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Morgan Freeman to receive Career Achievement Award from Palm Springs Film Fest

Morgan Freeman as Nelson Mandela in Invictus - Small

Academy Award winner Morgan Freeman will receive the Career Achievement Award for Acting at the 21st Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF) Awards Gala on Jan. 5. The event, hosted by "Entertainment Tonight's" Mary Hart, will kick off the festival, which runs from Jan. 5 to 18.

Freeman, who will be next seen as South African President Nelson Mandela in the Clint Eastwood-directed "Invictus" (opening Dec. 11), won the Oscar for best supporting actor for his turn in Eastwood's 2004 "Million Dollar Baby," which also earned him a Golden Globe nomination and a Screen Actors Guild Award for outstanding performance by a male actor in a supporting role. Freeman was nominated for the Academy Award on three occasions before his win -- for best supporting actor in 1987's gritty crime drama "Street Smart" and  for best actor in "Driving Miss Daisy" (1989) and "The Shawshank Redemption" (1994). Freeman's long and storied body of work includes such critical and audience favorites as "The Dark Knight" (2008) and "Batman Begins" (2005) as well as "Bruce Almighty" (2003), "Amistad" (1997), "Se7en" (1995) and Eastwood's Oscar-winning "Unforgiven" (1992).

The 21st Palm Springs International Film Festival will present more than 400 screenings of 200 films from 60 countries around the world, including a majority of features submitted for consideration in the best foreign language category for the Academy Awards. 

-- Paul Gaita

Photo: Morgan Freeman as Nelson Mandela in "Invictus." Credit: Keith Bernstein.

More award news:

"Twilight," "True Blood" top People's Choice Award noms

David E. Kelley - and Judge Judy - among NATPE honorees

Anna Kendrick to receive Rising Star Award at Palm Springs Film Festival

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