Sunday, January 6, 2008

Palm Springs Film Fest: Awards Gala

Last night I attended the black tie Awards Gala for the Palm Springs Film Festival. (photo at left from The Desert Sun). This event is among the most prestigious awards shows and is the precursor to The Academy Awards in Hollywood. A frenzy of international media waited for the arrivals. Eager reporters were perched with their camera crews to obtain interviews; photographers perked up to attention as celebrities emerged from stretch limousines under the desert sky. It was an exciting event- so much preparation had gone into the evening and there was so much at stake. Would all the celebrities actually show up as promised? Would anyone make a spectacle of themselves on stage from too much champagne? Would the dinner be served to standard? These are things that keep board members of the Palm Springs International Film Society awake at night. But the time for worrying was now over. Adrenaline kicks in and things just come together. THE HOTTIE AND THE MOVIE STARS...ZAC EFRON

above: Rick Rockhill, Zac Efron & Vanessa Hudgens...we're practically close friends now.
It was a glamorous evening at the Palm Springs Film Festival Awards Gala. There was a huge crowd of star watchers along the front entrance, may of whom assembled hours in advance. When Zac Efron arrived, the screams of young girls was deafening. Elijah Kelley, Bruce Willis, John Travolta and Jaime Fox also elicited shrieks of joy from the stands. The red carpet was filled with major celebrities as they made their way into the awards dinner.

above left: Stockard Channing and John Travolta, above right: Halle Berry
above left: Author Diablo Cody and above right: Barry Manilow (he's practically my neighbor)
Above left: Brittany Snow, above right: Allison Janney
above left: John Travolta, above right: Nikki Blonsky
Wow, More Zac Efron photos
above left: Zac Efron, above right: Zac Efron. I wonder how many times I can mention his name here?
Oh, here's another Zac Efron photo:
above left: Zac Efron, above right Jack Jones
In addition, other famous attendees included Jason Bateman, Phil Donahue, Tom Bosley, JK Simmons, Senator Barbara Boxer & Adam Shankman
Once inside, the party got started quickly...
above left: the ballroom was festive with potted palm trees and dramatic lighting. above right: a view of the main stage
above left: There were bars made of solid ice. above right: The dinner tables has centerpieces of white roses.
above: Me and John stop for a quick photo

Mary Hart, of Entertainment Tonight served as the emcee and host for the evening. Sean Penn was honored with the Director of the Year Award, Daniel Day-Lewis and Halle Berry with Desert Palm Achievement Awards, Emile Hirsch and Nikki Blonsky with Rising Star Awards, Joe Wright with the Sonny Bono Visionary Award, James Newton Howard with the Frederick Loewe Achievement Award for Film Composing, Marion Cotillard with the Breakthrough Performance Award, Jerry Weintraub with the Screen Actors Guild Foundation Patron of the Arts Award, Juno with the Chairman’s Vanguard Award, and the cast of Hairspray with this year’s Ensemble Cast Award.
above: Mary Hart, of Entertainment Tonight was the host for the evenings events

above left: Laura Linney introduces Emile Hirsch and above right: Emile Hirsch accepts a Rising Star Award
more awards coverage continued below in the next post...


Anonymous said...

The PS awards are absolutely thrilling to attend. It's been years since I've been down there but I do remember getting all dolled up for the event.

And speaking of awards, I'm not sure if you're accepting any but you've been awarded three at Maryannaville.
All three are in three separate posts, cheek to cheek.

Do with them as you will or do nothing at all. It's your call and I won't even be mad at ya, so there! ~:o)


jackie said...

oh wow you met all those people? Zac efron is a hottie! And oh, John Travolta still does it for me. realy fun post rick!

C said...

Ooooooooooh! Ever cool! My 11 year old niece is gaga over Zac Efron! She's got posters of him all over her room. She was surprised when I asked her, "Who is Zac Efron?". LOL! I think the teen idols from my generation were much hotter! ;) Oh, and how many times can an 11 year old girl watch "High School Musical"??? A zillion times, perhaps?

P.S. Check out my #4 on my latest blog post :)

Desert Songbird said...

