The Palm Springs (Calif.) International Film Festival will honor U2 with its Sonny Bono Visionary Award during its annual award gala this Saturday evening (January 4) at the Palm Springs Convention Center. The festival itself runs from Jan. 3-13.
Festival Chairman Harold Matzner explains the decision to honor U2 this year:
"We normally present the Sonny Bono Visionary Award to a director, but for our 25th anniversary we wanted to take the occasion to celebrate U2, a visionary group and the world's premier rock band, for their unparalleled humanitarian work against extreme poverty, disease, and social injustice. Their latest song 'Ordinary Love' from the film Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom is an ode to Nelson Mandela, who had such a powerful impact on our world, and a man whom the band worked with in the fight against HIV/AIDS in Africa. The Palm Springs International Film Festival is honored to present the 2014 Sonny Bono Visionary Award to U2."
What's unclear is who from U2 is going to show up to collect the award. A local newspaper, The Desert Sun, says Bono is the only one confirmed and the festival is waiting to find out if the rest of the band will attend. The Los Angeles Times says the whole band will be there.
The Palm Springs International Film Festival is in its 25th year and is one of the biggest film festivals in the country. Other honorees who are expected to be in attendance Saturday include Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks and Sandra Bullock.