Ridley Scott, left, and Matt Damon, winner of the Chairman’s award, pose backstage at the 27th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival Awards Gala, Jan. 2, 2016. Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP
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Matt Damon has launched a bold new phase of Oscar campaigning for his "The Martian" director, telling a crowd that Ridley Scott has "given more than enough to cinema" over his career to deserve an Academy Award.Palm Springs has become a well-attended stop on the busy Hollywood awards circuit due to its timing during the Oscar nominations voting period and eight days before the Golden Globe Awards. Honorees Johnny Depp, Cate Blanchett, Christian Bale and Michael Fassbender also took the stage.Depp hugged his "Finding Neverland" co-star Kate Winslet on the red carpet before the show.Damon walked backstage in conversation with Blanchett. "Room" star Brie Larson and "Trumbo" star Bryan Cranston had both screened their personal movies at the festival years earlier.
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