Variety will honor actor Viggo Mortensen (star of Captain Fantastic), Jeff Nichols (director of Loving), and singer Pharrell Williams (producer of Hidden Figures) with its Creative Impact Awards Jan. 3 as part of the Palm Springs International Film Festival.
The brunch is presented by Mercedes-Benz and located at the Parker Palm Springs. The film festival runs January 2-16.
“Viggo Mortensen’s tremendous work in Bleecker Street’s Captain Fantastic has garnered him both a Golden Globe and SAG nomination and we are happy to be honoring him at our brunch for his performance in the film as well as his 30-year career as one of the most daring actors working in cinema today,” said Steve Gaydos, vice president and executive editor of Variety.
“In less than a decade, Jeff Nichols has journeyed from the early career promise of Shotgun Tales, to the internationally acclaimed achievements of Take Shelter, Mud, and Midnight Special to this year’s powerful and moving historical drama Loving,” Gaydos added. “Nichols has already created such an accomplished, visionary body of work that one can’t imagine any assessment of current American cinema that doesn’t include him near the top of the list of key filmmakers.
“We are also thrilled to be giving out our first ever Creative Impact in Producing Award to Pharrell Williams for his work on Fox’s Hidden Figures. We reward him for championing a film that showcases the incredible true story of Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, and Mary Jackson – three African American mathematicians working at NASA who helped win the space race in the 1960s.”
Previous recipients have included Will Smith, Charlie Kaufmann, Steve Carell, Robert Marshall, Jonah Hill, David O. Russell, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Charlize Theron and Mark Wahlberg.
In addition, Variety will recognize its “10 Directors to Watch” at the brunch. Debuted in 1996, the annual event moved to the Palm Springs International Film Festival in 2011. “10 Directors to Watch” was the first of Variety’s “10 to Watch” series spotlighting the most exciting new talents in the fields of directing, writing, producing, acting, cinematography and comedy.
This year’s “10 Directors to Watch” include: Maren Ade (Toni Erdmann), Ritesh Batra (The Sense of an Ending), Otto Bell, (The Eagle Huntress), Julia Ducournau, (Raw), Geremy Jasper (Patti Cake$), Barry Jenkins (Moonlight), Emmett and Brendan Malloy (The Tribes of Palos Verdes), Kleber Mendonca Filho (Aquarius), William Oldroyd (Lady Macbeth), and David Sandberg (Lights Out).
Past “10 Directors to Watch” honorees have included Ben Affleck (Gone Baby Gone), Wes Anderson (Bottle Rocket), Scott Cooper (Crazy Heart), Ava DuVernay (Selma), Marc Webb (500 Days of Summer), Christopher Nolan (Memento), Sam Matt Ross (Captain Fantastic), Taylor Wood (Nowhere Boy) and Benh Zeitlin (Beasts of the Southern Wild), among others.
“One of the most exciting things for me about the festival is being able to host Variety’s 10 Directors to Watch brunch,” said Michael Lerman, artistic director of the film festival. “Not only is it a fantastic event, but it also nicely compliments our festival program with selections from our Talking Pictures and Awards Buzz sections, as well as the director of our opening night film, The Sense of an Ending, Ritesh Batra.
Visit www.palmspringsfilmfest.org for information.