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5 memorable moments from the 2018 Palm Springs International Film Festival’s Awards Gala

By in Press Enterprise on January 3, 2018

By Vanessa Franko

While the Palm Springs International Film Festival Awards Gala kicks off Hollywood’s awards season, the star-studded event isn’t like the other gauntlet of shows.

First, nobody is in competition. The actors and filmmakers who attend know they’re taking home an award so there’s no polite clapping or avoidance of awkward moments as the camera cuts to each nominee. It makes for a much more relaxed atmosphere of jokes, candid moments — and the occasional F-bomb dropped from the stage.

And the band doesn’t play you off if your acceptance speech goes long, either.

While the festival will screen more than 180 films before wrapping up Monday, Jan. 15, and feature a number of special events with celebrities, the most poignant and hilarious moments tend to happen at the awards gala.

Here’s are some of the most memorable things that happened inside the gala on Tuesday, Jan. 2, inside the Palm Springs Convention Center.

Kumail Nanjiani, Holly Hunter and cat acupuncture

Kumail Nanjiani, co-writer and star of “The Big Sick,” presented the Career Achievement award to Holly Hunter on Tuesday, joking that giving the Oscar winner the award was his achievement.

“It’s all downhill from here,” he joked.

Then he told the story of how, after Hunter was cast in the film, he reached out to her about a rehearsal and she couldn’t make it. She had to take her cat to an acupuncture appointment, which led Nanjiani to wonder about cat acupuncture and how the cat communicated with Hunter that it needed acupuncture.

“Why does a cat need acupuncture?” he pondered.

He asked her about it later and it turns out, she was just kidding.

“That was the moment I knew we were going to be OK,” Nanjiani said.

  • Holly Hunter walks the red carpet during the Palm Spring International Film Festival Awards Gala at the Palm Springs […]    

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