Unexpected speeches by Greta Gerwig and Meryl Streep were highlights of the 2024 Palm Springs Film Awards.

The Palm Springs International Film Awards ceremony itself is an extravagant event with over a thousand attendees dressed to the nines, all living out Palm Springs' version of an Oscar moment, even though much of the action happens backstage or on the red carpet. 

On Thursday night, guests were treated to a lavish dinner and heartfelt memories and anecdotes from the award recipients and their presenters. Keeping the show going all night long, this year's host Mary Hart also made a comeback. 

We laughed, wept, and became aware of these moments during the two-hour event. 

Colman Domingo, who played Bayard Rustin in the movie "Rustin," and who won the Spotlight Actor Award on Thursday, shared a touching account of how he found out he was going to play the lead. 

"On April 26, 2021, at 4:40 p.m. at L'Horizon — right here in Palm Springs — as my husband and I were on a sunset walk around the property, 

producer Bruce Cohen called and said 'On behalf of Netflix, President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama, we would be honored if you would be our Bayard.'" he said. 

"I exclaimed, 'It would be the honor of a lifetime,' and I sat there for a minute, utterly delighted, raising my arms to the sky and simply saying, 'Thank you.'" I'm grateful. I'm grateful," he said. "And then I took this photo at 4:43 p.m." 

Then he turned to display a picture of himself grinning, arms raised, with the iconic Palm Springs mountains in the distance. 

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