The prestigious Hollywood film awards season in 2013 was kicked off in Palm Springs Convention Center over the weekend when the 2013 Palm Springs International Film Festival handed out its special prizes to a number of acclaimed people in the industry. A host of Golden Globe nominees and Oscar hopefuls were on hand at the Saturday, January 5 event, including Ben Affleck, Bradley Cooper, Naomi Watts and Helen Mirren.
Affleck, along with Alan Arkin and Bryan Cranston, received the Ensemble Performance Award for his highly-praised directorial effort "Argo". Cooper and Watts, meanwhile, were honored with Desert Palm Achievement Awards for Best Actor and Actress respectively.
Watts won the gong for her role in Tsunami drama "The Impossible", while Cooper snatched his award thanks to his well-reviewed performance as a mentally-sick widower in "Silver Linings Playbook". Asked if he hoped to score an Oscar nomination this coming January 10 after winning the prize, Cooper responded, "That would be incredible. Yeah, I'm sure I'll get up, but maybe I'll be asleep. I don't know."
Mirren, who has just got her Hollywood Walk of Fame star recently, won the International Star Award for starring in "Hitchcock". On the other hand, Richard Gere was honored with Chairman's Award, which he described as "Great!" He said of the prize, "That's better than the Governors Award? What's the pecking order of these awards? I want to know. Am I getting the best award? I'm not going in unless I'm getting the best award!"
Oscar winner Sally Field, meanwhile, received Career Achievement Award for playing Mary Todd in "Lincoln". She gushed, "I still can't believe I got the role. Did I get it?" The veteran actress went on, "I'm very lucky... Next year it'll be 50 years that I've been in the business as a professional. It's been a wild ride."
The Palm Springs International Film Festival runs through Sunday, January 13.
2013 Palm Springs International Film Festival Honorees: