Fresh from a Golden Globe nomination, Matt Damon will receive the Chairman’s Award at the 27th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival Awards Gala on Jan. 2 at the Palm Springs Convention Center. The Festival runs Jan. 1-11.
“Since his breakthrough role in Good Will Hunting, Matt Damon has taken on a series of challenging roles through his career,” said Film Festival Chairman Harold Matzner. “In his latest film, The Martian, Damon dazzles yet again as Mark Watney, an astronaut desperately trying to survive on Mars, yet still finding a way to laugh and bring hope to an impossible situation.”
The Martian director, Ridley Scott, will present Matt Damon with his award.
Past recipients of the Chairman’s Award include Ben Affleck, George Clooney, Richard Gere, Tom Hanks, Dustin Hoffman, Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon.
In The Martian, a manned mission to Mars is aborted and astronaut Mark Watney (Damon) is presumed dead after a fierce storm. Left behind by his crew, however, Watney has improbably survived and must draw upon his ingenuity and spirit to subsist and find a way to send a signal back to Earth. Once aware that he is alive, NASA works to overcome the challenges of both physics and public relations, enlisting his crewmates in a daring if not impossible rescue mission.
Directed by Scott from the best-selling novel by Andy Weir, The Martian features a star-studded cast including Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig, Jeff Daniels, Michael Peña, Kate Mara, Sean Bean, Sebastian Stan, Aksel Hennie, Donald Glover, Mackenzie Davis and Chiwetel Ejiofor.
Damon has been honored for his work on both sides of the camera. For his role in The Martian, he recently received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor – Musical or Comedy and a Best Actor honor from the National Board of Review. Previously he received an Emmy Award, Golden Globe Award and SAG and BAFTA nominations for his performance in Stephen Soderbergh’s Behind the Candelabra.
Damon also earned numerous nominations, including for an Academy Award and Golden Globe, for his portrayal of South African rugby hero Francois Pienaar in Invictus, as well as a Golden Globe nomination for his starring role in Steven Soderbergh’s The Informant! Damon won the Academy Award for Best Screenplay and received a Best Actor Oscar nomination for his breakthrough feature Good Will Hunting.
His other film credits include Monuments Men, The Bourne Identity, The Bourne Supremacy, The Bourne Ultimatum, the Ocean’s Eleven trilogy films, Elysium, Promised Land, We Bought a Zoo, True Grit, The Adjustment Bureau, Happy Feet 2, Contagion, Hereafter, Green Zone, The Departed, The Good Shepherd, Syriana, Mystic Pizza, School Ties, Geronimo: An American Legend, The Good Old Boys, Courage Under Fire, The Rainmaker, Saving Private Ryan, Rounders, The Talented Mr. Ripley, Dogma, The Legend of Bagger Vance, All the Pretty Horses and The Brothers Grimm.
The Gala will also present awards to previously announced honorees Cate Blanchett, Johnny Depp, Michael Fassbender, Brie Larson, Rooney Mara, Tom McCarthy, Saoirse Ronan and Alicia Vikander.
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