Okay, I'm clueless - who's Zac Efron?

I love Stockard Channing and Allison Janney!

Mad Professah said...

Very cool pictures of zac et al.... Congrats!

Palm Springs Savant said...

Songbird- don't feel bad, we're both just old. Zac is THE teen heart throb at the moment for movies High School Musical and Hairspray, among others. Ask you kids ;-)

the teenage girls were screaming SO loud for him last night, they were crying and everything. LOL

Lewis said...

You, all snuggled up to Zac.....ahhhhhh! What a way to spend the evening! Now, I simply MUST HAVE AN APPOINTMENT WITH BARRY....can you please work that out....Seriously.

Cheryl said...

What an exciting night and there you were in the thick of it all. Thanks again for bringing us up close and personal. And now to the continuation....

Anonymous said...

That's awesome. All those must be jealous that you got near Zac Efron. Vanessa Hudgens is pretty. Nice to know Zac Efron is a gentleman too. That's very rare nowadays.

TEAM PilipinaZ said...

It is nice that you were there.

More Amanda Bynes, Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens photos in Palm Spring.

Stephen Rader said...

You and Zac. I'm so envious.

So tell us, does he wear boxers or briefs? :)

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

This Festival has really grown, in every way...! Looks like you were having a very good time Rick!

Diane J Standiford said...

Travolta...enough to make a lesbian go str8. You lucky dawg!

Lightning Bug's Butt said...

You live a fascinating life.

If I'm ever in PS, I'm dropping your name around!

WAT said...

How in the hell do I get to live this life martini man? Good God is my life boring!

Ricki Lake is looking very sexy as of late.

Palm Springs Savant said...

Lewis...I'll see what I can do, after all,Barry is practicallymy neightbor! ;-)

Stephen- hmmmm...

diane- Travolta still looks great!

LBB- anytime...anytime!

RAD Homo said...

super cool...Was Zac wearing alot of cover gril cover up?

Steven said...

It looked like a great time was had. And to be hob-knobbing with Zac? Ooh-la-la! I hope you're all recuperated. Have a great week!

Anonymous said...

Rick, did Jane Morgan appear with Jerry Weintraub?


I love that!-"practically my neighbor!!"
your tux looks great by the way! and yes, can I say it one more time,..ZAC EFRON! my little cousin would pass out if she could stand next to him.
Have a great week!!

Anonymous said...

I love that you are too cool for school, and yet you blog about it for the rest of us to enjoy. Thanks for letting us live vicariously!

Karen MEG said...

Wow, how COOL are you! Only standing next to some of the hottest stars today!
Awesome pics and summary of what looks like an absolute FAB event.
Thanks for sharing...can't wait to read more!

Penelope Anne said...

My daughter was seriously jealous of you getting a pic with the man of her dreams Zac Effron.

You have such an exciting life Rick.

Okay, I am begging my pals for a bit of help today and this week. I entered a poetry contest, part of my writing goal, and am asking you pop here: and if you like what you read, think about following the link at the end of the post and voting for me.
Thanks a bunch.
Your pal, Penelope

zen wizard said...

This looks more glamorous than the Southeast Poultry Producers Convention and the Atlanta Boat & RV Expo combined.

Catch said...

What a great post! I must be showing my age...John Travolta looks so much hotter than Zac! lol..thanks for visiting my blog and your comments are always looked forward to and welcome. Have a good one Sweety!

Donald Douglas said...

Can't think celebs rigth now - New Hampshire's tomorrow!

Now that's action!

Palm Springs Savant said...

Steven- yep, I survived, amazingly, and didn't pass out.

Crusty- I've gotten several e-mails from kids of my readers asking me about Zac its a riot.

Dana- Glad you are enjoying this...that's exacly why I am sharing this.

Penelope- glad I could vote for you!

Catch-you are so sweet, thanks for saying that.

Naomi said...

Wow! Great photos Rick - sounds like you and John had a great night meeting all those stars.

Canadian flake said...

I am so happy to see the cast of Hairspray getting the recognition they deserve...that movie was amazing!!!

Missy said...

