John Lee Hancock to Receive the Variety Creative Impact in Directing Award, presented by Mercedes-Benz. Jonah Hill to receive the Variety Creative Impact in Acting Award, presented by Mercedes-Benz.

LOS ANGELES, CA – (December 2nd, 2013) Variety will present director John Lee Hancock with the Creative Impact in Directing Award, presented by Mercedes-Benz, which celebrates the filmmaker for his outstanding contributions to the art and business of cinema, notably his work in directing the upcoming “Saving Mr. Banks.” Additionally, Variety will honor Jonah Hill with the Creative Impact in Acting Award, presented by Mercedes-Benz for his scope of work ranging from his comedic performances and more dramatic fare such as his Academy Award® nominated role in “Moneyball” to the upcoming highly-anticipated Scorsese film “The Wolf of Wall Street.” The event will take place on Sunday, January 5 during the Palm Springs International Film Festival on the Palm Court at the Parker Palm Springs.

“2013 will be remembered as one of American cinema’s most exciting years and contributing tremendously to that excitement are the contributions of “Saving Mr. Banks” director John Lee Hancock and “The Wolf of Wall Street” actor Jonah Hill. In addition to their successes this year, both Hancock and Hill have rich bodies of work to celebrate and both exemplify the continuing creative vitality and artistic risk-taking of American film at its best,” said Steve Gaydos, Executive Editor at Variety.

Previous recipients have included David O. Russell, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Charlize Theron and Mark Wahlberg.

“10 Directors to Watch”

“10 Directors to Watch” debuted in 1996 and the annual event moved to the Palm Springs International Film Festival in January 2011. “10 Directors to Watch” was the first of Variety’s “10 to Watch” series spotlighting the most exciting new talents in the fields of directing, writing, producing, acting, cinematography and comedy. This year’s “10 Directors to Watch” include: Amma Asante (“Belle”), Clio Barnard (“The Selfish Giant”), Anthony Chen (“Ilo, Ilo), Paul Duane (“Very Extremely Dangerous”), Ben Falcone (“Tammy”), Maya Forbes (“Infinitely Polar Bear”), Aron Gaudet & Gita Pullapilly (“Beneath the Harvest Sky”), Dome Karukoski (“Heart of a Lion”), Justin Simien (“Dear White People”), Gren Wells (“The Road Within”).

Past “10 Directors to Watch” honorees have included Ben Affleck (“Gone Baby Gone”), Wes Anderson (“Bottle Rocket”), Scott Cooper (“Crazy Heart”), Marc Webb (“500 Days of Summer”), Christopher Nolan (“Memento”), Sam Taylor Wood (“Nowhere Boy”) and Benh Zeitlin (“Beasts of the Southern Wild”), among others.

Palm Springs International Film Festival Director Darryl Macdonald stated, “Ten striking new talents with exceptional storytelling gifts, one consummately gifted established director with an adroit ability to evoke superb performances from his actors, and that rare thing: a fast-rising actor who's as adept at doing comedy as he is at handling drama. This is a heady combination, and one that I hope reflects the mix of emerging talent and masters of their craft that the Palm Springs Festival itself has come to represent. We're delighted to again be hosting Variety's ‘10 Directors to Watch’ event at the Festival, and congratulate all of the winners on being selected for these prestigious honors.”

“We are thrilled to be kicking off our 25th Anniversary with Variety's ‘10 Directors to Watch’ event at the Parker on our opening weekend,” said Festival Artistic Director Helen Du Toit. “And we are doubly delighted by the synergy of our shared commitment to celebrating the best of international cinema and spotlighting exciting new talent from around the globe.”

The event will be presented by Mercedes-Benz with venue partner the Parker Palm Springs.

About Variety

Variety and Variety.com provide the industry with the most comprehensive coverage of motion pictures, television and the digital space. With respected and experienced news reporters in Los Angeles, New York and around the world, Variety marries its historic coverage of the entertainment business with a technologically advanced website and new weekly print edition, offering readers the in-depth news coverage needed to remain competitive in the ever-changing entertainment industry. The Variety Group – Variety, Variety.com, Variety Insight, LA 411, NY 411 – is owned by Variety Media, LLC, a division of Penske Media Corporation.

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 annually 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, Danny Boyle, Bradley Cooper, George Clooney, Daniel Day-Lewis, Leonardo DiCaprio, Clint Eastwood, Ron Howard, Helen Mirren, Sean Penn, Brad Pitt, Natalie Portman, Charlize Theron and Kate Winslet.

The Awards Gala of the 25th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival is presented by Cartier and sponsored by Mercedes Benz and Entertainment Tonight. The City of Palm Springs is the Title Sponsor of the Film Festival. Presenting Sponsors are Wells Fargo, The Desert Sun and Spencer’s. Major sponsors are AARP, Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, Wessman Development, Bank of America, Wintec, Regal Entertainment Group, Windermere Real Estate, Eisenhower Medical Center, Guthy-Renker, Integrated Wealth Management, PalmSpringsOasis.com, Ocean Properties, Panavision, Chihuly and Telefilm Canada.

For more information, call 760-322-2930 or 800-898-7256 or visit www.psfilmfest.org.

About Mercedes-Benz USA

Mercedes-Benz USA (MBUSA), headquartered in Montvale, New Jersey, is responsible for the distribution, marketing and customer service for all Mercedes-Benz products in the United States. MBUSA offers drivers the most diverse line-up in the luxury segment with 13 model lines ranging from the sporty CLA-Class four-door coupe to the flagship S-Class and the SLS AMG GT.

MBUSA is also responsible for the distribution, marketing and customer service of Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Vans, and smart products in the U.S. More information on MBUSA and its products can be found at www.mbusa.com, www.mbsprinterusa.comand www.smartusa.com.

Accredited journalists can visit our media site at www.media.mbusa.com.

About Parker Palm Springs

Situated on 13 lush acres, the Parker Palm Springs is an estate where luxury is fun. Designed by Jonathan Adler, the property boasts 131 rooms, 12 villas and the 2 bedroom Gene Autry Residence. There are 3 restaurants – Norma’s; mister parker’s, a dark and seductive French bistro; and the Lemonade Stand, perfect for an afternoon bite or cocktail. The Palm Springs Yacht Club spa at over 18,000 sq. feet is well-known and a place to indulge in a treatment, take a yoga class or even lounge at the Deck. Additionally, the hotel has 4 red clay tennis courts, grounds consisting of games such ascroquet and petanque, as well as outdoor firepits and fountains.

4200 East Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, CA 92264. (760) 770-5000. www.theparkerpalmsprings.com.



Steven Wilson/Lauren Peteroy

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