by Jian Ping
PALM SPRINGS, the United States, Jan. 4 (Xinhua) -- The most glamorous part of the 25th Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF) is the star-filled, black-tie Awards Gala held at the Convention Center at Palm Springs, California Saturday evening attended by more than 2000 people.
Red Carpet rolled out in front of the Convention and led all the way inside to welcome the stars and renowned filmmakers, such as Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts, Meryl Streep, Mathew McConaughey, director Steve McQueen and Wong Kar Wei.
More than 10 actors/actresses and filmmakers were honored with awards at the Gala tonight.
"This year's lineup is particularly diverse in theme and content," said PSIFF Director Darryl Macdonald. "The overall quality of the films vividly reflects the banner year we've seen in Cinema worldwide."
Among the recipients of awards was Meryl Streep, who was presented with the Icon Award.
"We're overjoyed to recognize Meryl Streep for yet another Oscar-worthy performance in August: Osage County," said Festival Chairman Harold Matzner.
Tom Hanks, whom Matzner described as "one of the greatest actors of his generation," got The Chairman's Award, whose past recipients include Ben Affleck, George Clooney, Richard Gere, Dustin Hoffman and Nicole Kidman.
Julia Roberts received the Spotlight Award.
"Julia Roberts is a consummate actress with a range as vast as her talent," said Matzner. "Her ability to consistently give standout performances over the past 25 years is remarkable."
Mathew McConaughey and Sandra Bullock received the Desert Palm Achievement Awards. Bruce Dern, with fifty-some years and 80-odd movies under his name, received the Career Achievement Award, and the emerging star, Lupita Nyong'o (12 Years a Slave), won the Breakthrough Performance Award.
Director of the Year Award went to Steve McQueen (12 Years a Slave) and the Ensemble Performance Award went to the cast of American Hustle, which features Amy Adams, Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence and Jeremy Renner and is directed by David O. Russell.
"American Hustle grabs you from the start and is populated by a group of eminently believable characters as brought to life by this brilliant cast," said Matzner.
Hong Kong director Wong Kar Wai's latest movie, The Grandmaster, will be shown at the Festival. The film has successfully made to this year's Oscar shortlist for foreign language film.
Wong told Xinhua that this is his first time to attend the PSIFF.
"PSIFF is a very important venue," said Wong. "It gives a lot of emphasis on foreign films."
This year's PSIFF will screen all the nine films in the Foreign Language Film category selected to advance in the next round of voting for the 86th Academy Awards, commonly known as the "shortlist." In fact, 46 of the 76 films that had originally qualified in this category will be screened during the Festival.
Wong told Xinhua that The Grandmaster is the first Chinese film in ten years to be nominated for the Academy Awards, after Hero in 2003.
"I take it as a recognition to Chinese film," he said.
PSIFF acknowledges Wong as "the master of images," saying his films are among "the most memorable and celebrated films of the last two decades."
Feng Xiaogang's Back to 1942 will also be screened at the Festival.
The PSIFF is one of the largest film festivals in North America, and brings together over 135,000 people every year.
A total of 187 films from 60 countries, including 77 premieres, will be presented at the Festival, which runs from Friday, Jan. 3, to Monday, Jan. 13 in Palm Springs, California.