Sarah Polley Named Director of the Year by Palm Springs International Film Awards

Derek Shapton

Sarah Polley will receive the Director of the Year award at the Palm Springs International Film Awards in January, the Palm Springs International Film Society announced on Friday. The award will be presented at a ceremony at the Palm Springs Convention Center on Thursday, Jan. 5, 2023.

Polley is being honored for “Women Talking,” her first film in 11 years. Adapted from the Miriam Toews novel that was based on the true story of a group of women in a religious colony who were sexually assaulted by a number of men in the colony, the film stars Jessie Buckley, Rooney Mara and Claire Foy. Writing for TheWrap, critic Tomris Lafly called the film “a raw, cutting and hopeful feminist manifesto of philosophical ideas, both timely and timeless.”

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In the past, recipients of the Palm Springs Director of the Year Award have included Jane Campion, Chloé Zhao, Alexander Payne, Alejandro G. Iñárritu and Quentin Tarantino. Polley’s selection marks the third consecutive year that the award has gone to a female director, though the 2021 and 2022 awards ceremonies could not be held because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The awards ceremony will kick off the 2023 Palm Springs International Film Festival, which will run through Jan. 16 in the desert resort town east of Los Angeles.

Polley is the second recipient to be announced, with the Desert Palm Achievement Award, Actor going to Colin Farrell for “The Banshees of Inisherin.”

Additional honorees will be announced in the coming weeks.

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