Palm Springs, CA (December 20, 2023) – The Palm Springs International Film Awards has announced that Paul Giamatti is the recipient of the Icon Award for The Holdovers. The Film Awards will take place on January 4, 2024, at the Palm Springs Convention Center, with the festival running through January 15, 2024. The event will be sponsored by Entertainment Tonight and IHG Hotels & Resorts.

“In The Holdovers, Paul Giamatti inhabits a complex character who is both challenging and rewarding, and ultimately reminds us of what it means to be connected as human beings,” said Festival Chairman Nachhattar Singh Chandi. “For his storied career of quintessential cinematic roles, it is our honor to present the Icon Award to Paul Giamatti for this career-best performance.”

Giamatti joins this year’s previously announced honorees Danielle Brooks (Spotlight Award, Actress), Colman Domingo (Spotlight Award, Actor), Billie Eilish and Finneas O’Connell (Chairman’s Award), Greta Gerwig (Director of the Year), Carey Mulligan (International Star Award, Actress), Cillian Murphy (Desert Palm Achievement Award, Actor), Da’Vine Joy Randolph (Breakthrough Performance Award), Emma Stone (Desert Palm Achievement Award, Actress), Jeffrey Wright (Career Achievement Award), and Killers of the Flower Moon (Vanguard Award). Past winners of the Icon Award include Glenn Close, Willem Dafoe, Michael Douglas, Robert Duvall, Lady Gaga, Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep. In their respective years, Glenn Close, Willem Dafoe, Robert Duvall and Meryl Streep were each nominated for an Academy Award.

From acclaimed director Alexander Payne, Focus Features’ The Holdovers follows a curmudgeonly instructor (Paul Giamatti) at a New England prep school who is forced to remain on campus during the holiday break to babysit the handful of students with nowhere to go. Eventually, he forms an unlikely bond with one of them — a damaged, brainy troublemaker (newcomer Dominic Sessa) — and with the school’s head cook, who has just lost a son in Vietnam (Da’Vine Joy Randolph).

One of the most versatile actors of his generation, Paul Giamatti currently stars in the second season of HBO Europe’s hit Spanish-horror series, 30 Coins, as well as in the final season of the Showtime hit, Billions, for which he has been nominated for a Broadcast Film Critics Association Award and a Critics Choice Award for Best Actor in a Drama Series over the course of the series. Other television credits include Lodge 49, Inside Amy Schumer, Downton Abbey, and Curtis Hanson’s HBO movie Too Big to Fail, where his performance earned him his third SAG Award as well as an Emmy® and a Golden  Globe® nomination.  In  2008,  Giamatti  won  Emmy®,  SAG,  and  Golden

Globe® awards for Best Actor in a Miniseries for his portrayal of the title character in HBO’s seven-part, Emmy Award ®-winning miniseries, John Adams.

Giamatti’s selected film credits include Private Life, 12 Years a Slave, Saving Mr. Banks, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Rock of Ages, Cosmopolis, Win Win, Straight Outta Compton, San Andreas, The Ides of March, Ernest & Celestine, The Last Station, Duplicity, Cold Souls, Shoot ’Em Up, Lady in the Water, The Illusionist, The Hawk Is Dying, American Splendor, Big Fat Liar, Planet of the Apes, Duets, Big Momma’s House, Safe Men, The Negotiator, The Truman Show, the five-time Oscar®-winner Saving Private Ryan, and Alexander Payne’s Academy Award®-winning dramedy Sideways, which earned Giamatti Golden Globe® and SAG Award nominations. Giamatti starred in Academy Award®-nominated Barney’s Version in 2011, earning him the Golden Globe® for Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical. In 2006, his performance in Ron Howard’s Cinderella Man earned him his first SAG Award and a Broadcast Film Critics’  Award  for  Best  Supporting  Actor,  as  well  as  Oscar®  and  Golden Globe® nominations in the same category.

Outside of acting, Giamatti co-hosts the podcast Chinwag with author and philosopher Stephen Asma from Treefort Media & Touchy Feely Films.


About the Palm Springs International Film Society

The Palm Springs International Film Society is a 501(c)(3) charitable non-profit organization whose mission is to cultivate and promote the art and science of film through education and cross-cultural awareness. The Film Society produces the Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF) and Film Awards every January and Palm Springs ShortFest in June. In addition to curating the best in international cinema, PSIFF’s Film Awards has come to be known as the first stop on the campaign trail for the Academy Awards®, and our Oscar®-qualifying ShortFest is the largest short film festival and market in North America. Our festivals, year-round member screenings and educational programs manifest our organization’s mission by nurturing and encouraging new filmmaking talent, honoring the great masters of world cinema, and expanding audience horizons.

Photo Credit: Conrad Captures.


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Daniel Mansour
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