By DONNA BALANCIA
The Palm Springs Film Festival kicks off awards season and puts the spotlight on some of Hollywood’s brightest stars and those shining bright this year included Jennifer Lopez, Laura Dern and Quentin Tarantino.
The awards gala, held at the Palm Springs Convention Center Friday night kicks off the festival which lasts 12 days and screens more than 200 films.
Over its 31 years, the festival has grown from a little film fest into one of the most anticipated and intimate events of the year. The opening night gala is the Palm Springs Film Festival’s big fundraiser. It commemorates the work of those who create some of the best films in front of the public today and is somewhat of a predictor for the big awards presentations to come.
Renee Zellweger, Martin Scorsese, Laura Dern, Charlize Theron and Adam Driver were among those on hand Friday night.
Robert De Niro, Jamie Foxx (Spotlight Award, Actor), Joaquin Phoenix, Adam Driver, Tarantino and Zack Gottsagen of The Peanut Butter Falcon (Rising Star Award) all were honored as an estimated $2 million was raised during the night.
The focus may be on film, but one songstress — J.Lo — told The Desert Sun she is using her notoriety to bring out the best of hidden characters. Wearing a Richard Quinn dress, the shining Lopez was honored with the festival’s Spotlight Award, Actress.
“Every role I do I try ot make it as authentic as possible, make it as real as possible, really go for the grit in it,” Lopez told The Sun. “Doing this movie was a big deal for me. One thing I want to do with my production company … is to take the women from the background and put them in the forefront and tell their stories. That’s what we did with this movie, I’m so happy that people responded to it and it tells Hollywood and the powers that be that there’s a market for this. Hopefully I’ll get the opportunity to do it a lot more.”