The 23rd annual Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF) will present Jessica Chastain with the Spotlight Award during its annual Awards Gala. The Spotlight Award honors an actor or actress for their extraordinary performances in the current cinematic year. Presented by Cartier, the Gala will be held Saturday, January 7th at the Palm Springs Convention Center. Hosted by Mary Hart, the Gala will also present awards to previously announced honorees George Clooney, Glenn Close, Michel Hazanavicius, Octavia Spencer, Gary Oldman and Michelle Williams. The Festival runs January 5-16.
Chastain will receive the award for her roles in The Help, The Tree of Life, Take Shelter, TheDebt and Coriolanus. “Through a series of virtuoso performances, Jessica Chastain has established herself as one of the cinema’s most versatile and most sought after young actresses,” said Festival Chairman Harold Matzner. “In The Help, Chastain portrays a woman, emotionally paralyzed by a secret she is keeping from her socially prominent husband. She also gave outstanding performances in this year’s films The Tree of Life, Take Shelter and Coriolanus. In addition to these roles, her performance in The Debt as an undercover Mossad agent on the hunt for a Nazi war criminal exudes the strength of character needed to carry out her mission. To this actress, who captivates audiences with her adroit talents, the Palm Springs International Film Festival is honored to present the 2012 Spotlight Award to Jessica Chastain.”
Chastain starred opposite Brad Pitt and Sean Penn in the Fox Searchlight Pictures drama The Tree of Life, an impressionistic story of a Midwestern family in the 1950’s. Written and directed by Terrence Malick, the film follows the life journey of Jack, the eldest son of Mr. & Mrs. O’Brien (Pitt & Chastain), through the innocence of childhood to his disillusioned adult years as he seeks answers to the origins and meaning of life. Chastain also starred in DreamWorks Pictures’ adaptation of the best-selling Kathryn Stockett novel The Help playing Celia Foote, an insecure Southern lady constantly trying to fit in with the high society women who reject her. The film is directed by Tate Taylor and also stars Viola Davis, Emma Stone, Bryce Dallas Howard and Octavia Spencer. Her other credits include The Weinstein Company’s Coriolanus, directed by Ralph Fiennes and starring Fiennes, Gerard Butler, and Vanessa Redgrave; Focus Features’ The Debt, directed by John Madden and starring Helen Mirren, Sam Worthington, and Tom Wilkinson; and Sony Pictures Classics’ Take Shelter directed by Jeff Nichols and starring Michael Shannon.
Chastain’s role in The Help led her to several acclamations including a Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture, a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role and a Critics’ Choice Movie Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress. Her work in Take Shelter earned a Gotham Award for Best Ensemble Cast and an Independent Spirit Award nomination for Best Supporting Female. Her other honors this year include a New York Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actress for The Tree of Life, The Help and Take Shelter and the Los Angeles Film Critics Association’s award as Best Supporting Actress for all of her movies this year.
For more information including tickets and membership information contact the Palm Springs International Film Society at 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.
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