WOW you are so cool to have been at this event! Thanks for all the exclusive photos!!!

Could I ask you a question please?
Did you see any Zac Efron/Nikki Blonsky interaction that night?

maybe comment after me please....I'll keep checking LOL

Thanks so much!

Palm Springs Savant said...

Hi Missy Yes! They were talking together that night. I stood next to them when they had some photos taken and also spoke to each other in the press tent. They were both really nice.

Missy said...

yay! That is so cool! Thank you so much!! :D

Nikkifan said...

Since Emile Hirsch and Nikki Blonsky both won the same award I was just wondering if they interacted at all? They are both so talented?

Also you said Nikki and Zac were talking....have any pics? There wasn't much when it comes to pics except for him and Vanessa at the event. Nikki was pictured with many people and I thought maybe it was because she was sick.

I was also wondering if she and Vanessa hung out at all?

Thanks in advance. :D

Jess said...

I love your blog about the PSIFF. It seemed you had a great time! Thanks especially for the info about Zac and Nikki! I'm a huge fan of theirs. I know you said you stood next to them when they had photos taken, did you mean just Zac and Nikki or the cast and other people as well? I didn't see any pics of them together alone from that night except footage when they saw each other on the red carpet while Nikki was being interviewed and Zac came up to her and gave her a hug.

Also since you saw them speaking to each other at the press tent did it look like they were as close friends as they appear? Can you give us any more details?

Lastly I see pics that you met Zac and you said they are both very nice..did you meet Nikki too with Zac or alone? I don't see a picture of you and Nikki so I wasn't sure.

Sorry for all the questions but I'm very curious. Thanks so much and your blog rocks!


Palm Springs Savant said...

Nikkifan-Yep, Emile and Nikki were talking by this huge table with all kinds of fruit, cheese and crackers on it. They talked for about 15 minutes or so. I had a photo of the two of them somewhere...I'll have to look around for it.

Palm Springs Savant said...

Jess- Thanks, I appreciate you stopping by and saying hi. I saw Zac open a door for Nikki when they were walking out of the main ballroom and into the press tent. She looked back at him and smiled. Later Nikki was standing with him and Vanessa and they were laughing telling stories. They were all so cool, and seemed like they really enjoyed each other's company.

Zac told me he and Vanessa would be spending time in Palm Springs as a get away place because they like it so much. She said they liked Palm Springs because it was a good place to relax without being bothered by photographers and press. Super nice couple...

Nikkifan said...

OMG you would seriously make my day if you could post the Emile/Nikki pic you have! Please post it if you find it? Thanks you rock!

So Vanessa and Nikki were hanging out? They looked kind of awkward in that pic that was released of them so that interesting.

Did you happen to get any pics of Zac and Nikki?

HairsprayFan said...

Hi there,

Thanks for posting this! There wasn't much information available about the behind the scenes of PSIFF and I've been curious! I'm a big fan of Nikki and was wondering if you were able to talk to her at all, or get any pictures of her. You mentioned one of her with Emile? Any with her and Zac, or the other Hairspray castmembers? Did you notice if she was able to hang out with the castmembers during the evening, like Elijah Kelley or Brittany Snow? And other observations with Nikki and Zac? Thanks very much!

Jess said...

Thanks for writing me back so quickly. I really appreciate it! Interesting info on Zac and Vanessa but to be honest I was more interested with Zac and Nikki:)

Did you by chance get any photos of Zac and Nikki together? Did anything else happen after Zac held the door for Nikki when they were walking out of the ballroom into the press tent? So any moments with just the two of them?

So did you get to meet Nikki too? I know you said they were both really nice...which is so great to hear. I see you have a pic with Zac but not with Nikki.

Were there any pics of the younger cast Amanda, Brit, Zac, Nikki? There really wasn't that many with all of them together except the professional group shots. And I know there all close friends.

Lastly I hope you can find that picture of Emile & Nikki! Thats so awesome!

Thanks again so much!

Nikkifan said...


Sorry to be a pest but could you pretty please post that Emile and Nikki pic you said you have?

Also thanks for being kind enough to answer all of us! :D


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