26th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival
The 26th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF) will present J.K. Simmons with the Spotlight Award, Actor at its annual Awards Gala. The Gala will also present awards to previously announced honorees Julianne Moore and Eddie Redmayne. Presented by Cartier, and hosted by Mary Hart, the Awards Gala will be held Saturday, January 3 at the Palm Springs Convention Center. The Festival runs January 2-12.
“Throughout his career J.K. Simmons had played a wide range of roles from tough guys in “Oz” and Sam Raimi’s Spider Man films to nicer guys in Juno and Up in the Air,” said Harold Matzner, Chairman of the Palm Springs International Film Festival. “In Whiplash, Simmons’ shines with his tough guy portrayal of a music teacher, who physically and emotionally terrorizes a young drummer, and gives a captivating performance that is alternately hilarious and terrifying. We are honored to present J.K. Simmons with the 2015 Spotlight Award, Actor.”
Past recipients of the Spotlight Award include Julia Roberts, Jessica Chastain, Amy Adams and Helen Hunt. All four recipients received Academy Award®nominations in the year they were honored.
In Whiplash, Andrew Neyman is an ambitious young jazz drummer, single-minded in his pursuit to rise to the top of his elite east coast music conservatory. Plagued by the failed writing career of his father, Andrew hungers day and night to become one of the greats. Terence Fletcher, an instructor equally known for his teaching talents as for his terrifying methods, leads the top jazz ensemble in the school. Fletcher discovers Andrew and transfers the aspiring drummer into his band, forever changing the young man’s life. Andrew’s passion to achieve perfection quickly spirals into obsession, as his ruthless teacher continues to push him to the brink of both his ability—and his sanity. Written and directed by Damien Chazelle, the Sony Pictures Classics film stars Miles Teller and J.K. Simmons.
J.K. Simmons has appeared in diverse projects spanning motion pictures, television and the stage on and off Broadway. His motion picture credits include Sam Raimi’s Spider Man trilogy, Hidalgo, The Ladykillers, The Mexican, Off the Map, For Love of the Game, The Gift, Thank You for Smoking, Rendition, Burn After Reading, Juno, The Words, The Music Never Stopped, Jennifer’s Body, Extract, The Vicious Kind, I Love You Man, Beginner’s Guide to Endings, Contraband, Up in the Air, Jobs, Labor Day. His upcoming projects include The Reluctant Professor opposite Hugh Grant and Marisa Tomei, Gillian Raimi’s next feature Murder of a Cat and Jeremy Sisto’s feature Breakpoint.
On the small screen Simmons played roles in TNT’s hit series “The Closer,” HBO’s acclaimed drama “Oz,” NBC’s “Growing Up Fisher” NBC’s “Law & Order,” NBC’s “Parks and Recreation,” and a recurring role on TBS’ new hit comedy “Men at Work.” Simmons has appeared on the Broadway stage in performances of “Guys and Dolls,” “Laughter on the 23rd Floor,” “A Change in the Heir,” “Peter Pan” and “A Few Good Men.”
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 Black Tie Awards Gala, honoring the best achievements of the filmic year by a celebrated list of talents who, in recent years, have included Ben Affleck, Javier Bardem, Cate Blanchett, Sandra Bullock, Bradley Cooper, George Clooney, Daniel Day-Lewis, Leonardo DiCaprio, Clint Eastwood, Tom Hanks, Matthew McConaughey, Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts, David O. Russell, Meryl Streep, and Kate Winslet.
The Awards Gala of the 26th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival is presented by Cartier and sponsored by Mercedes Benz and Entertainment Tonight. The City of Palm Springs is the Title Sponsor of the Film Festival. Presenting Sponsors are Wells Fargo, The Desert Sun and Spencer’s. Major sponsors are Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, Wessman Development, Bank of America, Wintec, Regal Entertainment Group, Ignition Creative, Desert Regional Medical Center, Windermere Real Estate, Eisenhower Medical Center, Guthy-Renker, Integrated Wealth Management, VisitGreaterPalmSprings.com, Ocean Properties, Chihuly and Telefilm Canada.