The Palm Springs International Film Festival’s (PSIFF) annual honour comes in recognition of the “outstanding creative ensemble” on Jason Reitman’s dark comedy.

Reitman will attend the ceremony on Jan 7 with screenwriter Diablo Cody and stars Charlize Theron and Patton Oswalt.

This is the second Vanguard Award for Cody and Reitman, who first received the honour in 2008 for Juno. Reitman received the 2010 PSIFF Best Director Award for Up In The Air, and Theron won the 2006 Desert Palm Achievement Actress Award for North Country.

“What is more bittersweet than realising that your glory days, particularly those in high school, when everything was possible, may truly be a thing of the past,” film festival chairman Harold Matzner said.

“In Young Adult, a writer of teen literature gets a major reality check when her plan to reclaim a former high school sweetheart goes awry, but leads her to forge an unlikely bond with a former classmate who is similarly time warp-challenged.”