Since the festival and awards gala cannot take place as an in-person event this year, but ET exclusively caught up with all of the honorees so they would still have the chance to make their acceptance speech. See their thank yous in the video above.
Here is this year's complete list of award winners:
International Star Award, Actress: Carey Mulligan
"In Promising Young Woman, Carey Mulligan boldly portrays Cassandra Thomas, a young woman, who risks her life to avenge the death of her best friend. This is a thrilling black comedy that tells an entertaining story of female power," Festival Chairman Harold Matzner said.
Mulligan was previously honored at the Palm Springs International Film Festival with the Breakthrough Performance Award in 2011.
International Star Award, Actor: Daniel Kaluuya
"Daniel Kaluuya delivers a powerful performance in his latest role as assassinated Black Panther leader Chairman Fred Hampton,” Matzner said. "For his outstanding work in Judas and the Black Messiah, it is our honor to present the International Star Award, Actor to Daniel Kaluuya."
Past recipients of the International Star Award include Antonio Banderas, Javier Bardem, Nicole Kidman, Helen Mirren, Gary Oldman and Saoirse Ronan.
Chairman's Award: Gary Oldman
"Gary Oldman gives another mesmerizing performance as Herman J. Mankiewicz in David Fincher's Mank. Oldman plays the role to perfection as the films follows the screenwriter’s journey while is co-writing the script for Citizen Kane," Matzner said. "We are delighted to recognize one of this generation’s greatest actors, Gary Oldman with this year's Chairman’s Award.”
Oldman was honored with PSIFA's Desert Palm Achievement Award in 2018.
Director of the Year Award: Chloé Zhao
Zhao makes history as the first woman to ever win the festival's Director of the Year prize, an honor previously bestowed upon Alejandro G. Iñárritu (Birdman), Steve McQueen (12 Years a Slave) and Quentin Tarantino (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood), among others.
"Director and screenwriter Chloé Zhao's Nomadland is a film that captures the triumph of the human spirit,” Matzner said. “This extremely unique and well-done film captures the grand landscapes of the American West as it follows Fern, played by Frances McDormand, who hits the road in her camper van moving from one real encampment of present-day nomads to another. Nomadland is one of the most accomplished films of the year and we are delighted to honor our first female Director of the Year, Chloé Zhao!"
Desert Palm Achievement Award, Actress: Viola Davis
"Viola Davis is one of the most celebrated actors of her generation from her powerful roles on stage and screen including Fences and How to Get Away With Murder," Matzner said. "In her latest film, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Davis fully embodies the famous blues singer Ma Rainey in an explosive and memorable performance, which is sure to receive an Academy Award nomination."
Past winners of the Desert Palm Achievement Award, Actress include Renée Zellweger, Halle Berry, Cate Blanchett, Sandra Bullock and Olivia Colman.
Desert Palm Achievement Award, Actor: Riz Ahmed
"Riz Ahmed delivers one of the most complex and moving on-screen performances of the year," Matzner said. "In Sound of Metal, the film tells the emotional journey of Ruben, a musician who learns he is losing his hearing and must deal with this new reality. For this realistic and outstanding portrayal, we are honored to present the Desert Palm Achievement Award, Actor to Riz Ahmed."
Past actor recipients of the award include Jeff Bridges, Daniel Day-Lewis, Matthew McConaughey, Gary Oldman, Sean Penn and Eddie Redmayne, all of whom went on to win the Oscar for Best Actor.
Vanguard Award: The Trial of the Chicago 7
The Vanguard Award is a group honor distinguishing a film's cast and director in recognition of their collective work on an exceptional film project.
"The Trial of the Chicago 7 is a thrilling courtroom drama that chronicles the highlights of the historic trial that sought to punish activists for inciting riots outside of the 1968 Democratic National Convention. Writer and director Aaron Sorkin has created a thought-provoking film featuring outstanding performances from a powerhouse cast that includes Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Sacha Baron Cohen, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Michael Keaton, Frank Langella, Eddie Redmayne, Mark Rylance, Jeremy Strong and more,” Matzner said.
Spotlight Award, Actress: Yuh-Jung Youn
"In her first-ever American feature film, Minari, Yuh-Jung Youn wonderfully portrays a feisty and foul-mouthed grandmother whose Korean-American family has suddenly moved from California to a hardscrabble farm in Arkansas. Hers is a performance that crosses culture and language, one that fully reveals the skills of her long, brilliant career," Matzner said.
Past recipients of the Spotlight Award, Actress include Amy Adams, Jessica Chastain, Helen Hunt, Allison Janney, Rooney Mara and Julia Roberts, all of whom received Oscar nominations that year.
Spotlight Award, Actor: Leslie Odom, Jr.
"Leslie Odom, Jr. is a truly talented performer. In his latest project, One Night in Miami, Odom Jr. brilliantly portrays singer Sam Cooke with charisma and tenacity, as he joins iconic figures Malcolm X, Cassius Clay and Jim Brown in this fictionalized account that is based on their actual meeting," Matzner said.
Past recipients of the Spotlight Award, Actor include Sam Rockwell and J.K. Simmons, who both went on to win the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor.
Breakthrough Performance Award: Andra Day
"Few jazz vocalists are more beloved than Billie Holiday, and Andra Day brings Holiday and her iconic voice back to life through a sympathetic and nuanced portrayal that sheds new light on the U.S. government's role in seeking to muzzle a homegrown legend," Matzner said of the actress' performance in The United States vs. Billie Holiday. "In her impressive feature film debut as an actress and her first leading role, it is our honor to present the Breakthrough Performance Award to Andra Day."
Past recipients of the Breakthrough Performance Award include Mahershala Ali, Mary J. Blige, Marion Cotillard and Cynthia Erivo.
Career Achievement Award: Anthony Hopkins
"Anthony Hopkins is one of the greatest and most respected actors of his generation, who has brought to the screen so many memorable performances from The Silence of the Lambs, The Remains of the Day, The Two Popes, Westworld and so many more. In The Father, Hopkins gives an outstanding emotional performance, his best in years, as an 80-year-old father whose grip on reality is unraveling,” Matzner said.
Past recipients of the Career Achievement Award include Laura Dern, Clint Eastwood, Samuel L. Jackson and Spike Lee, among others.
The Film Society has continued to host year-round member screenings and events virtually until theaters are able to open, and the Palm Springs International Film Festival and Film Awards Gala will return in 2022.