Spike Lee to Receive Career Achievement Award From Palm Springs International Film Festival

Spike Lee will be honored with a career achievement award from the Palm Springs International Film Festival, organizers announced on Wednesday.

Lee, who has been making films for more than three decades, has directed classics such as “Do The Right Thing,” “She’s Gotta Have It” and “Malcolm X.” His most recent film, “BlacKkKlansman,” has been praised by critics.

“Spike Lee has been an outstanding warrior for equal rights while creating an iconic body of film and television work over his 30-year career,” festival chairman Harold Matzner said in a statement. “In ‘BlacKkKlansman,’ Lee directs one of his best and most provocative films about an African-American detective and a white detective who are determined to infiltrate and expose the Ku Klux Klan in Colorado Springs. It is our great honor to present the Career Achievement Award to Spike Lee.”

Also Read: ‘BlacKkKlansman’ Film Review: Spike Lee Looks Back – and Forward – in Anger

“BlacKkKlansman” is the true story of Ron Stallworth, played by John David Washington. Stallworth was the first African-American detective to serve in the Colorado Springs Police Department, he also set out to infiltrate and expose the Ku Klux Klan.

In the film, the young detective teams up with a more seasoned colleague, Flip Zimmerman (Adam Driver), to take down the extremist group as it aims to sanitize its violent rhetoric to appeal to the mainstream.  The Focus Features film won the Grand Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival.

Lee joins previously announced honorees Glenn Close, Bradley Cooper, Alfonso Cuarón, Rami Malek, Melissa McCarthy and the “Green Book.” Past recipients of the Career Achievement Award include Annette Bening, Kevin Costner, Bruce Dern, Robert Duvall, Clint Eastwood, Sally Field, Morgan Freeman, Holly Hunter, and Samuel L. Jackson.

Also Read: How ‘BlacKkKlansman’ Could Turn Cannes Acclaim Into Box Office Dollars

The awards gala will be held on Thursday, Jan. 3 at the Palm Springs Convention Center. The Festival runs Jan. 3-14.

Spike Lee’s three-decade career also includes “School Daze,” “Mo’ Better Blues,” “Jungle Fever,” “He Got Game,” and “Inside Man,” among many others. And his feature documentary work includes the double Emmy award-winning “If God Is Willing” and “Da Creek Don’t Rise,” a follow-up to his HBO documentary film “When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts” and the Peabody Award-winning “A Huey P Newton Story.”

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Regina King to Receive Chairman’s Award From Palm Springs International Film Festival

Regina King will receive the Chairman’s Award at the 2019 Palm Springs International Film Festival, organizers announced on Tuesday.

King is being recognized for her role in Barry Jenkins’ adaptation of James Baldwin’s “If Beale Street Could Talk.”

“Whether she’s acting, producing or directing, Regina King is an amazing creative talent,” PSIFF chairman Harold Matzner said in a statement. “In her latest film ‘If Beale Street Could Talk,’ she gives an outstanding performance as Sharon Rivers, a mother supportive of her daughter whose fiancé is thrown in jail for a crime he didn’t commit.  For her performance in this challenging role, which has received much critical acclaim, it is our honor to present the Chairman’s Award to Regina King.”

Also Read: New York Film Critics Circle Winners: ‘Roma’ Named 2018’s Best Picture

The awards gala will be held on Thursday, Jan. 3 at the Palm Springs Convention Center.

Past recipients of the Chairman’s Award include Amy Adams, Jessica Chastain, George Clooney, Richard Gere, Tom Hanks, Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon. King joins previously announced 2019 PSIFF honorees Glenn Close, Bradley Cooper, Alfonso Cuarón, Rami Malek, Melissa McCarthy and the film “Green Book.”

“If Beale Street Could Talk” tells the story of Tish, a newly engaged young woman in Harlem, who races against the clock to prove her lover’s innocence while carrying their first-born child to term.

The film, from Annapurna Pictures, was written and directed by Barry Jenkins and stars KiKi Layne, Stephan James Colman Domingo, Teyonah Parris, Michael Beach, Dave Franco, Diego Luna, Pedro Pascal, Ed Skrein, Bryan Tyree Henry and King.

Also Read: ‘If Beale Street Could Talk’ Review: Barry Jenkins Delivers Stunning Romance With Aftertaste of Injustice

For her role in “If Beale Street Could Talk,” King was awarded best-supporting actress by the New York Film Critics Circle and National Board of Review and a Best Supporting Female nomination for the Independent Spirit Awards.

King has had a long film career, with roles in “Boyz n the Hood,” “Poetic Justice,” “Higher Learning,” “Friday,” “A Thin Line Between Love and Hate,” “Jerry Maguire” and “How Stella Got Her Groove Back,” among others. Her TV credits include “American Crime,” for which she won two Emmy Awards, “Southland,” “The Leftovers” and “Seven Seconds,” which earned her an Emmy for outstanding actress in a TV Movie or Limited Series.

King has also directed episodes of NBC’s hit drama series “This Is Us,” “The Good Doctor,” “Shameless,” “Animal Kingdom,” “Being Mary Jane” and “Scandal.”

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Rigger Falls to His Death at Global Citizen Festival in Johannesburg

A Global Citizen Festival rigger accidentally fell to his death during preparation for the event in Johannesburg, TheWrap has learned.

The worker, a veteran local subcontractor who has not yet been identified, died Saturday at FNB Stadium after falling from the roof as he was working on lighting, according to a person with knowledge.

“This afternoon in Johannesburg, a rigger working on behalf of a production partner for the Global Citizen Festival, suffered fatal injuries arising from a fall at the site,” Andrew Kirk, Global Citizen’s director of public relations told TheWrap in a statement. “Global Citizen has been advised that the deceased was an experienced rigger and was wearing all appropriate safety gear and equipment.”

Also Read: Beyonce, Jay-Z ‘On the Run II’ Show Interrupted as Drunken Fan Storms Stage, Chases Them

“Global Citizen extends our deepest sympathies to the family of the deceased and all of his colleagues and friends,” the statement went on to say.

According to Global Citizen, the circumstances surrounding the incident are being investigated in partnership with local authorities.

This year’s event, titled “Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100,” honors Nelson Mandela’s 100 birthday. Oprah Winfrey will deliver a keynote address at the event, which will include performances by Beyoncé and Jay-Z, Pharrell Williams, Chris Martin, Ed Sheeran, Black Coffee, Usher and Kacey Musgraves, among others.

“The Daily Show’s” Trevor Noah will host the event, along with Naomi Campbell, Dave Chappelle, Gayle King, Sir Bob Geldof, Bozoma Saint John and Forest Whitaker.

Also Read: ‘The Daily Show With Trevor Noah’ to Go International With ‘Self-Deportation’ Special From South Africa

The Global Citizen Festival is an annual music festival which was founded in 2012 and organized by Global Poverty Project.

Since its start,  the organization has secured over $30 billion, which is set to affect the lives of one billion people suffering from extreme poverty, according to its site.

You can watch the festival Sunday night on MSNBC, starting at 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT.

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