Kevin Costner, Anthony Minghella and producer Richard D Zanuck are among honourees at the upcoming 15th Palm Springs International Film Festival's gala awards on Jan 11 2004.

Costner, currently riding high following critical and commercial success in the US for his latest Western, Open Range, will receive the Career Achievement in the Art of Cinema. Previous winners include Nicolas Cage, Susan Sarandon, Jimmy Stewart and Frank Sinatra.

He won the Best Director Oscar for Dances With Wolves in 1991 and his acting credits include No Way Out, JFK, The Untouchables and Bull Durham.

In a statement Costner said: "This is a unexpected honour. I consider myself lucky to be able to chase my dreams in an industry that encourages me to creatively follow my heart. I am proud to share this award with all the film-makers, casts and crews that I have been fortunate to work with over my career."

Minghella, whose directorial credits include the eagerly anticipated American Civil War romance Cold Mountain starring Jude Law, Nicole Kidman and Renee Zellweger, will receive this year's International Director Award.

Minghella won the Best Director Oscar for The English Patient in 1997 and took Best Director honours from the National Board of Review for The Talented Mr. Ripley in 1999. His other credits include Truly, Madly, Deeply and Mr Wonderful.

"Anthony Minghella is able to create vast epic films that never lose sight of the story he is trying to tell," festival chairman-elect Earl Greenburg said in a statement. "Minghella is a director that takes the written word and paints a beautiful picture that tells a compelling story."

Zanuck will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award for Producing in honour of a career spanning more than 50 titles. He won the Best Picture Oscar for Driving Miss Daisy in 1990 and received the honorary Irving G Thalberg Memorial Award in 1993.

His credits include Road To Perdition, The Verdict, Jaws and Tim Burton's upcoming drama Big Fish and Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, which goes into production in 2004.

The festival runs from Jan 8-18 2004.