Posted by Larry Gleeson
The 29th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF) will present Jessica Chastain with the Chairman’s Award for STXfilms and The Mark Gordon Company’s Molly’s Game at its annual Film Awards Gala. She will join previously announced 2018 honorees Timothée Chalamet, 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 2 at the Palm Springs Convention Center. The Festival runs January 2-15, 2018.
“Jessica Chastain is an incredible actress who has continuously challenged herself with complex roles throughout her career,” said Festival Chairman Harold Matzner. “In her latest film, Molly’s Game, Chastain brings to life Molly Bloom’s story of a determined woman who goes from being an Olympic skier to making millions running an exclusive high-stakes poker game. It is our honor to present the Chairman’s Award to Jessica Chastain.”
Chastain received the PSIFF Spotlight Award in 2012, going on to receive an Academy Award® nomination for The Help. Past recipients of the Chairman’s Award include Amy Adams, Ben Affleck, George Clooney, Richard Gere, Tom Hanks, Dustin Hoffman, Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon.
Written and directed by Aaron Sorkin, Molly’s Game is based on the true story of Molly Bloom (Jessica Chastain), an Olympic-class skier who ran one of the world’s most exclusive high-stakes poker game for a decade before being arrested in the middle of the night by 17 FBI agents wielding automatic weapons. Her players included Hollywood royalty, sports stars, business titans, and finally, unbeknownst to her, the Russian mob. Her only ally was her criminal defense lawyer Charlie Jaffey (Idris Elba), who learned that there was much more to Molly than the tabloids led us to believe. The film also stars Kevin Costner, Michael Cera, Jeremy Strong, Bill Camp, Chris O’Dowd and Brian d’Arcy James. Mark Gordon, Amy Pascal and Matt Jackson produced. STXfilms and the Mark Gordon Company’s Molly’s Game will open in select theaters nationwide December 25, 2017, and everywhere January 5, 2018.
Two-time Academy Award nominee Jessica Chastain has received numerous nominations and accolades for her work from the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, LA Film Critics, British Academy of Film and TV, Broadcast Film Critics, HFPA, National Board of Review, Screen Actors Guild and Film Independent, to name a few. Her film credits include Crimson’s Peak, The Debt, The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby, The Help, The Huntsman: Winter’s War, Interstellar, Mama, The Martian, Miss Julie, Miss Sloane, A Most Violent Year, Tree of Life, Zero Dark 30 and The Zookeeper’s Wife. She recently finished production for Susanna White’s period drama Woman Walks Ahead opposite Sam Rockwell and Xavier Dolan’s The Death and Life of John F. Donovan with Natalie Portman, Kit Harington and Nicholas Hoult.
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 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.
(Source: Press release from PSIFF press office)