PALM SPRINGS, Calif. -

It's opening night at Palm Springs High School with the screening of Belle at 6:30, but all eyes are on Saturday's Red Carpet event at the Palm Springs Convention Center. 

"The honorees are given more freedom here to say what they want to say. We've had some spectacularly entertaining speeches," film fest director Darryl Macdonald said. 

Macdonald said the Palm Springs International Film Festival seems to have an "anything goes" vibe -  and he likes that. 

"It's one thing that makes this ceremony as opposed to the Oscars for instance so refreshing," he said. 

When the honorees arrive in Palm Springs, it's like the palm trees and sun just have that affect.

"The honorees themselves are in a much more relaxed mood.  They're here among their peers, not on nationwide TV, they can say whatever they want and usually get away with it," Macdonald added. 

Like Mariah Carey, who gave a very entertaining, interview and acceptance speech for her role in Precious in 2010 -  video that got a lot of YouTube attention.     

Having a friend up on stage lightens the mood even more. 

"It makes them more comfortable that they're accepting the award from a friend as opposed to a stranger we think fits. Thats the first question we ask once they accept coming to Palm Springs to accept the honor, who do you want to present to you," he said. 

An added thrill to the already electric red carpet -  you never know what A-lister will show up to present. 

"The most striking thing about this ceremony is particularly for Palm Spring for it being in Hollywood is that the star power handing out the awards is almost as stellar as the stars actually getting the awards," Macdonald said.  

So keep your eyes peeled as the stars align at the Convention Center.