28 November 2012 9:35 AM, PST | Thompson on Hollywood | See recent Thompson on Hollywood news »

Robert Zemeckis will receive the Palm Springs International Film Festival's Director of the Year Award for "Flight." The festival, in its 24th year, runs January 3-14. Psiff is also honoring Helen Hunt with its Spotlight Award and Naomi Watts with its Desert Palm Achievement Award for Acting at a January 5 awards gala, during the runup to the Oscars. Zemeckis joins past honorees David O. Russell, Jason Reitman, Sean Penn, Alexander Payne, Stephen Daldry, Ang Lee and Anthony Minghella. Zemeckis' past films include "Forrest Gump" (for which he won the Oscar for Best Director), "Cast Away," "What Lies Beneath," "Back to the Future," "Contact" and many others. »

- Sophia Savage

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