The powers that be in Palm Springs are announcing this year's honorees. Sean Penn will receive the Director of the Year award for his work on Into the Wild. Previous director honorees include Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu and Ang Lee, which means that acknowledgement of this sort heavily favors Penn for getting a Best Director nod come Oscar time.
Marion Cotillard will be receiving the Breakthrough Performance Award for La Vie en Rose, and Nikki Blonsky (Hairspray) and Emile Hirsch (Into the Wild) will be receiving the Rising Star awards.
The 19th annual Palm Springs Film Festival will take place from Jan. 3-14, 2008. The awards will be given out at a gala on January 5.