PALM SPRINGS – The 30th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF) will present the film Green Book with the Vanguard Award at its annual Film Awards Gala, festival leaders announced Tuesday.
The Vanguard Award is a group honor distinguishing a film’s cast and director in recognition of their collective work on an exceptional film project.
Actors Viggo Mortensen and Mahershala Ali as well as director Peter Farrelly are expected to attend. Green Book joins previously announced honorees Glenn Close, Rami Malek and Melissa McCarthy. The Film Awards Gala, hosted by Mary Hart and Entertainment Tonight, and presented by American Express, will be held on Thursday, Jan. 3 at the Palm Springs Convention Center. The Festival runs January 3-14.
“Viggo Mortensen and Mahershala Ali are an on-camera dream team in the crowd-pleasing film Green Book, inspired by a true friendship, about a New York City bouncer hired to drive and protect pianist Dr. Don Shirley on a concert tour in the Deep South,” Festival Chairman Harold Matzner said in a prepared statement. “Director Peter Farrelly, who also co-wrote the script, delivers a heartfelt movie-going experience that is guaranteed to receive awards attention for the actors, its director and the film itself. It is our honor to present the Vanguard Award to Green Book.”
Past recipients of the Vanguard Award include The Shape of Water and La La Land.
When Frank Anthony Vallelonga, aka Tony Lip (Viggo Mortensen), a New York City bouncer from an Italian-American neighborhood in the Bronx, is hired to drive and protect Dr. Don Shirley (Mahershala Ali), a world-class black pianist, on a concert tour from Manhattan to the Deep South, they must rely on The Green Book — a travel guide to safe lodging, dining and business options for African Americans during the era of segregation and Jim Crow laws — to steer them to places where Shirley will not be refused service, humiliated, or threatened with violence. Set against the backdrop of a country grappling with the valor and volatility of the Civil Rights Movement, two men will be confronted with racism and danger and be comforted by generosity, kindness and their own unique senses of humor. Together, they will challenge long-held assumptions, push past their seemingly insurmountable differences, and embrace their shared humanity. The film, from Participant Media and DreamWorks Pictures, is directed by Peter Farrelly.
The Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF) is one of the largest film festivals in North America, welcoming 135,000 attendees last year for its lineup of new and celebrated international features and documentaries. The Festival is also known for its annual Film Awards Gala, a glamorous, black-tie event attended by 2,500, presented this year by American Express and sponsored by Entertainment Tonight. The Film Awards Gala honors the year’s best achievements in cinema in front of and behind the camera. The celebrated list of talents who have been honored in recent years includes Ben Affleck, Javier Bardem, Cate Blanchett, Mary J. Blige, Sandra Bullock, Jessica Chastain, George Clooney, Bradley Cooper, Daniel Day-Lewis, Leonardo DiCaprio, Clint Eastwood, Gal Gadot, Tom Hanks, Holly Hunter, Nicole Kidman, Matthew McConaughey, Julianne Moore, Gary Oldman, Brad Pitt, Eddie Redmayne, Julia Roberts, Sam Rockwell, Saoirse Ronan, Meryl Streep and Reese Witherspoon.
To see the Green Book cast honored, call 760-969-7533 for Gala tickets or tables, 760-778-8979 or 800-898-7256 for Film Festival information or visit www.psfilmfest.org.