Palm Springs event celebrates best in film

Lots of parties and soldout screenings made for a lively Palm Springs film fest, with plenty of celebs making the desert trek for Saturday’s gala kudofest.

Several honorees, who generally coincide with awardshopefuls, expressed surprise at lifetime or career achievement tributes. “Little Children” director Todd Field said with only two features under his belt, it was a little early to receive the Visionary award. Cate Blanchett, who received an acting award, said in honor of “Babel” co-star Rinko Kikuchi‘s perf, “I’m not wearing any underwear this evening.”

The “Little Miss Sunshine” team received the Chairman’s Vanguard award, with Alan Arkin and Abigail Breslin playfully jousting for the mic. Breslin, 10, made it to the Parker Palm Springs Hotel after-party, clutching her lucky stuffed monkey.

On Friday the film and design worlds met up at a House & Garden-sponsored cocktail party at Frank Sinatra’s former Palm Springs pad, complete with piano-shaped swimming pool and knockout interior redo.

The SAG Foundation, which honored Sydney Pollack with its inaugural Patron of the Arts award, threw a Sunday brunch, with JoBeth Williams, Dick Van Patton and Connie Stevens joining Adam Beach, Sienna Miller and Kikuchi. Foundation’s exec director Marsha Smith said 82% of actors are nonworking, making support systems crucial for this segment of the industry.

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