Focus Features’ “Belfast” will receive the Vanguard Award at the Palm Springs International Film Awards. A group honor that recognizes a film’s cast and director for their collective work, the recipients will include Kenneth Branagh, Caitríona Balfe, Jamie Dornan, Ciarán Hinds and Jude Hill, who are all expected to attend the ceremony.
“Despite the violence of the time, Branagh tells a heartwarming family tale with a magnificent ensemble performance by Caitríona Balfe, Judi Dench, Jamie Dornan, Ciarán Hinds and Jude Hill, making it one of the must-see films of the year,” said festival chairman Harold Matzner.
This is another substantial accolade for the drama, which has received multiple audience award prizes since its debut at the Telluride Film Festival, boding well for its Oscar prospects. Past recipients of the Vanguard Award have included best picture winners such as “The Shape of Water” (2017) and “Green Book” (2018), along with other past nominees such as “La La Land” (2016) and last year’s “The Trial of the Chicago 7” (2020).
The festival has already announced other honorees in various areas including Jane Campion (“The Power of the Dog”), Jessica Chastain (“The Eyes of Tammy Faye”), Penélope Cruz (“Parallel Mothers”) and Kristen Stewart (“Spencer”).
The ceremony will take place in-person on Jan. 6 at the Palm Springs Convention Center. The festival will run until Jan. 17.
“Belfast” is written by Branagh, who also serves as one of the producers along with Laura Berwick, Becca Kovacik and Tamar Thomas. The film is currently in theaters, and will be available on-demand beginning Dec. 3.