PSIFF announced on Tuesday that the 77-year-old character actor will receive the honor at its Awards Gala on Jan. 4 at the Palm Springs Convention Center. Sandra Bullock and Matthew McConaughey have already been named recipients of other awards at the gala, which has become a popular stop for burnishing awards credentials just as Oscar voters are casting their ballots.
The gala takes place on the second day of the film festival, which runs from Jan. 3-13 in the desert resort two hours east of Los Angeles.
Dern’s career has lasted for more than 50 years and included films with icons like Elia Kazan, Francis Ford Coppola, Alfred Hitchcock, Hal Ashby, Michael Apted, Quentin Tarantino and Dern’s longtime friend Jack Nicholson.
His only Oscar nomination came for 1978’s “Coming Home,” but “Nebraska” has brought Dern some of the most favorable reviews of his career. He won the best-actor award at this year’s Cannes Film Festival for his quiet performance as a cranky and delusional man who insists that the sweepstakes letter he’s received guarantees him a $1 million prize.
At TheWrap’s screening series presentation of “Nebraska” last week, Dern said he was grateful for the awards attention, but added, “The biggest win was to get the damn part!”