Palm Springs International Film Festival 2012

Breakthrough Performance: Octavia Spencer
Following up her plucky perf in “The Help,” Spencer co-stars in “Lost on Purpose” and “The Trials and Tribulations of a Trailer Trash Housewife,” as well as Sundance selection “Smashed.”

Career Achievement Award: Glenn Close

In 2013, “Albert Nobbs” writer-producer-star Close will appear with Elizabeth Olsen in ghostly thriller “Therese Raquin.”

Chairman’s Award: George Clooney

Following up “The Descendants” and “The Ides of March,” Clooney teams with Sandra Bullock on “Gravity” and is producing the Ben Affleck-helmed “Argo” in 2012.

Desert Palm Achievement Actor: Brad Pitt

The “Moneyball” and “The Tree of Life” star’s 2012 is action-packed as he toplines zombie war pic “World War Z” and plays a professional enforcer investigating a heist in “Cogan’s Trade.”

Desert Palm Achievement Actress: Michelle Williams

The “My Week With Marilyn” star trades one biopic for another, joining James Franco, Mila Kunis and Jessica Chastain for 2012′s “Tar,” about author C.K. Williams’ life. In 2013, Williams will play Glinda in Sam Raimi’s “Oz: The Great and Powerful.”

International Star: Gary Oldman

“Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy’s” leading man reprises his role as Commissioner Gordon in “The Dark Knight Rises” and joins a Depression-era bootlegging gang in John Hillcoat’s “Wettest County.”

Sonny Bono Visionary: Michel Hazanavicius

The French writer-director follows up the lightheartedness of “The Artist” with the darker “The Players,” a series of shorts exploring the theme of infidelity, keeping his “Artist” star Jean Dujardin on board.

Spotlight: Jessica Chastain

Chastain doesn’t show signs of slowing down in the near future. She’s following up her 2011 films — six pics, including “The Help” and “The Tree of Life” — with an almost equally jam-packed 2012, including “Wettest County,” “Mama,” “Tar” and another Terrence Malick project.

Vanguard: Jason Reitman, Charlize Theron, Patton Oswalt, Diablo Cody

“Young Adult” co-stars Oswalt and Theron are busy with a couple of 2012 films: Oswalt appears in R-rated laffer “Seeking a Friend for the End of the World” and mysterious thriller “Odd Thomas”; Theron has “Snow White and the Huntsman” and “Prometheus.” Helmer Reitman’s next projects are up in the air, but may include “Labor Day,” “Bonzai Shadowhands” and “Elliot Allagash,” while scribe Cody has an untitled project starring Octavia Spencer, Julianne Hough and Russell Brand slated for a 2013 release.

Director of the Year: Stephen Daldry

With “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close” just opening in theaters, Daldry hasn’t yet decided what his next project will be. The tricky pic, based on Jonathan Safran Foer’s post-9/11 novel, kept him finessing until mid-December.

Frederick Loewe Music: Howard Shore

A repeat Palm Springs honoree (previously awarded for his work on Martin Scorsese’s “The Aviator” and now feted for his “Hugo” score), Shore is set to compose the music for Peter Jackson’s “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” in 2012.

Palm Springs International Film Festival 2012
Time for fest to face acad shift? | Fest personalizes experience by hosting retreat | Honorees ready themselves for a busy ’12 | Blended lingos boost appeal

Variety’s Indie Impact Awards: Charlize Theron
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