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Costner, Zanuck and Minghella: Palm Springs tributes

Actor Costner, Producer Zanuck and Director Minghella to Be Honored at Upcoming 15th Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival

The tributes and awards for the upcoming Palm Springs International Film Festival are now announced. Academy Award winning actor/director/producer Kevin Costner, Academy Award-winning producer Richard D. Zanuck, and Academy winning director Minghella will be honored at the Award Gala being held on Sunday, January 11, 2004 at the Palm Springs Convention Center. This announcement was made by chairman-elect Earl Greenburg.

Academy Award winner Kevin Costner will be honored with the Career Achievement in the Art of Cinema Award, it was announced by Chairman Elect Earl Greenburg. The Festival has also honored such Hollywood notables as Nicolas Cage, Annette Bening, John Travolta, Sylvester Stallone, Susan Sarandon, Sophia Loren, Jimmy Stewart and Frank Sinatra.

In being notified of the honor Kevin Costner said, “This is a unexpected honor. I consider myself lucky to be able to chase my dreams in an industry that encourages me to creatively follow my heart. I am proud to share this award with all the filmmakers, casts and crews that I have been fortunate to work with over my career.”

Earl Greenburg commented, “Kevin Costner is an icon whose career spans a remarkable tenure as an actor and as a director. His vision and insight has left a memorable mark on cinematic history. We are pleased that we will be honoring Costner with this year’s Career Achievement in the Art of Cinema Award.” Costner’s exceptional filmmaking abilities were showcased in Dances With Wolves, which he produced, directed and starred in, and which won seven Academy Awards including Best Picture and Best Director. Costner directed, produced and starred in one of the box office successes of this past summer, Open Range, alongside Robert Duvall and Annette Bening. He has appeared in such popular box office hits as No Way Out, Bull Durham, Field of Dreams, The Bodyguard JFK, The Untouchables and Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, Bull Durham, Tin Cup For Love of the Game, Wyatt Earp, The War, 3,000 Miles to Graceland, Dragonfly and The Postman, his second directing effort.

Along with Costner Palm Springs will be honoring Richard Zanuck, “We are delighted to have a producer whose body of work is unparalleled, as our Lifetime Achievement honoree this year,” stated Greenburg. “Mr. Zanuck has indeed brought audiences motion pictures that have, and will continue to, stand the test of time on every level,” he added. Zanuck, who has produced over 50 films that have garnered 4 Best Picture nominations, is one of the most celebrated and honored producers in Hollywood. Zanuck executive-produced The Sting, which won the Best Picture Oscar in 1973 and in 1989 he won the Best Picture Oscar and Golden Globe for Driving Miss Daisy (along with Lili Fini Zanuck.) In 1991 the Academy bestowed upon him the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award in recognition of his accomplishments and in 1993 he was honored with the Producers Guild of America’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Zanuck also earned Best Picture nominations for Jaws and The Verdict. As head of his own production entity, the Zanuck Company, (in which he is partnered with his wife, Lili and sons, Dean and Harrison) Zanuck continues a prolific career with such recent blockbusters as Deep Impact and Planet of the Apes and last year’s, Road to Perdition, which received a total of 6 Academy Award nominations and won Best Achievement in Cinematography.

Zanuck was named president in charge of production of Twentieth Century Fox and became the then youngest corporate head in Hollywood annals. During his eight years at the helm, the studio recaptured the luster of its heyday and received an unprecedented 159 Oscar nominations. Three of the films, The Sound Of Music, Patton and The French Connection went on to win Best Picture of the Year Oscars. Other successes include The Planet of the Apes series, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and M*A*S*H.Up next for Zanuck is Big Fish, Columbia’s highly anticipated holiday release, directed by Tim Burton starring Ewan McGregor, Albert Finney, Billy Crudup, Jessica Lange and Alison Lohman opening December 10th. Following is yet another Tim Burton project, Warner Bros.’ Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, which will go into production in 2004.

Anthony Minghella will be honored for his work as a director with the International Director Award “Anthony Minghella is able to create vast epic films that never lose sight of the story he is trying to tell,” said Greenburg. “Minghella is a director that takes the written word and paints a beautiful picture that tells a compelling story.”
Anthony Minghella’s most recent project Cold Mountain, which he wrote and directed, stars Jude Law, Nicole Kidman and Renee Zellweger and opens on Christmas Day from Miramax. The Palm Springs International Film Festival will hold a special advance screening of Cold Mountain on Friday, December 19th at the Camelot Theatre.
Minghella’s film The English Patient, which he wrote and directed, won nine Academy Awards in 1996 including those for Best Picture and Best Director. and was honored with 30 film awards overall, including two Golden Globes, six BAFTA Awards, the Director’s Guild Award and the The Scripters Award for Best Director. Minghella also won the 1999 Best Director Award from the National Board of Review for his film The Talented Mr. Ripley, which stars Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow and Jude Law. Minghella was named by American Theater owners as ShoWest’s Director of the Year 2000. His other directing credits include Truly, Madly, Deeply, which he also wrote, starring Juliet Stevenson and Alan Rickman and Mr. Wonderful with Matt Dillon, Mary Louise Parker and William Hurt.

The Festival, scheduled from January 8-19, 2003, will include more than 200 films from approximately 60 countries. The Festival also presents a majority of the films submitted for consideration in the Best Foreign Language category for the Academy Awards, as well as a large number of American independent features and documentaries.

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