The Palm Springs International Film Festival, gearing up for its 24th edition, will honor Helen Hunt with their Spotlight Award at its awards gala on January 5. The festival runs January 3-14 and always puts the spotlight on awards contenders. According to fest chairman Harold Matzner, “A consummate actress, director, producer and screenwriter, Hunt's talents are myriad." He also singles "the sensitivity and grace" of her performance in "The Sessions."
Like past Spotlight Award recipients Amy Adams and Jessica Chastain, PSIFF is helping with this distinction to push Hunt toward landing a Best Supporting Actress slot. Oscar nominations will be announced on January 15.
In addition to Ben Lewin's "The Sessions," in which she co-stars with John Hawkes, Hunt's work includes "Then She Found Me" (which she wrote, produced, directed and starred in), "Soul Surfer," "Bobby," "What Women Want," "Cast Away," "A Good Woman," "Pay it Forward," "Twister," TV's "Mad About You" and the beloved "As Good As It Gets," for which she won her Best Actress Oscar in 1998.
Palm Springs is currently weighing its options for next year, as the awards dates keep getting pushed up. Should they go to December?