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‘Belfast’ to receive Vanguard Award at PSIFF Awards Gala

Rob Youngson

The movie 'Belfast' is set to receive the Vanguard Award at the Palm Springs International Film Awards Gala on January 6, 2022.

The award is a group honor distinguishing a film's cast and director in recognition of their collective work on an exceptional film project.

(L to R) Caitriona Balfe as "Ma", Jamie Dornan as "Pa", Jude Hill as "Buddy", and Lewis McAskie as "Will" in director Kenneth Branagh's BELFAST, a Focus Features release. Credit : Rob Youngson / Focus Features

In a statement, Festival Chairman Harold Matzner said, “In Belfast, Kenneth Branagh gives audiences a glimpse at his childhood in Northern Ireland during the period of conflict that started in the late 1960s. Despite the violence of the time, Branagh tells a heartwarming family tale with a magnificent ensemble performance by Caitríona Balfe, Judi Dench, Jamie Dornan, Ciarán Hinds, and Jude Hill, making it one of the must-see films of the year. It is our honor to present the Vanguard Award to Belfast.”

The awards gala will be hosted at the Palm Springs Convention Center.

Belfast was written and directed by Kenneth Branagh. It tells a story of love, laughter, and loss in a boy’s childhood, amid the music and social tumult of the late 1960s. The Focus Features film stars Caitríona Balfe, Judi Dench, Jamie Dornan, Ciarán Hinds, and introduces the ten-year old Jude Hill.

Director Kenneth Branagh (left) and actor Jude Hill (right) on the set of BELFAST, a Focus Features release. Credit : Rob Youngson / Focus Features

The Vanguard Award has in the past gone to Academy Award Best Picture winners Green Book and The Shape of Water and Best Picture nominees La La Land, Little Miss Sunshine, and The Trial of the Chicago 7. 

Other previously announced honorees this year include Jane Campion (Director of the Year Award), Jessica Chastain (Desert Palm Achievement Award, Actress), Penélope Cruz (International Star Award, Actress) and Kristen Stewart (Spotlight Award, Actress).

The Palm Springs International Film Festival runs through January 17, 2022. 

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