Phillips, who also co-wrote and produced the box office smash, will receive the annual creative impact in directing award.
The prize celebrates Phillips’ work on the groundbreaking Warner Bros. pic starring Joaquin Phoenix. Since the drama’s release, “Joker” has racked up a lengthy list of accolades, namely receiving the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival and becoming the highest grossing R-rated movie of all time. On Monday, the film garnered four Golden Globe nominations for drama, director, actor and original score.
“Todd Phillips’ ‘Joker’ is one of the most provocative, celebrated films of the year, with an extraordinary lead performance by Joaquin Phoenix,” Variety editor-in-chief Claudia Eller said. “Todd’s unique vision and masterful creativity showcases iconic artisan work, from the memorable stairs sequence to the re-imagining of Gotham as 1980s New York City.”
In his 25-plus-year career, Phillips has received one Academy Award nomination. His directorial work includes “The Hangover,” “Borat” and “War Dogs.” As producer, Phillips had a hand in “Project X” and the Academy Award-winning film “A Star Is Born.”
Previous recipients of Variety‘s creative impact in directing award include Ryan Coogler (“Black Panther”), Patty Jenkins (“Wonder Woman”), David O. Russell (“Silver Linings Playbook”), Charlie Kaufman (“Anomalisa”), Jeff Nichols (“Loving”) and the late Philip Seymour Hoffman.
The Palm Springs International Film Festival will be held Jan. 2 through Jan. 13.