Bradley Cooper

Palm Springs International Film Festival  Awards Gala Turns 30

Susan Stein Current Digital, Social Scene

Bradley Cooper
Bradley Cooper and his escort.

The 30th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival hosted another glamorous all-star Film Awards Gala. This year’s top-trending films and their stars traveled to the desert to walk the media-adorned VIP red carpet into the Palm Springs Convention Center. More than 1,000 guests also walked their own red carpet into a cocktail hour of mixing and mingling with film and celebrity aficionados from all over the world.

After guests were seated at their tables, adorned with crystal centerpieces festooned with an abundance of roses, they were served the festival’s traditional short rib dinner and welcomed by Festival Chairman, Harold Matzner.

The night’s program began with last year’s Rising Star Award winner, Timothée Chalamet, receiving the Spotlight Award as Actor for Beautiful Boy, presented by his Little Women co-star, Laura Dern.

Rami Malek received the Breakthrough Performance Award for Bohemian Rhapsody, presented by his Mr. Robot co-star, Christian Slater. Regina King received the Chairman’s Award for If Beale Street Could Talk, presented by the film’s director Barry Jenkins.

Emily Blunt, Pixie Davies, Nathanael Saleh, and Joel Dawson accepted the Ensemble Performance Award on behalf of the cast of Mary Poppins Returns, presented by the film’s director Rob Marshall.

Alfonso Cuarón received the Sonny Bono Visionary Award for Roma, presented by Gary Oldman, who he directed in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

Melissa McCarthy received the Spotlight Award presented by her Can You Ever Forgive Me? co-star Richard E. Grant.

Bradley Cooper received Director of the Year, presented by his A Star Is Born co-star, Sam Elliott.

Olivia Colman received the Palm Desert Achievement Award, Actress, presented by her The Favourite co-star Emma Stone.

Spike Lee received the Career Achievement Award, presented by the stars of BlacKkKlansman, John David Washington and Adam Driver. Jim Carry re-booted the sold out crowd with his unique humor as he presented the cast and crew of Green Book with the Vanguard Award, accepted by Mahershala Ali, Viggo Mortensen, Mike Hatton, Linda Cardellini, director Peter Farrelly, Brian Currie, Kwame Parker, and Nick Vallelonga.

Closing out the evening, Glenn Close received the Icon Award, presented by her co-star from The Paper, Michael Keaton. Close entertained the audience with her comments and facial expressions to illustrate the difference between an Icon award and an Emoji award.

Additional guests included Ben Falcone (Can You Ever Forgive Me?), Eileen Davidson (Walk To Vegas), Ginger Gonzaga (Green Book), James Van Patten (Walk To Vegas), Jennifer Tilly (Walk To Vegas), Joe Mazzello (Bohemian Rhapsody), Lucy Boynton (Bohemian Rhapsody), Marina de Tavira (Roma), Paul Sloan (Green Book), Phillip Keene, Ron Stallworth (BlacKkKlansman), Sandi Tan (Roma), Suzanne Somers, Vince Van Patten (Walk To Vegas), Yalitza Aparicio (Roma), and festival representatives  Matzner and artistic director Michael Lerman.

The presenting sponsor of the Film Awards Gala was American Express and major sponsors were AT&T and Entertainment Tonight. Mary Hart served as the evening’s host for her 16th year in that position.

Honorees were presented with either the John Kennedy "The Entertainer" statue or a Chihuly glass sculpture created by Dale Chihuly.