Palm Springs, CA (November 8, 2019) – The 31st annual Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF) will present Renée Zellweger with the Desert Palm Achievement Award, Actress for her performance in Judy at its annual Film Awards Gala. This is the first honoree to be announced for the Film Awards Gala scheduled for Thursday, January 2 at the Palm Springs Convention Center. The event will once again be presented by American Express, sponsored by AT&T, Entertainment Tonight and hosted by Mary Hart. 

“Renée Zellweger inhabits the essence of the iconic Judy Garland in Judy.  This is a layered performance that captures Judy’s trademark spirit, along with the heartbreak and insecurities she experiences in London while performing at a series of sold out shows,” said Festival Chairman Harold Matzner. “For this outstanding performance, a career best for Zellweger – and one in which she remarkably does her own singing — it is our honor to present the Desert Palm Achievement Award, Actress to Renée Zellweger.”

Past winners of the Desert Palm Achievement Award, Actress include last year’s Best Actress Academy Award winner Olivia Colman, Halle Berry, Cate Blanchett, Sandra Bullock, Marion Cotillard, Julianne Moore, Natalie Portman, Saoirse Ronan, and Charlize Theron.

The film, from Roadside Attractions and LD Entertainment, is set in winter 1968 where showbiz legend Judy Garland arrives in Swinging London to perform in a sell-out run at The Talk of the Town. As she prepares for the show, battles with management, charms musicians, and reminisces with friends and adoring fans, her wit and warmth shine through. Even her dreams of romance seem undimmed as she embarks on a courtship with Mickey Deans (Finn Wittrock), her soon-to-be fifth husband. And yet Judy is fragile. After working for 45 of her 47 years, she is exhausted; haunted by memories of a childhood lost to Hollywood; gripped by a desire to be back home with her kids. Will she have the strength to go on? Featuring some of her best-known songs, including the timeless classic ‘Over the Rainbow’, Judy celebrates the voice, the capacity for love and the sheer pizzazz of “the world’s greatest entertainer”.

Zellweger is most notably known for her starring role as the seminal British everywoman in the film Bridget Jones’s Diary and its sequel Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason. In the first installment of the franchise, she earned her first Oscar® nomination, along with Golden Globe, SAG and BAFTA nominations, among others. The sequel delivered her another Golden Globe nomination for Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical.  She earned her second Academy Award nomination as Roxie Hart in Chicago, where she also took home a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical and a SAG Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role. She later earned the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in Cold Mountain, which also garnered a Golden Globe Award and best supporting role honors from the Screen Actors Guild, BAFTA, and Broadcast Film Critics Association.  

Zellweger most recently made her television debut in Netflix’s “What/If.” Her additional film credits include Bridget Jones’s Baby, Same Kind of Different as Me, The Whole Truth,  Dazed and Confused,  Reality Bites,  Jerry MaguireNurse BettyWhite Oleander,  Down with Love, Cinderella Man, and she has lent her voice to such animated features as DreamWorks’ Shark TaleBee Movie and Monsters vs. Aliens.

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 136,000 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 AT&T and 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 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, Nicole Kidman, Regina King, Rami Malek, Matthew McConaughey, Julianne Moore, Gary Oldman, Brad Pitt, Eddie Redmayne, Julia Roberts,Saoirse Ronan, Meryl Streep, Charlize Theron 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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