PALM SPRINGS — Melissa McCarthy, star of the highly acclaimed “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” will receive the 30th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF) Spotlight Award.

McCarthy will receive the award at the PSIFF annual Film Awards Gala.  Richard E. Grant, her co-star in the film, will present the award.

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 Jan. 3-14.

“Melissa McCarthy delivers a heartbreaking performance as author Lee Israel, perfectly portraying Israel’s loneliness as she struggles with her own relevance in society,” Festival Chairman Harold Matzner said in a prepared statement. “McCarthy’s dramatic turn is truly captivating and deserving of awards recognition. It is our honor to present this year’s Spotlight Award to Melissa McCarthy.”

McCarthy joins previously announced honoree Glenn Close and Rami Malek. Past recipients of the Spotlight Award include Amy Adams, Jessica Chastain, Bryan Cranston, Andrew Garfield, Helen Hunt, Allison Janney, Rooney Mara, Julia Roberts and J.K. Simmons.

All recipients received Academy Award® nominations in the year they were honored, with Simmons winning an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor and Janney receiving an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress.

In Fox Searchlight’s, “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” McCarthy stars as Lee Israel, the best-selling celebrity biographer, and cat lover, who made her living in the 70s and 80s profiling the likes of Katharine Hepburn, Tallulah Bankhead, Estee Lauder and Dorothy Kilgallen. When Lee found herself unable to get published because she had fallen out of step with the marketplace, she turned her art form to deception, abetted by her loyal friend Jack (Richard E. Grant).  The Fox Searchlight film is directed by Marielle Heller and also stars Dolly Wells, Jane Curtin, Ben Falcone, Anna Deavere Smith and Stephen Spinella.

McCarthy received an Academy Award, BAFTA, Critics’ Choice and SAG Award nominations for her role in Bridesmaids.  Her other film credits include Life of the Party, The Boss, St. Vincent, Tammy, The Heat, Identity Thief, This is 40, The Hangover Part III, Ghostbusters, The Back-Up Plan, Life As We Know It, Pretty Ugly People, Just Add Water, The Nines, White Oleander, Pumpkin, Go and The Life of David Gale.  Her TV credits include Mike & Molly, Gilmore Girls, Samantha Who? and Nobodies. Her upcoming films include The Kitchen and Superintelligence.

The Palm Springs International Film Festival 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.  McCarthy joins a long list of stars that have been honored at the PSIFF. 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.

Call 760-969-7533 for Gala tickets or tables, 760-778-8979 or 800-898-7256 for Film Festival information or visit here for more information.