The 27th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF) announced today (in a press release sent to festival press) that it will present actor Johnny Depp with the Desert Palm Achievement Award, Actor for his work in the new film "Black Mass." The award will be bestowed upon Depp at the yearly Awards Gala that will be held on Saturday, January 2, 2016, at the Palm Springs Convention Center, in Palm Springs, California. The honor is the third to be announced for this year's festival. Oscar winner Cate Blanchett and actress Saoirse Ronan will also be honored. The Awards Gala will be hosted by TV personality Mary Hart. The Palm Springs International Film Festival will run from January 1-11.
“Johnny Depp is one of the most versatile and dynamic actors of our time,” said Festival Chairman Harold Matzner. “In his latest film, 'Black Mass,' Depp, in a stunning transformation, creates a gripping and multi-layered portrait of infamous gangster James ‘Whitey’ Bulger. He delivers an astounding performance that has earned raves from both critics and audiences and is sure to garner awards attention. It is our honor to present the 2016 Desert Palm Achievement Award, Actor, to Johnny Depp.”
Past actor recipients of the Desert Palm Achievement Award include Jeff Bridges, Daniel Day-Lewis, Bradley Cooper, Matthew McConaughey, Colin Firth, Brad Pitt, Sean Penn and Eddie Redmayne. In the years they were honored, Bridges, Day-Lewis, Penn, Conaughey, Redmayne and Firth went on to win Oscars for Best Actor, while Cooper and Pitt received Academy Award nominations.
Depp can currently starring in the new film “Black Mass,” which tells the true story of mobster James “Whitey” Bulger as played by Depp. In, "Black Mass," Whitey informs on the mob to the FBI for the majority of his criminal life. The film is directed by Scott Cooper and features an ensemble cast, also including Benedict Cumberbatch, Jesse Plemons, Rory Cochrane, Julianne Nicholson, Dakota Johnson, W. Earl Brown, Kevin Bacon, Peter Sargaard, David Harbour, Corey Stoll, Adam Scott and Juno Temple.
Depp has already been nominated for three Oscars nominee for Best Actor for his work in “Finding Neverland,” “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street” and “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl.” Over the last thirty years, Depp’s varied range of roles has made him one of the leading actors of his time, including performances in John Waters’ “Cry Baby,” Lasse Hallstrom’s “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape,” “Benny & Joon,” “Chocolat,” Terry Gilliam’s “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas,” Mike Newell’s “Donnie Brasco,” Ted Demme’s “Blow,” Michael Mann’s “Public Enemies,” “The Libertine,” and several collaborations with Tim Burton including “Edward Scissorhands,” “Sleepy Hollow,” and “Ed Wood.”
The Palm Springs International Film Festival welcomes over 135,000 attendees and is one of the largest film festivals in North America. The festival includes a spiffy Black Tie Gala that ushers in the award season with "A" list talent taking home the prizes, many of which will be winning Oscars at the end of award season. The Palm Springs International Film Festival was created by former mayor Sonny Bono in hopes that Palm Springs would always be synonymous with the film industry in Hollywood.