Thanks for the memories
Director of the Year
Jason Reitman, "Up in the Air"
"My most exciting moment was being at the Sundance Film Festival in 1998 with my first short film, 'Operation.' We were playing in this crappy little place called the Holiday Village Theater (which) sat maybe 60 people. Half the people in the audience must have been friends of the filmmakers. When I walked out of that screening, for the first time I actually felt like I was a director. I had just watched my movie play on a screen for an audience and that was it. That's the dream: To present your story in front of an audience."
Breakthrough Performance, Male
Jeremy Renner, "The Hurt Locker"
"Being at the Venice Film Festival with 'The Hurt Locker' was very surreal. We were in a 1,500-seat theater. Kathryn Bigelow, Mark Boal, myself and the rest of the cast were sitting on these kind of thrones. After the movie was over, they stood up to clap for us for literally 15 minutes. We kept looking at each other going, 'Are we supposed to do something? OK, let's wave at people.' So we start waving like we're in some sort of parade. They're still clapping and we're like, 'What do we do? Clap back?' I felt really naked (and) we were really unsure what to do with ourselves. But it was a lovely, lovely experience."
Career Achievement, Male
Morgan Freeman, "Invictus"
"I was (at) the Berlin Film Festival, where 'Driving Miss Daisy' was honored with three Silver Bears. I was very proud of the recognition the film garnered, and prouder still to be honored alongside Jessica Tandy."
Anna Kendrick, "Up in the Air"
"The first festival I ever went to was Sundance (for) my very first film, 'Camp.' Every single actor in it had never been in a film before, (and) none of us could really believe that we were actually at Sundance. We were sitting there, watching the film together for the first time, feeling like a bunch of teenage kids who had no business being at Sundance. At the end of the movie, we got a standing ovation and walked down in front of the crowd. That was one of the best experiences of my life."
Career Achievement, Actress
Helen Mirren, "The Last Station"
"The Venice Film Festival will always have a very special place in my heart because it was there that my journey -- that finished up in getting an Oscar -- started. In terms of vanity and ego, certainly that first screening of 'The Queen' was an amazing moment for me. Realizing how well the film was being received and the appreciation of my performance in particular was really very special."
Desert Palm Achievement
Jeff Bridges, "Crazy Heart"
"What's so great about film festivals is that you get to see, often for the first time, the reaction to a movie you put so much energy into. I remember going to one in my home town in Santa Barbara where I got a great response from the audience for a little film I made called 'The Amateurs.' The audience loved it. There was one film festival that was screening 'Tideland,' a movie directed by Terry Gilliam. I can't remember which festival it was, but during a very critical part of the movie, for some reason, the lights just came on. I remember Terry Gilliam standing up, going: 'What the hell is going on?!'"
Frederick Loewe Award
T-Bone Burnett, "Crazy Heart"
"Two years ago, at the Lone Star International Film Festival in Fort Worth, Texas, Robert Rodriguez was having a late-night screening of 'Road Racers.' It was a film I had done a little work on 15 years earlier. On the way to the screening, we got word that they wanted us to show up at a honkytonk down the road where Johnny Reno was playing. Harry Dean Stanton, Robert, Johnny and I got into some song, maybe 'Promised Land,' then another song and another song, until it turned into one of those wild nights in a Texas roadhouse -- the kind where the building itself starts swaying. After we left the stage, Robert said, 'You guys play the devil's music.' Coming from Robert, that was high praise."