The 22nd annual Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF) will present David O. Russell with the Director of the Year Award at its Awards Gala. Past Director of the Year honorees include Alexander Payne, Jason Reitman, Alejandro González Iñárritu, Anthony Minghella, Sean Penn and Ang Lee.
Russell earned critical acclaim early in his career when he wrote and directed his first feature film, Spanking the Monkey. This film premiered at the 1994 Sundance Film Festival, where it won the Sundance Audience Award. It also was named Best First Feature and Best First Screenplay at the Independent Spirit Awards that year. His second film was the acclaimed comedy Flirting With Disaster, which appeared on many top ten lists for 1996.