imitation Game,” which received the Ensemble Performance Award.

PHOTOS: See more Film Fest photos

BY VANESSA FRANKO / STAFF WRITER

2015 Palm Springs International Film Festival Awards Gala Recipients

Rosamund Pike, Breakthrough Performance Award, Actress, "Gone Girl"
David Oyelowo, Breakthrough Performance Award, Actor, "Selma"
J.K. Simmons, Spotlight Award, "Whiplash"
Robert Duvall, Icon Award, "The Judge"
Richard Linklater, Sonny Bono Visionary Award, "Boyhood"
Julianne Moore, Desert Palm Achievement Award, Actress, "Still Alice"
Eddie Redmayne, Desert Palm Achievement Award, Actor, "The Theory of Everything"
Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Director of the Year Award, "Birdman"
Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightley, Allen Leech, Matthew Beard, Rory Kinnear and Alex Lawther, Ensemble Performance Award, "The Imitation Game"
Reese Witherspoon, Chairman's Award, "Wild"

Palm Springs International Film Festival

When: Through Jan. 12
Where: Various locations throughout Palm Springs, including the Annenberg Auditorium, Camelot Theatres, Palm Canyon Theatre, Palm Springs High School, Regal Cinemas Palm Springs 9 and Birba
Admission: Individual passes $12; matinees $11; Talking Pictures programs $25; six-pack of tickets $60
Information: 800-898-7256, psfilmfest.org
With a batch of Hollywood’s brightest walking the red carpet on Saturday night and the buzz around the screenings that started Friday, the 26th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival is poised to have its biggest year yet.
More than a week ahead of the Golden Globes, some of the most notable films and actors of the year were honored at the festival’s annual awards gala at the Palm Springs Convention Center on Saturday night, a day after the festival opened.
“It’s still really early, but our numbers were certainly up,” said Helen du Toit, artistic director of the film festival. “The theaters from Day One were like, ‘Oh my god, where are these people coming from?’ So we’re feeling it.”
RELATED: More photos from the red carpet
And everyone here is just getting started. The names that walked the red carpet are already being batted about for Oscar nominations, which won’t come out for nearly two weeks.
Among them: Reese Witherspoon, given the Chairman’s Award for her role as a woman who hiked the 1,100-mile Pacific Crest Trail in “Wild”; Rosamund Pike, who depicted a missing wife in “Gone Girl”; and Eddie Redmayne, honored with the Desert Palm Achievement Award, Actor for his Oscar-worthy portrayal of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis-afflicted physicist Stephen Hawking in “The Theory of Everything.”
“I gave up science when I was a kid so I started by going onto websites like Astronomy4kids.com and trying to teach myself the basics,” Redmayne said on the red carpet. “But I did go to an ALS clinic in London, met with some students, really tried to get every aspect of his life.”
The cast of “The Imitation Game,” including in-demand leading man Benedict Cumberbatch, received the Ensemble Performance Award.
Morten Tyldum, director of the film, said the cast jelled so well because they spent “three weeks of rehearsal to learn not ‘what to do’ but ‘what not to do.’”
Cumberbatch said the group being English actors bonded them and, he was friends with many co-stars already and became friends with the others.
“It is great fun for us all to be in the desert and celebrate,” Cumberbatch said.
The actor was a fan favorite among the hundreds of regular folks who waited for hours to catch a glimpse of stars walking the red carpet, cheering as the celebrities exited a carousel of limos.
Steven Markin of Cathedral City showed up at 9 a.m. Friday to be the first in line. He had a portfolio of photos organized alphabetically and color-coded on whether they were winners or presenters.
Elaine Lord of Lake Oswego, Ore., and daughter Morgan Murphy of La Quinta have made coming to the gala an annual event.
“It’s nice to see them in person; they always look a little different,” Lord said.


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