Palm Springs, CA (November 25, 2018) – The 30th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF) will present Alfonso Cuarón with the Sonny Bono Visionary Award at its annual Film Awards Gala for Roma.  The Film Awards Gala, hosted by Mary Hart and Entertainment Tonight and presented by American Express, will be held on Thursday, January 3 at the Palm Springs Convention Center. The Festival runs January 3-14.

“Alfonso Cuarón’s latest feature Roma is a masterful achievement in filmmaking,” said Festival Chairman Harold Matzner. “Drawing upon his childhood memories, Cuarón has created an emotionally driven story about a family growing up in 1970s Mexico City.  A film he not only directed, but also was a writer, producer, cinematographer and editor. For his ability to take on many roles and for his expert storytelling of this subject matter, the festival is proud to present Alfonso Cuarón with the Sonny Bono Visionary Award.”

Cuarón joins previously announced honoree Glenn Close, Melissa McCarthy and Rami Malek. Past recipients of the Sonny Bono Visionary Award include filmmakers Danny Boyle, Michel Hazanavicius, Tom Hooper, Tom McCarthy, Richard Linklater and Quentin Tarantino.  The award is named after the festival’s founder and former Palm Springs Mayor, accorded to a filmmaker that breaks boundaries in the work.

The most personal project to date from Academy Award®-winning director and writer Alfonso Cuarón, Roma follows Cleo (Yalitza Aparicio), a young domestic worker for a family in Mexico City’s middleclass Roma neighborhood. Cuarón draws on his own childhood to create a vivid and emotional portrait of domestic strife and social hierarchy amidst Mexico’s political turmoil of the 1970s. Produced by Esperanto Filmoj and Participant Media, Roma will launch globally on Netflix as well as theatrically around the world in December.

Cuarón is a two-time Academy Award® winner who has written and directed a wide range of acclaimed films. He most recently won two Oscars® for directing and editing the drama Gravity. Cuarón made his feature film directorial debut with Sólo con Tu Pareja (Love in the Time of Hysteria), and his American feature film debut with A Little Princess, a critically acclaimed adaptation of the beloved children’s book.  His other credits Great Expectations, Y Tu Mamá También, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Children of Men. He also produced Desierto and executive produced the documentary This Changes Everything.

About The Palm Springs International Film Festival

The Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF) is one of the largest film festivals in North America, welcoming 135,000 attendees last year for its lineup of new and celebrated international features and documentaries. The Festival is also known for its annual Film Awards Gala, a glamorous, black-tie event attended by 2,500, presented this year by American Express and sponsored by Entertainment Tonight.  The Film Awards Gala honors the year’s best achievements in cinema in front of and behind the camera.  The celebrated list of talents who have been honored in recent years includes Ben Affleck, Javier Bardem, Cate Blanchett, Mary J. Blige, Sandra Bullock, Jessica Chastain, George Clooney, Bradley Cooper, Daniel Day-Lewis, Leonardo DiCaprio, Clint Eastwood, Gal Gadot, Tom Hanks, Holly Hunter, Nicole Kidman, Matthew McConaughey, Julianne Moore, Gary Oldman, Brad Pitt, Eddie Redmayne, Julia Roberts, Sam Rockwell, Saoirse Ronan, Meryl Streep and Reese Witherspoon. Call 760-969-7533 for Gala tickets or tables, 760-778-8979 or 800-898-7256 for Film Festival information or visit


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