Patty Jenkins, who directed the blockbuster Wonder Woman, became the first woman to receive the Variety Creative Impact in Directing Award during the magazine’s awards brunch at the Parker Palm Springs.
The award celebrated Jenkins’ career, including her first feature, Monster, with its Oscar-winning performance by Charlize Theron. Wonder Woman star Gal Gadot, who received the Rising Star Award on Jan. 2 at the Palm Springs International Film Festival Awards Gala, presented Jenkins with the directing honor.
Steven Gaydos, Variety vice president and executive editor, welcomed guests to the annual brunch, which started in 1966 and has coincided with PSIFF since 2011. “Every film festival in the world should be lucky enough to have a Harold Matzner,” Gaydos said in reference to the PSIFF chairman.
Variety also recognized its 10 Directors to Watch, whose work will be seen during PSIFF. They are: Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah (Gangsta), Augustine Frizzell (Never Goin’ Back), Greta Gerwig (Lady Bird), Joseph Kahn (Bodied), Xavier Legrand (Custody), Carlos Lopez Estrada (Blindspotting), Anthony Maras (The Palace), Samuel Maoz (Foxtrot), Claire McCarthy (Ophelia), and Chloé Zhao (The Rider).
Also at the brunch, Molly’s Game star Jessica Chastain, who received the Chairman’s Award at the PSIFF Gala, presented Aaron Sorkin with the Creative Impact in Screenwriting Award. Chastain introduced Sorkin as “the industry’s greatest wordsmith.” Sorkin didn’t mince words when noting that “Every year Hollywood makes great movies” and that he “looks forward to when we’re known for that again.”
Daniel Kaluuya received the Variety Creative Impact in Acting Award for Get Out, presented to him by the film’s writer and director, Jordan Peele. For his role in the stinging look at race relations, Kaluuya has received acting nominations from the Golden Globes, Independent Spirit Awards, and the Screen Actors Guild.
Cadillac sponsored the brunch.
Gallery photos by Michael Bruckner and Rob Latour for Variety/Rex/Shutterstock