Willem Dafoe To Receive Icon Award At 29th Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival Film Awards Gala


Palm Springs, CA (December 18, 2017) – The 29th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF) will present Willem Dafoe with the Icon Award for his performance in The Florida Project at its annual Film Awards Gala.  Dafoe joins previously announced 2018 honorees Mary J. Blige, Timothée Chalamet, Jessica Chastain, Gal Gadot, Holly Hunter, Allison Janney, Gary Oldman, Sam Rockwell, Saoirse Ronan and The Shape of Water.  The Film Awards Gala, hosted by Mary Hart, will be held Tuesday, January 2nd at the Palm Springs Convention Center. The Festival runs January 2–15, 2018. 

“Willem Dafoe is a versatile actor who has appeared in over one hundred films in his stellar career,” said Festival Chairman Harold Matzner. “In The Florida Project, Dafoe delivers a career defining performance, as a hotel manager overseeing his sometimes unruly residents, which has received numerous critical accolades.  The Palm Springs International Film Festival is honored to present this year’s Icon Award to Willem Dafoe.”

Past recipients of the Icon Award include Michael Douglas, Robert Duvall, Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep.

Set on a stretch of highway just outside the imagined utopia of Disney World, The Florida Project follows six-year-old Moonee (Brooklynn Prince in a stunning breakout turn) and her rag-tag gang of friends. Moonee and her rebellious mother Halley (Bria Vinaite, another major discovery) live week to week at “The Magic Castle,” a budget motel managed by Bobby (a career-best Willem Dafoe), whose stern exterior hides a deep reservoir of kindness and compassion.  From A24, the film is directed by Sean Baker.

For his performance in the film Dafoe received Best Supporting Actor recognition from the New York Film Critics, Los Angeles Film Critics, National Board of Review and several other critics organizations.  He has received a Best Supporting Actor nomination from the Golden Globes, Screen Actors Guild, Broadcast Film Critics’ Association, and Satellite Awards.

Dafoe has been recognized with two Academy Award nominations: Best Actor in a Supporting Role for Platoon as well as Best Actor in a Supporting Role for Shadow Of The Vampire, for which he also received Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild nominations. Among his nominations and awards, he has received a Los Angeles Film Critics Award as well as Independent Spirit Award.  His other film credits include To Live and Die in L.A., The Last Temptation of Christ, Mississippi Burning, Born on the Fourth of July, White Sands, Wild at Heart, Tom & Viv, Clear and Present Danger,  The English Patient,  American Psycho, Spider-Man, Spider-Man 2, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, Inside Man, John Wick, Finding Nemo, Finding Dory, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Death Note, The Boondock Saints, Murder on the Orient Express.  His upcoming films include James Wan’s Aquaman and Julain Schnabel’s At Eternity’s Gate.

About The Palm Springs International Film Festival

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 Cadillac and 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, Sandra Bullock, Bradley Cooper, George Clooney, Daniel Day-Lewis, Leonardo DiCaprio, Clint Eastwood, Tom Hanks, Nicole Kidman, Matthew McConaughey, Julianne Moore, Brad Pitt, Eddie Redmayne, Julia Roberts, Meryl Streep, and Reese Witherspoon.

For more information, call 760-778-8979 or 800-898-7256 or visit www.psfilmfest.org.

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