The star of awards season contenders The Descendants and The Ides Of March will collect the annual honour at the Palm Springs International Film Festival awards gala on Jan 7.

“George Clooney brings new definition to the word ‘star,’” film festival chairman Harold Matzner said. “A consummate actor, director, producer and screenwriter, he’s demonstrated that no discipline within the film industry is beyond his reach.

In The Ides Of March as an actor, director, producer and screenwriter, Clooney exposes the gritty world of political campaigns where winning is the only option, no matter how devastating the consequences. In The Descendants, he gives a bravura performance as a reluctant patriarch, living in a Hawaiian paradise, who is thrust into making life and death decisions affecting his entire family.”

Past recipients of the Chairman’s Award include Ben Affleck, Dustin Hoffman and Nicole Kidman.

Clooney directed, produced, co-wrote and stars in The Ides Of March and stars for Alexander Payne in The Descendants.

He won the best supporting actor Oscar for Syriana in 2006 and has earned four other nominations, twice for lead actor for Michael Clayton and Up In The Air and for director and original screenplay (with Grant Heslov) for Good Night, And Good Luck.