Viggo Mortensen to Receive Dennis Hopper Award at AMFM Fest (Exclusive)

Coachella Valley film, art and music festival will honor Mortensen for range of artistic activities, from acting to poetry to photography

Viggo Mortensen will receive the fourth annual Dennis Lee Hopper Award at this year’s inaugural AMFM Fest in California’s Coachella Valley, Film 4 Change announced on Thursday.

Mortensen, an actor, writer, poet and visual artist, will receive the award at a ceremony in the desert town of Cathedral City on June 16, on the final day of the four-day festival that draws its name from the phrase “Art, Music, Film and More.” His art will also be exhibited at the fest, which will include a screening of the Alex Kleinert documentary “Wild Horses and Renegades,” in which Mortensen appears.

Viggo Mortensen“Dennis believed that to be an artist, you had to embrace all the arts,” Film 4 Change and AMFM Fest co-director Robert Galarza told TheWrap. “Viggo has his photography, painting, writing, poetry and philosophical musings in addition to his acting ability, and he has no great ego as an artist. He allows the art to move through him like a vessel, which is how Dennis saw the world.”

The award honors artists who work in a number of fields and also advocate for social change. The first award was presented to Hopper posthumously in 2010 at the Albuquerque Film Festival. Subsequent honorees were Dean Stockwell and director Alex Cox.

Galarza and co-director Rich Henrich also announced the addition of the award-winning, Joshua Tree-based rock group Gram Rabbit to the AMFM Fest’s music lineup, as well as the Venice Beach-based group Terraplane Sun.

“We came up in the spirit of the original South by Southwest,” said Heinrich, “and we want to create a festival that has established headliners but also a large number of unsigned acts.”

The AMFM Fest will run from June 13 – 16 at the UltraStar Mary Pickford Theater, the Cathedral City Town Square and other venues in the desert city between Palm Springs and Indio. The festival will include six world premiere films in a slate of more than 50, along with live shows, comedy, spoken word performances and art exhibits.

In keeping with Film 4 Change’s mission to encourage social change through art, it will also showcase the work of the Boys and Girls Club of Cathedral City.

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