Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Morgan Freeman as Nelson Mandella in 'Invictus'

The 21st Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF) will present Morgan Freeman with the Career Achievement Award for Acting. Presented by Cartier, the Awards Gala will kick off the 2010 awards season on Tuesday, January 5 at the Palm Springs Convention Center and will be hosted by “Entertainment Tonight’s” Mary Hart. The Festival runs January 5-18.

Festival chairman Harold Matzner said, “The Palm Springs International Film Festival is honored to present Hollywood legend Morgan Freeman with the Career Achievement Award for his large and extraordinary body of work and his many memorable performances throughout the years, including his role as Nelson Mandela in Invictus.”

From director Clint Eastwood and produced by Lori McCreary (with Rob Lorenz and Mace Neufeld), his partner in Revelations Entertainment, Invictus tells the inspiring true story of how Nelson Mandela (Morgan Freeman) joined forces with the captain of South Africa’s rugby team, Francois Pienaar (Matt Damon), to help unite their country. Newly elected President Mandela knows his nation remains racially and economically divided in the wake of apartheid. Believing he can bring his people together through the universal language of sport, Mandela rallies South Africa’s underdog rugby team as they make an unlikely run to the 1995 World Cup Championship match. Warner Bros. Pictures will release the film on December 11, 2009.

Morgan Freeman won an Academy Award® for Best Supporting Actor for his role in Clint Eastwood’s Million Dollar Baby, for which he also won a Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Award® and received a Golden Globe nomination. Freeman has been honored with three additional Oscar® nominations - the first for his chilling performance as a homicidal pimp in the 1987 drama Street Smart, which also brought him L.A., New York and National Society of Film Critics Awards, and an Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Actor, as well as his first Golden Globe Award nomination. He earned his second Oscar® nomination and won Golden Globe and National Board of Review Awards for Best Actor for 1989’s Driving Miss Daisy, recreating his award-winning off-Broadway role. He gained his third Oscar® nomination for his performance in Frank Darabont’s 1994 drama The Shawshank Redemption, which also brought Freeman Golden Globe and SAG Award nominations.

His more recent film work includes starring roles in Christopher Nolan’s blockbusters The Dark Knight and Batman Begins; Rob Reiner’s The Bucket List, opposite Jack Nicholson; Robert Benton’s Feast of Love; Ben Affleck’s Gone Baby Gone; Lasse Hallström’s An Unfinished Life, with Robert Redford and Jennifer Lopez; the Jet Li actioner Unleashed, written by Luc Besson; and the comedy Bruce Almighty and its sequel, Evan Almighty. He also lent his distinctive voice to Steven Spielberg’s War of the Worlds and the Oscar-winning documentary March of the Penguins. Freeman’s other film credits include Lucky Number Slevin, The Sum of All Fears, High Crimes, Along Came a Spider, Nurse Betty, Deep Impact Hard Rain, Steven Spielberg’s Amistad, Kiss the Girls, Se7en, Clint Eastwood’s Unforgiven, Glory, Lean on Me, Clean and Sober, Marie, Teachers, Harry & Son and Brubaker.

Celebrating its 21st anniversary, PSIFF was founded in 1990 by then-Mayor Sonny Bono. This year’s Festival will include over 400 screenings of more than 200 films from approximately 60 countries. The Festival presents a majority of the films submitted for consideration in the Best Foreign Language category for the Academy Awards, as well as a large number of American independent and international features and documentaries marking their world, North American or U.S. debuts. Screenings are held on 15 screens throughout Palm Springs.

Cartier Hunks on the Red Carpet, 20th Annual PSIFF Awards Gala

The Festival’s 21st Annual Awards Gala is presented by Cartier and sponsored by Mercedes Benz and Entertainment Tonight. Tickets for this Stellar Five Star Awards Gala are on sale now!

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