Gal Gadot, Jessica Chastain and Gary Oldman are among the celebrities who will be at the event on Jan. 2, 2018. Bruce Fessier/The Desert Sun
Gal Gadot at the Palm Springs International Film Festival Awards Gala in Palm Springs, January 2, 2018.(Photo: Jay Calderon/The Desert Sun)Buy Photo
The red carpet rolled out in front of the Palm Springs Convention Center sizzled with stars as some of Hollywood’s heavy hitters made their way into the 29th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival Film Awards Gala Tuesday to receive recognition.
Red carpets this year are anticipated to take on much more meaning than who’s wearing what as actors and actresses band together to protest sexual harassment, and this was no exception.
Patty Jenkins and Gal Gadot arrive at the Palm Springs International Film Festival, January 2, 2017. (Photo: Zoe Meyers/The Desert Sun)
The social revolution happening in Hollywood was a consistent topic of conversation among the stars, as was the Time's Up initiative, unveiled Jan. 1. Three-hundred well-known actresses and others in the industry announced their support for the initiative, intended to combat harassment in different industries, not just Hollywood.
"It’s very important," said "Wonder Woman" director Patty Jenkins about Time's Up. "I’m so impressed by what everybody has been able to do, everybody pulling their efforts together. And I think it’s incredible to take advantage of these moments, where we’re celebrating film and all kinds of other things to also try to make a difference in the world.”
MORE: Gal Gadot finds powerful voice in navigating Wonder Woman's journey into the zeitgeist
One of the calls of the initiative is for women to wear black on the red carpet at the Golden Globes as a symbolic form of protest against harassment in Hollywood.
Holly Hunter arrives at the Palm Springs International Film Festival, January 2, 2017. (Photo: Zoe Meyers/The Desert Sun)
"I'm all for solidarity," said actress Holly Hunter, who received the Career Achievement Award for her performance in "The Big Sick." "It has a punch. It packs a punch that nothing else does. When people gather and stand together it has an impact that is unrepeatable in any other way. And I think the Time's (Up) initiative is beautiful, beautiful and it should have happened yesterday but here we are. So, this is the right time and I'm planning on joining those ranks."
In Palm Springs, the red carpet was rife with color. Fans screamed and cameras flashed as one by one celebrities receiving or presenting awards posed on the red carpet wearing tuxedoes and fancy dresses. "Wonder Woman" star Gal Gadot wore a stunning, bright yellow floor-length gown, while "Lady Bird" actress Saoirse Ronan wore a hot pink and orange silk dress. Singer and actress Mary J. Blige, who received the festival's Breakthrough Performance Award for her role in "Mudbound," wore a beaded sea foam colored gown, and "I, Tonya," actress Allison Janney strolled the carpet in teal green.
Saoirse Ronan arrives at the Palm Springs International Film Festival, January 2, 2017. (Photo: Zoe Meyers/The Desert Sun)
"Molly's Game" star Jessica Chastain, outspoken about sexual misconduct and gender discrimination in Hollywood, wore a black gown, as did "The Shape of Water" actress Octavia Spencer.
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While most of the celebrities stopped to speak with the media on the red carpet, others only stopped for photos and to talk to fans before heading into the awards gala. Presenter Salma Hayek whizzed down the red carpet as did Chastain and Spencer (who said she was sick). Willem Dafoe, star of "The Florida Project," was the first celebrity to arrive, and Gadot was the last.
"The film doesn’t point fingers, it raises questions," Dafoe said of "The Florida Project." "It also reminds us of our social responsibility to each other and the value of compassion and the fruits that it can yield."
Janney (Spotlight Award, Actress), Gadot (Rising Star Award, Actress), Hunter (Career Achievement Award), Chastain (Chairman’s Award), Blige (Breakthrough Performance Award), Ronan (Desert Palm Achievement Award, Actress), Dafoe (Icon Award), Gary Oldman (Desert Palm Achievement Award, Actor), Sam Rockwell (Spotlight Award, Actor), and Timothée Chalamet (Rising Star Award, Actor) were all there to receive their awards.
Mary J. Blige arrives at the Palm Springs International Film Festival, January 2, 2017. (Photo: Zoe Meyers/The Desert Sun)
"It feels rare as a young person to get to play complex roles that are contradictory and layered … so I leaped at that opportunity and also to work with Luca Guadagnino, he's always been one of my favorite directors and Armie Hammer is an incredible actor," said Chalemet on his role in "Call Me By Your Name." "Those are not opportunities you say no to."
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One of the award recipients even has plans to move to Palm Springs this year.
"I love the quiet of the town," said Oldman, who plays Winston Churchill in "Darkest Hour." "It still has old world charm that I like very much. I've been here many times before and so I just decided to buy here."
Spencer, Sally Hawkins, Richard Jenkins, Guillermo del Toro, Alexandre Desplat, and J. Miles Dale were also there for “The Shape of Water,” directed by del Toro, which received the Vanguard Award.
The list of presenters was just as impressive as the recipients and this year did not disappoint with Jenkins, Hayek, Armie Hammer, Colin Farrell, Common, Kumail Nanjiani, Laurie Metcalf and Peter Fonda in attendance as well.
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