The 19th Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival will honor Sean Penn with the Director of the Year Award for his film "Into The Wild." Past honorees include Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu for "Babel" and Alexander Payne for "Sideways." "'Into the Wild' is a magnificent film that showcases Sean Penn's gifted and powerhouse talent as a director. We're delighted to present him with this year's Director of the Year Award for his vision portrayed in this film," said festival chairman Earl Greenburg. Penn will recieve the award at the festival's annual Awards Gala on Saturday, January 5, 2008. [Peter Knegt]