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Stars honor film directors in Palm Springs

Published On: Jan 30 2013 02:18:21 PM CST
Updated On: Jan 06 2013 10:34:19 PM CST
Bradley Cooper presents David O. Russell Variety's Indie Impact Award
PALM SPRINGS, Calif. -

The Hollywood stars in town for the 24th Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival Awards Gala didn't just red carpet and run last night. The glitz and glam rolled onto Sunday brunch as the stars came out to play at the Parker hotel for Variety’s “Top 10 Directors to Watch” and Indie Impact Award presentation.

Actor Bradley Cooper put into words the talent of cinema mastermind, his right-hand man, director David O. Russell.

"The best word I could use to describe it is magical. It's simply magical," said Cooper.

Cooper presented Russell with Variety’s 2012 Indie Impact Award, honoring him for his contributions to the art and business of cinema. His latest creation "Silver Linings Playbook" shares a story inspired by his 18-year-old son's troubling struggles with a mood disorder.

"He inspired me and I can thank him for this film. That's my silver lining," said Russell.

The masterpiece was shot in just 33 days under Russell’s direction, which Cooper says is a rare task in Hollywood.

"Many directors would be hospitalized just hearing the schedule. But David teaches us what such a way can do for telling a story," he said.

Russell says he didn't receive the award with his work alone; it was with the help of his actors and co-director Cooper.

Cooper says, "The fact that I get to work for him and with him is just incredible. He has allowed me to really feel like a collaborator. That's the gift a director can give an actor that's invaluable."

Variety also recognized its "10 Directors to Watch," spotlighting the latest up-and-coming filmmakers in the business.

"We made a comedy called '21 and Over' coming out in two months and some folks saw it, thought it was funny. I'm lucky to be here," said director Jon Lucas.

As we continue to celebrate the film fest right here in the Valley, Russell leaves filmmakers with one thing to cherish, storytelling.

“Grab the audience emotionally by the heart, not let go until the very end so they walk out saying, ‘damn that was a good movie,’" said Russell.