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Helen Hunt and John Hawkes in ‘The Sessions’.

Director Robert Zemeckis, along with actresses Naomi Watts and Helen Hunt at the Awards Gala will be honored at the 24th annual Palm Springs International Film Festivalwhich runs January 3-14, 2013.

PSIFF will present Academy Award® winning director Robert Zemeckis with the Director of the Year Award for Flight, Naomi Watts with the Desert Palm Achievement Actress Award and Academy Award winner Helen Hunt with the Spotlight Award.

Zemeckis directed Paramount Pictures’ dramatic thriller Flight, starring Denzel Washington currently in theaters.

Watts stars in the Summit Entertainment film The Impossible, based on the true story of a family caught, with tens of thousands of strangers, in the mayhem of one of the worst natural catastrophes of our time, the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.  Directed by J.A. Bayona, The Impossible also stars Ewan McGregor and newcomer Tom Holland, with a screenplay by Sergio G. Sánchez adapted from the story by María Belon based on her experiences.

Hunt co-stars in Fox Searchlight Pictures’ The Sessions, based on the poignantly optimistic autobiographical writings of California–based journalist and poet Mark O’Brien.  The Sessions tells the story of a man who lived most of his life in an iron lung who is determined – at age 38 – to lose his virginity.  With the help of his therapist and the guidance of his priest, he sets out to make his dream a reality.  John Hawkes and William H. Macy also star in a film written for the screen and directed by Ben Levin.  The Sessions will be released wide on Friday, November 16.

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