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Nicole Kidman honored at Palm Springs

The 16th Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF) will honor Academy Award winner Nicole Kidman with the distinguished Chairman’s Award and Academy Award winner Howard Shore with the Frederick Loewe Award for Film Composing at the Festival’s Annual Awards Gala, announced Chairman Earl Greenburg. Alejandro Amenábar (director of The Sea Inside), who directed Kidman in The Others, will present the award to her, Shore’s presenter will be announced at a later date. The Awards Gala will be held on Saturday, January 8, 2005 at the Palm Springs Convention Center, which will also honor Kirk Douglas, Kevin Spacey, Samuel L. Jackson, Liam Neeson, Laura Linney and Bryce Dallas Howard. The Festival, held from January 6-17, 2005, will screen 190 films, culled from more than 65 countries.

Commenting on Nicole Kidman’s award, Greenburg said, “The Festival takes great pleasure in presenting Nicole Kidman with our highest honor, the distinguished Chairman’s Award. The award is designed to acknowledge actors who take risks in their selection of roles and in their performances. We would like to commend Ms. Kidman on her passion for challenging and unusual material and for working with the most daring and gifted directors with singular vision.”

Greenburg added, “From the Lord of the Rings films to the upcoming The Aviator, Howard Shore’s music elevates films to new artistic heights. Throughout his career Shore has become one of the most distinguishing and unique voices in cinema through his unique and imaginative work.”

Kidman most recently starred in the psychological thriller Birth, in which she received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress in a Drama. The film, directed by Jonathan Glazer (Sexy Beast), co-stars Lauren Bacall, Danny Huston and Anne Heche. Also this year, Kidman starred in Lars Von Trier’s provocative independent feature, Dogville, with an ensemble cast that included Chloe Sevigny, Paul Bettany, Lauren Bacall and Stellan Skarsgard. The film made its international debut at the Cannes Film Festival and was featured at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival.

Kidman’s range and versatility have won her wide acclaim for her daring performances. For her portrayal of Virginia Woolf in The Hours, Kidman received the 2003 Academy Award for Best Actress, along with the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Drama, the BAFTA Award for Best Actress and the Berlin Film Festival’s Silver Bear Award for Best Actress (together with Streep and Moore, an unprecedented event in that Festival’s distinguished history). She was also nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award. In December of last year, Kidman received both a Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Actress in a Drama and a Broadcast Film Critics (Critics’ Choice) nomination for Best Actress for her performance in Cold Mountain.

In 2002, her performances in both Baz Luhrmann’s innovative musical feature, Moulin Rouge, and in writer/director Alejandro Amenábar’s wildly successful psychological thriller, The Others, she received dual Golden Globe Award nominations for Best Actress in a Musical and Best Actress in a Drama. She won the Golden Globe for the former. Moulin Rouge also earned Kidman a London Film Critics Circle Best Actress Award and an Oscar nomination. The Others earned her a BAFTA nomination. In 1995, Kidman starred in Gus Van Sant’s widely acclaimed black comedy To Die For, which she won a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress, along with Best Actress Awards from the Boston Film Critics, National Broadcast Film Critics, London Film Critics, and the Seattle Film Festival. She was also nominated by BAFTA in the Best Actress category.

Her other film credits include Dead Calm, The Human Stain, Birthday Girl, Eyes Wide Shut, The Peacemaker, Portrait of a Lady, Days of Thunder, Billy Bathgate (for which she received a Golden Globe nomination), Malice, Ron Howard’s Far and Away and Joel Schumacher’s Batman Forever. Kidman’s next projects include the political thriller The Interpreter with co-star Sean Penn for director/producer Sydney Pollack, and she is shooting the comedy feature adaptation of Bewitched with Will Ferrell for writer/director Nora Ephron.

The 2003/2004 awards season was an incredible year for Howard Shore with two Academy Awards and two Golden Globe wins in both the best score and best song categories for the score for The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King and song “Into the West,” which was written with Annie Lennox and Fran Walsh and performed by Lennox. In addition, Shore has received honors from the Broadcast Film Critics, Chicago Film Critics, Online Film Critics Society and Las Vegas Film Critics Society. He also received a BAFTA nomination for the score and won the Grammy Award for his work on The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers and was nominated for Gangs of New York. In 2002, Shore received both an Academy Award and Grammy for Best Original Score for The Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, for which he was also honored with awards from the Los Angeles Film Critics, Chicago Film Critics and Broadcast Film Critics.

Shore’s most recent project is Martin Scorsese’s The Aviator and his upcoming project includes another collaboration with Peter Jackson on King Kong. He has composed over 60 film scores and his outstanding work also includes The Silence Of The Lambs and Philadelphia, directed by Jonathan Demme; Ed Wood, directed by Tim Burton; Seven, The Game and Panic Room, directed by David Fincher; and Gangs of New York and After Hours, directed by Martin Scorsese. His other films include the well loved comedies Analyze This, Mrs. Doubtfire, and Big.

Founded in 1990 by then Mayor Sonny Bono, the PSIFF is one of the largest film festivals in North America. The Festival has an attractive film sales and distribution record and is seen by American distributors as one of the best Academy Award campaign marketing tools. The Festival also features cultural events, filmmaker tributes, industry seminars and an annual black-tie gala award presentation.

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