PALM SPRINGS, Calif. - The 29th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF) will present the film The Shape of Water with the Vanguard Award at its annual Film Awards Gala. The award is presented to the film’s cast and director and recognizes its outstanding ensemble. Scheduled to attend are Academy Award nominee Sally Hawkins (Blue Jasmine), Academy Award winner Octavia Spencer (The Help), Doug Jones (Pan’s Labyrinth), director, writer, and producer Guillermo del Toro and producer J. Miles Dale. Additional cast members scheduled to attend will be announced shortly. The Film Awards Gala, hosted by Mary Hart, will be held Tuesday, January 2 at the Palm Springs Convention Center. The Festival runs January 2-15, 2018.
“Guillermo del Toro is a master storyteller, whose boundless imagination has crafted a visually dazzling fable with The Shape of Water,” said Festival Chairman Harold Matzner. “This romantic story of a woman discovering herself as she falls for someone otherworldly is driven by an astounding performance by Sally Hawkins, and features an acclaimed cast including Octavia Spencer, Richard Jenkins, Michael Shannon, Doug Jones and Michael Stulhbarg. This exemplary group of actors brings to life this magical ode to cinema. It is our honor to present the Vanguard Award to The Shape of Water.”
Last year, La La Land received the Vanguard Award. The Shape of Water will join previously announced 2018 honorees Timothée Chalamet, Gal Gadot, Holly Hunter, Allison Janney, Gary Oldman and Sam Rockwell.
From Guillermo del Toro comes The Shape of Water, an otherworldly fable set against the backdrop of Cold War-era America circa 1962. In the hidden high-security government laboratory where she works, lonely Elisa (Sally Hawkins) is trapped in a life of isolation. Elisa’s life is changed forever when she and co-worker Zelda (Octavia Spencer) discover a secret classified experiment. Rounding out the cast are Michael Shannon, Richard Jenkins, Doug Jones and Michael Stuhlbarg.