Palm Springs, CA (December 22, 2011) – The 23rd annual Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF) will present three time Academy Award nominee Stephen Daldry with the Director of the Year Award for Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close. Presented by Cartier, the Awards Gala will be held Saturday, January 7, at the Palm Springs Convention Center. Hosted by Mary Hart, the Awards Gala will also present awards to previously announced honorees George Clooney, Glenn Close, Michel Hazanavicius, Gary Oldman, Brad Pitt, Octavia Spencer, Michelle Williams, and the film Young Adult. The Festival runs January 5-16.

“Stephen Daldry has garnered international acclaim as a director, bringing his consummate skill to both the cinema and stage,” said Festival Chairman Harold Matzner. “In his latest work, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, he directs a virtuoso cast in the story of a young boy who, after losing his father on 9/11, goes on a quest to learn what an unusual key found in his father’s possessions may unlock. This journey then becomes a metaphor for the need of a child to maintain a close bond with a loved one who died tragically and too soon. For this haunting film and for all of his achievements as a “director’s director,” the Palm Springs International Film Festival is honored to present the 2012 “Director of the Year Award” To Stephen Daldry.”

Adapted from the acclaimed bestseller by Jonathan Safran Foer, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close is a story that unfolds from inside the young mind of Oskar Schell, an inventive eleven year-old New Yorker whose discovery of a key in his deceased father’s belongings sets him off on an urgent search across the city for the lock it will open. A year after his father died in the World Trade Center on what Oskar calls “The Worst Day,” he is determined to keep his vital connection to the man who playfully cajoled him into confronting his wildest fears. The Warner Bros. film is directed by Daldry, with a screenplay by Eric Roth, and stars Tom Hanks, Sandra Bullock and Thomas Horn as Oskar. Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close was recently nominated for four Critics’ Choice Movie Awards including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Young Actor.

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