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Palm Springs Fest to Honor Helen Hunt with Spotlight Award

Thompson on Hollywood By Sophia Savage | Thompson on Hollywood November 15, 2012 at 6:35PM

The Palm Springs International Film Festival, gearing up for its 24th edition, will honor Helen Hunt with their Spotlight Award at its awards gala on January 5. The festival runs January 3-14 and always puts the spotlight on awards contenders.
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Helen Hunt, The Sessions
Helen Hunt in 'The Sessions'

The Palm Springs International Film Festival, gearing up for its 24th edition, will honor Helen Hunt with their Spotlight Award at its awards gala on January 5. The festival runs January 3-14 and always puts the spotlight on awards contenders. According to fest chairman Harold Matzner, “A consummate actress, director, producer and screenwriter, Hunt's talents are myriad." He also singles "the sensitivity and grace" of her performance in "The Sessions."

Like past Spotlight Award recipients Amy Adams and Jessica Chastain, PSIFF is helping with this distinction to push Hunt toward landing a Best Supporting Actress slot. Oscar nominations will be announced on January 15.
 
In addition to Ben Lewin's "The Sessions," in which she co-stars with John Hawkes, Hunt's work includes "Then She Found Me" (which she wrote, produced, directed and starred in), "Soul Surfer," "Bobby," "What Women Want," "Cast Away," "A Good Woman," "Pay it Forward," "Twister," TV's "Mad About You" and the beloved "As Good As It Gets," for which she won her Best Actress Oscar in 1998.

Palm Springs is currently weighing its options for next year, as the awards dates keep getting pushed up. Should they go to December?

This article is related to: Awards, Awards, The Sessions, Helen Hunt, Festivals, Festivals


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.