Ridley Scott to Present “The Martian” Star his Award in Palm Springs


Palm Springs, CA (December 15, 2015) – The 27th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF) will present Matt Damon with the Chairman’s Award at its annual Awards Gala.  This year’s Awards Gala will be hosted by Mary Hart on Saturday, January 2 at the Palm Springs Convention Center.  The Festival runs January 1-11.


 “Since his breakthrough role in Good Will Hunting, Matt Damon has taken on a series of challenging roles through his career,” said Film Festival Chairman Harold Matzner. “In his latest film, The Martian, Damon dazzles yet again as Mark Watney, an astronaut desperately trying to survive on Mars, yet still finding a way to laugh and bring hope to an impossible situation.  It is an honor to present Matt Damon with the 2016 Chairman’s Award.”


The Martian director, Ridley Scott, will present Matt Damon with his award.


Past recipients of the Chairman’s Award include Ben Affleck, George Clooney, Richard Gere, Tom Hanks, Dustin Hoffman, Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon.


In The Martian, a manned mission to Mars is aborted and astronaut Mark Watney (Damon) is presumed dead after a fierce storm.  Left behind by his crew, however, Watney has improbably survived and must draw upon his ingenuity and spirit to subsist and find a way to send a signal back to Earth. Once aware that he is alive, NASA works to overcome the challenges of both physics and public relations, enlisting his crewmates in a daring if not impossible rescue mission. Directed by Ridley Scott from the best-selling novel by Andy Weir, The Martianfeatures a star-studded cast including Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig, Jeff Daniels, Michael Peña, Kate Mara, Sean Bean, Sebastian Stan, Aksel Hennie, Donald Glover, Mackenzie Davis and Chiwetel Ejiofor.


Matt Damon has been honored for his work on both sides of the camera. For his role in The Martian, he recently received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor - Musical or Comedy and a Best Actor honor from the National Board of Review. Previously he received an Emmy Award, Golden Globe Award and SAG® and BAFTA® nominations for his performance in Stephen Soderbergh’s Behind the Candelabra. Damon also earned numerous nominations, including for an Academy Award® and Golden Globe, for his portrayal of South African rugby hero Francois Pienaar in Invictus, as well as a Golden Globe nomination for his starring role in Steven Soderbergh’s The Informant! Damon won the Academy Award for Best Screenplay and received a Best Actor Oscar nomination for his breakthrough feature Good Will Hunting.


His other film credits include Monuments MenThe Bourne Identity, The Bourne SupremacyThe Bourne Ultimatum, the Ocean’s Eleven trilogy films, ElysiumPromised LandWe Bought a ZooTrue Grit, The Adjustment BureauHappy Feet 2, Contagion, HereafterGreen ZoneThe DepartedThe Good Shepherd,SyrianaMystic PizzaSchool TiesGeronimo: An American LegendThe Good Old BoysCourage Under Fire,The RainmakerSaving Private RyanRoundersThe Talented Mr. RipleyDogmaThe Legend of Bagger VanceAll the Pretty Horses and The Brothers Grimm.


The Gala will also present awards to previously announced honorees Cate Blanchett, Johnny Depp, Michael Fassbender, Brie Larson, Rooney Mara, Tom McCarthy, Saoirse Ronan and Alicia Vikander.


About The Palm Springs International Film Festival

The Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF) is one of the largest film festivals in North America, welcoming 135,000 attendees last year for its lineup of new and celebrated international features and documentaries.  The Festival is also known for its annual Black Tie Awards Gala, honoring the best achievements of the filmic year by a celebrated list of talents who, in recent years, have included Ben Affleck, Javier Bardem, Cate Blanchett, Sandra Bullock, Bradley Cooper, George Clooney, Daniel Day-Lewis, Leonardo DiCaprio, Clint Eastwood, Tom Hanks, Matthew McConaughey, Julianne Moore, Brad Pitt, Eddie Redmayne, Julia Roberts, David O. Russell, Meryl Streep, and Reese Witherspoon.