Variety honors Pharrell Williams, 10 directors to watch

Variety honors Pharrell Williams,...

PALM SPRINGS, Calif. - Hollywood is here in the desert. The 28th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival is in full swing. After an evening honoring some of the biggest names in Hollywood, celebrities converged on Parker Palm Springs for another round of awards.

Variety's 20th Creative Impact awards honored a director, an actor and a producer along with 10 up and coming directors. Viggo Mortensen, Pharrell Williams and the director of "Loving," Jeff Nichols, were each honored with the creative impact awards for acting, directing and producing.

Mortensen who plays a father in "Captain Fantastic," raising six kids off the grid in the Pacific Northwest reflects on his 30 plus years in the business.

"I have been lucky. I've been in a lot of good movies and directed by a lot of fine directors," Mortensen said.

Nichols being honored for his work directing the film "Loving." It's a story about an interracial couple at the center of the Supreme Court decision which struck down laws prohibiting interracial marriage in the U.S.

"When you're telling a true story you have a responsibility to people in that story not to make them greater than they were, but to try and understand the essence of who they were and just get it right," Nichols said.

While producer Pharrell Williams skipped the interviews, his co-star in "Hidden Figures," Jim Parsons, sang his praises.

"He is the nicest most sincere person really there listening to you every time you talk  and maybe that shouldn't be a surprise because he's such a creative artist you can assume he's in touch with other humans," Parsons said.

Variety selected 10 directors to watch, many of which have films showing at the festival.

"It's been pretty crazy, it's been a little bit unexpected but I'm really honored to be on this list with the other filmmakers," said director of "The Sense of an Ending," Ritesh Batra.

Even some first time directors in the bunch.

"Making 'The Eagle Huntress' was a baptism of fire for a first time director being out there in minus 50 degrees with a crew of three people using my own money. It really taught me; it was like boot camp for directing," said Otto Bell. 

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