Laura Dern, Jennifer Lopez, Charlize Theron and Renee Zellweger to be honored at Palm Springs International Film Festival

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Laura Dern appears on the “Today” show on Monday, December 2, 2019. [Nathan Congleton/NBC]

Laura Dern, Jennifer Lopez, Charlize Theron and Renee Zellweger will be among the honorees at the 31st annual Palm Springs International Film Festival’s Jan. 2 Film Awards Gala at the Palm Springs Convention Center in Palm Springs, California.

Dern will receive the Career Achievement Award at the gala, presented by American Express, sponsored by AT&T and “Entertainment Tonight,” and hosted by Mary Hart, according to a news release.

“Laura Dern is one of the most outstanding and talented actresses of her generation. Over her 40-year acting career she has brought to the screen so many memorable performances including three from this year alone in ‘Big Little Lies,’ ‘Little Women’ and ‘Marriage Story,'” said Festival Chairman Harold Matzner in a statement. “In ‘Marriage Story,’ she gives yet another career defining and effortless performance as a successful lawyer leading her client through a divorce from her husband. It is our great honor to present the Career Achievement Award to the phenomenal Laura Dern.”

Past recipients of the Career Achievement Award include Annette Bening, Kevin Costner, Bruce Dern, Clint Eastwood, Sally Field, Morgan Freeman, Holly Hunter, Samuel L. Jackson and Spike Lee.

Jennifer Lopez

Lopez will be presented with the Spotlight Award, Actress, for her critical and commercial hit “Hustlers.”

“Jennifer Lopez is a star in every sense of the word, and you will experience this in her latest film ‘Hustlers.’ Starting with her show-stopping entrance Jennifer brings to life the character of Ramona, an exotic dancer, who leads a group of dancer friends to steal money from their clients,” said Matzner in a statement. “For this full-force yet grounded performance, deserving of awards consideration, we are thrilled to present Jennifer Lopez with this year’s Spotlight Award.”

Past recipients of the Spotlight Award, Actress include Amy Adams, Jessica Chastain, Helen Hunt, Allison Janney, Rooney Mara and Julia Roberts. All recipients received Academy Award nominations in the year they were honored, with Janney receiving an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress.

Theron will be honored the International Star Award, Actress, for her performance in “Bombshell.”

“Over the years, Charlize Theron has created so many memorable roles including her performances in ‘Monster,’ ‘North Country,’ ‘Young Adult,’ ‘Mad Max: Fury Road,’ ‘Atomic Blonde,’ ‘Tully’ and so much more,” said Matzner in a statement. “In her latest film, ‘Bombshell,’ she gives yet another award-worthy performance through her striking physical transformation of her portrayal as Megan Kelly. The Palm Springs International Film Festival is honored to present the International Star Award to Charlize Theron.”

Theron was previously honored at the festival with the Desert Palm Achievement Award in 2006 and the Vanguard Award in 2012. Past recipients of the International Star Award include Javier Bardem, Nicole Kidman, Helen Mirren, Gary Oldman and Saoirse Ronan.

Renee Zellweger

Zellweger will be presented with the Desert Palm Achievement Award, Actress, for her performance in “Judy.”

“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 Matzner in a statement. “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.

Other honorees who will be lauded at the Film Awards Gala will include Zack Gottsagen, Rising Star Award, for “The Peanut Butter Falcon”; Antonio Banderas, International Star Award, Actor, for “Pain and Glory”; Joaquin Phoenix, Chairman’s Award, for “Joker”; and Martin Scorsese, Sonny Bono Visionary Award, for “The Irishman.”

In addition, “Joker” director Todd Phillips will be honored Jan. 3 as part of the annual 10 Directors to Watch brunch at the Parker Palm Springs estate.

The festival set for Jan. 2-13. For more information, go to

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