In a fillip for The Fighter’s awards campaign today [8] organisers at the 22nd annual Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF) announced David O Russell will be named its director of the year.

The awards gala is scheduled for January 8, when Russell will join previously announced honorees Javier Bardem, Robert Duvall, Colin Firth, Jennifer Lawrence, Carey Mulligan and Natalie Portman.

“From his very first movie to the present, the talent and style of director David O Russell has garnered both audience and critical acclaim,” Palm Springs International Film Festival chairman Harold Matzner said.

“In his latest effort, The Fighter, he works again with actor Mark Wahlberg who portrays a man refusing to take no for an answer when it comes to pursuing his dreams.”

Past honorees include Alexander Payne, Jason Reitman, Alejandro González Inarritu, Anthony Minghella, Sean Penn and Ang Lee.

The festival is scheduled to run from January 6-17.