The award-winning cast and production team of Paramount’s summer blockbuster “Book Club” will be presented with the “Stanley Kramer Mad World Comedy Award” at the first annual Palm Springs International Comedy Festival’s awards gala, scheduled for Saturday, November 10, 2018.

The prestigious award will be presented by legendary actress/producer Karen Sharpe Kramer and daughter actress/producer Katharine Kramer. Stanley Kramer is the most Oscar-nominated person in history and is known for his dramatic politically driven and timely films. He only directed one comedy, the star-studded blockbuster “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World” (1963), that will also celebrate its 55th anniversary this year.

Kat Kramer and Karen Sharpe Kramer

The ensemble award will be presented to the cast and the film’s director and producers,  Bill Holderman, the highly acclaimed screenwriter and producer who recently made his directorial debut in the hit comedy “Book Club” and  Erin Simms who co-wrote and produced the film alongside Holderman. The film’s A-list cast includes Diane Keaton, Jane Fonda, Candice Bergen, Mary Steenburgen, Richard Dreyfuss, Ed Begley Jr., Craig T. Nelson, Don Johnson, Wallace Shawn, Andy Garcia and Alicia Silverstone.

Director of PSICF, Paul Cruz comments, “I suggested the creation of the Stanley Kramer Award as I knew the blockbuster was filmed in Palm Springs and was his only comedy, so the significance of it to this festival was all too perfect. What better way to honor this cinematic genius?  We created this very special and prestigious award with the Kramer family, who at one time resided in Palm Springs, to further carry on the legacy of who many consider to be the greatest and most controversial filmmaker that ever lived.”

“Kat and I are thrilled to be honoring “Book Club” as the recipient of the inaugural Stanley Kramer Mad World Award for Best Ensemble Comedy Feature. This year, we’re celebrating the 55th Anniversary of “It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, World,” the comedy classic produced and directed by Stanley Kramer,” says Karen Sharpe Kramer. “The film premiered on November 7, 1963 at the Cinerama Dome, which Stanley Kramer built to premiere the film. Further, the film was the first big comedy ensemble to feature iconic comics and was filmed largely in the Palm Springs area. Stanley Kramer has a posthumous star on the Palm Springs Walk of Fame and once had a home in the area. Bringing the joy of laughter and the art of comedy and comedic talent to the desert is an idea he would have loved.”

PSICF will feature a star studded, black tie awards dinner gala, scheduled for November 10th, honoring the best comedic celebrity talents in stand-up, film and television and held in the grand ballroom of the trendy Hotel Zoso and Spa, located in the heart of downtown Palm Springs.

PSICF  was created to discover great comedic talent from around the world, with the purpose to promote them to the entertainment industry and the public, as well as to showcase the works of seasoned professionals and celebrities of comedy. The festival provides a showcase for the best comedians, sketch artists, shorts, features, TV pilots, Web series and animation from around the globe, with a screenplay competition awarding the best feature, shorts and TV pilots. The competition features 15 categories and 28 awards with submissions judged by top entertainment industry professionals.

Recently, it was announced that comedian Kathy Griffin will be presented with the “Comedian of the Year” Award, while Illeana Douglas is poised to receive the “Pioneer in Comedy Award” for the first ever branded Web series “Easy To Assemble.” PSICF  has also partnered with Step1 TV to present the festival’s stand up competition winner with a half-hour comedy special for KTVA channel 35.10. Additional honorees, celebrity judges and guests to be announced soon.

Illeana Douglas


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