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The 23rd annual Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF) will present acclaimed French filmmaker Michel Hazanavicius (The Artist) with the Sonny Bono Visionary Award.

“Director Michel Hazanavicius boldly takes us back in time and reacquaints modern-day audiences with the magical power of black and white silent cinema to capture our hearts and our imaginations in The Artist,” said Festival Chairman Harold Matzner. “The film opened to rave reviews at its premiere in Cannes and will continue to be one of the films to watch throughout awards season as a leadingbest picture contender. For his creative innovation in filmmaking The Palm Springs International Film Festival is proud to present Michel Hazanavicius with the Sonny Bono Visionary Award.”

Past recipients of the Sonny Bono Visionary Award include Danny Boyle, Quentin Tarantino, Baz Luhrmann, M. Night Shyamalan, Gus Van Sant and Joe Wright.

The Artist takes place in Hollywood between 1927 and 1932 and focuses on a declining male film star and a rising actress, as silent cinema grows out of fashion and is replaced by talking pictures.  The Weinstein Company presents The Artist, written and directed by Michel Hazanavicius and produced by Thomas Langmann.  Starring Jean Dujardin, Bérénice Bejo, John Goodman, James Cromwell, Penelope Ann Miller, Malcolm McDowell, Missi Pyle, Beth Grant, Ed Lauter, Koel Murray and Ken Davitan.

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