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article imagePalm Springs International Film Fest honors 'The Imitation Game'

By Earl Dittman     Dec 5, 2014 in Entertainment
'The Imitation Game,' the World War II drama about a genius mathematician, cryptanalyst and gay war hero – starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightly and Matthew Goode – is set to receive the PSIFF award for Ensemble Performance Award at 26th Gala.
The 26th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF) will present its Ensemble Performance Award to the film The Imitation Game. The award will honor the film’s cast, which includes Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightley, Matthew Goode, Rory Kinnear, Allen Leech, Matthew Beard, Charles Dance and Mark Strong. The Gala will also present awards to previously announced honorees Julianne Moore, Rosamund Pike, Eddie Redmayne and J.K. Simmons. Presented by Cartier and hosted by Mary Hart, the Awards Gala will be held Saturday, January 3 at the Palm Springs Convention Center.
Benedict Cumberbatch in  The Imitation Game
Benedict Cumberbatch in 'The Imitation Game'
The Imitation Game is one of the very best ensembles to grace the screen this season,” said Festival Chairman Harold Matzner. “Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley lead an outstanding cast in The Imitation Game, a film about Alan Turing as he attempts to crack Germany’s Enigma machine. The Palm Springs International Film Festival is proud to present the entire cast of The Imitation Game with the Ensemble Performance Award.”
Past recipients of the Ensemble Performance Award include Academy Award winner for Best Picture Argo as well as past Best Picture nominees American Hustle, Babel and The Social Network.
During the winter of 1952, British authorities entered the home of mathematician, cryptanalyst and war hero Alan Turing (Benedict Cumberbatch) to investigate a reported burglary. They instead ended up arresting Turing himself on charges of ‘gross indecency’, an accusation that would lead to his devastating conviction for the criminal offense of homosexuality – little did officials know, they were actually incriminating the pioneer of modern-day computing. Famously leading a motley group of scholars, linguists, chess champions and intelligence officers, he was credited with cracking the so-called unbreakable codes of Germany's World War II Enigma machine. An intense and haunting portrayal of a brilliant, complicated man, the Morten Tyldum-directed The Imitation Game follows a genius who under nail-biting pressure helped to shorten the war and, in turn, save thousands of lives.
"I’d keep hearing, “Oh, Alan Turing? Wasn’t he something to do with Bletchley Park? Didn’t he create the Apple logo? Didn’t he bite an apple?” But not many people know the whole story," Benedict Cumberbatch explained to UK's Time Out about taking the role in the film. "He invented the computer, broke the Enigma code, was prosecuted for being a homosexual and underwent a year of oestrogen injections before dying in 1954. The irony and sickness of it was extraordinary! He wasn’t shouting from the rooftops or trying to start a cause, he was just a man who was gay. He’s such a quiet hero.
Benedict Cumberbatch
Benedict Cumberbatch
"He’s so endearing as he has a zero-filter policy with language," added Cumberbatch. "He sees it as an utter logical construction. Sometimes it looks like he’s being a provocative eejit, but he’s just being true to who he is. The danger is that we’re putting someone who’s slightly on the spectrum in social situations and finding him funny. It’s not that. He doesn’t have the sociopathic thing that Sherlock Holmes has, where it’s just a complete disregard for anyone’s importance or intelligence but his own.’ People do [compare him to Sherlock] and will. If I’m playing someone who’s smart, suddenly every character I’ve played is smart. If I’m playing a bad guy, every character is a bad guy. I suppose it’s that thing where people want to see a through-line to understand you. I mean, you know, I have played pretty ordinary people too."
Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch in  The Imitation Game
Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch in 'The Imitation Game'
About The Palm Springs International Film Festival
The Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF) is one of the largest film festivals in North America, welcoming 135,000 attendees last year for its lineup of new and celebrated international features and documentaries. The Festival is also known for its annual Black Tie Awards Gala, honoring the best achievements of the filmic year by a celebrated list of talents who, in recent years, have included Ben Affleck, Javier Bardem, Cate Blanchett, Sandra Bullock, Bradley Cooper, George Clooney, Daniel Day-Lewis, Leonardo DiCaprio, Clint Eastwood, Tom Hanks, Matthew McConaughey, Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts, David O. Russell, Meryl Streep, and Kate Winslet.
The Awards Gala of the 26th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival is presented by Cartier and sponsored by Mercedes Benz and Entertainment Tonight. The City of Palm Springs is the Title Sponsor of the Film Festival. Presenting Sponsors are Wells Fargo, The Desert Sun and Spencer’s. Major sponsors are Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, Wessman Development, Bank of America, Wintec, Regal Entertainment Group, Ignition Creative, Desert Regional Medical Center, Windermere Real Estate, Eisenhower Medical Center, Guthy-Renker, Integrated Wealth Management,, Ocean Properties, Chihuly and Telefilm Canada.
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