Michel Hazanavicius To Receive Sonny Bono Visionary Award for 'The Artist'

November 23, 2011 By:
Michel Hazanavicius To Receive Sonny Bono Visionary Award for 'The Artist'

The silent film might be making a comeback. Michel Hazanavicius' new flick, The Artist takes place in Hollywood from 1927 to 1932 and tells the story of a silent film star whose career is on the decline. Meanwhile, a beautiful actress rises through the collapse of silent cinema.

The film opened to rave reviews at Cannes, and now Hazanavicius will be honored at the 23rd Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival.

Festival Chairman Harold Matzner said:

“Director Michel Hazanavicius boldly takes us back in time and reacquaints modern-day audiences with the magical power of black and white silent cinema to capture our hearts and our imaginations in The Artist."

Matzner says that The Artist "will continue to be one of the films to watch throughout awards season as a leading best picture contender. For his creative innovation in filmmaking The Palm Springs International Film Festival is proud to present Michel Hazanavicius with the Sonny Bono Visionary Award.”

Charlie Chaplin was probably the most famous face of the silent movie era, and Hollyscoop talked to Chaplin's granddaughters about what they thought of The Artist.

Carmen Chaplin told us: "It's been a very lovely experience. It's nice to see something that feels very fresh and new, but it's going back to the roots of cinema."

Carmen added: "It's wonderful to be with an audience and to experience this film with an audience because it feels like a very pure experience of film and also a very entertaining and great experience."

And Dolores Chaplin says that while the movie commemorates Charlie Chaplin, it also offers something unique:

"I think my grandfather took all of the biggest challenges very successfully," Dolores tells Hollyscoop. "And also just going back to the roots of film making, that's a big homage. It's also it's own movie. It's not a replica of anything of Chaplin. But obviously, it has a lot of references to black and white movies."

Carmen told us that the message of the flick has to do with "moving forward with your time."

"Which is interesting because the film is going back to the old way of making films but it was about -- the character had to transition to something new. I don't know what the message would be. To learn -- it's great to find ways to be inspired by artists that were there before you and did amazing things, but to be with your time as well."

The 23rd Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival takes place from January 5-January 16.